“Lord Tywin wore no crown, yet he was all a king should be.” – Pycelle
In Game of Thrones’ world of ruthless yet captivating villains, no one is more interesting than Tywin Lannister (Charles Dance). Tywin Lannister is the absolute evil; but his version of evil is intelligent, calculating, exacting, and vengeful, with a dash of vulnerability thrown in, traits that made his character enjoyable to watch. From the moment he was introduced in Season 1 until he met his fall in the finale of Season 4, Tywin Lannister was my favorite Game of Thrones character. Here are the reasons why I love Tywin Lannister:
- Tywin Lannister was a multi-tasker.
He made his first appearance in Game of Thrones butchering the corpse of a stag inside his army tent while receiving his son, Jamie (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau). He did not bother to stop his stag-carving activities while interrogating, insulting and lecturing his son, all in one conversation. He also gave a goldmine of one-liner with, “A lion doesn’t concern himself with the opinion of a sheep.” And the stag looked magnificent after Tywin was done with it.
- Tywin Lannister “shits gold”
Tywin Lannister does not literally shit gold, it would have been painful, especially if they were the size of gold bars. The ancestral domain of the Lannisters, Casterly Rock, is surrounded by goldmines that became profitable under Tywin’s management. The goldmines, coupled with Tywin’s acute mind in business and investment, made the Lannisters the richest family in Westeros, and Tywin, the wealthiest man.
Tywin Lannister also knew his way around ledgers. He figured out that the kingdom owed bazillion of money to the Iron Bank of Braavos. He explained this to Cersei (Lena Headey) in a way that the Queen would understand by using trinkets and beautiful things in his metaphors. Later, he struck a bargain with the wealthy (and loveable) Olenna Tyrell (Dame Diana Rigg) to share the cost of the royal wedding between their grandchildren so as not to further strain the kingdom’s budget. It can be said that Tywin Lannister shitted (shut?) gold and knew how to take care of his golden shit.
- Tywin Lannister was a powerful man.
If Game of Thrones were a beauty contest, Tywin Lannister would have won the title hands down. Tywin Lannister had several minor and major titles that would put any experienced beauty contestant to shame; he was head of the House of Lannister, Lord of Casterly Rock, Hand of the King, Warden of the West, and Lord Paramount of the Westerlands, among others. He was also the richest man in Westeros and the most feared person in the Seven Kingdoms. If he recited all of his titles every time he introduced himself like Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) has been routinely doing, each episode of Game of Thrones would have been at least 10 minutes longer. Tywin’s titles, money and reputation afforded him to have a formidable army, and in cutthroat the world of Game of Thrones that means an unlimited source of power.
- Tywin Lannister was calculating.
Upon learning that the wealthy Tyrells planned to marry Loras Tyrell of Highgarden (Finn Jones) and Sansa Stark of Winterfell (Sophie Turner) to undermine the Lannisters political clout, Tywin nipped the romance in the bud. He forced his own children Cersei and Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) to marry Loras and Sansa respectively. Tywin uttered another one-liner when he told Tyrion to “wed her, bed her, and put a child in her” to secure the North.
Tywin also orchestrated the event at the Red Wedding because for him, it was worse to “kill 10,000 men in battle than a dozen at dinner”. At this time, both camps had already suffered a lot of losses in many aspects, and it was affecting food supplies at King’s Landing.
- Tywin liked book readers.
Tywin was not known to be a warm father figure to his children; rather, he was an absentee father who had prolonged stays at King’s Landing as the Hand of the Mad King. However, Jaime related that after discovering that Jaime had learning disabilities, Tywin sat with him for four hours every day to teach Jaime how to read. Also, Tywin had high regards for Arry the cupbearer/Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) because she could read and knew history. He insulted his bannerman, Sir Amory Lorch (Fintan McKeown), because the cupbearer was more literate than him.
- Tywin Lannister was a divo + boss.
Tywin Lannister knew how to make an entrance in a series, see number 1 on this list. He also knew how to make his presence felt in a Small Council meeting – by riding a horse to the Throne Room. Even the spoilt King Joffrey did not have the bravado to do that!
Like most people in his mighty position, Tywin Lannister got what Tywin Lannister wanted. He just had to say the word to his men and his word became law as soon as it came out of his unsmiling mouth. When it came to his progeny, he used his penetrating gaze like accurate lasershots to will them to do his bidding.
- Tywin Lannister had unbelievably high standards.
Tywin Lannister was father to Cersei the Queen and arguably the most beautiful woman in the Seven Kingdoms, her twin Jamie, the second most beautiful man in Westeros (apparently, Loras the “sword swallower through and through” beat Jamie to capture the crown) and a Kingsguard, and Tyrion, in my opinion, the third most intelligent man in all of Game of Thrones world (after Tywin and Petyr Baelish (Aidan Gillen)). Yet, Tywin only saw their weaknesses. Cersei is a woman and is good only for marriage-for-alliances. Jaime does not have the ambition to follow in Tywin’s footsteps, and his duties as a Kingsguard forbids him to marry or inherit anything. Tyrion is an imp. A smart one, but still an imp, and one with high level of sexual needs.
Tywin mentioned the importance of family name and legacy several times. He wanted to “establish a dynasty that would last a thousand years”, and he wished his children would aid him in achieving this.
- Tywin Lannister said the sexiest word in Game of Thrones.
When Oberyn Martell (golden god Pedro Pascal) confronted Tywin in the latter’s involvement in Elia Martell’s murder, Tywin said he denied it “categorically”. In my mind, Tywin dropped the imaginary microphone and walked offstage to the maniacal applause of his rabid fans.
- Tywin Lannister was the inspiration for the “Rains of Castamere”.
Tywin Lannister put his foot down when his father’s bannermen rebelled against House Lannister. He was unforgiving and ruthless in his punishment of the rebels and their families so much so that the mere mention of the song scares people who hear it. As an aside, it is a good song. I sing it when I am in the shower.
- Tywin Lannister turned the privy into a throne.
Only Tywin Lannister could take a dump and remain kingly in doing so. It is undeniable that Charles Dance looked good lounging in chairs or riding horses, now I can add sitting on a privy to the list. He made shitting ordinary shit look cool. He did not even quake when Tyrion appeared with a crossbow. He spoke to his son like they were in Small Council talking about Tyrion’s size or whoring activities. If he did not have balls of steels, maybe he had balls of gold.
Oh, have I mentioned that Charles Dance is so damn sexy as Tywin Lannister? I shall leave now so I can finish my I HEART TYWIN posters.