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The Sleeper

Why did Tywin and Aerys stick together for twenty years?

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These two by the end hated each other. By the end it seems that Aerys was doing anything he could to goad Tywin. Why did he not dismiss him? And vice versa why did Tywin not quit. From Aerys's part we might speculate that he did not in fact want to dismiss Tywin, but rather humiliate him and thus assert his authority over him. Given Aerys's condition in later life his rationale does no need to be entirely logical. From Tywin's side he might have been really committed in seeing Cersei as Queen. 

Another reason could be that they mutually feared war on the other's part should they dissolve their collaboration.

It still feels like there is much left unsaid regarding this partnership which froms much of the background of the main series. 

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58 minutes ago, The Sleeper said:

These two by the end hated each other. By the end it seems that Aerys was doing anything he could to goad Tywin. Why did he not dismiss him? And vice versa why did Tywin not quit. From Aerys's part we might speculate that he did not in fact want to dismiss Tywin, but rather humiliate him and thus assert his authority over him. Given Aerys's condition in later life his rationale does no need to be entirely logical. From Tywin's side he might have been really committed in seeing Cersei as Queen. 

Another reason could be that they mutually feared war on the other's part should they dissolve their collaboration.

It still feels like there is much left unsaid regarding this partnership which froms much of the background of the main series. 

Tywin attempted to resign in 272 AC, but Aerys refused to accept his resignation:

"At the great Anniversary Tourney of 272 AC, held to commemorate Aerys's tenth year upon the Iron Throne, Joanna Lannister brought her six-year-old twins Jaime and Cersei from Casterly Rock to present before the court. The king (very much in his cups) asked her if giving suck to them had "ruined your breasts, which were so high and proud." The question greatly amused Lord Tywin's rivals, who were always pleased to see the Hand slighted or made mock of, but Lady Joanna was humiliated. Tywin Lannister attempted to return his chain of office the next morning, but the king refused to accept his resignation." (TWOIAF: Aerys II)

For most of his reign, Aerys appears to have been content to reap the benefits of Tywin's skillful handling of the realm, while taking every opportunity to insult and undermine him:

"Aerys II could, of course, have dismissed Tywin Lannister at any time and named his own man as Hand of the King, but instead, for whatever reason, the king chose to keep his boyhood friend close by him, laboring on his behalf, even as he began to undermine him in ways both great and small." (TWOIAF: Aerys II)

Aerys might have finally determined that he would remove Tywin as Hand in 278 AC, but the death of Steffon thwarted that, and deepened Aerys's paranoia towards Tywin:

"King Aerys turned to another friend of his childhood, summoning Steffon Baratheon from Storm's End and naming him to the small council. In 278 AC, the king sent Lord Steffon across the narrow sea on a mission to Old Volantis, to seek a suitable bride for Prince Rhaegar, "a maid of noble birth from an old Valyrian bloodline." That His Grace entrusted this task to the Lord of Storm's End rather than his Hand, or Rhaegar himself, speaks volumes. The rumors were rife that Aerys meant to make Lord Steffon his new Hand upon the successful completion of this mission, that Tywin Lannister was about to be removed from office, arrested, and tried for high treason. And there was many a lord who took delight in that prospect.

The gods had other notions, however. Steffon Baratheon's mission ended in failure, and on his return from Volantis, his ship foundered and sank in Shipbreaker Bay, within sight of Storm's End. Lord Steffon and his wife were both drowned as their two elder sons watched from the castle walls. When word of their deaths reached King's Landing, King Aerys flew into a rage and told Grand Maester Pycelle that Tywin Lannister had somehow divined his royal intentions and arranged for Lord Baratheon's murder. "If I dismiss him as Hand, he will kill me, too," the king told the grand maester.
" (TWOIAF: Aerys II)

Aerys finally accepted Tywin's resignation in 281 AC, after depriving Tywin of his heir:

"Day by day and year by year, Aerys II turned ever more against his own Hand, the friend of his childhood, subjecting him to a succession of reproofs, reverses, and humiliations. All this Lord Tywin endured, but when the king made his son and heir, Ser Jaime, a knight of the Kingsguard, he could abide it no longer. Lord Tywin at last resigned the Handship in 281 AC." (TWOIAF: Westerlands)

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I think dismissing him outright would have made it look like Aerys really did feel inferior to Tywin -- which was true, but Aerys doesn't want anyone to think that. At the same time, refusing to accept his earlier resignations would have made it impossible to undermine Tywin in any way, or publicly humiliate him any further.

Once the whole Jaime thing occurred, however, Aerys would have been satisfied that he had shown his ultimate power over Tywin, having deprived him of his only viable heir, so he was content to let Tywin go at that point. And even marching on Casterly Rock to bring him back in chains would probably have only demonstrated Tywin's ability to resist Aerys' will. It's no easy thing taking the Rock.

 

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I have to say that I don't take aborted resignations that seriously. Ultimately Tywin could have just left. He's not some minor retainer, he's the Lord of Casterly Rock. 

Aerys's attitude can be attributed to his mental state. In Tywin's case even if we consider the resignation, he still stuck around for another nine years. 

Another source of conflict would have been over the appointments in the Red Keep. I am fairly sure that Tywin would have tried to fill all positions with Lannister men. Which was I think the real reason for the removal of Payne's tongue. Considering that Payne was Tywin's captain of the guards, this verges on being an attack. 

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The whole thing seems to be described to me as a failed marriage where nobody can really bring himself to petition for divorce. Tywin tried in 272 AC, but apparently not forcefully enough.

And Aerys II wasn't exactly a rational man. He grew more and more paranoid but he was apparently unable to finally sever connections and friendships he had made back in his youth. He could not let go of Tywin, just as he could let go of Rhaegar despite the fact that he grew to mistrust him.

Tywin himself seems to have been similarly obsessed. At Duskendale he entertained the notion of risking the king's life in an attempt to free him, but only after half a year of siege. If he had wanted to see Aerys dead this would have been the best opportunity to do so.

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On ‎8‎/‎25‎/‎2018 at 11:56 AM, Lord Varys said:

The whole thing seems to be described to me as a failed marriage where nobody can really bring himself to petition for divorce.

Yeah, that's pretty much it.

Aerys depended on Tywin, and probably knew that he couldn't rule as well without him. He seemed to prefer to let Tywin shoulder the actual work, and just occasionally meddle or humiliate him.

On Tywin's part, the actual power being Hand brought him was probably enough. Yes, he had to suffer through insults, but he may have considered that a small price to pay to be effective ruler of the 7K. Added to that, he was still actively trying to get Cersei married into the royal family. He's much better placed to do that as Hand. He may have been looking forward to the day when Aerys died, and he was Hand/father-in-law to Rhaegar.

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On 8/22/2018 at 1:57 PM, The Sleeper said:

These two by the end hated each other. By the end it seems that Aerys was doing anything he could to goad Tywin. Why did he not dismiss him? And vice versa why did Tywin not quit. From Aerys's part we might speculate that he did not in fact want to dismiss Tywin, but rather humiliate him and thus assert his authority over him. Given Aerys's condition in later life his rationale does no need to be entirely logical. From Tywin's side he might have been really committed in seeing Cersei as Queen. 

Another reason could be that they mutually feared war on the other's part should they dissolve their collaboration.

It still feels like there is much left unsaid regarding this partnership which froms much of the background of the main series. 

Because Aerys wanted to keep Tywin close to him so that he could spy on him and Tywin tried to quit but Aerys refused him.

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It may just be a simple "Keep your friends close but your enemies closer." Yeah, Aerys mistrusted Tywin, but he probably preferred to have Tywin busy running the county under the watchful eye of the the court as opposed to off under Casterly Rock doing who knows what.

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8 hours ago, LucionLannister said:

It may just be a simple "Keep your friends close but your enemies closer." Yeah, Aerys mistrusted Tywin, but he probably preferred to have Tywin busy running the county under the watchful eye of the the court as opposed to off under Casterly Rock doing who knows what.

Apsolutely 

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For a number of reasons. The Hand is the most prestigious position in the kingdom, Tywin's Pride would not make it an easy position to give up, nor would the Influence and Power that comes with such a role and lastly Tywin (like Kevan) has always had a sense of Duty, he likely did not trust Aerys and whatever schmuck he would get to replace him.

For Aerys it was a case of him not thinking anyone could do the job, he earmarked Steffon - Lord he trusted since childhood - to take over from Tywin, but after that there may not be many men who fit the criteria. Aerys was also scared of his own safety, F & B shows how many appointments Unwin Peake made in his short term as Hand, how much control he had even after he quit. Tywin's long reign as Hand will have resulted in many officials in Kings Landing owing Tywin a debt in gratitude.  

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Aerys kept Tywin as Hand because he was efficient and did a good job which made Aerys look good. 

Tywin only stayed for the power and self importance he got from being the second most powerful man in the kingdom. Plus he wanted his daughter to be a king and to be part of the royal family. 

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I'm not sure that Tywin had that much power and prestige in being the Hand in the last year. Regardless of your formal title, if you are the butt of most of the king's jokes you are not exactly a person with much authority.

In the early years of his reign Aerys II followed Tywin's advice more often than not when new positions had to be filled, but this was not the case in the second half of his reign when crucial offices went to Aerys' men, not Tywin's. In that sense Aerys II was not exactly as surrounded by Tywin's men as Aegon III and Lord Rown were surrounded by Unwin Peake's men.

And after Tywin's resignation the two factions at court are the king's men and the prince's men. There are no Hand men ever mentioned. Even Tywin's own allegiance is not that clear. Was he an Aerys man or a Rhaegar man? We don't really know, but if I had been a Rhaegar man and in Tywin's shoes Aerys II would have never left Duskendale alive. I'd have either goaded Lord Darklyn into killing him or I'd have arranged the king's death during a failed rescue attempt.

This is why I think my failed marriage analogy from above is the best way to describe their relationship. Tywin realized that Rhaegar would be the better king, but he was still Aerys' friend and Hand. He was his man till the end. Even during the Rebellion Tywin would have apparently gladly returned to court as Hand if Aerys had asked him to come back. This is confirmed for as late a time as the appointment of Connington.

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7 hours ago, The Wolves said:

Aerys kept Tywin as Hand because he was efficient and did a good job which made Aerys look good. 

Tywin only stayed for the power and self importance he got from being the second most powerful man in the kingdom. Plus he wanted his daughter to be a king and to be part of the royal family. 

:D 

nah it was just Cersei wishing she was a man ;) 

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16 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

I'm not sure that Tywin had that much power and prestige in being the Hand in the last year. Regardless of your formal title, if you are the butt of most of the king's jokes you are not exactly a person with much authority.

Of course you are. A house bound king is not going to change a Hand's authority around Westeros and with other foreign powers making deals with the government.

He'd still be ruling, still be the Hand. That is plenty of power and prestige right there, even with Aerys and his lickspittles making fun of him. 

16 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

In the early years of his reign Aerys II followed Tywin's advice more often than not when new positions had to be filled, but this was not the case in the second half of his reign when crucial offices went to Aerys' men, not Tywin's. In that sense Aerys II was not exactly as surrounded by Tywin's men as Aegon III and Lord Rown were surrounded by Unwin Peake's men.

We really don't know that or have a clear understanding how many positions there are given out by Hand and Small Council . Aerys was paranoid about sacking Tywin, clearly he thought his Hand had sway in the capital even when he was gone.

16 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

And after Tywin's resignation the two factions at court are the king's men and the prince's men. There are no Hand men ever mentioned.

One paragraph.

And we do hear of a Tywin loyalist still on the Small Council, Pycelle. Other, lesser positions, could well be held by Tywin appointees. 

It makes sense, the speed in which the capital was taken seems far more plausible if Tywin had men he could trust still part of the general hierarchy. 

16 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

 

Even Tywin's own allegiance is not that clear. Was he an Aerys man or a Rhaegar man? We don't really know, but if I had been a Rhaegar man and in Tywin's shoes Aerys II would have never left Duskendale alive. I'd have either goaded Lord Darklyn into killing him or I'd have arranged the king's death during a failed rescue attempt.

I doubt he was either. 

16 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

This is why I think my failed marriage analogy from above is the best way to describe their relationship. Tywin realized that Rhaegar would be the better king, but he was still Aerys' friend and Hand. He was his man till the end. Even during the Rebellion Tywin would have apparently gladly returned to court as Hand if Aerys had asked him to come back. This is confirmed for as late a time as the appointment of Connington.

Gladly is an exaggeration, but of course he would have resumed his position as Hand regardless of who was the King. It had nothing to do with fondness for Aerys but due to the power, prestige and influence of the position. 

 

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1 hour ago, Bernie Mac said:

Of course you are. A house bound king is not going to change a Hand's authority around Westeros and with other foreign powers making deals with the government.

That is not how power works. Aerys II as king making Tywin the butt of his jokes in the front of the entire court, including men who were supposed to follow the Hand's orders, then Tywin's authority will inevitably decline. A man you laugh at, isn't a man you respect.

Tywin was still a powerful lord in his own right, with his own bannermen and vassals and household knights, but he couldn't have been a very powerful Hand after he had lost the trust of the king.

1 hour ago, Bernie Mac said:

He'd still be ruling, still be the Hand. That is plenty of power and prestige right there, even with Aerys and his lickspittles making fun of him.

The Hand can only do what the king allows him to do. If Aerys was too lazy to interfere with much of the day-to-day affairs of governance, Tywin would have retained some semblance of power, but if the king regularly ridiculed him and any of the suggestions he made during council and court sessions, very few people would have respected him. You cannot respect a man who takes shit like that without fighting back. And Tywin Lannister apparently never talked back or paid his king back in kind.

He just stood there and watched while Aerys took the tongue of Ser Ilyn Payne, who was then commander of the Hand's own guard.

1 hour ago, Bernie Mac said:

We really don't know that or have a clear understanding how many positions there are given out by Hand and Small Council . Aerys was paranoid about sacking Tywin, clearly he thought his Hand had sway in the capital even when he was gone.

We are getting examples of offices Tywin wanted to give to his men - the office of master-of-arms, for example, should go to Tywin's brother Tygett - and how he failed at that. We also have no indication that Tywin had any men in the Kingsguard, unlike Unwin Peake, who had multiple men in Aegon III's Kingsguard. Aerys II felt safe in the company of his Kingsguard, meaning he saw them all as his men, not Tywin's.

The Small Council also seems to have been full of Aerys' cronies - even Rhaegar didn't have any men there.

Aerys' paranoia seems to have been the delusions of a madman. Tywin never tried to murder Aerys. That was all in Aerys' head.

1 hour ago, Bernie Mac said:

And we do hear of a Tywin loyalist still on the Small Council, Pycelle. Other, lesser positions, could well be held by Tywin appointees.

Pycelle was not a Tywin appointee, though. He was a Grand Maester who came to greatly admire Tywin for his skills as an administrator. Pycelle himself indicates that his hope Tywin would be king only started after Rhaegar's death. Prior to that he could just as well a 'Rhaegar man', in the sense that he would preferred him to Aerys II due the latter's obvious shortcomings as a ruler.

1 hour ago, Bernie Mac said:

It makes sense, the speed in which the capital was taken seems far more plausible if Tywin had men he could trust still part of the general hierarchy. 

Have you any evidence that Aerys II was betrayed by anyone but Tywin (and in a sense Pycelle) during the Sack? There is no such evidence I'm aware of. Tywin had an army and he only started to butcher the Kingslanders once the gates had been opened and the army entered the city. If you don't expect an attack and you cannot really repel it when it happens any defenders still fighting for the king are quickly overwhelmed.

1 hour ago, Bernie Mac said:

I doubt he was either. 

Gladly is an exaggeration, but of course he would have resumed his position as Hand regardless of who was the King. It had nothing to do with fondness for Aerys but due to the power, prestige and influence of the position.

We don't know why Tywin wanted to be Hand. But it is quite clear that a self-respecting man would have resigned back in 272 AC when the king insulted Tywin's wife in public. Such a man would also not have taken most of the shit Tywin had to take from Aerys at least since around 270 AC. If the Hand and the king aren't on the same page and the king actually participates in the government - as Aerys did - then the Hand doesn't exactly have much influence or personal power. He could step in for Aerys when the man was incapacitated, but he could not exactly shape the policy since pretty much any suggestion or decision Tywin made would have been dismissed or revoked by Aerys.

All that implies that there was something deeper between Tywin and Aerys than just Tywin's ambition to be Hand and his desire to marry into House Targaryen. They were childhood friends. There was a time when they were as close as brothers, presumably. And Tywin was not really willing to end all that until Aerys took Jaime from him.

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14 hours ago, Foot_Of_The_King said:

@Lord Varys

You make a good point that Tywin possibly had a sentimental side. 

The fact that he didn't remarry after Joanna's death indicates that as well. Also, the fact that he could not admit that Jaime was not his heir after he had joined the KG. He couldn't even admit his hair was turning gray...

And if Tyrion is Aerys' son then Tywin raising the bastard as his own son also shows he was, in a sense, much softer than we give him credit for.

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