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Alyn Oakenfist

Tywin was a pretty bad player

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So, the more I think about it, I think Tywin's reputation as this incredible general and politician is completely undeserved. So, for a moment, let's not look at him based on his reputation, but merely based on the facts. So starting off:

- The first time Tywin acted as a player of any kind was during the Reyne-Tarbeck Rebellion, when he ruthlessly eradicated the two families. Now, that was one of his better moves, as he put the fear of House Lannister into the ever more unruly Westerlands. However, it is also here that we see the first mistake that will form a pattern. The destruction of the mines. Now we know from ASOS that there was still gold in Castamere, that the Lannisters were somewhat extracting. However I imagine that the output was never the same as before the drowning due to all the water. Now Tywin did have a choice. He could have went to the Reynes, told them what he was about to do and offer them a chance to surrender. Between certain death and dealing with Tywin no doubt they would have surrendered. The Tywin could have sent all the men to Watch and all the women to the silent sisters. He would have accomplished the same thing in terms of fear and wiped out the Reyne name, without losing a valuable economic asset. And this trend, of Tywin doing the ruthless thing that ends up biting him in the ass as opposed to the more diplomatic solution is going to become a trend.

- Now next up, Tywin becomes Hand, and while we don't know much about his Handship, we do know that he was a brilliant administrator. We'll give him that. We don't know of any major moves he did in that time period, well except for one. Refusing the Martell's offer. Now, marrying Oberyn to Cersei was a dumb idea, as Cersei was in fact prime Queen material. However, Jaime to Elia? Sure the age difference could be a problem (even if the ages of the Martell siblings don't make prefect sense, but let's go along with it) tut he advantages were significant. First off, there really aren't any more prestigious marriages for Jaime. A Princess is as much as he could get. Second off, it removes a crucial rival for Cersei. And before you say I'm only saying this to hindsight, I'm really not. Tywin was aware of Aerys's thing for keeping the blood pure, and in that regard Elia was a really good choice for Aerys. So in one fell swoop Tywin refused a good marriage for Jaime (or maybe Lysa Tully was a ore prestigious wife) and added one more potential rival for Cersei at Rhaegar's marriage. Wonderful.

- Finally Aerys fucks stuff up once too many by appointing Jaime to the Kingsguard and Tywin resigns. Nothing to say here really, other that he probably should have resigned way earlier, when he realized Aerys was openly antagonistic. Then the Rebellion starts.

- Now Tywin's procrastinating until the last second of the Rebellion is actually a smart move, as he no doubt wanted to fight for the rebels, but needed to get to Jaime the minute he joined, less Aerys execute him. The problem is how Tywin makes up for it. Soo... let's discuss the Sack. The actual Sacking was I think a mistake. What did Tywin gain by sacking the city? He didn't need to sack the city, once the gates opened he could have taken it relatively bloodlessly. But I guess he felt the need to antagonize and massacre the civilian population. Because reasons.

- However, the main thing about the Sack that we need to discuss is Elia and the children. I'm going to be pointing out why every single one should have been spared. So, starting off:

- Elia. Now Tywin says he didn't in fact order her death, but I personally think he's lying. He wanted to punish Elia for marrying Rhaegar instead of Cersei, because that' who Tywin Lannister is. Needless to say it was petty, it was useless and it did only hard for everyone involved.

- Now Rhaenys. I've said it several times, Rhaenys should have been kept alive and married to Robert's heir. When the rebels decided to give Robert the crown they shattered legitimacy by blood, basically proclaiming their right by conquest. Marrying Rhaenys to Robert's heir would have been a good way to legitimize Baratheon rule, and give his child an edge in legitimacy should Renly and Stannis rebel, like Tywin expected them too all along.

- Now, Aegon. This is the more debatable one, but I still think he should have lived. House Targaryen would have had an heir regardless, be it Aegon or Viserys, the only difference is, this one would have been in their power. Force Aegon to bend the knee, marry him to Dany, and as @Lord Varys has pointed out, it would have made the regime change seem far more legitimate if Aegon abandoned his claim. Furthermore, with Aegon alive, Viserys couldn't have been crowned King. Sparing Aegon would have ended the Targaryen threat once and for all. However, yet again, Tywin opted for brutality and ruthlessness as opposed to diplomacy and peace.

- One final note is that keeping the children alive would have given Tywin leverage to marry Robert to Cersei. Had Lyanna lived Robert would have no doubt married her, consequences be damned, an Tywin could have done nothing about it. With the kids alive and in his custody however, he could have used them as leverage to get Cersei to marry Robert.

And this is all just the stuff before the books even begin. Skipping ahead, let's move on to what happens in the actual books.

- Tywin's first move in the books is to invade the Riverlands as a response to Tyrion getting captured. Tywin could have had Cersei capture Sansa and Arya and hold them as hostages and no one could have commented, not with Tyrion a prisoner as well. But alas, Tywin's response was to break the King's peace and start a war. Had Cersei not killed Robert, that could have triggered a response from Robert, and soon enough Tywin would have found himself at war with all of Westeros. Smart.

- Now let's debate how Tywin invaded the Riverlands. The invasion itself was well done, but the Tywin did one slip up. He evenly divided his forces, leaving Jaime to siege Riverrun with 15k while he prepared to battle Robb with 20k. Why? Tywin clearly hoped for a speedy conquest, and given what a strong castle Riverrun was, able to hold out for months maybe even years, laying siege to it was a bad idea. Even beyond that, splitting his forces up is just begging for him to get defeated in detail, which of course Robb does, pulverizing Jaime's force. Even beyond that, Tywin's behavior as a field general leaves much to be desired, with him abandoning his defensive position on the Roby Ford and marching for the Green Fork to fight a battle on eve footing. Had Robb brought his full strength, the two would have been evenly matched, and Tywin could have easily lost.

- After the Camps, Tywin retreats to Harrenhal, and again it's one of his few smart choices, keeping close to KL, and blocking Robb from attacking the city itself. However, when Robb does a massive strategic blunder and invades the Westerlands, what does Tywin do? He blunders back. Robb's invasion fundamentally achieved nothing after Oxcross. Tywin should have taken the news of the defeat, and realized there was nothing more Robb could do with his limited forces. Instead he marches for the Westerlands, leaving the capital completely defenseless against Stannis and or Renly. It's only through sheer luck that he doesn't march into the Westerlands and gets the riders from Bitterbridge, to notify him it's time to move his ass to KL.

- Finally Tywin arrives at KL and starts doing a bang up job of ruling. His first moves are okay, but his first big mistake is shunning Tyrion, who saved the city and gets nothing, because Tywin hates him, Calculating political machine my ass.

- Tywin continues his tradition of not knowing what peace is by refusing to give the Dornish Gregor. He had one chance at mending ties, y giving the Dornish the marriage and Clegane, maybe hoping they'll leave him be and he shits on it. Not only that, he goes against the word of his son, acting as Hand in his stead, which is to say he basically breaks his own word. And the gain from this is minimal, Gregor is a beast for sure, but he no longer really needs him, the war was over by that point, even if Robb doesn't know it yet. And Tywin isn't a fool, eh knows Dorne joining Stannis could be a pain, and yet he doesn't seem to be bothered.

- Tywin while having the good idea to marry Cersei off, seems to procrastinate in that too. Like give her to a bannerman be done with it, she needs to be removed.

- Finally the Purple Wedding happens, and Tywin goes along with Cersei's farce, looking to remove his son from the board. It's not like he has time and again proven to be a good leader. He even makes Oberyn and Mace judges, a good idea that I could not ever see backfiring. He also names himself, because why not have people name you a kinslayer for putting your son to death?

All I can say is, I think Cersei was far more right then we give her credit for when she thought she was Tywin with teats, only it isn't falttery,

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Posted (edited)

Aegon + Dany is far too dangerous to allow.  Rhaenys and Dany should be betrothed to Robert’s male children, for the reasons you give.  Viserys and Aegon should just be sent into the church.  Elia should be spared.

Massacring Elia and her children was worse than a crime.  It was a blunder.

This is an unusual case where doing what was morally right would have been expedient.  Tywin likes to think of himself as Machiavellian, but Old Nick would have slapped him across the face for that action.

Edited by SeanF

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21 minutes ago, SeanF said:

Aegon + Dany is far too dangerous to allow.

I didn't say marry Aegon to Dany, that was another post a long time ago...

22 minutes ago, SeanF said:

Massacring Elia and her children was worse than a crime.  It was a blunder.

Definitely.

22 minutes ago, SeanF said:

Viserys and Aegon should just be sent into the church

I disagree. Having Aegon bend the knee would be far more beneficial.

23 minutes ago, SeanF said:

Tywin likes to think of himself as Machiavellian, but Old Nick would have slapped him across the face for that action

Nick also talked about virtu and how a leader should win the loyalty of his people.

He was also profoundly anti monarchy.

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5 minutes ago, Alyn Oakenfist said:

I didn't say marry Aegon to Dany, that was another post a long time ago...

Definitely.

I disagree. Having Aegon bend the knee would be far more beneficial.

Nick also talked about virtu and how a leader should win the loyalty of his people.

He was also profoundly anti monarchy.

I think he would have the seen the murders as a classic example of being brutal enough to enrage one’s enemies, yet still leaving them in a position to exact revenge.  And, he would have thought it beyond stupid that Robert failed to provide justice, when he could have done so at little cost.

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1 hour ago, Alyn Oakenfist said:

So, the more I think about it, I think Tywin's reputation as this incredible general and politician is completely undeserved. So, for a moment, let's not look at him based on his reputation, but merely based on the facts. So starting off:

- The first time Tywin acted as a player of any kind was during the Reyne-Tarbeck Rebellion, when he ruthlessly eradicated the two families. Now, that was one of his better moves, as he put the fear of House Lannister into the ever more unruly Westerlands. However, it is also here that we see the first mistake that will form a pattern. The destruction of the mines. Now we know from ASOS that there was still gold in Castamere, that the Lannisters were somewhat extracting. However I imagine that the output was never the same as before the drowning due to all the water. Now Tywin did have a choice. He could have went to the Reynes, told them what he was about to do and offer them a chance to surrender. Between certain death and dealing with Tywin no doubt they would have surrendered. The Tywin could have sent all the men to Watch and all the women to the silent sisters. He would have accomplished the same thing in terms of fear and wiped out the Reyne name, without losing a valuable economic asset. And this trend, of Tywin doing the ruthless thing that ends up biting him in the ass as opposed to the more diplomatic solution is going to become a trend.

- Now next up, Tywin becomes Hand, and while we don't know much about his Handship, we do know that he was a brilliant administrator. We'll give him that. We don't know of any major moves he did in that time period, well except for one. Refusing the Martell's offer. Now, marrying Oberyn to Cersei was a dumb idea, as Cersei was in fact prime Queen material. However, Jaime to Elia? Sure the age difference could be a problem (even if the ages of the Martell siblings don't make prefect sense, but let's go along with it) tut he advantages were significant. First off, there really aren't any more prestigious marriages for Jaime. A Princess is as much as he could get. Second off, it removes a crucial rival for Cersei. And before you say I'm only saying this to hindsight, I'm really not. Tywin was aware of Aerys's thing for keeping the blood pure, and in that regard Elia was a really good choice for Aerys. So in one fell swoop Tywin refused a good marriage for Jaime (or maybe Lysa Tully was a ore prestigious wife) and added one more potential rival for Cersei at Rhaegar's marriage. Wonderful.

- Finally Aerys fucks stuff up once too many by appointing Jaime to the Kingsguard and Tywin resigns. Nothing to say here really, other that he probably should have resigned way earlier, when he realized Aerys was openly antagonistic. Then the Rebellion starts.

- Now Tywin's procrastinating until the last second of the Rebellion is actually a smart move, as he no doubt wanted to fight for the rebels, but needed to get to Jaime the minute he joined, less Aerys execute him. The problem is how Tywin makes up for it. Soo... let's discuss the Sack. The actual Sacking was I think a mistake. What did Tywin gain by sacking the city? He didn't need to sack the city, once the gates opened he could have taken it relatively bloodlessly. But I guess he felt the need to antagonize and massacre the civilian population. Because reasons.

- However, the main thing about the Sack that we need to discuss is Elia and the children. I'm going to be pointing out why every single one should have been spared. So, starting off:

- Elia. Now Tywin says he didn't in fact order her death, but I personally think he's lying. He wanted to punish Elia for marrying Rhaegar instead of Cersei, because that' who Tywin Lannister is. Needless to say it was petty, it was useless and it did only hard for everyone involved.

- Now Rhaenys. I've said it several times, Rhaenys should have been kept alive and married to Robert's heir. When the rebels decided to give Robert the crown they shattered legitimacy by blood, basically proclaiming their right by conquest. Marrying Rhaenys to Robert's heir would have been a good way to legitimize Baratheon rule, and give his child an edge in legitimacy should Renly and Stannis rebel, like Tywin expected them too all along.

- Now, Aegon. This is the more debatable one, but I still think he should have lived. House Targaryen would have had an heir regardless, be it Aegon or Viserys, the only difference is, this one would have been in their power. Force Aegon to bend the knee, marry him to Dany, and as @Lord Varys has pointed out, it would have made the regime change seem far more legitimate if Aegon abandoned his claim. Furthermore, with Aegon alive, Viserys couldn't have been crowned King. Sparing Aegon would have ended the Targaryen threat once and for all. However, yet again, Tywin opted for brutality and ruthlessness as opposed to diplomacy and peace.

- One final note is that keeping the children alive would have given Tywin leverage to marry Robert to Cersei. Had Lyanna lived Robert would have no doubt married her, consequences be damned, an Tywin could have done nothing about it. With the kids alive and in his custody however, he could have used them as leverage to get Cersei to marry Robert.

And this is all just the stuff before the books even begin. Skipping ahead, let's move on to what happens in the actual books.

- Tywin's first move in the books is to invade the Riverlands as a response to Tyrion getting captured. Tywin could have had Cersei capture Sansa and Arya and hold them as hostages and no one could have commented, not with Tyrion a prisoner as well. But alas, Tywin's response was to break the King's peace and start a war. Had Cersei not killed Robert, that could have triggered a response from Robert, and soon enough Tywin would have found himself at war with all of Westeros. Smart.

- Now let's debate how Tywin invaded the Riverlands. The invasion itself was well done, but the Tywin did one slip up. He evenly divided his forces, leaving Jaime to siege Riverrun with 15k while he prepared to battle Robb with 20k. Why? Tywin clearly hoped for a speedy conquest, and given what a strong castle Riverrun was, able to hold out for months maybe even years, laying siege to it was a bad idea. Even beyond that, splitting his forces up is just begging for him to get defeated in detail, which of course Robb does, pulverizing Jaime's force. Even beyond that, Tywin's behavior as a field general leaves much to be desired, with him abandoning his defensive position on the Roby Ford and marching for the Green Fork to fight a battle on eve footing. Had Robb brought his full strength, the two would have been evenly matched, and Tywin could have easily lost.

- After the Camps, Tywin retreats to Harrenhal, and again it's one of his few smart choices, keeping close to KL, and blocking Robb from attacking the city itself. However, when Robb does a massive strategic blunder and invades the Westerlands, what does Tywin do? He blunders back. Robb's invasion fundamentally achieved nothing after Oxcross. Tywin should have taken the news of the defeat, and realized there was nothing more Robb could do with his limited forces. Instead he marches for the Westerlands, leaving the capital completely defenseless against Stannis and or Renly. It's only through sheer luck that he doesn't march into the Westerlands and gets the riders from Bitterbridge, to notify him it's time to move his ass to KL.

- Finally Tywin arrives at KL and starts doing a bang up job of ruling. His first moves are okay, but his first big mistake is shunning Tyrion, who saved the city and gets nothing, because Tywin hates him, Calculating political machine my ass.

- Tywin continues his tradition of not knowing what peace is by refusing to give the Dornish Gregor. He had one chance at mending ties, y giving the Dornish the marriage and Clegane, maybe hoping they'll leave him be and he shits on it. Not only that, he goes against the word of his son, acting as Hand in his stead, which is to say he basically breaks his own word. And the gain from this is minimal, Gregor is a beast for sure, but he no longer really needs him, the war was over by that point, even if Robb doesn't know it yet. And Tywin isn't a fool, eh knows Dorne joining Stannis could be a pain, and yet he doesn't seem to be bothered.

- Tywin while having the good idea to marry Cersei off, seems to procrastinate in that too. Like give her to a bannerman be done with it, she needs to be removed.

- Finally the Purple Wedding happens, and Tywin goes along with Cersei's farce, looking to remove his son from the board. It's not like he has time and again proven to be a good leader. He even makes Oberyn and Mace judges, a good idea that I could not ever see backfiring. He also names himself, because why not have people name you a kinslayer for putting your son to death?

All I can say is, I think Cersei was far more right then we give her credit for when she thought she was Tywin with teats, only it isn't falttery,

Nobody hits a home run in every at-bat. In the end, his successes outweighed his failures. He expanded the influence of his house from a weak ruler in the westerlands to control of the riverlands, crownlands, stormlands and the Iron Throne -- and nearly got the north if not for Littlefinger and Lady Olenna. So all in all it was not a bad life's work. There'll be a statue of him in Lannisport of the whole system doesn't collapse under the stewardship of his three children.

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1 hour ago, Alyn Oakenfist said:

 

- Now, Aegon. This is the more debatable one, but I still think he should have lived. House Targaryen would have had an heir regardless, be it Aegon or Viserys, the only difference is, this one would have been in their power. Force Aegon to bend the knee, marry him to Dany, and as @Lord Varys has pointed out, it would have made the regime change seem far more legitimate if Aegon abandoned his claim. Furthermore, with Aegon alive, Viserys couldn't have been crowned King. Sparing Aegon would have ended the Targaryen threat once and for all. However, yet again, Tywin opted for brutality and ruthlessness as opposed to diplomacy and peace.

 

So long as a Targaryen boy drew breath, Robert’s rule would never be secure. Aegon would have to be sent to the Wall and raised there, or else the Citadel. A place where he would be made to say his vows in order to truly abdicate. Give him to Maester Aemon and tell the maester that if Aegon leaves the Wall, he’ll be killed on sight. He can become Lord Commander if he wants, but he must never be allowed to rise up and inspire loyalists to revolt. Same with Viserys.

1 hour ago, Alyn Oakenfist said:

 

- After the Camps, Tywin retreats to Harrenhal, and again it's one of his few smart choices, keeping close to KL, and blocking Robb from attacking the city itself. However, when Robb does a massive strategic blunder and invades the Westerlands, what does Tywin do? He blunders back. Robb's invasion fundamentally achieved nothing after Oxcross. Tywin should have taken the news of the defeat, and realized there was nothing more Robb could do with his limited forces. Instead he marches for the Westerlands, leaving the capital completely defenseless against Stannis and or Renly. It's only through sheer luck that he doesn't march into the Westerlands and gets the riders from Bitterbridge, to notify him it's time to move his ass to KL.

 

Invading the Westerlands didn’t accomplish “nothing.” For one, Robb secured a lot of plunder from the gold mines and castles that he captured. For another, he sent herds of cattle back to the starving Riverlands. All of that was a huge blow to the smallfolk of the Westerlands, and thus to Tywin’s power base. As soon as Winterfell was taken, Robb’s reputation and his entire war campaign were crippled until he could regain his home base. Stannis nearly died to keep Storm’s End out of enemy hands for the same reason. Tywin was obligated to defend his home and vassals foremost. Tywin going west wasn’t a blunder, it was a fulfillment of expectation.

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1 minute ago, Canon Claude said:

So long as a Targaryen boy drew breath, Robert’s rule would never be secure.

Why thought? Having him bend the knee and publicly renounce his claim, marry his sister to your heir and marry him to a loyal house. How exactly is he suppose to rebel then? Dorne wouldn't care as nobody of their blood got harmed and through Rhaenys they'd still have blood on the Throne, so who would support him?

It's as @Lord Varys said, the best way to ensure the transition of power is to have the head of the old house bend the knee.

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4 minutes ago, Alyn Oakenfist said:

Why thought? Having him bend the knee and publicly renounce his claim, marry his sister to your heir and marry him to a loyal house. How exactly is he suppose to rebel then? Dorne wouldn't care as nobody of their blood got harmed and through Rhaenys they'd still have blood on the Throne, so who would support him?

It's as @Lord Varys said, the best way to ensure the transition of power is to have the head of the old house bend the knee.

Vows under the threat of death probably aren't valid marry the girl but kill the boy

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32 minutes ago, Alyn Oakenfist said:

So, the more I think about it, I think Tywin's reputation as this incredible general and politician is completely undeserved. So, for a moment, let's not look at him based on his reputation, but merely based on the facts. So starting off:

- The first time Tywin acted as a player of any kind was during the Reyne-Tarbeck Rebellion, when he ruthlessly eradicated the two families. Now, that was one of his better moves, as he put the fear of House Lannister into the ever more unruly Westerlands. However, it is also here that we see the first mistake that will form a pattern. The destruction of the mines. Now we know from ASOS that there was still gold in Castamere, that the Lannisters were somewhat extracting. However I imagine that the output was never the same as before the drowning due to all the water. Now Tywin did have a choice. He could have went to the Reynes, told them what he was about to do and offer them a chance to surrender. Between certain death and dealing with Tywin no doubt they would have surrendered. The Tywin could have sent all the men to Watch and all the women to the silent sisters. He would have accomplished the same thing in terms of fear and wiped out the Reyne name, without losing a valuable economic asset. And this trend, of Tywin doing the ruthless thing that ends up biting him in the ass as opposed to the more diplomatic solution is going to become a trend.

Tywin didn't need the gold. He valued the reputation more. Can't say I disagree. The Lannisters are still the richest house in the realm 20+ years later.

32 minutes ago, Alyn Oakenfist said:

- Now next up, Tywin becomes Hand, and while we don't know much about his Handship, we do know that he was a brilliant administrator. We'll give him that. We don't know of any major moves he did in that time period, well except for one. Refusing the Martell's offer. Now, marrying Oberyn to Cersei was a dumb idea, as Cersei was in fact prime Queen material. However, Jaime to Elia? Sure the age difference could be a problem (even if the ages of the Martell siblings don't make prefect sense, but let's go along with it) tut he advantages were significant. First off, there really aren't any more prestigious marriages for Jaime. A Princess is as much as he could get. Second off, it removes a crucial rival for Cersei. And before you say I'm only saying this to hindsight, I'm really not. Tywin was aware of Aerys's thing for keeping the blood pure, and in that regard Elia was a really good choice for Aerys. So in one fell swoop Tywin refused a good marriage for Jaime (or maybe Lysa Tully was a ore prestigious wife) and added one more potential rival for Cersei at Rhaegar's marriage. Wonderful.

We know a *ton* about Tywin as hand. We have the Worldbook which lays it out in detail. But beyond that marrying Jaime to Dorne (in effect) doesn't really bring a lot to the table. In theory it takes out a contender for Queen but Aerys was willing and able to look outside the 7K for a bride. Tywin knew how unstable Aerys was. Potentially joining the anti Targ "alliance" or power bloc by marrying Jaime to Lysa provides more value.

32 minutes ago, Alyn Oakenfist said:

- Now Tywin's procrastinating until the last second of the Rebellion is actually a smart move, as he no doubt wanted to fight for the rebels, but needed to get to Jaime the minute he joined, less Aerys execute him. The problem is how Tywin makes up for it. Soo... let's discuss the Sack. The actual Sacking was I think a mistake. What did Tywin gain by sacking the city? He didn't need to sack the city, once the gates opened he could have taken it relatively bloodlessly. But I guess he felt the need to antagonize and massacre the civilian population. Because reasons.

He needed to seize the city and castle to cement his status with the rebels. History is rife with examples of commanders being unable to control soldiers sacking a city. I'm not sure if he was indifferent to the sack (a la Elia being murdered) or ordered it personally, but a few hours of sacking before the rebels marched through the gates probably didn't move the needle for him much. 

32 minutes ago, Alyn Oakenfist said:

- However, the main thing about the Sack that we need to discuss is Elia and the children. I'm going to be pointing out why every single one should have been spared. So, starting off:

Totally disagree there. He wouldn't have an heir for years and there were still Targ loyalists willing to topple him when he'd held power for years. Getting rid of options consolidates his power and reduces rival options, even if it was a horrible thing to do.

32 minutes ago, Alyn Oakenfist said:

And this is all just the stuff before the books even begin. Skipping ahead, let's move on to what happens in the actual books.

- Tywin's first move in the books is to invade the Riverlands as a response to Tyrion getting captured. Tywin could have had Cersei capture Sansa and Arya and hold them as hostages and no one could have commented, not with Tyrion a prisoner as well. But alas, Tywin's response was to break the King's peace and start a war. Had Cersei not killed Robert, that could have triggered a response from Robert, and soon enough Tywin would have found himself at war with all of Westeros. Smart.

Tywin had disguised his men as common brigands. Arya and Sansa were already effectively in Cersei's hands. If they weren't then yeah a lot of people would have commented.  As to Robert, he'd sided with the Lannisters, his in laws and debt owners, on basically everything. Tywin played his RL campaign prep about as well as he could.

32 minutes ago, Alyn Oakenfist said:

- Now let's debate how Tywin invaded the Riverlands. The invasion itself was well done, but the Tywin did one slip up. He evenly divided his forces, leaving Jaime to siege Riverrun with 15k while he prepared to battle Robb with 20k. Why? Tywin clearly hoped for a speedy conquest, and given what a strong castle Riverrun was, able to hold out for months maybe even years, laying siege to it was a bad idea. Even beyond that, splitting his forces up is just begging for him to get defeated in detail, which of course Robb does, pulverizing Jaime's force. Even beyond that, Tywin's behavior as a field general leaves much to be desired, with him abandoning his defensive position on the Roby Ford and marching for the Green Fork to fight a battle on eve footing. Had Robb brought his full strength, the two would have been evenly matched, and Tywin could have easily lost.

Not sure in what world 20K vs 15K is equally divided but Tywin didn't really err here imo. Jaime engaged the strength of the RL and won. His mistake was in believing Frey wouldn't stir, but even then it required Jaime to make a dumb decision AND completely worthless camp security to lose to the Northmen. Even then he still keeps 1/3 of that army together

Tywin's camp was fortified, well patrolled and had a flank protected by the river. He was in a fine spot tactically and strategically. 

32 minutes ago, Alyn Oakenfist said:

- After the Camps, Tywin retreats to Harrenhal, and again it's one of his few smart choices, keeping close to KL, and blocking Robb from attacking the city itself. However, when Robb does a massive strategic blunder and invades the Westerlands, what does Tywin do? He blunders back. Robb's invasion fundamentally achieved nothing after Oxcross. Tywin should have taken the news of the defeat, and realized there was nothing more Robb could do with his limited forces. Instead he marches for the Westerlands, leaving the capital completely defenseless against Stannis and or Renly. It's only through sheer luck that he doesn't march into the Westerlands and gets the riders from Bitterbridge, to notify him it's time to move his ass to KL.

This is more political than anything else. His vassals were being raided and attacked. Stannis was besieging SE at the time and honestly didn't really represent a threat to take the  capital (blockade yes). Renly was still a month or more away AND dealing with Stannis at SE. Not saying it was the best decision but being able to wipe out a weakened rival and reinforce / resupply your own army is enticing.

32 minutes ago, Alyn Oakenfist said:

- Finally Tywin arrives at KL and starts doing a bang up job of ruling. His first moves are okay, but his first big mistake is shunning Tyrion, who saved the city and gets nothing, because Tywin hates him, Calculating political machine my ass.

Tyrion was unconscious for a month and then got appointed MoC and married to Sansa. Totally disagree here

32 minutes ago, Alyn Oakenfist said:

- Tywin continues his tradition of not knowing what peace is by refusing to give the Dornish Gregor. He had one chance at mending ties, y giving the Dornish the marriage and Clegane, maybe hoping they'll leave him be and he shits on it. Not only that, he goes against the word of his son, acting as Hand in his stead, which is to say he basically breaks his own word. And the gain from this is minimal, Gregor is a beast for sure, but he no longer really needs him, the war was over by that point, even if Robb doesn't know it yet. And Tywin isn't a fool, eh knows Dorne joining Stannis could be a pain, and yet he doesn't seem to be bothered.

The Dornish already have a hostage, royal marriage, and a spot on the small council. Giving up Clegane isn't going to make them less likely to undermine the throne.

32 minutes ago, Alyn Oakenfist said:

- Tywin while having the good idea to marry Cersei off, seems to procrastinate in that too. Like give her to a bannerman be done with it, she needs to be removed.

This is a legitimate criticism. Cersei should have been moved to CR as soon as he got there

 

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9 minutes ago, Alyn Oakenfist said:

I didn't say marry Aegon to Dany, that was another post a long time ago...

 

You did here

1 hour ago, Alyn Oakenfist said:

Force Aegon to bend the knee, marry him to Dany

Too dangerous for the Baratheon regime, he and Robert had to get rid of him permanently. The best way to do it peacefully would have been to send him to the Wall, make him abandon his claims through his mother who would had been queen regent at this stage is a smart move but it's still better to add him to the Night's Watch. He could have done both actually: make him abandon his claims through his mother and send him to the Wall after that with Viserys, in doing so he would have eradicate the Targ male bloodline threat for good, without spilling blood.

Dany should have also been married to the second Robert's heir, then Targ bloodline would have only survived through the female line, merged with the Baratheon. About Rhaella and Elia, they should have been kept as hostages to the court, to avoid any rebellions from the Targ's loyalists and keep them in the king's peace.

I agree with the rest.

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8 minutes ago, Universal Sword Donor said:

Potentially joining the anti Targ "alliance" or power bloc by marrying Jaime to Lysa provides more value.

Totally forgot that, it is a way better option, since the Riverlands are close to Westernlands.

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Castamere had given out before Tywin destroyed the Reynes. They created their lavish palace place out of the mines after they had given out.

Whatever gold the Reynes may still mine wouldn't be mined at Castamere directly.

The way Tywin dealt with the Reynes was ugly, but showing a weakness there could have led to the West switching (back) to the Red Lion. Keep in mind that Tytos was still alive and well and the Lord of Casterly Rock. Tywin had to destroy all his enemies to ensure they would not get to his father and undermine his efforts to restore the prestige of House Lannister.

As for the Martell matches: Keep in mind that Oberyn is our only source for this. And one imagines that the issue there was Tywin rejecting Oberyn and claiming Cersei was for Rhaegar. But you also have to put things into perspective there - Tywin had just lost his beloved wife and been cursed by a dwarf son. He clearly wasn't that happy to have to deal with the notions of one of Joanna's friends - especially if she was given the impression that Joanna and the Princess had already settled the issue.

Tywin didn't want to fight for the rebels during the Rebellion, he wanted Aerys II to call him back and give him everything he wanted. He didn't view Robert as kingly material and only turned on the Targaryens after the Trident. Sure, the Jaime issue also had an effect there, but chances are very high that Tywin would have forgiven Aerys II immediately had he freed Jaime from the KG and offered Viserys' hand to Cersei.

The entire murder the royals during the Sack may eventually bite the Lannisters and Baratheons in the ass, but it was something Tywin wanted to do to show that you cannot fuck with him.

1 hour ago, SeanF said:

Aegon + Dany is far too dangerous to allow.  Rhaenys and Dany should be betrothed to Robert’s male children, for the reasons you give.  Viserys and Aegon should just be sent into the church.  Elia should be spared.

Massacring Elia and her children was worse than a crime.  It was a blunder.

This is an unusual case where doing what was morally right would have been expedient.  Tywin likes to think of himself as Machiavellian, but Old Nick would have slapped him across the face for that action.

If you look at Maegor then a king definitely can allow the rightful heirs to live and even keep them at court. It doesn't have to bite you in the ass. Aerys I later also did that with the second Daemon Blackfyre.

And Robert certainly could have turned Viserys but especially Aegon into his friend if he had raised him and made him view like a second father. Aegon never actually knew Rhaegar or his grandfather.

And an Aegon or Viserys living at Robert's court could also have kept the Targaryen loyalists better in line than Targaryens-in-exile or dead Targaryens - because a good portion of those loyalists would care whether their pretenders lived or died. They would have been effective hostages.

The way to properly do it would be to befriend the Targaryen children and give them high honors and prestigious positions at court so that they do not really want to be kings ... and intermarry them or their children with your own, so you are a big happy family again.

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53 minutes ago, John Suburbs said:

Nobody hits a home run in every at-bat. In the end, his successes outweighed his failures. He expanded the influence of his house from a weak ruler in the westerlands to control of the riverlands, crownlands, stormlands and the Iron Throne -- and nearly got the north if not for Littlefinger and Lady Olenna. So all in all it was not a bad life's work. There'll be a statue of him in Lannisport of the whole system doesn't collapse under the stewardship of his three children.

Nope. There's a reason Lannister power is collapsing: everybody absolutely frickin hates them. With Tywin around it was enough to keep the Westerlands in line because they were terrified of reprisals. It didn't extend beyond the Westerlands, particularly. The Houses affected by the Red Wedding will rebel at the very first opportunity, for example. And none of Tywin's children are able to inspire the kind of fear needed to keep unruly Houses in line. 

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Like many have said, marrying Aegon to Dany would be a terrible choice, as would be letting him live without anything more than bending his knees. Robert should take Rhaenys and Dany for his heirs, placating the Dornish in the process (also, implementing Dornish law wouldn't hurt and would help his heir's claim by Rhaenys) Aegon and Viserys should be made to bend the knee and kept as wards until they are of age to be sent to the Wall.

 

There's also a huge mistake by Tywin that you missed @Alyn Oakenfist he killed Robb. When Brynden Rivers ended the second Blackfyre rebellion he took Daemon II prisoner. By keeping him alive he made sure no Blackfyre could claim the throne, as he came before any of them. Tywin should've done the same with Robb. By killing Robb he passes the lordship/kingship to his heir, and every Northerner save the Boltons and maybe the Dustins/Ryswells would follow that heir. By keeping Robb hostage no one would be able to unite the North in his name, as Robb would be the legitimate king, and no northerner would dare defy Tywin less they want Robb killed. A captured Robb could even bend the knee and confirm Tyrion and Sansa's son as his heir.

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7 minutes ago, CamiloRP said:

When Brynden Rivers ended the second Blackfyre rebellion he took Daemon II prisoner. By keeping him alive he made sure no Blackfyre could claim the throne, as he came before any of them.

Which is what should have been done with Aegon since we're on the topic.

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Do you think that was on purpose? 

I remember reading and being dissapointed by Tywin when he showed up. He had been built up as this Suge Knight Death Row genius that everybody was scared of and he didnt live up to that on the pages.

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4 hours ago, Alyn Oakenfist said:

Tywin's first move in the books is to invade the Riverlands as a response to Tyrion getting captured. Tywin could have had Cersei capture Sansa and Arya and hold them as hostages and no one could have commented, not with Tyrion a prisoner as well.

 

I think you're forgetting something here. Hoster Tully's eldest daughter abducted Tywin's son. In the middle of the Riverlands. Using River Lords. She then took Tyrion to Hoster Tully's other daughter who imprisoned him and put him on trial. Of course, he attacked the Tullys.

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4 hours ago, Alyn Oakenfist said:

- Tywin's first move in the books is to invade the Riverlands as a response to Tyrion getting captured. Tywin could have had Cersei capture Sansa and Arya and hold them as hostages and no one could have commented, not with Tyrion a prisoner as well. But alas, Tywin's response was to break the King's peace and start a war. Had Cersei not killed Robert, that could have triggered a response from Robert, and soon enough Tywin would have found himself at war with all of Westeros. Smart.

When Tywin sent The Mountain to attack the Riverlands he was expecting Eddard Stark to come West himself, which he would have done if not for the leg injury, and would have lured him into the same trap as Beric Dondarrion to kill or capture him. 

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9 minutes ago, Stuart Littlefinger said:

When Tywin sent The Mountain to attack the Riverlands he was expecting Eddard Stark to come West himself, which he would have done if not for the leg injury, and would have lured him into the same trap as Beric Dondarrion to kill or capture him. 

Sure. The thing is though, that if Robert had survived his hunt and come back to learn that Tywin had attacked men carrying the royal banner, he would have been royally pissed (no pun intended). That was why Ned made sure to send them off in the name of the King, to make sure that if they were attacked, Tywin would look like the aggressor. The wolf really outwitted the mighty lion there.

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5 hours ago, Alyn Oakenfist said:

let's not look at him based on his reputation

 

Thats part of it, no? His weapon seems to be instilling fear. And clearly the people around him are afraid of him. Its brutish and seems awful to live under but surely reputation is a political skill.

You have a point with the x's and o's of war. He seems awful with that

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