Tywin Lannister

Lord of Casterly Rock


Tywin Lannister is the salvation, the heart, and the soul of House Lannister.
His rise to power brought this old family to greater fortunes and
influence than they had ever known before. A brilliant commander, excellent
politician, and pragmatic ruler, Tywin Lannister looms large as
one of the most powerful men in the Seven Kingdoms.

Lord Tywin grew up fast, but unlike others who took on too much
responsibility too soon, it made him stronger and more confident. Curiously,
despite the fact his father was such a poor leader, Tywin took to
the role naturally and was taken seriously even when he was young.

Family means the world to Lord Tywin. He wasn’t an overtly loving
or expressive man except perhaps with his wife, but he placed a
high value on his children and his relationships with them, especially
as they brought more and more honor to the family name. Conversely,
when they brought shame on the family or acted counter to how Tywin
thought they should behave, he could be a monster. He was especially
disappointed in Tyrion. His mere existence was a black mark on the
family, and his actions throughout life only brought more embarrassment
to House Lannister in Tywin’s eyes.

Tywin is as hard as he needs to be to get the job done, and he never
does anything by halves. Coupled with his utter lack of sentimentality,
he can be incredibly ruthless and cold but also highly effective. He is
everything a feared leader needs to be: shrewd, cunning, courageous,
and unforgiving.

Although Lord Tywin approaches sixty, he carries himself like a man a
third his age. He is tall and well muscled, with long legs, broad shoulders,
and a flat stomach. He had a full head of thick golden hair, but
when it started to recede, he shaved his head bald. His face is cleanshaven
except for golden muttonchops. He has pale green eyes flecked
with gold.

When dressed for war, Tywin wears heavy, steel plate armor enameled
with dark crimson and engraved with golden scrollwork. Over this,
he wears a thick, multi-layered gold cloak clasped at the shoulders by
two golden lions. His helm is decorated with a golden lion roaring and
raking the air. At his side, he carries a golden sword with a lion head
pommel. Each lion has rubies for eyes.


Not much is known of Tywin’s childhood, but his early years were formative
ones, shaping his mind and resolve for the life that lay ahead of
him. Perhaps the most important moment for Tywin was the realization
of what power meant, which was driven home when his father, Tytos,
imprisoned a truculent Lord Tarbeck. Lady Tarbeck responded by taking
three Lannisters captive, and she threatened to do them equal harm.
Tywin counseled his father to send Tarbeck back in three pieces, but
Tytos was a gentler man than that, and he caved in, further weakening
his position as lord and jeopardizing the primacy of their house. This
event burned away any doubts in Tywin of what it meant to rule and the
responsibilities demanded of a ruler.

Once Tywin came to power, he started at once to set things right. One
of the moments that defined Tywin both as a man and as a lord came
when he finally had to deal with the Tarbecks of Tarbeck Hall and the
Reynes of Castamere. To punish them for their disloyalty, he had every
member of their houses killed. The destruction was so complete and terrible
it inspired a gloomy song called The Rains of Castamere. Since that
time, Tywin has even employed singers to perform the song to lords who
seemed to be wavering or misbehaving in some way. It always does the
trick. After that, all the lords and smallfolk of the Seven Kingdoms knew
things had changed in House Lannister and took it seriously once more.

Tywin’s ability to lead came to the attention of King Aerys, who
appointed Tywin as Hand at only twenty years old. During his two
decades in the role, Tywin excelled, and even now, Tywin is regarded as
the reason why King Aerys was such a successful king for as long as he
was. Somewhere in this period, Tywin married his cousin, Joanna Lannister,
and the pair had three children: the twins Cersei and Jaime, and
the dwarf Tyrion, whose birth killed Joanna. Tywin was proud of the
older children, both of whom were attractive, strong, and appropriately
ladylike and lordly, respectively. Tyrion, on the other hand, was a bitter
disappointment. He was born a grotesque, and he was ever an ugly reminder
of Joanna’s death. Even so, he was a Lannister, and blood meant
everything to Tywin. It wasn’t until Tyrion married a crofter’s daughter
at the age of thirteen, drunk on wine and his first taste of sex, that Tywin
wrote the boy off because he’d brought shame on the family name.

As the King’s Hand, Tywin was so omnipresent and effective that
people “joked” it was he and not the king who really ruled the land. In
fact, King Aerys had Ser Ilyn Payne’s tongue ripped out with hot pincers
when he made the quip in the king’s presence. Aerys had grown paranoid
and believed Tywin had designs on his throne. In order to protect himself
from Tywin, Aerys appointed Ser Jaime Lannister, Tywin’s fifteen-yearold
son, who was already a proven knight, as a member of the Kingsguard.

In that position, the boy acted as both guard and hostage for the king.
Tywin disagreed with the appointment and fully understood what
the king’s motivations were, so he resigned his position on some pretext
and returned to Casterly Rock. After leaving King’s Landing, Lord Tywin
brooded and plotted. When Robert’s Rebellion began, Lord Tywin
sat at Casterly Rock and waited. When King Aerys called him to help,
he brought his men and stormed the city once Aerys opened the gates.

With Aerys dead and Robert on the throne, Tywin arranged a marriage
between Cersei and Robert, cementing House Lannister as one
of the most important in the Seven Kingdoms. During Robert’s reign,
Tywin oversaw the fortunes of the house and its business, and he even
loaned the kingdom more than three million gold crowns—which made
it all the more valuable to the realm.

Tywin Lannister

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