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Mithras

Oberyn poisoned Tywin vol. 2

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The first thread is locked here. The OP of the first thread must be read, although there are more evidences in the later posts.



Amory Lorch died several months before Oberyn came to KL. That means Gregor and Tywin were the only ones in his hit list.



Before coming to KL, this was his plan:


  1. He was going to demand justice openly and constantly in KL like a bitch (which he did).
  2. He was going to speak of Tywin’s mortality in the hearing of the little birds and multiple witnesses (which he did).
  3. He was going to poison Tywin with Widow’s Blood at first chance (which he did although his initial plan changed at this stage).
  4. Then he was going to simply wait Tywin die from poison.
  5. Once Tywin dies from obvious poisoning, what he said to Tyrion would be true. Oberyn was going to be the prime suspect and there would be a strong case against him. He wanted to be heard of killing Tywin. He wanted to be charged by Tywin’s murder.
  6. At that point he was going to demand trial by combat.
  7. Guess who would be the champion of Cersei against him?

He never doubted he could kill Gregor in a trial by combat. This way he was going to get his revenge and return to Dorne with showing his middle finger to Cersei.



However, Joffrey’s poisoning and Tyrion’s trial changed his plans slightly. In any case, if it comes to trial by combat, Gregor would be the champion of House Lannister. Oberyn used his chance to poison Tywin. That being done, he offered the helpless Tyrion to be his champion. In return, he wanted to take him as his hostage and puppet Lord Lannister along with Sansa (who he thought Tyrion had somewhere hidden) to Dorne, all the while showing his middle finger to Cersei.



Surely Doran talked about how he wished to strip Tywin of everything he hold dear and then kill him. Doran is a reasonable man. He knows that Tywin is a lion and you do not play with a lion, though old it is. His death is enough for him. He wanted to show the ruin of House Lannister to the realm, not to Tywin. That is why, I dont give a credit to that argument.


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Pycelle sputtered. “This man is... he is unfit...”


“Do not presume to speak to me of fitness. Not after the stinking mockery you made of my lord father’s corpse.”


“Your Grace cannot think...” He raised a spotted hand, as if to ward off a blow. “The silent sisters removed Lord Tywin’s bowels and organs, drained his blood... every care was taken... his body was stuffed with salts and fragrant herbs...”


“Oh, spare me the disgusting details. I smelled the results of your care. Lord Qyburn’s healing arts saved my brother’s life, and I do not doubt that he will serve the king more ably than that simpering eunuch.”



Qyburn tended to the corpse for a while. It may be argued he sabotaged the body to make a mockery of Pycelle and discredit him. But the silent sisters did their job after Qyburn's involvement and stuffed the corpse with herbs. Did Qyburn used some substance which stayed effective even after the treatment of the silent sisters and Pycelle’s examination? If Qyburn can do that, Oberyn should be able to do a similar thing too. He forged 6 chains in the Citadel and he was gifted with the poisons, so a silver chain (medicine) has to be one of them. Oberyn also used magic which was identified by Qyburn. They are both capable of causing the end result by their knowledge.



Of all the mourners, Grand Maester Pycelle had seemed the most distraught. “I have served six kings,” he told Jaime after the second service, whilst sniffing doubtfully about the corpse, “but here before us lies the greatest man I ever knew. Lord Tywin wore no crown, yet he was all a king should be.”



“Is that why he looks so pleased with himself?”


The vapors rising from the corpse were making Pycelle’s eyes water. “The flesh... as the flesh dries, the muscles grow taut and pull his lips upward. That is no smile, only a... a drying, that is all.” He blinked back tears.



Every standart care was taken with Tywin’s corpse. Thus, Salts and fragrants herbs should have prevented the decomposing bacteria long enough for the ceremony but the result was a horror. As a man of science, Pycelle was very doubtful about the stink of Tywin’s corpse. Did he cry from his love to Tywin or his eyes were too sensitive to the vapors rising from the corpse?



Most of what he heard he’d learned in Sisterton, from Lord Godric or the denizens of the Belly of the Whale. Tywin Lannister was dead, butchered by his dwarf son; his corpse had stunk so badly that no one had been able to enter the Great Sept of Baelor for days afterward; the Lady of the Eyrie had been murdered by a singer; Littlefinger ruled the Vale now, but Bronze Yohn Royce had sworn to bring him down; Balon Greyjoy had died as well, and his brothers were fighting for the Seastone Chair; Sandor Clegane had turned outlaw and was plundering and killing in the lands along the Trident; Myr and Lys and Tyrosh were embroiled in another war; a slave revolt was raging in the east.



Davos heard this news in the infamous inn called Lazy Eel. He knew that all this news were old. Still, the stink of Tywin’s corpse carries a significant place in the news. From now on, Tywin will be remembered by how his corpse stunk in his funeral. I take it as a deliberate attack on the memory of Tywin. And who can think such a subtle detail? The answer comes from Tywin:



“Prince Oberyn’s presence here is unfortunate. His brother is a cautious man, a reasoned man, subtle, deliberate, even indolent to a degree. He is a man who weighs the consequences of every word and every action.”


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“… And now his wife has abducted Tyrion Lannister, thanks to Littlefinger’s meddling. Lord Tywin will take that for an outrage, and Jaime has a queer affection for the Imp.”



Varys was waiting in the stables, as promised. His horse looked spavined and half-dead. Tyrion mounted up; one of the sellswords opened the gates. They rode out in silence. Why did I tell her about Tysha, gods help me? he asked himself, suddenly afraid. There were some secrets that should never be spoken, some shames a man should take to his grave. What did he want from her, forgiveness? The way she had looked at him, what did that mean? Did she hate the thought of scouring pots that much, or was it his confession? How could I tell her that and still think she would love me? part of him said, and another part mocked, saying, Fool of a dwarf, it is only the gold and jewels the whore loves.



Tyrion told the whole Tysha story to Shae. Varys learned all about it through Shae, if not from his little birds. Varys always knew that Jaime had a queer affection for the imp. Now that he knows about Tysha, he is clever enough to understand why. A Lannister always pays his debts. So, how on earth he could not expect Jaime to do something before Tyrion’s head is lopped off? People like Jaime are very predictable for him.


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“I once had the great good fortune to see the Citadel’s copy of Lives of Four Kings,” Prince Oberyn was telling her lord husband. “The illuminations were wondrous to behold, but Kaeth was too kind by half to King Viserys.”


Tyrion gave him a sharp look. “Too kind? He scants Viserys shamefully, in my view. It should have been Lives of Five Kings.”


The prince laughed. “Viserys hardly reigned a fortnight.”


“He reigned more than a year,” said Tyrion.


Oberyn gave a shrug. “A year or a fortnight, what does it matter? He poisoned his own nephew to gain the throne and then did nothing once he had it.”


“Baelor starved himself to death, fasting,” said Tyrion. “His uncle served him loyally as Hand, as he had served the Young Dragon before him. Viserys might only have reigned a year, but he ruled for fifteen, while Daeron warred and Baelor prayed.” He made a sour face. “And if he did remove his nephew, can you blame him? Someone had to save the realm from Baelor’s follies.”


Sansa was shocked. “But Baelor the Blessed was a great king. He walked the Boneway barefoot to make peace with Dorne, and rescued the Dragonknight from a snakepit. The vipers refused to strike him because he was so pure and holy.”


Prince Oberyn smiled. “If you were a viper, my lady, would you want to bite a bloodless stick like Baelor the Blessed? I’d sooner save my fangs for someone juicier . . .”


“My prince is playing with you, Lady Sansa,” said the woman Ellaria Sand. “The septons and singers like to say that the snakes did not bite Baelor, but the truth is very different. He was bitten half a hundred times, and should have died from it.”


“If he had, Viserys would have reigned a dozen years,” said Tyrion, “and the Seven Kingdoms might have been better served. Some believe Baelor was deranged by all that venom.”


“Yes,” said Prince Oberyn, “but I’ve seen no snakes in this Red Keep of yours. So how do you account for Joffrey?”


“I prefer not to.”




This is from the POV of Sansa. GRRM did a fantastic job by giving this dialogue from her POV instead of Tyrion’s. If you remember the first time Tyrion talked with Varys, Tyrion demonstrated his ability to read the meaning behind the words.




“I’ll take some wine.” Tyrion seated himself beside Shae. He understood what was happening here, if Chella and the girl did not. Varys was delivering a message. When he said, I was taken by a sudden urge to meet your young lady, what he meant was, You tried to hide her, but I knew where she was, and who she was, and here I am. He wondered who had betrayed him. The innkeeper, that boy in the stable, a guard on the gate… or one of his own?


“I always like to return to the city through the Gate of the Gods,” Varys told Shae as he filled the wine cups. “The carvings on the gatehouse are exquisite, they make me weep each time I see them. The eyes… so expressive, don’t you think? They almost seem to follow you as you ride beneath the portcullis.”


“I never noticed, m’lord,” Shae replied. “I’ll look again on the morrow, if it please you.”


Don’t bother, sweetling, Tyrion thought, swirling the wine in the cup. He cares not a whit about carvings. The eyes he boasts of are his own. What he means is that he was watching, that he knew we were here the moment we passed through the gates.


“Do be careful, child,” Varys urged. “King’s Landing is not wholly safe these days. I know these streets well, and yet I almost feared to come today, alone and unarmed as I was. Lawless men are everywhere in this dark time, oh, yes. Men with cold steel and colder hearts.” Where I can come alone and unarmed, others can come with swords in their fists, he was saying.


Shae only laughed. “If they try and bother me, they’ll be one ear short when Chella runs them off.”


Varys hooted as if that was the funniest thing he had ever heard, but there was no laughter in his eyes when he turned them on Tyrion. “Your young lady has an amiable way to her. I should take very good care of her if I were you.”


“I intend to. Any man who tries to harm her—well, I’m too small to be a Black Ear, and I make no claims to courage.” See? I speak the same tongue you do, eunuch. Hurt her, and I’ll have your head.




It is a hard task to insert the italic thoughts to the dialogue between Tyrion and Oberyn. But it is surely worth a try. Before that, we need to remember the history a little.



Viserys II was the tenth member of House Targaryen to be the King on the Iron Throne. He was the brother of Aegon III Targaryen and was the son of Rhaenyra Targaryen and Daemon Targaryen, and the father of King Aegon IV Targaryen, Queen Naerys Targaryen, and Prince Aemon the Dragonknight.



Viserys served as Hand of the King to his nephews and was instrumental in keeping the realm intact while King Daeron I warred and King Baelor I prayed. It was rumored that to spare the realm embarassment, Viserys used his position as Hand to order the poisoning of a stonemason whom Baelor had appointed as High Septon.



Viserys II ascended to throne later in life after the death of his nephew, Baelor I Targaryen, also known as Baelor the Blessed. Viserys is not remembered fondly in Westeros, as some accuse him of poisoning Baelor to gain the throne and doing nothing once he gained it. Viserys reigned for only a year, but in his previous role as Hand of the King he had ruled and preserved the land for much longer.



Viserys ruled the realm as the Hand of the feeble kings. That is almost exactly what Tywin did and still doing back then. So in this dialogue, both Oberyn and Tyrion meant Tywin by talking about Viserys.



“I once had the great good fortune to see the Citadel’s copy of Lives of Four Kings,” Prince Oberyn was telling her lord husband. “The illuminations were wondrous to behold, but Kaeth was too kind by half to King Viserys.” I know that Tywin is the real king now. And he has a deal to answer for.


Tyrion gave him a sharp look. “Too kind? He scants Viserys shamefully, in my view. It should have been Lives of Five Kings.” I understand who you really refer to. Yes Tywin rules the realm and he deserves to be counted as a king.


The prince laughed. “Viserys hardly reigned a fortnight.” Lol bitch. Tywin’s reign will be a short one. The war is not won.


“He reigned more than a year,” said Tyrion. Tywin will end the remnants of the rebels within a year.


Oberyn gave a shrug. “A year or a fortnight, what does it matter? He poisoned his own nephew to gain the throne and then did nothing once he had it.” Tywin will die shortly without doing anything. His own poison will get him.


“Baelor starved himself to death, fasting,” said Tyrion. “His uncle served him loyally as Hand, as he had served the Young Dragon before him. Viserys might only have reigned a year, but he ruled for fifteen, while Daeron warred and Baelor prayed.” Whatever you are capable of; Tywin ruled and will continue to rule. He made a sour face. “And if he did remove his nephew, can you blame him? Someone had to save the realm from Baelor’s follies.” If you gonna do something, kill Joffrey and be done with it.


Sansa was shocked. “But Baelor the Blessed was a great king. He walked the Boneway barefoot to make peace with Dorne, and rescued the Dragonknight from a snakepit. The vipers refused to strike him because he was so pure and holy.”


Prince Oberyn smiled. “If you were a viper, my lady, would you want to bite a bloodless stick like Baelor the Blessed? I’d sooner save my fangs for someone juicier . . .” I am not after the feeble king, Imp. I will have an older and juicier prey.


“My prince is playing with you, Lady Sansa,” said the woman Ellaria Sand. “The septons and singers like to say that the snakes did not bite Baelor, but the truth is very different. He was bitten half a hundred times, and should have died from it.”


“If he had, Viserys would have reigned a dozen years,” said Tyrion, “and the Seven Kingdoms might have been better served. Some believe Baelor was deranged by all that venom.” Don’t be fooled by your desire for revenge. Joffrey is the real danger. If you kill him, I will do whatever I can to help you with your justice.


“Yes,” said Prince Oberyn, “but I’ve seen no snakes in this Red Keep of yours. So how do you account for Joffrey?” If you are so eager to get rid of him, you should be doing something on your own already. But you will get no drop of poison from me for Joffrey.


“I prefer not to.” Asshole.


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“Have you taken leave of your wits?” his father said.


“No, I’ve found them. I demand trial by battle!”


His sweet sister could not have been more pleased. “He has that right, my lords,” she reminded the judges. “Let the gods judge. Ser Gregor Clegane will stand for Joffrey. He returned to the city the night before last, to put his sword at my service.”


Lord Tywin’s face was so dark that for half a heartbeat Tyrion wondered if he’d drunk some poisoned wine as well. He slammed his fist down on the table, too angry to speak.



This is the kind of foreshadowing GRRM likes to make.


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Fantastic! I contributed to and was a supporter of the previous thread I am glad you have thought to continue it.



The point about the Lannisters is that one of their strengths is their unity as a family. This is also true of the Starks who practice it on an instinctive level through true bonds of unforced love. The Lannisters' unity, like that of the younger Martels is slightly more brittle, based as it is on self interest and presenting a public facade of unity. Doran and Oberyn must have worked out that the best way to obtain their vengeance is to exploit those faultlines in their relationships with each other and blow them apart.



This is why Oberyn's first words to Tyrion cover his recollections of a visit to Casterly Rock shortly after Tyrion's birth. Describing Tyrion's deformity and the different reactions of Cersai and Jaime to their little brother. Oberyn is putting out feelers here to explore the current situation of these relationships through Tyrion's reactions to his narrative. What he discovered the high level of simmering tension between the siblings must have been extremely satisfying. This is followed by an equally exploratory conversation about Tywin, again Tyrion's clear discomfort regarding his father would be pleasing, more tensions! It is all good from the Martells' POV. Oberyn finishes off by denigrating Tyrion's administrative capabilities with references to the "dwarf's [insult intended] penny". Your enemy is rather competent? Then humiliate and insult him to put him off balance.



Obviously the one way to bring all such tensions to a head would be to punch out the lynchpin holding the whole family in check, Tywin. Oberyn can take no chances with this and thus Tywin is poisoned.



There was much talk on the other thread that Oberyn's only chance to poison Tywin was at the breakfast with Mace during Tyrion's trial. This is rubbish, poison can be administered a myriad of ways, by mouth is just one of them. There is also no need even to assume that Oberyn carried out the poisoning himself or alone...


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Surely Doran talked about how he wished to strip Tywin of everything he hold dear and then kill him. Doran is a reasonable man. He knows that Tywin is a lion and you do not play with a lion, though old it is. His death is enough for him. He wanted to show the ruin of House Lannister to the realm, not to Tywin. That is why, I dont give a credit to that argument.

The problem about Doran for us is that we learn him through the POVs of Areo Hotah and Arianne, both of whom he informs no more than he should.

“Arianne, your nature... to you, a secret was only a choice tale to whisper to Garin and Tyene in your bed of a night. Garin gossips as only the orphans can, and Tyene keeps nothing from Obara and the Lady Nym. And if they knew... Obara is too fond of wine, and Nym is too close to the Fowler twins. And who might the Fowler twins confide in? I could not take the risk.”

Doran knows his company very well. So all we know about Doran is only a small portion which he sees not risky to share with Arianne and the Sandsnakes. Doran only tells them what they are supposed to know at the time being. Anything they learn which they are not supposed to learn has the risk of causing trouble. Doran does not take risks.

“You mistake patience for forbearance. I have worked at the downfall of Tywin Lannister since the day they told me of Elia and her children. It was my hope to strip him of all that he held most dear before I killed him, but it would seem his dwarf son has robbed me of that pleasure. I take some small solace in knowing that he died a cruel death at the hands of the monster that he himself begot. Be that as it may. Lord Tywin is howling down in hell...”

Doran said he hoped to strip Tywin of all that he held most dear. He is free to hope that but as a reasonable man, he knows that such a game with Tywin would be highly risky. Tywin’s retaliation is a great risk that he cannot simply take. As I posted before, one should not play with lions. Doran is content with Lord Tywin howling in hell. In this speech, Doran wanted to show Arianne that his revenge is burning no cooler than Arianne’s in his heart.

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  • He was going to poison Tywin with Widow’s Blood at first chance (which he did although his initial plan changed at this stage).

Then he was going to simply wait Tywin die from poison.

*BUMP*

For awesome and topical.

As for bumping, let me make a small point about Oberyn's original plan.

We know that Widow's Blood is one of the slowest working poisons. Tears of Lys is faster than it, yet Maester Colemon was able to purge it from Jon Arryn and he was going to heal him had Pycelle not intervened.

So a standard Widow's Blood has a small chance to kill Tywin because Pycelle should be more than capable of giving the right treatment for it.

But wait. Oberyn magically enhanced the manticore venom he used on Gregor. That baffled Pycelle, who is a man of science. Only a highly unorthodox "maester" like Qyburn was able to identify it. Pycelle even didnot believe it was manticore venom.

All these mean that the Widow's Blood used by Oberyn should be magically enhanced to make sure that it cannot be healed by a standard maester.

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I think Cersei poisoned Tywin. She had more opportunity than Oberyn, and her motives were to gain absolute control of the realm and avoid being married off again. After Tywin's death, she thinks many times that others will regard her as "Tywin's daughter" because of her power and cunning. She meant to take his place in every way.


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I think Cersei poisoned Tywin. She had more opportunity than Oberyn, and her motives were to gain absolute control of the realm and avoid being married off again. After Tywin's death, she thinks many times that others will regard her as "Tywin's daughter" because of her power and cunning. She meant to take his place in every way.

If that is true, and GRRM gave us a bunch of Cersei chapters about her thinking to herself how sad she is about Tywin dying and not once giving us even a hint of a thought about killing him then I think that would be pretty cheap.

It seems clear that Oberyn at least had the intention of killing Tywin and given the fact that his corpse was rotting in front of everyone despite having been given the finest care, poison seems very likely, however nothing is a sure thing. As another pointed out it is possible Qyburn was getting some payback on the maesters via Pycelle, though that does not seem nearly as likely as Oberyn.

It is also possible that Tywin was dying of another disease, I am not sure which disease would cause those symptoms but I am sure some exist, again seems much more likely that Oberyn did the deed but it is there as a technical possibility.

The last possibility I see is that Varys poisoned him, most likely threw his little birds. I say this because at that point varys probably does not want the the war to end and under Tywin everything was coming together for the Lannisters and the realm would have had a strong leader to defend against Aegon, and a poisoning would obviously be blamed on Oberyn.

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I used to be sceptical about the whole "Tywin was poisoned" theory but coming back to it all, I cannot but admit that there are way too many subtle coincidences to dismiss it any longer. However, my main issue still remains: if Tywin was poisoned, was it really Oberyn's doing? Sure as hell he wanted Tywin dead, sure as hell he possessed both the guts and the means - but would he really have done it like that? He arrived to KL for justice. Poisoning Tywin like that is revenge but not justice. Justice was what Oberyn dealt to Gregor: naming his crime and letting him know that he would die for it. If the Martells just wanted Tywin dead, they had fourteen years to arrange an accident or poisoning in a way that no-one would have suspected. Poisoning him personally probably would have been felt as necessary, but again: it still could have been arranged, it's not like Oberyn never left Dorne before.



So, my question is: can we rule out other suspects, namely Varys? He also possessed the means and opportunity, and he also had a motive - the same as with Kevan, robbing the Lannisters of a capable leader and letting Joffrey and Cersei destroy themselves.


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I still remain sceptical about this. I'd love it if it turns out that Oberyn did in fact poison Tywin, but if he did, then where were the effects? Tywin seemed healthy about a week before his body was rotting. If it was indeed poison that caused Tywin's body to decay as it did, then why did the effects only became visible after Tywin's death, and not a single hint of disease became visible before?



The blood would be the easiest way to spread poison through the body, yet after death, blood cloths relatively quickly, causing further spreading of poison to become impossible. Also, Tywin's bowels were removed, his other organs were removed, his blood was drained... in other words, there was not much left to decay at all. And with no way for the poison to spread after death, and with Tywin appearing so healthy before he died, it does make the poisoning a little unlikely.



And let's not forget, Tywin was shot in his bowels, which would have caused the contents to leak out into his body cavities. With feces and bacteria that are supposed to live only in your intestines present in your body, at places where it shouldn't be, that would cause infection. Explaining the smell.


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The blood would be the easiest way to spread poison through the body, yet after death, blood cloths relatively quickly, causing further spreading of poison to become impossible. Also, Tywin's bowels were removed, his other organs were removed, his blood was drained... in other words, there was not much left to decay at all. And with no way for the poison to spread after death, and with Tywin appearing so healthy before he died, it does make the poisoning a little unlikely.

If I understand it correctly, widow's wail causes constipation, which would go practically unnoticed for a couple of days.

And let's not forget, Tywin was shot in his bowels, which would have caused the contents to leak out into his body cavities. With feces and bacteria that are supposed to live only in your intestines present in your body, at places where it shouldn't be, that would cause infection. Explaining the smell.

That's what I argued the last time, as well, but it was pointed out that Robert's guts must have been punctured, as well, yet there is no mention of smell. I do like the idea of Qyburn making Pycelle look inept :-)

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If I understand it correctly, widow's wail causes constipation, which would go practically unnoticed for a couple of days.

But how would constipation cause corruption of the body, especially after the bowels have been removed?

That's what I argued the last time, as well, but it was pointed out that Robert's guts must have been punctured, as well, yet there is no mention of smell. I do like the idea of Qyburn making Pycelle look inept :-)

Well, with Robert, there was a smell

The room smelled of smoke and blood and death.

"..."

The wine-soaked bandages that Grand Maester Pycelle had applied were already black with blood, and the smell off the wound was hideous.

"..."

"Stinks," Robert said. "The stink of death, don’t think I can’t smell it.

Of course, no mention is made of Robert's body after his death, but still, there is smell.

And what I found even more interesting:

"Mother." Tommen tugged her sleeve. "What smells so bad?"

My lord father. "Death." She could smell it too

Cersei described the smell of Lord Tywin's body to be the smell of death, the same smell Robert mentions to be his own smell when he is dying.

It would be interesting if Qyburn was trying to make Pycelle look bad though, and not that strange at all. Bringing Pycelle in disgrace would only further strengthen his own position besides Cersei. But if he took care of Tywins body, I missed that part. Could someone quote that please?

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I think Cersei poisoned Tywin. She had more opportunity than Oberyn, and her motives were to gain absolute control of the realm and avoid being married off again. After Tywin's death, she thinks many times that others will regard her as "Tywin's daughter" because of her power and cunning. She meant to take his place in every way.

Cersei's mind is busy with getting free of Maggy's prophecy. Her attention was on Tyrion (who is the valonqar according to her) and after his escape on Margaery (who is the younger queen according to her). Tywin does not fit into this scheme and she has no reasons to kill her. The only reason might be Tywin wanted to send her to CR and seperate her from her children. But still, poisons are hard to find. It remains highly unlikely how she obtained the poison.

The last possibility I see is that Varys poisoned him, most likely threw his little birds. I say this because at that point varys probably does not want the the war to end and under Tywin everything was coming together for the Lannisters and the realm would have had a strong leader to defend against Aegon, and a poisoning would obviously be blamed on Oberyn.

Surely Varys is planning to get rid of powerful leaders who might be dangerous to fAegon. However, Dorne is his natural ally and framing Oberyn (and Dorne) for poisoning Tywin is like a suicide. Illyrio/Tyrion/Doran stated plainly that the time for Dorne to defy the IT has not come yet. Therefore, instead of framing Dorne with poison, I think he tried to turn the attention from them. That is why he led Tyrion to the crossbow.

I used to be sceptical about the whole "Tywin was poisoned" theory but coming back to it all, I cannot but admit that there are way too many subtle coincidences to dismiss it any longer. However, my main issue still remains: if Tywin was poisoned, was it really Oberyn's doing? Sure as hell he wanted Tywin dead, sure as hell he possessed both the guts and the means - but would he really have done it like that? He arrived to KL for justice. Poisoning Tywin like that is revenge but not justice. Justice was what Oberyn dealt to Gregor: naming his crime and letting him know that he would die for it. If the Martells just wanted Tywin dead, they had fourteen years to arrange an accident or poisoning in a way that no-one would have suspected. Poisoning him personally probably would have been felt as necessary, but again: it still could have been arranged, it's not like Oberyn never left Dorne before.

So, my question is: can we rule out other suspects, namely Varys? He also possessed the means and opportunity, and he also had a motive - the same as with Kevan, robbing the Lannisters of a capable leader and letting Joffrey and Cersei destroy themselves.

“An old septon once claimed I was living proof of the goodness of the gods. Do you know why that is, Imp?”

“No,” Tyrion admitted warily.

“Why, if the gods were cruel, they would have made me my mother’s firstborn, and Doran her third. I am a bloodthirsty man, you see. And it is me you must contend with now, not my patient, prudent, and gouty brother.”

The Dornishmen have no shame in using poison. And Oberyn above else is called the Red Viper. He got close to his prey and bit him. We know the opinions of the Sand Snakes about justice very well. By justice, they mean a slow and painful death to all those involved.

The only way for Doran to kill Tywin in the last 14 years was to hire a FM. Other than that, I can't see they could have a slight chance.

there was not much left to decay at all.

His flesh remained. We know poisons like sweetsleep remaining in the flesh. And we noted how Tywin's flesh dried unnaturally to cause his awful grin and fissures on his face.

Well, with Robert, there was a smell

That is natural. I am not arguing that a normal corpse does not stink. They all do. The point is Tywin's corpse rotted visibly and awfully in spite of the standart care. This decomposition was talked even in the remotest inns. There was no talk like that after Robert's death. All the talk was about his manner of death.

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Although sometimes I think deeper reading into the text such as your proposition with Oberyn/Tyrion/Viserys/andBaelor is very much just overreaching, I love the parallels you make. I've definitely reaffirmed my belief.


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His flesh remained. We know poisons like sweetsleep remaining in the flesh. And we noted how Tywin's flesh dried unnaturally to cause his awful grin and fissures on his face.

But one poison is not like the other. That's important to remember.

If the poison suggested in the OP is used, than the bowels and bladder would no longer be able to empty (which raises the question why Tywin would not be on the privy all the time, since his body would be signalling him that it's time to go to the privy, yet he'd be unable to actually get something done there). What happens when the bladder is unable to empty itself, on top of the accumulating bacteria, and thus the higher chance of infection, is that the bladder at some point will rupture, spilling the urine into the body.

About the bowels I'm less sure, but the intestines are strong and consist of several thicker layers of muscle (to make the peristaltic movements). They most likely wouldn't rupture, at least not until some part of the intestine had died (tissue death, causing the wall of the intestine to weaken, which could lead to rupture if the pressure kept being present), but what would happen if there is no tissue death is that the contents, not being able to leave, would start to accumulate, which would lead to feces accumulating in the entire intestines, and eventually into the stomach and (at the very end) the mouth.

Complete obstruction of the small intestine can cause death within hours to days. It could also cause tissue death (which IMO would have been noticed by those removing the bowels from Tywin's body).

In addition, bowel obstruction could cause a range of symptoms, several of which could have gone unnoticed for anyone but Tywin himself, but several of which could not possibly have. You don't need to have all symptoms, of course. But bloating, cramping, swelling, high fever and vomiting are several of the symptoms.

A few days have passed between Oberyn's death and Tywin's death (since Jaime remarks that Ser Gregor has been screaming day and night). Tywin still seems to be healthy enough (though, as I said, some of the symptoms could go unnoticed by everyone but the patient).

Just to tell the medical side of the tale :)

That is natural. I am not arguing that a normal corpse does not stink. They all do. The point is Tywin's corpse rotted visibly and awfully in spite of the standart care. This decomposition was talked even in the remotest inns. There was no talk like that after Robert's death. All the talk was about his manner of death.

Not to counter or to support anything in particular, but it's only normal that Tywins death and funeral were the topics of conversation amongst the small folk in whole of Westeros. He was a very well known man, and his state after death was the biggest irony that could have happened to Tywin. The rich man who acted as if he were a god, who rotted and smelled in death like the poorest of the small folk, like the lowest of the scum. He always acted as if he were a great man, but in death, he was no better than anyone else.

I would have been suspicious if his funeral and death had not been talked about :)

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“Your father played that same game once, as I did before him,” said the prince. “We had ten years between us, so I had left the pools by the time he was old enough to play, but I would watch him when I came to visit Mother. He was so fierce, even as a boy. Quick as a water snake. I oft saw him topple boys much bigger than himself. He reminded me of that the day he left for King’s Landing. He swore that he would do it one more time, else I would never have let him go.



I can’t believe no one mentioned this before. Oberyn used to tumble boys much bigger than himself in Water Gardens. Before he left for KL, he reminded Doran of this and swore that he would do it again. He was determined and prepared to fight Gregor even before coming to the KL.


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