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Thunderfist

[Book Spoilers] I´m starting to love Tywin Lannister

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Book Tywin is a capable administrator (being a good Hand during peace time seems to me not like that big a deal/accomplishment), and a ruthless Lord/noble man. He never actually won a war if you look closely at the books (that is, if you do not count the Reyne Rebellion and the Sack of King's Landing a war). Tywin apparently did not participate as a commander during the Greyjoy Rebellion.

And during the War of the Five Kings he sat at Harrenhal, and did nothing besides ravaging the surrounding lands and slaughtering the civilians. Instead of marching to King's Landing to save his daughter, son, and his royal grandson, King Joffrey, he actually tried to return to the Westerlands, and only ended up marching to save Joff's ass because Edmure prevented his return. All the while knowing that Renly and Stannis threatened/marched on King's Landing. Robb was a nuisance, nothing more. Yes, he captured Jaime and took his army to the Westerlands, but capturing/killing him would have changed nothing. His dynasty was at King's Landing. There the war would have been won. After Stannis and Renly were defeated, he would have all the time in the world to beat the North back into submission. Robb could not hope to stand against a united Westeros.

And the way he ended 'winning his war' after the Battle on the Blackwater (which was won due to the Tyrells declaring for Joffrey, and the devastating effect 'Renly's ghost' had on Stannis's men) shows even less competence. Any man would have realized at once that the Red Wedding would backfire on House Lannister eventually. A competent man would not have entrusted Walder Frey with the whole operation but would have sent his own agent to oversee the whole thing. Realizing the devastating effect the break of the guest right had on Westerosi society, he would have punished House Frey severely for this atrocity.

As I see Tywin, the man was always more appearance than substance. He had the reputation of being ruthless and stern, and that's why a bunch of people approached him during the War of the Five Kings (i.e. Sybelle and Rolph Spicer, Walder Frey, Roose Bolton, Littlefinger etc.) which in turn enabled him to make use of them.

The War of the Five Kings ended on the Blackwater. Even Selyse Baratheon or Lysa Arryn could have 'won the war' after the deciding battle was fought and won.

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I have to agree with the original post. The HBO Tywin is seriously badass, and there isn't all that much not to like. I mean, he's mean to his vertically challenged son...so what? Beyond that he's commanding, capable, cunning, charismatic...everything you'd want in a battle commander. They're going to have to do more to make the audience hate him or his demise is going to come off the wrong way.

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I have to agree with the original post. The HBO Tywin is seriously badass, and there isn't all that much not to like. I mean, he's mean to his vertically challenged son...so what? Beyond that he's commanding, capable, cunning, charismatic...everything you'd want in a battle commander. They're going to have to do more to make the audience hate him or his demise is going to come off the wrong way.

Tywin's demise wasn't "celebrated" because readers hated him. It was his treatment of Tyrion which made it that much better to see Tyrion stand up to his father. There is still plenty of story to go before his end and plenty of scenes between Tyrion and himself to make the audience feel for Tyrion. Like when Tyrion finds out his wife was not a whore, or seeing Shea in the same bed, or a particular trial. Not to mention a certain scene of him writing a letter..."some wars are won with ink and parchment".

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Tywin was a very effective ruler, but he was brought down by his awful parenting skills. Not just the obvious crossbow thing but incompetent parenting lead to incompetent parenting that lead to a terrible king who managed to alienate half the country and drive them to arms, over a stupid whim.

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How is he a 'douche'? He is one of the most competent people in the series

This:

Book Tywin is a capable administrator (being a good Hand during peace time seems to me not like that big a deal/accomplishment), and a ruthless Lord/noble man. He never actually won a war if you look closely at the books (that is, if you do not count the Reyne Rebellion and the Sack of King's Landing a war). Tywin apparently did not participate as a commander during the Greyjoy Rebellion.

And during the War of the Five Kings he sat at Harrenhal, and did nothing besides ravaging the surrounding lands and slaughtering the civilians. Instead of marching to King's Landing to save his daughter, son, and his royal grandson, King Joffrey, he actually tried to return to the Westerlands, and only ended up marching to save Joff's ass because Edmure prevented his return. All the while knowing that Renly and Stannis threatened/marched on King's Landing. Robb was a nuisance, nothing more. Yes, he captured Jaime and took his army to the Westerlands, but capturing/killing him would have changed nothing. His dynasty was at King's Landing. There the war would have been won. After Stannis and Renly were defeated, he would have all the time in the world to beat the North back into submission. Robb could not hope to stand against a united Westeros.

And the way he ended 'winning his war' after the Battle on the Blackwater (which was won due to the Tyrells declaring for Joffrey, and the devastating effect 'Renly's ghost' had on Stannis's men) shows even less competence. Any man would have realized at once that the Red Wedding would backfire on House Lannister eventually. A competent man would not have entrusted Walder Frey with the whole operation but would have sent his own agent to oversee the whole thing. Realizing the devastating effect the break of the guest right had on Westerosi society, he would have punished House Frey severely for this atrocity.

As I see Tywin, the man was always more appearance than substance. He had the reputation of being ruthless and stern, and that's why a bunch of people approached him during the War of the Five Kings (i.e. Sybelle and Rolph Spicer, Walder Frey, Roose Bolton, Littlefinger etc.) which in turn enabled him to make use of them.

The War of the Five Kings ended on the Blackwater. Even Selyse Baratheon or Lysa Arryn could have 'won the war' after the deciding battle was fought and won.

Edit: he is a douche for ordering the slaughter of common folk (not to mention rapin' and pilagin') in order to evoke the response he desired from the lords who protected them for his war plans. He did a bunch of other douchey stuff, but ordering the slaughter of innocents to win at war is... actually pretty common for the equivalent earth time period, but still. Ned wouldn't do it! Also what about the red fucking wedding, although he wasn't personally involved, but then again, he is never personally involved in any of his really immoral plans. He keeps himself as distanced as possible.

Now personally, I feel like book Tywin was a little bit more competant than how the above post portrays him. Or maybe that's just the influence of his incredible reputation, as stated above?

Anyways, on topic for the thread, Charles Dance is phenominal in this role. More screen time for Tywin please.

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I read the books after season the first HBO season, so I was biased by Charles Lance badassry when reading about book-Tywin. Thus I never saw him as a true villain, and was actually pretty sad when Tyrion killed him.

Him bossing around Joffrey in season 3 was one of my favourite moments, and no doubt the TV-crowd will fall in love with him even more afterwards. Because of this, it's very important that they keep the scenes of him insulting Tyrion so that they understand and sympathize with Tyrion's decision to kill him.

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Him bossing around Joffrey in season 3 was one of my favourite moments, and no doubt the TV-crowd will fall in love with him even more afterwards. Because of this, it's very important that they keep the scenes of him insulting Tyrion so that they understand and sympathize with Tyrion's decision to kill him.

This is what I was trying to get at. They're going to have to lay it on real thick (which I'm sure they will) to make sure that viewers despise him. If he comes across as an overly stern and sometimes abusive father it won't be enough to justify his demise (assuming they keep it as it was in the books).

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Book Tywin is a capable administrator

I’ll take “Remarkable Understatements” for $1000, Alex .

Tywin Lannister gave a new birth of dominance to the West, a household that had fallen into complete disrepute with his father’s disastrous command. With senior households in open rebellion and inner turmoil in his father’s own household, Tywin Lannister took the lion by the reins and catapulted the Lannister Family to a position of dominance.

Briefly, Tywin Lannister not only was Hand to the KIng for 20 years, but was the defacto power behind Robert Baratheon for another 15. During his time with completely crazy Aerys Targaryen, Tywin lead the realm with plenty and prosperityl even Ned Stark knows that the Targaryens left the coffers "swimming in gold." When the war ended, Tywin knew how to set things right with Robert and made it so his daughter was queen (exceptional move, btw); his grandson(s) the next King. He then kept his family ensconced in power even though he never lifted a finger for Robert during the Rebellion. What's that line again? The one about, "Its not the battles you win, but the battles you decide NOT to fight that show how intelligent you are"?

When he returned as Hand with Robert's death, Tywin immediately defeated Robb Stark and Stannis Baratheon. Not bad at all. He then was bringing Dorne back into the fold and had secured the loaylty of Highgarden, copwed the North and brought the Roiverlands to heed when Tyrion went bitchy and killed him. Oh well. At least it was a Lannister who did it.

(being a good Hand during peace time seems to me not like that big a deal/accomplishment),

Funny, Ned Stark couldn’t master that, no?

He never actually won a war if you look closely at the books (that is, if you do not count the Reyne Rebellion and the Sack of King's Landing a war)

False. First of all, do not minimize the Castemere Rebellion etc; that sort of thing doomed Robb, after all. Tywin was not just Hand in peace; he was Hand during the Defiance at Duskendale and commanded the Loyalist forces, ultimately sending Barristan Selmy in to rescue the King and utterly ruining the rebellion. Tywin was almost certainly a commander in the War of the Ninepenny Kings (he would be of an age with the Blackfish and others in that age cohort).

Tywin apparently did not participate as a commander during the Greyjoy Rebellion.

We don’t actually know this for certain. Its never said in the books.

And during the War of the Five Kings he sat at Harrenhal, and did nothing besides ravaging the surrounding lands and slaughtering the civilians.

And then he defeated Stannis at King’s Landing. You neglected that part. See, part of the reason Highgarden did not join Stannis was because Tywin was lurking out there and Highgarden knew that Tywin would give a better deal than Stannis. And also that Tywin would ultimately be a worse enemy against Stannis than Stannis would be an enemy against Tywin. I’m just saying this because ultimately the Tyrells sought Tywin out for a reason.

Tywin, of course, lead the ultimate routing of Stannis when it mattered most and when it was most opertunistic- when Stannis had his jaws burried in the Blackwater. At that moment, Tywin knew when to strike and that was that.

Any man would have realized at once that the Red Wedding would backfire on House Lannister eventually.

But it never did. Ever. The Lannisters are not suffering because of the Red Wedding; they are suffering because Cersei is incompetent and Tyrion killed Tywin. That has zero (or “little and less” if I were Martin) in the Red Wedding backfiring. But while we are on the subject, the Red Wedding was a brilliant masterstroke for Tywin; he decapitated the North, ruined Robb and won the War of the Five Kings. All before desert was served. That took more than just “put a knife in him;” Tywin had to coordinate two disparate households- the Westerlings and the Freys and get them to coordinate. Both knew where to go for that.

A competent man would not have entrusted Walder Frey with the whole operation but would have sent his own agent to oversee the whole thing.

With what, magic? How would he do this? Frey did his part; the operation succeeded. Spectacularly, I may add. The North is, again a vassell of the crown and Tywin’s own man, Roose Bolton, is lodged at Winterfell. Now, merely because Roose is having problems etc doies NOT mean that plan did not succeed. The plan called for Robb to be destroyed. He was. Point. Tywin.

As I see Tywin, ... had the reputation of being ruthless and stern, and that's why a bunch of people approached him during the War of the Five Kings (i.e. Sybelle and Rolph Spicer, Walder Frey, Roose Bolton, Littlefinger etc.) which in turn enabled him to make use of them.

It was more than that (as I explained above) but Tywin’s ability to work with people to see goals met was a huge part of his appeal. And, by the way, that’s a major problem with (another of my favorite characters) Stannis who routinely does NOT work with others to make common cause (this may be changing). The idea is this: people know they can make a deal with Tywin.

Because a Lannister always pays his debts.

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For those saying he was "too nice" to the peasants in this episode:

In the book, Roose Bolton is a man who regularly takes "the first night" with peasant women, and threatens to have Arya's tongue out for speaking out of turn. He's even more brutal/elitist than Tywin.

But even he speaks/congratulates Arya when he takes Harrenhall in ACOK, and takes her as a cupbearer.

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Tywin is the guiltiest of guilty pleasures. I always liked his character, but Charles Dance just brings it to life perfectly.

And actually I think Book Tywin may seem kind of likable too, to people who are unfamiliar with his sinister plots and ordering of raping and pillaging. Didn't it say they cheered twice as loudly for him as the Mad King? Granted Aerys may have been hated but I still take this to mean he was generally well liked.

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Joff = Hitler, Amin, Polpot = bloodthirsty psychopaths (totally batshit crazy evil)

Tywin = Pinochet, Stalin, Milosevic = amoral pragmatists (means justifies the ends)

Joff beats and humiliates Sansa even though it's strategically stupid, he shoots cats and commoners for no reason at all other than he can. He tries to kill Bran for no other reason than to win his "father's" approval.

Tywin ordered the murder of children to cement alliances with the new king, he set loose rapists, torturers and murders to encite fighting in the Riverlands, he orchestrated the RW to change leadership of the North. Arguably more evil acts than Joff's - but all with a purpose, not pure malice.

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Rockroi,

Yes, Tywin restored the glory of House Lannister, but he did not start from scratch. In fact, technically it was Lord Tytos who dealt with the Reynes and Tarbecks since, well, Tytos Lannister still was Lord of Casterly Rock when Tywin dealt with them. We don't know all that much about the details, but this was an open rebellion and not some backstabbing thing (Bolton and Frey stabbed Robb in the back, whereas the Reynes and Tarbecks were stupid enough to rebel openly against their liege lord).

But I'll still downplay this whole thing. Tywin did not prove himself to be a great military commander during this 'war' (no one ever mentions the great Lord Tywin even defeated a larger army in the field or something like that), he proved to be a man without mercy at a very early age. His whole reputation is that of a man without mercy if you cross him.

As to him being Hand under Aerys - I don't consider it an accomplishment to serve under him. Apparently Aerys's reign was all peace and quiet until the Defiance and the Rebellion. And Aerys was not that mad until the very end. As I see it, Tywin got the reputation of being the true king because Aerys was very much an absentee king. He left the tiring day-to-day business to his Hand and old friend. As long as Tywin and Aerys had no quarrel, Tywin did not do all his great things against King Aerys, but with him. Aerys apparently was no Joffrey, you did not need to distract him to prevent him from himself, his dynasty, or the Realm.

As to the riches Aerys left behind: From all we know from the books, it's the Master of Coin who heads the treasury. The Hand does not directly oversee it. So I guess Aerys's unknown Master of Coin deserves more credit here than his Hand.

As to him being the power behind King Robert: Nonsense. Tywin ended up lending money to Lord Tywin, but he had no active say/influence in the governance of the Realm under King Robert. Neither did Cersei. The Realm was ruled by Robert's council, which was led by Jon Arryn and Stannis Baratheon.

During the Greyjoy Rebellion Robert himself, Ned, and Stannis led the main forces into battle. Jaime apparently was the only Lannister fighting in this war, as a member of the Kingsguard. Tywin allowed Balon to destroy his fleet. I doubt that Robert would have allowed him to participate in the war afterwards...

Ned Stark was no Hand during a peace time, by the way. He was Hand during a time of crisis and instability. I wonder how long young Tywin would have lasted if he had come to KL mainly to investigate the murder of his best friend...?

And making Cersei queen? Jon Arryn arranged that. He counseled Robert to accept her, all Tywin did was to offer her to Robert. And even that could only work because Lyanna Stark was dead (a thing Tywin had nothing to do with, by the way).

Tywin's management of the Defiance of Duskendale is not exceptional, either. What did Tywin do exactly? He encircled the city and sat on his ass. Ryman Frey did the same thing before the walls of Riverrun... Apparently Joffrey was right and the great Lord Tywin had indeed not the guts to face/defy Aerys. Else he would have stormed the city after Darklyn did not release Aerys immediately. Barristan Selmy saved Aerys, not Tywin.

Highgarden did not join Stannis because Loras took his forces and returned to the main host at Bitterbridge. And Loras did not join Stannis because he did not like him (there was bad blood between Highgarden and Stannis since the Siege of Storm's End), and because he was Renly's lover and suspected that Stannis had a hand in Renly's death. Littlefinger brokered the marriage between Margaery and Joffrey, and this was the deciding factor here, not Tywin participating. All he did was stumbling upon the Tyrell forces when he came down the Blackwater. And why did he come down there? Because someone told him that Stannis threatened King's Landing...

And the deciding factor during the Battle of the Blackwater was Renly's Ghost, and he was entirely Littlefinger's idea.

And how did the Red Wedding not backfire on King Tommen? It's the very reason why half the North secretly plots stab the Lannister representatives in the North in the back. It's the reason why Manderly and others would back any pretender to the Iron Throne just for the chance of vengeance. The Red Wedding enabled Stannis to win the North to his cause!

I never said Tywin was incompetent or and idiot, but he has his limits, and he did not oversee the Red Wedding or the Westerlings. That was his mistake. He actually assumed Walder Frey would kill with 'an arrow gone astray'. Merrett Frey reveals that the Red Wedding was the brain child of Roose Bolton and Lothar Frey. Lord Walder commanded it, and Tywin promised him a pardon in exchange for Robb's head. I'm quite convinced all Tywin actually did was answering Walder's letter asking for a royal pardon in exchange for Robb's head. Tywin confirms this implicitly during his conversation with Tyrion about the Red Wedding. And it was likely the same with the Westerlings. Sybelle most likely wrote Tywin about the fact that Robb Stark was smitten with her daughter, offering hm to prevent him from fathering an heir in exchange for a royal pardon, honors, marriages, and titles (for her brother, Ser Rolph).

And there was no communication between the Freys and Westerlings. Lady Sybelle knew nothing about this, in fact, she was pissed about since one of her sons died at the Twins while defending Grey Wind.

But back to the topic:

I really like Charles Dance in this role. He truly is Lord Tywin, and it's the writing that makes him come to Arya's aid. But this is out-of-character to book Tywin. He would not care about prisoners, he would entrust those matters to the people he has charged to deal with such matters (i.e. Gregor and his men).

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Perhaps, though I do think Tywin would want to avoid having sadistic idiots like Gregor waste resources for no real reason. Harrenhal is a huge castle in need of a large amount of people to staff it, so putting an end to Gregor's pointless executions was the practical thing to do.

Regardless, I agree that Charles Dance is perfect for this role, he really captures the gravitas that makes Tywin who he is.

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Charles Dance just has that majestic aura that he can't go wrong when playing Tywin. Charles is the kind of man you can watch say "rumpy pumpy" in an interview and you still think he's the manliest man ever.

That I've always thought the Lannisters are the most interesting family doesn't exactly hinder my enjoyment of this.

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