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Tywin is a Craven


Corvo the Crow
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Or so Jaime would've thought, if he weren't such a hypocrite. Where does this come from? Well from Jaime's own mouth and thoughts as a defeated commander and knight.

Below is part of a dialogue between Jaime and Catelyn

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"Stannis marches against King's Landing," she said grudgingly. "Renly is dead, murdered at Bitterbridge by his brother, through some black art I do not understand."

"A pity," Jaime said. "I rather liked Renly, though Stannis is quite another tale. What side have the Tyrells taken?"

"Renly, at first. Now, I could not say."

"Your boy must be feeling lonely."

"Robb was sixteen a few days past . . . a man grown, and a king. He's won every battle he's fought. The last word we had from him, he had taken the Crag from the Westerlings."

"He hasn't faced my father yet, has he?"

"When he does, he'll defeat him. As he did you."

"He took me unawares. A craven's trick."

 

"He took me unawares. A craven's trick." And What exactly does Jaime's father, Tywin do on his campaign against Riverlands? 

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"The Kingslayer is massing a host at Casterly Rock," Ser Rodrik Cassel answered from the room behind her. "Your brother writes that he has sent riders to the Rock, demanding that Lord Tywin proclaim his intent, but he has had no answer. Edmure has commanded Lord Vance and Lord Piper to guard the pass below the Golden Tooth. He vows to you that he will yield no foot of Tully land without first watering it with Lannister blood."

He's massing men without giving intent. Edmure sends Riders but no answer is given, he's unawares as to his intent. 

 

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"Edmure agrees, we must pay Gregor Clegane back his bloody coin," Ser Marq declared, "but old Lord Hoster commanded us to come here and beg the king's leave before we strike."
Thank the gods for old Lord Hoster, then. Tywin Lannister was as much fox as lion. If indeed he'd sent Ser Gregor to burn and pillage—and Ned did not doubt that he had—he'd taken care to see that he rode under cover of night, without banners, in the guise of a common brigand. Should Riverrun strike back, Cersei and her father would insist that it had been the Tullys who broke the king's peace, not the Lannisters. The gods only knew what Robert would believe.

 

He has attacked and not brazenly but using trickery, under guise to create distractions, give him time to mass and march his troops and provoke an attack on himself.

 

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"Less than a fortnight past, they fought a battle in the hills below the Golden Tooth," Robb said. "Uncle Edmure had sent Lord Vance and Lord Piper to hold the pass, but the Kingslayer descended on them and put them to flight. Lord Vance was slain. The last word we had was that Lord Piper was falling back to join your brother and his other bannermen at Riverrun, with Jaime Lannister on his heels. That's not the worst of it, though. All the time they were battling in the pass, Lord Tywin was bringing a second Lannister army around from the south. It's said to be even larger than Jaime's host.

As the war goes on, he's still using trickery. He uses Jaime's host as a distraction to take unawares the Riverlanders.

And this wasn't the only part of his life where he used craven's tricks. Though I'll not quote them as I can't recall most of them right now, he repeatedly employed craven's tricks against Reynes and Tarbecks as well. Tywin is the very definition of a craven, that is, in Jaime's opinion of a commander and knight.

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Tywin is also quite the hypocrite. And he is wilfully blind to the things he does not want to see regarding his own family. He justifies his use of 'craven' attacks by claiming they cause fewer casualties than real battles, yet the Red Wedding had thousands of troops dead so it may as well have been a battle.

It's funny because people in the story think he's supposed to be a great commander but he can't be that confident in his own abilities if he's relying on sneak attacks all the time.

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58 minutes ago, chrisdaw said:

It's immature to think taking such an advantage is below anyone.

I don't care if people use it or not I just think Tywin's justification of the 'cowardly' red wedding, that it didn't cause as many casualties as a battle would, is flawed because it did, in fact, cause thousands of deaths.

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4 hours ago, Craving Peaches said:

I don't care if people use it or not I just think Tywin's justification of the 'cowardly' red wedding, that it didn't cause as many casualties as a battle would, is flawed because it did, in fact, cause thousands of deaths.

I always viewed it as Tywin saying “what difference does it make, if you kill men feasting or kill them in battle; they’re dead all the same”. Basically showing Tywin has no sense of honor at all.

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1 hour ago, sifth said:

I always viewed it as Tywin saying “what difference does it make, if you kill men feasting or kill them in battle; they’re dead all the same”. Basically showing Tywin has no sense of honor at all.

I thought the point he made was that his dishonourable method resulted in fewer casualties than an honourable battle, which I thought was silly as it did kill as many as a conventional battle would have.

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7 hours ago, Corvo the Crow said:

Or so Jaime would've thought, if he weren't such a hypocrite. Where does this come from? Well from Jaime's own mouth and thoughts as a defeated commander and knight.

Craven is in the eye of the beholder. Jaime was taken fair and square, but he can't admit that so he chalks it up to a craven's trick to save face. Ned was in the street with three of his men heading back to the Hand's tower when Jaime fell on him with more than 20, completely unawares. Why was that not craven but Robb's deception was?

Tywin is no craven, but he is no fool either. He is going to win his battles with minimal losses to his own forces because they are what ultimately decides the post-war peace. That's good leadership, not cowardice.

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Tywin is hypocritical, vindictive, petty, hateful, short-sighted and not nearly as smart as he thinks he is but I don't consider someone to be craven due to being underhanded in warfare and politics. That's just common sense. 

You could argue that he was craven in his dealings with Aerys, but my reading is that he put up with all of it more because of his ambition than cowardice. And to be fair it is was a tight rope to walk. 

Jaime was just talking shit, because he got his ass handed to him. 

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2 hours ago, Craving Peaches said:

I thought the point he made was that his dishonourable method resulted in fewer casualties than an honourable battle, which I thought was silly as it did kill as many as a conventional battle would have.

Well it does in the sense that no Lannister men would be killed doing it his way. However it's very much Tywin cheating to get his end result.

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36 minutes ago, sifth said:

Well it does in the sense that no Lannister men would be killed doing it his way. However it's very much Tywin cheating to get his end result.

That's true, but he specifically refers to how many people are dying as a result, he doesn't mention that it saves his own forces.

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"I suppose you would have spared the boy and told Lord Frey you had no need of his allegiance? That would have driven the old fool right back into Stark's arms and won you another year of war. Explain to me why it is more noble to kill ten thousand men in battle than a dozen at dinner." 

So I think he is referring specifically to enemy deaths, though it is a bit ambiguous. I think the point Tywin is making, is that he only killed a few Starks at the wedding rather than them and thousands of their men in battle, except thousands of Stark men were killed in the Red Wedding anyway, so much that it might as well have just been a battle, so I think his argument is flawed.

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10 hours ago, Craving Peaches said:

Tywin is also quite the hypocrite. And he is wilfully blind to the things he does not want to see regarding his own family. He justifies his use of 'craven' attacks by claiming they cause fewer casualties than real battles, yet the Red Wedding had thousands of troops dead so it may as well have been a battle.

It's funny because people in the story think he's supposed to be a great commander but he can't be that confident in his own abilities if he's relying on sneak attacks all the time.

I wasn't even thinking about red wedding while I was writing this, great point!

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18 minutes ago, Craving Peaches said:

Tywin's actions have helped ruin the Lannister legacy, the only thing he cared about.

Lannister Legacy was already on the verge of being ruined before Tywin. Tywin delayed it but when he took over it was a ruin that could've been redeemed, now it's irredeemably ruined through his actions going as far back as Reyne-Tarbeck Rebellion. Instead of opting to gain the respect of his followers through less violent ways, he had done so through intimidation. Throughout the long history of Westeros we've been shown, few houses were ever extinguished on purpose. Sure, there are plenty of houses that die out in battle but few ever suffered the fate of Reynes and Tarbecks. The usual deal seems to be that the rebelling house loses lands and perhaps even it's lordly status but is allowed to live on. With his actions Tywin has doomed the Lannisters. This was something I intended to open a thread about for a while.

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7 minutes ago, Corvo the Crow said:

Lannister Legacy was already on the verge of being ruined before Tywin. Tywin delayed it but when he took over it was a ruin that could've been redeemed, now it's irredeemably ruined through his actions going as far back as Reyne-Tarbeck Rebellion. Instead of opting to gain the respect of his followers through less violent ways, he had done so through intimidation. Throughout the long history of Westeros we've been shown, few houses were ever extinguished on purpose. Sure, there are plenty of houses that die out in battle but few ever suffered the fate of Reynes and Tarbecks. The usual deal seems to be that the rebelling house loses lands and perhaps even it's lordly status but is allowed to live on. With his actions Tywin has doomed the Lannisters. This was something I intended to open a thread about for a while.

Things were not great with Tytos, there was a lack of respect for House Lannister, Westerlands were in a bad state. Tywin had to do something but he went way overboard, people don't just respect the House, they fear and hate it. The system of intimidation and fear could only be maintained while Tywin was alive, since he failed to educate any of his heirs on how to do so. Now he's gone the whole thing is falling apart. The legacy is ruined. There is the weak Tytos who everyone laughed at, followed by the brutal and disliked by almost everyone Tywin, soon to be followed with the incompetent and petty Cersei.

Most of Tywin's actions result in short-term gains followed by long term losses. For someone so concerned with his legacy he doesn't see the bigger picture much. Exterminating the Reynes and Tarbecks, the whole families and not just those responsible for the rebellion, may have sorted things out with unruly vassals short term but long term it was no good. I think the only other house we hear of who was exterminated by their overlord is House Greystark. It seems to be really uncommon.

Lots of people go on about the Machiavelli 'better to be feared than loved' thing, but I think  he also said that it was best to be feared and loved, being feared was only the better option if you had to choose between fear or love. Tywin could have had both. He could have used slightly less harsh methods to whip the vassals back into shape and then made things nice and orderly, showing what a good leader he was, building up more respect that wasn't based just off fear. What's funny is that Tywin actually offers some great advice on the subject to Tommen:

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"Be quiet, Cersei. Joffrey, when your enemies defy you, you must serve them steel and fire. When they go to their knees, however, you must help them back to their feet. Elsewise no man will ever bend the knee to you. And any man who must say 'I am the king' is no true king at all. Aerys never understood that, but you will. When I've won your war for you, we will restore the king's peace and the king's justice. The only head that need concern you is Margaery Tyrell's maidenhead."

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28 minutes ago, Corvo the Crow said:

Throughout the long history of Westeros we've been shown, few houses were ever extinguished on purpose. Sure, there are plenty of houses that die out in battle but few ever suffered the fate of Reynes and Tarbecks. The usual deal seems to be that the rebelling house loses lands and perhaps even it's lordly status but is allowed to live on. With his actions Tywin has doomed the Lannisters. This was something I intended to open a thread about for a while.

This is a pretty good point. I look at the Peakes and all of the chances they got before the crown finally put them down for good. The Reynes may have overreached themselves, but that's the game and they should have been swatted down a notch and left to carry on.  How many times has a Lord or King of Winterfell not extinguished the Bolton line for a similar or greater offence? Interesting that they were both lions, but other than their arms, how many Reynes wore Lannister skins over the years?  I doubt the number is high. He also wiped out the Tarbeks so it could well be that there are significant groups in the West hat are fed up with the Lannisters an perhaps sharpening their knives looking at the current, somewhat precarious position of the house.

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24 minutes ago, Aejohn the Conqueroo said:

He also wiped out the Tarbeks so it could well be that there are significant groups in the West hat are fed up with the Lannisters an perhaps sharpening their knives looking at the current, somewhat precarious position of the house.

It's not likely to happen but I've always thought it would be cool if the last lord Tarbeck actually survived the massacre and will come back at the end to reclaim his seat. I think all those secret Reyne theories are fun too, even though they probably won't be true.

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Tywin being a craven? No.

The guy was fighting a war with no foreseeable end, I'm not sure how could anyone say the Red Wedding is less bloody than years of (one of the biggest and bloodiest) war. 

Tywin isn't really a craven. Him going against every moral standard (several thousand year old ones) is rather impressive. I mean, was Maegor I craven? No, he was a monster, actually brave enough to be a monster. Same goes for Tywin. I'd argue you need huge balls to be pissing against the wind like Tywin did. And this is part of him since a very young age. It didn't start with the Reyne rebellion, the sacking of KL or the Red Wedding.

The guy was also 58: Why should anyone lead an army from the front line at the age of 58? Especially him, since he very much has business unfinished in this world, especially with Tyrion as his heir. He has all the reasons to not risk his own life, and is far more chill and calculative to aim for prestige gained by a bloody sword or a great battle.

Edited by Daeron the Daring
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7 minutes ago, Daeron the Daring said:

The guy was fighting a war with no foreseeable end, I'm not sure how could anyone say the Red Wedding is less bloody than years of (one of the biggest and bloodiest) war.

The issue I had is that Tywin says it is less bloody than a conventional battle, but when you look at the body count they are actually the same really. Thousands of Stark men died at the Red Wedding. It may as well have been a battle. Yes the war could have dragged on. Or it might not have. If it got to the point after Joffrey died Robb might have wanted to make peace. He had to deal with the Ironborn and stuff. I don't think the ends really justify the means with the Red Wedding. Yes it ends the war with the North, but it doesn't do so without massive casualties, and it doesn't end the war as a whole. The Ironborn and Stannis are still out there. Also, the impact of breaking guest right has serious consequences. People are no longer certain that they will be assured safe conduct. The affects on diplomacy and negotiation won't be good. Fundamental trust is gone.

15 minutes ago, Daeron the Daring said:

Him going against every moral standard (several thousand year old ones) is rather impressive.

I disagree...

18 minutes ago, Daeron the Daring said:

And this is part of him since a very young age. It didn't start with the Reyne rebellion, the sacking of KL or the Red Wedding.

With regards to the Red Wedding, he isn't really being brave by doing it because he isn't doing so openly, he hides it and makes other people take the fall. It's easy to do all those things when you know someone else will take the blame, like with the murders of Aegon and Rhaenys, he just gets his troops to do it for him. Maegor would have done it himself. I can't see how it's brave.

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