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aeverett

What If Tywin Lied About Casterly Rock?

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I just had a thought while rewatching the scene where Highgarden is taken by the Lannisters and Olenna drinks the poison.  Something she said got me thinking.  She asks why Tywin didn't just invade Highgarden when the gold mines of Casterly Rock ran dry, then says offhandedly that she'd be able to ask him soon enough.  That made me question why didn't Tywin invade?  It seems like a move he'd make with his family on the Iron Throne and him as hand, and yet he didn't.  Then it hit me; what if the mines under Casterly Rock aren't really dry?  What if he stopped mining operations in such a way that it looked like the mines had gone dry, but really there was plenty of gold still there?

Might sound crazy, but think about what we know.  Tyrion mentioned that the crown owes Tywin a lot of money, but that the Iron Bank is owed way more.  What if Tywin tried to curtail Robert's spending by limiting how much he'd loan the crown, but the Iron Bank stepped in, knowing that Tywin would do anything to keep his family in power and his grandchildren on the throne after Robert.  That meant they could lend to Robert endlessly and no matter how much the king spent, Casterly Rock's fortune would always be there to pay the debt, lest the bank turn on the current regime.  That put Tywin in a pickle and likely brought back bad memories of all the bad loans his father lent out.  So Tywin stopped mining the rock and made it look like there was no more gold.  Tywin was through co-signing for Robert, and he could plainly see that Joffrey would be no more frugal.   The gold would always be there, and future Lannisters could dig it up once their royal dynasty was secure and a more disciplined king sat the throne.  Taking Highgarden would have just given the Iron Bank a new target for its predatory lending at House Lannister's expence, which is why the Tyrells kept it as long as they did.  

So, what do you all think?

Edited by aeverett

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When Tywin was alive, he was trying to marry Joeffrey and Cersei to the Tyrells. I imagine to get a piece of the pie that way. 

The Tyrells just helped him defeat Stannis. Had he invaded their castle to steal their money, that would have been enough for all of Westeros to go to war against the Lannisters. I think he was telling the truth about the gold being gone. But I also guessing that Lannister poor is different than real poor. 

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On 2/12/2018 at 10:25 PM, Onion Hound said:

When Tywin was alive, he was trying to marry Joeffrey and Cersei to the Tyrells. I imagine to get a piece of the pie that way. 

The Tyrells just helped him defeat Stannis. Had he invaded their castle to steal their money, that would have been enough for all of Westeros to go to war against the Lannisters. I think he was telling the truth about the gold being gone. But I also guessing that Lannister poor is different than real poor. 

When the Lannister gold mines supposedly ran dry, Robert was still alive and there was no indication that he'd die anytime soon.  Joffrey was turning out much like Robert, at least in his lack of self discipline and frugality, and Tywin had no idea of Littlefinger's intentions of starting multiple wars for the sole purpose of destabilizing the realm.   

And you're right, taking Highgarden by force would have made a lot unnecessary enemies, but marrying into the Tyrells wouldn't given Tywin the wealth of the Reach.  Officially Joffrey is a Baratheon, so his marriage to Maergary doesn't directly benefit House Lannister.  It anything its benefit is in that it shifts the burden of repayment of the royal debt to House Tyrell, and the Iron Bank won't care which cash cow it gets it's pound of flesh from.  Cersei's marriage is even less advantageous for House Lannister, as her children with Loras (assuming they had any) would be Tyrells,  No, the purpose of that match was to sideline Cersei so she couldn't get in Tywin's way with her sons; she'd made too many mistakes and failed to contain Joffrey's excesses.  Shipping her off to Highgarden solved that problem and would put her in the same household with Olenna Tyrell, who Tywin did respect and whom Cersei might learn a thing or two from.

However, my argument was that Tywin wanted to appear to have fewer resources for the Iron Bank to exploit.  If taking Highgarden through marriage had been his plan, he would have used his control of Joffrey (or Robert before him) to get Jaime booted out of the Kingsguard against his will and then married off to Maergary, while Joffrey would have married Sansa or some other valuable chess piece.  Olenna is old and Mace is dumb.  Once Olenna is gone (possibly with a little help), Loras could be heralded into the Kingsguard, or publically exposed for his buggery and sent to the Wall,, leaving the future of House Tyrell firmly in Lannister hands and baring the Lannister name.  Unless Mace remarried and had more sons (in the show he only had Loras) at some point, Maergary is heir to Highgarden, and Maergary would have to live with Jaime at Casterly Rock.  Her kids, Lannister lions every one, would be the heirs to Highgarden and Casterly Rock.   That would be the only way for Tywin to use a marriage to gain the resources of Highgarden, and by extension the Reach, under the permanent control of House Lannister.  Yet he didn't take that route either.  

Again, from what I'm seeing, I can't see a scenario where Tywin's maneuvers make sense if Casterly Rock's gold reserves are truly defunct. 

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I have wondered about this, but with the show oversimplifying everything I can’t see the writers going with anything more complicated than Tywin simply speaking the truth.  I think the end of Dany’s story in season two (Qarth’s fortune being a lie) was foreshadowing that the richest people in Westeros might not be as rich anymore as their reputation would lead people to believe.  But then again, I could be wrong.  I’d just have to wonder with six episodes left what they could possibly be building towards if Casterly Rock’s gold mines are still bountiful.  

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14 hours ago, YoungGriff89 said:

I have wondered about this, but with the show oversimplifying everything I can’t see the writers going with anything more complicated than Tywin simply speaking the truth.  I think the end of Dany’s story in season two (Qarth’s fortune being a lie) was foreshadowing that the richest people in Westeros might not be as rich anymore as their reputation would lead people to believe.  But then again, I could be wrong.  I’d just have to wonder with six episodes left what they could possibly be building towards if Casterly Rock’s gold mines are still bountiful.  

Exactly. Tywin had an empty vault. He was embarrassed by his dad losing his fortune... Tywin lost his fortune. He was embarrassed by his son having sex with hookers...Tywin has sex with hookers. (Sloppy seconds of the lottle monster that he hates even) He was worried about the good Lannister name...he is killed by a Lannister while taking a shit. Tywin was the biggest hypocrite in the story. But then again, he still had power. As Cersei displayed with Little finger "power is power". Power is worth more than gold and/or will eventually lead to riches one way or another. Maybe that is why he isn't too concerned that the mines are empty.

But, at this point, what difference does it really make if the mines still produce? 

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Casterly Rock itself was a disappointment. An enormous castle that was built into the rock, a rock that rivaled the Wall in height, is reduced to a castle that seems slightly smaller than the Red Keep, atop a cliff that’s lower than the White Cliffs of Dover from the look of things.

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3 hours ago, Angel Eyes said:

Casterly Rock itself was a disappointment. An enormous castle that was built into the rock, a rock that rivaled the Wall in height, is reduced to a castle that seems slightly smaller than the Red Keep, atop a cliff that’s lower than the White Cliffs of Dover from the look of things.

High Garden was the real disappointment.  Not even half the size of Hornhill.  

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2 minutes ago, YoungGriff89 said:

High Garden was the real disappointment.  Not even half the size of Hornhill.  

That too. I just focused on Casterly Rock.

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The show is a warped rip off of the books for a price that GRRM found too good to pass up. Nothing is Nothing. Things on the show do not make sense because the show runners do not care. They just want to have dazzling CGI and to get certain characters to bang or rub up against each other.

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Fall of Highgarden is similar to situation in the North in season 6. Remember how in seasons 4&5 were lot of talks how the North would raise against Boltons to support Starks. This is reason why Locke was sent to kill Jon, and why Ramsay married Sansa in order to secure loyalty of northern houses. Then in season 6 Boltons only needed Umbers, Karstarks and Manderlies to on their side to secure their position. First two joined them, solely for being antiwildings in Umber's case or antistark in Karstark's case, while mayority of other Northern houses remained neutral, and strongest House that joined Starks, Mormont, only joined after Davos mentioned white walkers.

In both cases in cases in order to make  villains (Ramsay and Cersei) more powerfull their fathers were turned into chumps(Tywin for treating Tyrells as equals. Roose for believing that Ramsay's marriage with Sansa would secure his position as warden of the North)

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It just seemed a way for the writers to simplify the economics by stating the Lannisters aren't as unstoppable economically as season one made them out to be.

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On 2/18/2018 at 11:29 AM, Kandrax said:

Fall of Highgarden is similar to situation in the North in season 6. Remember how in seasons 4&5 were lot of talks how the North would raise against Boltons to support Starks. This is reason why Locke was sent to kill Jon, and why Ramsay married Sansa in order to secure loyalty of northern houses. Then in season 6 Boltons only needed Umbers, Karstarks and Manderlies to on their side to secure their position. First two joined them, solely for being antiwildings in Umber's case or antistark in Karstark's case, while mayority of other Northern houses remained neutral, and strongest House that joined Starks, Mormont, only joined after Davos mentioned white walkers.

In both cases in cases in order to make  villains (Ramsay and Cersei) more powerfull their fathers were turned into chumps(Tywin for treating Tyrells as equals. Roose for believing that Ramsay's marriage with Sansa would secure his position as warden of the North)

I thought the Manderlys sat on the fence, just like the Glovers.

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1 hour ago, Angel Eyes said:

I thought the Manderlys sat on the fence, just like the Glovers.

You are right.

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Casterly Rock being out of gold made as much sense as Cersei openly telling him of her and Jaime's dirty not so little, not so secret, secret.  It sounded good to the showrunners at the time, and then they didn't know what to do with it because it didn't make sense in the long run.

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Of course they're out of gold. If he's playing some tricky con, then why would he lie to is daughter in private about it? Show Lannisters have to be broke, otherwise they don't need the Iron Bank or Highgarden.

That being said, there's no reason book Lannisters can't still have running mines.

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On 2/18/2018 at 0:23 AM, A Ghost of Someone said:

The show is a warped rip off of the books for a price that GRRM found too good to pass up. Nothing is Nothing. Things on the show do not make sense because the show runners do not care. They just want to have dazzling CGI and to get certain characters to bang or rub up against each other.

And sometimes the wrong characters to bang or rub up.

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1 hour ago, Angel Eyes said:

And sometimes the wrong characters to bang or rub up.

That too. All actors and actresses do seem to have a "price" after all.

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6 minutes ago, A Ghost of Someone said:

That too. All actors and actresses do seem to have a "price" after all.

The main example I was thinking of was the Sansa plot line for Season 5 with her marriage with Ramsay.

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On 2/26/2018 at 9:15 AM, Talking Hodor said:

Of course they're out of gold. If he's playing some tricky con, then why would he lie to is daughter in private about it? Show Lannisters have to be broke, otherwise they don't need the Iron Bank or Highgarden.

That being said, there's no reason book Lannisters can't still have running mines.

Firstly, Tywin doesn't trust Cersei.  If she thought it in Myrcella or Tommen's best interests that they know that Casterly rock still has plenty of gold, she's going to blab.  He'd want her and Tyrion in the dark as he wouldn't believe either worthy of knowing the truth.  As for Jaime, he wouldn't want to tell him till he took his place at Casterly Rock.  Kevan would likely be the only other person who knew the truth;

So long as the mines of Casterly rock produce, the IIron Bank is the problem.  They will lend as much money as the king desires if they believe they can get the Lannisters to pay the debt, that's a blank check to unaccountable, spendthrift kings, with Tywin seated on the sidelines while Robert, and then Joffrey, frittered away generations of Lannister wealth.  Faking dry mines would force prudence and responsibility when the Iron Bank  curtailed its lending.  It would also compel the crown to rely more on him, seeing as much of the debt is owned to his house.  

As for the Tyrells, it's a good match and leaves open the option of shifting the burden of repayment of outstanding debt to another house.  After all, a king has to marry someone and binding the two most powerful houses in marriage would help keep the peace, which again is good for debt repayment.  

 

 

 

Edited by aeverett

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