chicknalfredo asked: Hi there! Okay, so, I love Tywin as well. He's one of my favorite characters and I feel like he's being misjudged by the fandom. First of all, I think he's really strong to have seen his wife die and still not kill Tyrion (in that respect, he isn't much worse than Catelyn is towards Jon Snow, and Jon didn't kill Ned). Also, I think that his morality is great. I'm a big fan of Bentham and I think that Tywin really has that cost/benefit way of thinking. Thank you so much for making this blog!
I don’t think the fandom is misjudging Tywin at all. Tywin Lannister is a complete asshole, and he is most definitely not someone with “great” morality.
- He had an innocent 14 year old orphan peasant girl gang-raped and he forced his disabled 13 year old son to participate, to give him a “sharp lesson”. If Tywin hadn’t done that, he would probably still be alive right now.
- As a teenager, long before his wife died, he killed all of the men, women, and innocent children in two whole houses.
- When his father died, again long before Joanna died, Tywin had his father’s mistress stripped and paraded naked through the streets of Lannisport - for the crime of being a social climber. Funny, because Tywin is also a social climber, on a much grander scale.
- Tywin orders the deaths of Rhaenys & Aegon Targaryen, who were innocents. I don’t think Tywin ordered Elia’s rape & murder, but he is still responsible for it as a military leader, so let’s list that too.
- In the aftermath of the Red Wedding, we see that Tywin believes “killing saves lives,” which I understand is a very controversial real world political topic, let alone a controversial topic on tumblr. But ASOIAF is a very anti-war text, and the text is telling us it is wrong, that killing is murder. We as human beings aren’t meant to read about a bunch of people being slaughtered under a flag of truce and then read about Arya and Sansa crying in despair afterwards and say, “Wow, look at Tywin’s amazing cost/benefit analysis,” I don’t care how hard-core a Lannister-stan you are.
- Tywin helps Robert send assassins after Dany throughout her childhood. (If “killing saves lives” was the “right” moral philosophy, Pycelle’s advice in book 1 would have been followed, and Dany would be dead and Westeros would be fucked. There are definitely right and wrong answers to the moral questions in ASOIAF, it is not a text free of morality.)
- Tywin started a war to get Tyrion back, burning out the Riverlands (including all the crops!! When winter is coming!! Excellent cost/benefit analysis on Tywin’s part!!!). When instead!! Instead!!!!! He could have gone to King’s Landing to petition for the King’s Justice, and then Tywin would have been there when Joff assumed the throne, and then Tywin might have been able to stop Ned being executed!!!!!! And then there wouldn’t have been a war!!!
- "I’ve lost a hand, a father, a son, a sister, and a lover, and soon enough I will lose a brother. And yet they keep telling me House Lannister has won this war"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
- Everything that happens to Tyrion between his arrest by Cat and his getting out of the Vale is independent of Tywin’s actions, which means Tywin’s war was absolutely unnecessary!!!
- Tywin wants a thousand year Lannister dynasty, but he disowns both of his sons before he dies!!! That’s not even logical!!!!
- Tywin only cares about Lannisters, and doesn’t give a fuck about anyone else in the world, and I sympathize, I only care about Lannisters too, Tywin, but that’s a really bad world view to have!!! There are so many non-Lannisters in the world!!
- Tywin surrounds himself with family members in his war councils, his political maneuvering etc, but he even treats his family members like shit!!! Brilliant!1!!
- Bullet point for Tywin’s general dickishness, because Tywin is just so much of a dick that I can’t keep track of it all.
- Tywin Lannister does not get cookies for restraining himself from murdering his newborn son!!!!!!! No one gets cookies for restraining themselves from murdering someone!!!!!!1!!1!
I LOVE TYWIN, and I’m a really big Tywin fan, but I’m a bigger fan of watching House Lannister crash and burn while Tywin rolls over in his grave because he was just so wrong. About everything. I appreciate that you like my blog, thank you, but I can’t agree with your interpretation of Tywin. Tywin Lannister is wrong in all the ways and his morality is really, really not an example for anyone to follow.
This is a great post. Thanks for writing it. I think it’s important to acknowledge a character’s faults even if (or maybe especially if) you love the character. The two are not mutually exclusive.
I do have a question about one of your points. You wrote, ”Tywin helps Robert send assassins after Dany throughout her childhood.”
I’ve been re-reading the series recently (but I’m still on book one), and I remember asking myself if there really were assassins after the Targaryens throughout Dany’s childhood or if Viserys was (justifiably, I think) paranoid and seeing threats where there weren’t any.
In Ned’s second chapter of AGoT, Robert says, “I should have had them both killed years ago, when it was easy to get at them, but Jon was as bad as you. More fool I, I listened to him.” I took that to mean Robert never actually tried to kill the Targaryens until AGoT.
When you say Tywin helps Robert send assassins after Dany throughout her childhood, are you referring to the attempt that happens in AGoT, or were there previous attempts that I either completely missed or have forgotten about since I last read the series?