Tywin Lannister
Tywin Lannister - GoT
General Information

Gender Male
Birthday Unknown
Race Human
TV Show Game of Thrones
Credit Charles Dance


Capable, calculating, and ruthless to the extreme; Tywin Lannister is the scheming and ambitious Lord of Casterly Rock and Warden of the West. The manipulative Head of House Lannister, he is also the father to father of Cersei, Jaime and Tyrion Lannister, and grandfather to Joffrey, Myrcella and Tommen Baratheon.

He aided Robert Baratheon in his war to attain the Iron Throne by betraying his former friend Aerys II Targayren by pretending to have come to assist him, allowing him and his forces entry into the fortified King's Landing. He cemented his ties to the Baratheons by convincing Robert to marry his daughter, Cersei and make her his Queen and thus ensuring that House Lannister will become one of the predominant political players in Westeros.

He first appeared on May 29, 2011 in Game of Thrones episode, "You Win or You Die" and was portrayed by Charles Dance who would go on to reprise his role through several seasons of the show.


The Lannisters always pay their debts and no one is more of a Lannister than Tywin. Their family was established centuries ago when the fabled founder of their House was said to have gambled and won Casterly Rock, an impressive demesne that controls the Kingdom of the Westerlands from its original owners. Since then, Casterly Rock has always been the seat of their house and the Lannisters have reigned from even after they submitted to the Targaryens and the Iron Throne 300 years ago becoming the Lord Paramounts of the Westerlands.

The Westerlands have been one of the wealthiest Kingdoms as well thanks to vast gold mines that dominate the region which has resulted in their unofficial house motto, "A Lannister always pays their debts," thanks to their immense wealth.

Tywin was the eldest son of the previous Lord Paramount, Tytos Lannister and was deeply ashamed of his weak willed and incompetent father who frittered away much of their family's wealth and was widely mocked and ridiculed by his own liegemen. It grew to the point where a rival Westerland family, the Reynes of Castamere rebelled against the Lannisters. A mere teenager at the time, Tywin cemented his legendary ruthlessness, efficiency, and effectiveness by taking control of the Lannister forces and proceeded to wipe out every single man, woman, and child of the Reynes and then destroyed their ancestral home of Castamere. The horrific deed became immortalized by bards in the song, "The Rains of Castamere".

King Aerys II Targaryen was so impressed at how Tywin had reasserted his family's dominance over the Westerlands that he chose him to serve as his Hand. Tywin served for approximately twenty years and was responsible for much stability and prosperity for the Seven Kingdoms of this era.

He is a widower; his wife died during childbirth with Tyrion, which together with his son's deformed body is the source of his anger towards his youngest son. Tywin helped make his House the wealthiest in all of Westeros, thanks largely to the many gold mines the Lannister's control. Their extensive wealth, together with Tywin's skills with money and the Lannisters' famous golden hair, have led to a popular joke that Tywin "shits gold."

But King Aerys became increasingly jealous at the fact that his Hand was revered and admired for his capable administration. When Tywin came to him to offer his daughter, Cersei marry Aerys' son, he not only refused but insulted the match as beneath the Targaryens and subsequently named Tywin's son Jaime as a member of his Kingsguard. While some would view it as a great honor, Aerys meant it as a grievous insult due to the fact that all members of the Kingsguard are sworn to the order for life and are forbidden to marry, sire heirs, or can inherit their family lands. Thus in a stroke, Aerys robbed Tywin of his firstborn while forcing him to elevate his hated dwarf of a son, Tyrion as his only legitimate heir. This was the final straw for Tywin who resigned as the King's Hand.

Without Tywin's stabilizing influence however, the Seven Kingdoms soon fell into civil war thanks to Aerys. Despite Aerys' calls for him to rally to his side to fight against the Baratheons and Starks; Tywin refused remembering Aerys' insults to him and his family. However, Tywin refused to aid the rebels until they had defeated the majority of the Royalist Armies and had gained the upper hand in the conflict.

Feigning a change of heart; he and his Westerland forces approached the capital where he claimed that he had come to aid Aerys who let Tywin and his forces into the city where they proceeded to sack it and his henchmen murdered Rhaegar Targaryen's wife and young children. Tywin presented their bodies to Robert Baratheon as proof of his allegiance.

Although Robert would ultimately marry Tywin's daughter Cersei to repay their assistance in ending the war, he despises the Lannisters for helping so little and so late and only after much of the blood was shed by the Stormlanders and the Northmen whereas Tywin tricked his ally and stabbed him in the back when he least expected it.

Major Plots

After Gregor Clegane began raiding the Riverlands, the King's Hand Ned Stark orders Tywin to come to King's Landing to answer for his bannerman's crimes. He does no such thing. Instead Tywin raises an army, half of which he entrusts to his son Jaime, and attacks House Tully. He explains to Jaime that even though Tyrion is the lowest of the low, he is still a Lannister, and his capture by Catelyn Stark was a great insult to their House. If they did not respond in kind, the Lannisters would no longer be feared. Tywin leads his forces against Robb Stark and the northeners, wanting to quell their little uprising. The Lannister forces, with some aid from a group of mountain men led by Tyrion, crush the northeners. However, this was but a small part of the force from the north, sent by Robb as a distraction while he moves to attack Jaime and his part of the army. After the battle, Tywin sends Tyrion to King's Landing, to act as Hand of the King in his stead.

Personality and Traits



  • "Before long I'll be dead, and you and your brother and your sister and all of her children, all of us dead, all of us rotting in the ground. It's the family name that lives on. It's all that lives on. Not your personal glory, not your honor... but family." ―Tywin Lannister to Jaime Lannister; Game of Thrones, "You Win or You Die"