Jump to content
Alyn Oakenfist

Is Tywin's role in the Red Wedding morally reprehensible?

Recommended Posts

Posted (edited)

Now this will undoubtedly draw the ire of the Stark fanboys but think about it. Both Roose's and Walder's parts in the Red Wedding are let's say immoral to put it mildly and they both deserve the worse for breaking every conceivable type of vow or rule imaginable, but how about Tywin? He didn't break any vows, Robb was his enemy, and all those who died were war enemies, leaders or soldiers. So was his part morally reprehensible? Keep in mind that it seems like Walder came to him and not the other way around.

Edited by Alyn Oakenfist

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It does bring up an interesting moral dilemma, and in a vacuum, no, assassination of enemy leaders is not really less or more morally justified than sacking villages and killing civilians.....the thing is Tywin did that too.

As to the other question, both the person giving the orders and the people following them share blame, in my opinion. So Tywin does not get a pass from me for not being "the one who swung the sword" so to speak.

This one comes up a lot more during the books than just this instance as well. Jamie and Sandor's stories are full of it, and the opinions of the majority of characters regarding Aerys' Kingsguard is a great commentary on it as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Robb escalated the conflict to a higher notch.  It started out with Catelyn wanting to punish the man who injured her son and Robb feeling the need to rescue his treasonous father.  Tywin raided the Riverlands.  Robb was called to King's Landing but chose to march in force instead.  Then had the gall to declare the north an independent kingdom.  The Starks were reprehensible too.  Guest rights is no more important than oaths. 

The red wedding ended the conflict between the Lannisters and the Starks.  It did so with the minimum number of casualties and avoided hurting the non-combatants, save a few.  Like it or not, the red wedding did more good than harm.  Being harmful to the Starks does not mean it is bad for the overall good.  It was a dirty trick.  But dirty tricks are used on the battlefield too.  The people who died at the red wedding are soldiers.  Soldiers dying is preferable to civilians dying.  I know, the soldiers are only recruited part-time soldiers but still, these men would sack cities and loot if given the chance.  They are not exactly squeaky clean themselves.

Tywin, Walder, and Roose preserved the unity of Westeros.  If we can all agree that preserving the land as a whole is a good thing then we have to say the Starks were in the wrong.  Tywin played dirty to get rid of a dangerous enemy who wants to break up the kingdom.  And he did it with minimal loses to his supporters.  Walder handled it in such a way as to keep the risk to his people as low as possible, which is what a responsible leader and lord should do.  They are better leaders than Robb who endangered the safety of his followers just to dip his droopy weenie in the woman he loves.  Tywin and Walder were looking out for their people.  Robb put his heart above his people.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Bowen 747 said:

Robb escalated the conflict to a higher notch.  It started out with Catelyn wanting to punish the man who injured her son and Robb feeling the need to rescue his treasonous father.  Tywin raided the Riverlands.  Robb was called to King's Landing but chose to march in force instead.  Then had the gall to declare the north an independent kingdom.  The Starks were reprehensible too.  Guest rights is no more important than oaths. 

 

Oaths go both ways however. You are not obliged to serve a lord (or a king) who does not fulfill his duties. Tywin was already burning Riverlands before Robert had died. And after Robert died, nothing was done - to my knowledge - to prevent it. In fact, Lannisters held the throne, so it was quite clear nothing would be done to stop Tywin's atrocities. At that point, Tullys at least had no obligations towards the throne which would not fulfill its obligations towards them, and thus were in full right to secede. Starks are a bit different matter, and their secession could be discussed (does Iron Throne not fulfilling its duties re:Riverlands justify secession of North?).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
13 hours ago, Bowen 747 said:

 If we can all agree that preserving the land as a whole is a good thing (...)

We certainly cannot all agree on that. Particularly when we are talking about empires forged through conquest.

Edited by The hairy bear

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, The Young Maester said:

I think Tywin just told them to kill Robb and take all the nobles as hostages. 

Evidently they didn't do that. Just ask Catelyn, Smalljon, Dacey, Wendel, etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 hours ago, Alyn Oakenfist said:

Now this will undoubtedly draw the ire of the Stark fanboys but think about it. Both Roose's and Walder's parts in the Red Wedding are let's say immoral to put it mildly and they both deserve the worse for breaking every conceivable type of vow or rule imaginable, but how about Tywin? He didn't break any vows, Robb was his enemy, and all those who died were war enemies, leaders or soldiers. So was his part morally reprehensible? Keep in mind that it seems like Walder came to him and not the other way around.

In the grand scheme of things no... Fuck’em. Tywin was trying to win a war as quickly and efficiently as possible. If it cost him a slight smudge on his morality so be it. To be in his position is it was undoubtably the right thing to do.

The main stark players (politically):

Ned/Cat/Robb: all dead, all awful players at the game. Sansa is getting slightly more intelligent

Tywin ended House Reyne, he doesn’t care what people think of his morality.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is it the worst thing he had personally done? No.

Is his whole regime and legacy morally reprehensible?  Yes.

Tywin is reason people like Amory Lorch, Gregor Clegane, Cersei, Jofferey, Littlefinger, Freys or Bolton prosper regardless of any atrocities or crimes they commit.

His action in Red Wedding probably ensures that North wouldn't be part of Seven Kingdoms if anyone asks Northmen.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think Tywin is as responsible as any other player in the plotting of the Red Wedding.  In the state I live in a person found guilty of conspiracy is as guilty as those who carry out the plan.  There are not really levels of engagement here.   Would stupid Walder Frey have ever been able to dream up such a grandiose plan?   I think not.   A killer--no--an efficient killer had to have the idea.  I can appreciate the concept of war crime but I cannot give it a pass.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, The hairy bear said:

We certainly cannot all agree on that. Particularly when we are talking about empires forged through conquest.

How do you think the Great Lords gained dominance over their mini-kingdoms?  By conquest.  By brute force and murder.  The Starks slaughtered the warg king's family and forced his daughters to marry theirs.  That is not different at all.  And the Starks would have used the strongest and most brutal of weapons at their disposal to defeat the other lords in the north.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, The hairy bear said:

We certainly cannot all agree on that. Particularly when we are talking about empires forged through conquest.

I cannot think of any empire built without conquest.

btw the thread reminds me of a quote from an infamous polish politician: "do you have any proof hitler knew of anything? he did not sign a paper!" XD

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Curled Finger said:

I think Tywin is as responsible as any other player in the plotting of the Red Wedding.  In the state I live in a person found guilty of conspiracy is as guilty as those who carry out the plan.  There are not really levels of engagement here.   Would stupid Walder Frey have ever been able to dream up such a grandiose plan?   I think not.   A killer--no--an efficient killer had to have the idea.  I can appreciate the concept of war crime but I cannot give it a pass. 

That's not I talking about though. Tywin was in the conspiracy but Tywin didn't break any vows or laws of hospitality. That was Roose's and Walder's thing. Killing your enemies isn't wrong, what's wrong is how you do it. So how morally reprehensible is Tywin. Him or his men didn't break anything like hospitality of fealty just his co conspirators.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

GRRM doesn't go into details of how exactly this 4-way (Tywin/Freys/Roose/Sybelle) conspiracy exactly went down, but I believe the text implies that we're to understand that Tywin was the initiator of the plan, between his comments about "wars being fought with a pen", and the Blackfish saying the event "stinks of Tywin Lannister".

So, to me it's like offering someone obscene amounts of cash to murder their own child and then saying "Well, they were the ones that committed the horrible crime. I only paid them money, so I'm not really a bad person". There's also the fact that Rob had soundly beat Tywin in every battle in the field and embarrassed him, and so Tywin had to stoop to assassination to have a chance to defeat him.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
37 minutes ago, Lluewhyn said:

So, to me it's like offering someone obscene amounts of cash to murder their own child and then saying "Well, they were the ones that committed the horrible crime. I only paid them money, so I'm not really a bad person".

It's more like offering someone obscene amounts of cash to trap and kill their own brother who is a wanted criminal with a death sentence on their head. Robb wasn't an innocent child, he was a traitor rebelling against the crown the moment he proclaimed himself King in the North. The fact that Tywin ordered his death is not a problem the problem is the manner of his death. Now the question is should Tywin be held accountable for vows he didn't break, in order to kill somebody who was his war enemy.

40 minutes ago, Lluewhyn said:

There's also the fact that Rob had soundly beat Tywin in every battle in the field and embarrassed him, and so Tywin had to stoop to assassination to have a chance to defeat him.

Actually Robb never defeated Tywin, he defeated Jaime and Daven but never Tywin. The only one to defeat Tywin was my boy Edmure.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Alyn Oakenfist said:

Actually Robb never defeated Tywin, he defeated Jaime and Daven but never Tywin. The only one to defeat Tywin was my boy Edmure.

His very first battle was outsmarting Tywin at the Green Fork. He then kept Tywin pinned down in Harrenhal while raiding the Westerlands with impunity. If you're talking about facing him directly on the field of battle with both of them on the same field, no, but as the opposing "generals" he consistently beat Tywin on an operational level.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, Lluewhyn said:

His very first battle was outsmarting Tywin at the Green Fork.

That was not really outsmarting though. He sacrificed thousands of men just so he could have a chance to fight Jaime. The only reason it worked and Robb won in the end was sheer dumb luck and the fact that Jaime was stupid.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, Mordred said:

How do you think the Great Lords gained dominance over their mini-kingdoms?  By conquest.  By brute force and murder.  The Starks slaughtered the warg king's family and forced his daughters to marry theirs.  That is not different at all. 

I'm aware of that. That's why you will neither see me argue that "preserving the North as a whole" is a good thing. :)

11 hours ago, broken one said:

I cannot think of any empire built without conquest.

Depending on how you define 'empire', there would be none. :p If we are just talking about political entities that are called empires, perhaps the Holy Roman Empire or the Nicene Empire could qualify.

3 hours ago, Lord Lannister said:

Wars are most likely to be won by the people who don't play by your rule book. Look what morality got Ned and Robb.

In comparison to what being ruthless got Tywin?

I'd say that the Lannisters would have been in a much better position of wining a war if it hadn't been for Tywin's unmoral past actions (the completely unneeded sack of King's Landing, the sadistic murder of Elia and his kids, or his cruel treatment of Tyrion)

37 minutes ago, Alyn Oakenfist said:

That was not really outsmarting though. He sacrificed thousands of men just so he could have a chance to fight Jaime. The only reason it worked and Robb won in the end was sheer dumb luck and the fact that Jaime was stupid.

While the Northmen that Robb sent to the Green Fork were part of a diversion to fool Tywin, it is an invention of the show that they were send there as lambs to the sacrifice.

Robb did outsmart Tywin because he was able to divert a great part of his force undetected and took the Lannisters by surprise. Roose had no need to engage Tywin. A wiser (or more loyal) commander would have acted much more cautiously. Roose's gamble is what costed thousands of men, not Robb's clever strategy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...