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House Lannister is a fictional family from George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire book series. House Lannister is the principal house of the Westerlands. Their principal seat is Casterly Rock. Their sigil is a golden lion on a field of crimson, and their motto is "Hear Me Roar!" Their unofficial motto, just as well known, states, "A Lannister always pays his debts."

Contents

History

The Lannisters descend from Andal invaders who married the daughters of the King of the Rock. The King himself descended from Lann the Clever, a legendary trickster from the Age of Heroes who tricked the Casterlys into giving him Casterly Rock. The Lannisters reigned as Kings of the Rock until the Targaryen conquest. The Lannisters surrendered and were allowed to remain the paramount lords of the Westerlands. The House fell on hard times from weak leadership before the events of A Song of Ice and Fire, but by the beginning of A Game of Thrones it had been restored to its former glory by Tywin Lannister. The Lannisters are the richest family in the Seven Kingdoms, due in large part to the many gold mines under their control. House Lannister once possessed an ancestral Valyrian sword called Brightroar; however, it has been lost.

House genealogy

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Tytos
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Tytos's siblings
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Tywin
 
Joanna*
 
Kevan
 
Dorna Swift
 
Tygett
 
Darlessa Malbrand
 
Gerion
 
Genna
 
Emmon Frey
 
Stafford
 
Joanna*
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Robert Baratheon
 
Cersei
 
Jaime
 
Tyrion
 
 
Lancel
 
Tyrek
 
Ermesande Hayford
 
Joy Hill
 
Cleos
 
Tion
 
 
Cerenna
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Willem
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Myriella
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Joffrey Baratheon
 
Myrcella Baratheon
 
Tommen Baratheon
 
 
 
 
 
 
Martyn
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Daven
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Tywin

Lord of Casterly Rock, Shield of Lannisport and Warden of the West, Tywin is a calculating, ruthless, and controlling man in his mid-fifties. He was happily married to Joanna Lannister, a cousin, but she died in childbirth while delivering his son Tyrion, and he took no other wife. He loves his children Jaime and Cersei, but despises Tyrion for being deformed and causing his beloved Joanna's death, as well as shaming the family name with his frequent whoring.

There are a few allusions in the text to Tywin's personality before and after his wife's death. These mainly come from the stories his sister Genna tells Jaime in A Feast for Crows. She recalled that Tywin was brilliant and brave from a very young age, much like he is as a grown man. She explains that Tywin was ruthless and powerful, but that he was also happy. As Genna recalled Tywin's happy marriage, she stated that Tywin (as Hand) ran the Seven Kingdoms, but Joanna ran Tywin. Indeed, in the earlier days of his marriage, before Joanna's death, he smiled often. However he was devastated by her untimely death; Tyrion Lannister recalls that his late uncle Gerion Lannister once told him that the best part of Tywin died when Joanna did. Tyrion is also quick to note much later in the story that Tywin never, ever smiles.

During his youth, Tywin managed to single-handedly restore his family's honor and fortunes from near ruin, and from then on dedicated all his efforts to maintaining Lannister prestige. A minstrel song, The Rains of Castamere, was written to celebrate his triumph over two rebellious bannermen, the Reynes and the Tarbecks, whose lines he extinguished root and stem for their dissent. He also unilaterally annulled his son's marriage when Tyrion wed Tysha, a crofter's daughter, for love (see Tyrion's heading below for more details), an act which would have later repercussions toward his death.

Though ruthless, Tywin Lannister was also an able and shrewd ruler who brought great prosperity during his dual, nonconsecutive tenures as Hand of the King. He was especially talented at the raising of funds, leading to persistent rumors of a "Midas touch" and even the whispered jest that he must "shit gold". His daughter Cersei once reminisced that the common folk cheered twice as loud for him as they did for their actual king, Mad Aerys II (though only half as loud as they did for Rhaegar). When Tywin was Hand to King Aerys, Ser Ilyn Payne was overheard remarking that Tywin, not Aerys, ran the Seven Kingdoms. This event is what led to Payne's tongue being removed at Aerys' command.

Tywin was always highly insensitive to those around him, however, expecting duty and obedience from all and having no patience with anything less; in his POV chapters, Tyrion notes that Tywin despises weakness. Though his children respected him, none of them were ever able to live up to his expectations for them, which caused friction between him and his children while he was alive.

He was a powerful Hand of the King for a long time under Aerys II until Aerys' increasing paranoia and jealousy drove the two into several bitter disagreements. After Aerys refused to marry Cersei to his heir, Prince Rhaegar, and raised Jaime to the Kingsguard without Tywin's permission, Tywin resigned the position of Hand and returned to his own lands, the most recent Hand to leave the office with lands, titles and person intact. During Robert's Rebellion Tywin remained at Casterly Rock, taking no side until after Robert's decisive victory at the Battle of the Trident. After the battle, Tywin gathered his forces and rode for the capital of King's Landing. Aerys was convinced that Tywin had returned to aid him and (with the encouragement of Grandmaester Pycelle) opened the gates of the city. Tywin's forces promptly sacked the city, Jaime murdered Aerys, and under Tywin's command Gregor Clegane slew Rhaegar's wife and son (Rhaegar himself was killed by Robert Baratheon on the Trident) while Ser Amory Lorch slew Rhaegar's daughter. Tywin then wrapped the bodies in crimson Lannister cloaks (to better conceal the blood) and presented them to Robert as a token of fealty. As Tywin explained to Tyrion years later, "No one could doubt that we had forsaken House Targaryen forever."

After Robert Baratheon's death, Tywin was made Hand of the King again, this time for Joffrey, his grandson. For much of the next year he conducted war against House Stark and had his son Tyrion serve as Hand while he was away in battle. As Hand, Tywin showed new levels of genius and ruthlessness. As the story unfolds, the reader is made aware that the Red Wedding was, to a large degree, engineered by Tywin. When Tyrion learned of this, Tywin explained to him that some battles are won with quills and ravens, rather than swords and shields.

In the War of the Five Kings before Robb Stark was eliminated at the Red Wedding, Stannis became the greatest threat to the Lannisters, as he and his men descended on King's Landing to attack the capital and take hold of the Iron Throne at the Battle of the Blackwater. After the battle was well underway and Stannis appeared likely to win the day, Tywin and his army arrived late to the battlefield and delivered the massive hammer stroke that decimated Stannis' army and ended the battle. Specifically, Tywin's truce with Highgarden may have had much to do with this victory, because Garlan Tyrell wore the deceased Renly Baratheon's armor in this battle, when Tywin and Highgarden arrived. Much of Stannis' army was composed of Renly's men, who swore allegiance to Stannis after Renly's strange death. However, upon sight of Renly's armor, many men under Stannis' command believed Renly's ghost had returned, and they switched sides, to join Tywin and the men of Highgarden he commanded. This was the final blow to Stannis that ended the battle once and for all.

Tywin's arranging the betrothal of Margaery Tyrell to Joffrey was what secured the alliance between the Lannisters and the Tyrells, and which precipitated the victory at the Battle of the Blackwater. Therefore, after the battle, the elaborate wedding was planned. During the wedding feast, Joffrey died by poisoning and Sansa Stark and Tyrion were blamed. There was a trial held, and Tywin presided over the case. Seeing his fate unfold before him, Tyrion realized that the worst outcome of the trial would be his execution, and the best would be his exile to the Wall (which Tywin was rumored to want). Thus, Tyrion chose trial by combat. Tyrion's champion was slain and Tyrion was taken to the castle's Black Cells. However, Tyrion was soon secretly freed by Jaime and Varys in the middle of the night. After freeing Tyrion, Jaime engaged him in a brief conversation about the recent events at Kings Landing while Tyrion was Hand (Jaime was away at war and a prisoner at Riverrun for much of that time, so he knew little about recent events, including Joffrey's death). During this conversation, Jaime felt compelled to tell Tyrion the truth about Tysha - that she was not a whore. Rather, she was exactly the woman Tyrion believed her to be, and thus, that she genuinely loved him. Further, Jaime explained with much shame that it was Tywin who convinced him to be complicit with the lie about Tysha. Therefore, rather than proceed directly to his escape vessel after leaving his cell, Tyrion used the secret tunnels of the Red Keep to make his way to the Tower of the Hand's bedchamber, where Tywin slept. There, Tyrion found Shae (the whore who had served him, and whom Tywin had forbidden Tyrion to bring to court), naked in Tywin's bed. After a quick search (and after killing Shae) Tyrion found Tywin sitting on the privy. Tywin and Tyrion engaged in a heated discussion about Tyrion's marriage to Tysha. Tywin told Tyrion again that she was "a whore" which greatly angered his small son. Therefore, Tyrion shot Tywin in the bowels with a crossbow. Tywin quickly died while seated on the privy. Tyrion left his fathers body thinking...

"...the oft-repeated jape about his father was just another lie, Lord Tywin Lannister in the end did not shit gold".

After his death, Tywin's body was laid in the Great Sept of Baelor, where he stayed for 7 days. As his body decomposed, he gave off an odor that sickened most of his mourners. Also, as the flesh in his face tightened with his decomposition, his lips were drawn up into a bizarre smile that disturbed his family members (especially Cersei) greatly, particularly because, as stated above, in life Tywin never smiled.

Cersei

Older than Jamie child by mere moments, Cersei (a POV character) is the twin sister of Jaime Lannister and matches his beauty, with golden hair, bright green eyes and a lush, curvaceous body. After Robert's Rebellion she married the new King, Robert Baratheon, and became Queen of the Seven Kingdoms. A willful and ambitious woman, Cersei resents the restrictions put on her for her sex. She is always concerned for the safety of her children, Joffrey, Myrcella, and Tommen, and stops at nothing to protect them.

Cersei has shared an incestuous relationship with her brother Jaime since they were youths, and continued it throughout her fifteen-year marriage to King Robert, made possible both by Cersei's craftiness and Robert's philandering nature and frequent drunkenness. Her three children were all fathered by Jaime, rather than her husband; this secret, when discovered by Jon Arryn, Eddard Stark and Stannis Baratheon, was used as a political tool during the War of the Five Kings. Being an honest and honorable man, when Eddard learned of this secret, he met with Cersei and offered her an opportunity to flee King's Landing before he broke the news to King Robert. Little did Eddard know that Cersei had no intention of leaving because she was conspiring with Littlefinger at the time, both plotting to mark and try Eddard as a traitor. Ultimately, this lead to Eddard's beheading on the steps of the Great Sept of Baelor.

Throughout the series, Cersei has climbed the ladder of power. She arranged for the death of her husband, King Robert, by secretly ordering his wine to be tampered with before his final boar-hunting expedition (Robert was too dizzy and intoxicated to defend himself properly when the boar charged him and was fatally gored). After Robert's death, Cersei put her 13-year-old son Joffrey on the throne, despite accusations of his bastardy, and she ruled as his Queen Regent. However, when leaving for battle, Tywin put Tyrion in the position of Hand of the King, and from there Tyrion curtailed much of Cersei's policy, a practice which Tywin continued upon his assumption of the office. It is stated in the narrative that Cersei may be a very poor ruler. Martin makes several references to her lust for power but intolerance for the tedium of leadership. Several other characters in the series such as Tyrion & Littlefinger have stated that Cersei wants power but does not wield it well. Her brother Jaime describes her thusly:

[Cersei] liked to think of herself as Lord Tywin with teats, but she was wrong. Their father had been as relentless and implacable as a glacier, where Cersei was all wildfire, especially when thwarted. ... She does not lack for wits, but she has no judgment, and no patience.

    A Feast for Crows, pg. 234 (hardcover)

When Joffrey and Tywin were murdered in quick succession (Cersei believed that Tyrion was guilty of both, though only the latter did he kill), the checks on her power were cleared. She resumed her regency over her son, the eight-year-old newly crowned King Tommen, who was entirely obedient to her; thus she became queen in all but name. As Tywin's eldest child, she was also acknowledged as the Lady of Casterly Rock by her uncle Kevan. Thus empowered and unrestricted, Cersei felt she had the opportunity to prove herself an even better ruler than her father. She began her regime by filling Tommen's Small Council with her own supporters and agents, disregarding previous arrangements made by Tywin and well-meaning (if blunt) advice from Kevan. The story suggests that these positions were filled only by people most likely to agree with her, rather than with those best suited for the job. The changes she made to the Small Council along with some of the men she choose to fill it were not held in high regard by many of the lords and smallfolk, which led to them referring to "the smallest council".

Cersei grew to suspect that her powerful Tyrell allies, now relatives through Tommen's marriage to Margaery Tyrell, were trying to seize control of the kingdom, this suspicion grows from a Tyrell coin found by Qyburn in the dungeon where Tyrion was being held before his escape, since the reader knows the Tyrells had no part in Tyrions escape, the coin was likely planted by someone else (Varys being the likely suspect) in the hopes of spreading discord in the Tyrell/Lannister alliance. She commenced a campaign of intrigue to remove the Tyrells in King's Landing from positions of influence and authority, including her son's wife Margaery, and Loras, a member of the Kingsguard. This alienated Jaime, (who, as Commander of the Kingsguard recognized Loras' brilliance) and he abandoned her to her political paranoia, finally dropping his hope that they would resume their incestuous love affair. Another potentially ill-fated decision was her refusal to honor the debts of the Crown, angering powerful institutions such as the Iron Bank of Braavos and the Faith. Rather than pay the monies owed, she constructed a new royal fleet of warships and gave command to Aurane Waters, a sellsail of considerable charm but questionable expertise and loyalty. Cersei even appointed Osfyrd Kettleblack commander of the cities Gold cloaks after Addam Marbrand resigned the position, despite Osfyrd inexperience & inability to read. In an attempt to alleviate the crown's debts and gain protection from her purported enemies, she allowed the High Septon to revive the Faith Militant, ignoring its history of causing trouble for monarchs. She also took the disgraced former Maester Qyburn into her service, using him as a torturer and allowing him to conduct mysterious and likely immoral experiments on human subjects. At the end of A Feast for Crows, Qyburn is working on a great "champion" for Cersei (see below), which is suggested by Qyburn to involve necromancy. Very little is known about his work for Cersei except that it likely involves the dark arts. While making these poor decisions, Cersei was approached by her Uncle Kevan (who had long served as her father's trusted confidant and advisor during Tywin's 2 tenures as Hand), and he confronted her about her poor leadership and the rumor of her incestuous relationship with Jaime and their bastard children. In her power lust, Cersei dismissed Kevan, who was last seen leaving King's Landing for Casterly Rock.

She tried to ensnare Margaery Tyrell by telling Osney Kettleblack to seduce her, but the attempt failed as Margaery did not respond to his seduction. Cersei tortured Margaery's singer (the Blue Bard) into giving false witness to having sex with Margaery Tyrell and her companions; she also had Osney (who was only truly interested in sex with Cersei) go to the Great Sept and confess to having bedded Margaery Tyrell. This led to Margaery's arrest by the High Septon. However, Cersei's plan backfired when Osney reported to the Great Sept. Specifically, during his false confession, the Faith used unexpectedly aggressive methods to extract the truth from Osney (as they were suspicious of Cersei and eager to learn her motives). Their methods of inquisition were terrifying to Osney, as the Faith was emboldened by their newfound power, ironically just given to them by Cersei. Thus, Osney confessed to the High Septon the complete (and actual) truth about Cersei's plan, as well that the previous High Septon had been murdered on her command. Cersei was arrested and detained to await trial in a tower cell at the Great Sept of Baelor. Her ministers abandoned her and seized control of the government while she was imprisoned. They recalled her uncle Kevan to serve as regent, while her Lord Admiral absconded with the costly new fleet. The council also dismissed Osfyrd Kettleblack as commander of the cities goldcloaks replacing him with Humprey Waters the commander of the Dragon gate. Accused of capital crimes, her only hope lay in a Kingsguard champion to stand for her in a trial by combat (it is suggested in the story that this champion may be related to Qyburn's experiments). In his last POV chapter in A Feast for Crows, Jaime received a letter from Cersei in which she begs for his help and refers to the love that they shared for so many years. The chapter, and the book, both close with Jaime throwing her letter into the burning fireplace as snow begins to fall on King's Landing, and winter descends on Westeros.

Cersei has been haunted since childhood by a prophecy given to her by a maegi. The details of her terrifying experience are revealed gradually and cumulatively throughout A Feast for Crows. This prophesy correctly predicts the death of a childhood friend, her unrequited love for Rhaegar Targaryen, and her marriage (and mutual infidelity) with Robert. It also predicts that all three of her children will be crowned, but that all three will die before her. Everything that she has will be taken away by a younger and more beautiful queen, and then her valonqar (Valyrian for "little brother" or "younger brother") will strangle her to death. Cersei believes (whether correctly or not) that the younger, more beautiful queen is Margaery Tyrell and the valonqar is Tyrion Lannister.

Cersei Lannister will be played by Lena Headey in the HBO adaption of the books.

Daven

The son of Stafford, Daven is a capable soldier and a significant improvement over his father. He is leonine in appearance, with bushy blonde hair and a stocky build. He has a coarse but affable demeanor, laughing frequently and making obscene jokes.

Daven swore a holy oath not to cut his hair until he avenged his father's death on Rickard Karstark. After Robb executed Rickard for treason, Daven still refused to cut his hair. He was given orders to lay siege to Riverrun and appointed Warden of the West. Daven, despite being a very competent commander, struggled against the questionable loyalty of the lords of the Trident under his command and proved unable to make progress in the siege due to the bitterness between the Frey, river lord & Lannister commanders.

Genna

The sister of Tywin, Genna Lannister is married to Emmon Frey, and has borne four sons. After Joanna's death, she appears to have taken a maternal interest in Tywin's children. Genna is a stout woman, although once shapely and buxom, and is shrewd, ruthless and blunt; she commands her husband utterly.

The war has not treated Genna gently; of her four sons, two have been killed: Cleos Frey, her firstborn, who was killed as he was escorting Jaime and Brienne from Riverrun and Tion Frey, her third son, who was killed by the Karstarks at Riverrun while a captive.

Upon the death of Robb Stark, House Tully was dispossessed of Riverrun, which was awarded to Genna, her Frey husband and her surviving children. They acquired the castle after the submission of Edmure Tully, who was taken prisoner at the Red Wedding.

Jaime

Younger twin to Cersei, and son of Tywin and Joanna, Jaime Lannister (a POV character) is one of the most famous knights in all of Westeros. At fifteen, he became a knight and ascended to the elite Kingsguard, the members of which can neither hold lands nor marry. Two years after his induction he murdered Mad King Aerys during the sack of King's Landing, earning him the epithet "Kingslayer". Though he shares his sister's arrogance, amorality, and striking good looks, he is much more reckless and easily amused. In A Storm of Swords he becomes a point-of-view character.

Jaime was an immensely talented warrior from his youth, fighting gallantly against the Kingswood Brotherhood (an outlaw band) and was invited to join the Kingsguard at the age of 15, becoming its youngest inductee. He agreed to the appointment because of the honor involved, and also to be close to Cersei again (he loved her incestuously), as Tywin had taken her to court with him to match her with a suitable suitor (preferably Rhaegar Targaryen). However, within a day of his appointment, Jaime discovered that Aerys, paranoid of Tywin's power, had extended the invitation to turn him into a hostage and deprive Tywin of his heir. Furthermore, Tywin, slighted by this and by Aerys' refusal to wed Rhaegar to Cersei (the crown prince eventually wed Elia of Dorne), resigned his office of Hand and returned with Cersei to Casterly Rock, separating the erstwhile lovers once again. Finally, it became endlessly clear to Jaime that Aerys deserved his moniker ("the Mad"), especially after witnessing the deaths of Brandon and Rickard Stark.

Shortly before the Sack of King's Landing, Jaime learned that Aerys planned to immolate the city with wildfire should it be taken by enemy forces, killing not only the rebellious army but all its citizens as well. To prevent this mass slaughter, he slew Aerys, as well as the infrastructure the king had placed to ensure his orders was carried out; Jaime later reflected that he is often reviled for what he (Jaime) considers his finest act. Faced with scorn for his oathbreaking ways, Jaime embraced the arrogant and amoral personality people seemed to expect from him.

After Cersei became queen, Jaime fathered all of her children. He attempted to protect their secret at Winterfell by throwing the seven-year old Bran Stark from a window; this, among other factors, incited the War of the Five Kings that followed. He gave battle to Robb Stark at the Whispering Wood and was captured there, subsequently spending much of the war imprisoned at the Tully stronghold of Riverrun. He was eventually freed by Catelyn Stark under oath to (among other things) exchange his life for those of her daughters (Sansa and Arya), and never take arms against the Starks or Tullys again. Catelyn appointed Brienne of Tarth to escort him to King's Landing. At once annoyed and impressed by Brienne's honor and idealism, Jaime still attempted to kill her out of simple malice and arrogance. Brienne was able to defend herself, but would later admit that if Jaime's hands had not been shackled she would not have had any hope of victory.

During Jaime and Brienne's capture by the Brave Companions, Jaime's sword hand was cut off. Deprived of his identity-defining martial prowess, troubled by Brienne's noble behavior, and realizing he no longer liked having (in his own words) "shit for honor," Jaime began to re-evaluate his life, beginning with risking his own life to rescue Brienne from the Brave Companions. When he returned safely to King's Landing, he assumed the office of Lord Commander of the Kingsguard and took his post seriously. His newfound responsibilities caused problems with his family relationships: conflicted by the discovery of Cersei's infidelity, Jaime's feelings toward Cersei soured; he also refused to leave the Kingsguard and become Tywin's heir, causing his father to disown him. Going completely against his family, he charged Brienne to find the missing Sansa Stark and keep her safe from the wrath of House Lannister. He gave her a Valyrian steel longsword his father had fashioned for him out of Ned Stark's greatsword "Ice," and bade her name it "Oathkeeper." Finally, he rescued his brother Tyrion from execution and admitted to betraying him during a traumatic moment in Tyrion's youth.

When Tywin was murdered by Tyrion it was Jaime who stood vigil over his body in the Great Sept of Baelor out of guilt and remorse for his part in his father's death.

Jaime was ordered to end Riverrun's defiance by Cersei (who wanted Jaime away from her). Jaime complied with the order but only on the condition he could take Adam Marbrand, the commander of the city's gold cloaks, and Ilyn Payne, the King's Justice with him. Cersei was pleased to oblige because she trusted neither of the men (Marbrand was a boyhood friend of Jaime and Payne she partly blamed for Tyrion's escape since as the King's Justice Payne is meant to be in charge of the running of the dungeons).

Before Leaving the city Jaime had a hand of gold forged so he could attach to his armour, the hand allowed him to strap a shield (clumsily) over his right arm.

Since leaving King's Landing Jaime has been sparring nightly with the mute and illiterate headsman Ilyn Payne hoping to eventually become just as good at fighting with his left hand as he ever was with the right, the progress however has been very slow.

Jaime's oath to Catelyn was put in jeopardy when he went to Riverrun to end Brynden Tully's resistance. He managed to take the castle bloodlessly by releasing the prisoner Lord Edmure Tully and threatening the life of his unborn child should he refuse to yield the castle. Though he succeeded in keeping his oath to Catelyn, the incident added to Jaime's already-monstrous reputation as kingslayer, child-killer, and sister-lover.

The end of A Feast for Crows shows him commanding that Cersei's letter asking him to save her life be thrown into the fireplace. Whether he is actually ignoring her pleas or simply destroying the letter, which might otherwise be used as evidence to prove their incestuous relationship, remains to be seen.

Jaime Lannister will be played by Nikolaj Coster-Waldau in the HBO adaption of the books.

Kevan

Kevan is Tywin's younger brother and most trusted captain, known for his reliability and loyalty. Kevan recognized the superiority of his brother at an early age and is comfortable doing his duty to realize his brother's wishes, though this means perpetually living in his shadow. It is said that Kevan never had a thought that Tywin hadn't had first. He married Dorna of House Swyft, with whom he has three sons, Lancel, Willem and Martyn, and a daughter, Janei.

After Tywin's death, Cersei offered him the position of Hand of the King. However he did not trust in Cersei's leadership and said he would only take the position if she returned to Casterly Rock and gave him the regency. After her refusal he refused the position of Hand and accused Cersei of being both a poor leader and mother. He quickly became alienated to his immediate family. He believed Tyrion was a murderer and came to believe the rumors of incest about Cersei and Jaime. His eldest son, Lancel, became a religious fanatic and abandoned the estate Kevan had won for him. Kevan was also angered that Daven received the title of Warden of the West over him, and refused to add his forces to his cousin's at Riverrun, and returned to the West to see his younger son Martyn. After Cersei's imprisonment, the Small Council named him Regent. It is thus far unknown whether he will accept it.

In his few appearances since Lord Tywin's death, Kevan has shown himself to be a competent administrator in his own right. Tywin may have been more strong-willed, but Kevan has proven to be just as clear-sighted. While not a lord in his own right, his strategic thinking and significant retinue and personal wealth make him a man of significant standing.

Lancel

Lancel is the oldest son of Ser Kevan. At King's Landing, he served as squire to King Robert. He is described as sandy-haired, with a wisp of a mustache and emerald green eyes, looking much like a younger Jaime.

Lancel idolized his cousin Jaime to the point that he participated in Cersei's plans to kill Robert so that he too could become a Kingslayer. He served Robert an unusually potent wine, known as "strongwine" during a hunting expedition, causing the King to be gored by a boar. After Robert's death, Lancel was knighted. Cersei took him as a lover while Jaime went to war due to his resemblance to her brother. At the Battle of the Blackwater, he guarded Joffrey until Cersei ordered Joffrey to be taken away during the battle. Lancel took a serious wound in the fighting and later chastised Cersei for the damage her action caused to morale.

Lancel lingered near death for a long time and he never fully recovered from his wound. During his recovery, Lancel experienced a spiritual reawakening. He began to feel guilt for his participation in Cersei's schemes, especially the murder of King Robert. He was named the Lord of Darry for his services at the Blackwater. As part of the Frey alliance, he was betrothed to a daughter of their house. Kevan took him to the Darry castle and chose his bride, Amerei Frey, whose mother was of House Darry. Lancel married Amerei but refused to consummate the marriage, spending most of his time in the sept doing penance for his sins. His behavior angered his father greatly. When word reached Lancel of the resurgence of the Warrior Sons, an order of holy knights, he renounced his castle, lands and wife and traveled to King's Landing to join them.

Stafford

Good-brother and cousin to Lord Tywin, he is regarded as an incompetent commander. His sister was the late Joanna, Tywin's wife and mother to Cersei, Jaime, and Tyrion.

After the defeat of Jaime Lannister, Stafford was charged to form a new Lannister army to attack Riverrun. While training this army at Oxcross, he was taken completely unaware by King Robb Stark's army (since he had neglected to send out scouts) and killed in the ambush by Lord Rickard Karstark.

Tyrion

Tyrion Lannister, (a POV character from the start of the series) is Tywin's third child, a misshapen dwarf nicknamed "The Imp" and "Halfman". As a fan-favorite character, he is the personal favorite of the series' author George R. R. Martin as well.[1] Though Tyrion shares his father's talent for political maneuvering, he receives little respect from Tywin because of his deformity, sharp tongue, penchant for whoring, and the death of his mother during his birth. He is capable of cruelty to his enemies, but also has great sympathy for fellow outcasts and the mistreated.

Early in life, Tyrion found himself ostracized from regular family life, and sought his own entertainment. When he was 13, he and his brother Jaime rescued a crofter's daughter, Tysha, from a compromising situation. Tysha found Tyrion pleasing, and they wed in secret. When Lord Tywin learned of this, he explained that she was a prostitute whom Jaime had hired for Tyrion's benefit. As punishment for the wedding, Lord Tywin then ordered her to be gang-raped by a barracks of his guardsmen before Tyrion's eyes, and then forced the boy to do the same; while each of the guards paid Tysha a silver coin, Tywin gave Tyrion a gold piece instead, because he "was a Lannister, and worth more." This incident scarred Tyrion mentally, but also brought him closer to his brother Jaime, the only person who ever showed kindness to him.

Tyrion joined the royal family on their fateful trip to Winterfell, after which he visited The Wall with Jon Snow, Eddard Stark's bastard son. Jon and Tyrion came to be unlikely friends during this time, brought together by their common lot in life as outcasts. Notably, while Tyrion was at the Wall, Jeor Mormont, Lord Commander of the Night's Watch, tried to persuade Tyrion to join their brotherhood, stating that they could use a man like him. Maester Aemon (well over 100 years old and blind, but still highly respected for his wisdom and ability) furthered this sentiment by referring to Tyrion as a true "giant". These statements surprised Tyrion, hinting that only a select few can appreciate Tyrion's true worth.

On Tyrion's return south, he met Catelyn Stark at a roadside inn. She arrested him on suspicion of the attempted murder of her son Bran Stark (the dagger that was used by the would-be assassin had belonged to Tyrion at one time) and brought him to the Eyrie, seat of the deceased Jon Arryn and his widow, Lysa, Catelyn's sister. There Lysa Arryn put him on trial for that crime, as well as the murder of her late husband Jon Arryn (he was innocent of both). Certain that he would not receive a fair trial, Tyrion escaped punishment with the victory of his champion, the sellsword Bronn, in a trial by combat. After leaving the Eyrie, he was accosted on the road by the mountain clans of the Vale, whom he recruited into his service with promise of gold and glory. Tyrion was motivated to do this through his awareness that he would be traveling back to court at King's Landing, and that he would need his "own men" as personal protectors and insulation against his deceptive and hateful family members. Accordingly, having these men (and some women) in his service was all that stood between himself possible assassination attempts at the hands of his sister, Cersei, while Tywin was away from King's Landing and at war with Robb Stark. Along with his new troops, Tyrion participated in the Battle of the Green Fork against Stark forces commanded by Roose Bolton.

Soon after the battle, Tywin made Tyrion his temporary replacement as Hand of the King, but forbade him from indulging in his penchant for prostitutes. Tyrion disobeyed him, secretly taking the young prostitute Shae into his service. It is suggested in the text that Tyrion begins to fall in love with her, much to his own sense of shame and regret (he equates his feelings for Shae with his feelings for Tysha, whom he still believed to be a prostitute as well). As Hand, Tyrion almost immediately entered a bitter power struggle with Cersei, but, much to her fury, consistently outplotted her. He arranged the wildfire-filled ships and massive chain boom that helped to decimate Stannis Baratheon's fleet during the Battle of the Blackwater and greatly contributed to the victory against Stannis. During the battle, several of Stannis' men broke through the defense of King's Landing and attempted to breach a major city gate, which would have likely turned the tide of battle unalterably in Stannis' favor. At that point, Sandor Clegane had come inside the fortress from battle, and refused to return to the battlefield, clearly terrified of the uncontrolled burning of wildfire beyond the city walls (indeed, soon after he had deserted the city altogether). Tyrion alone seemed to appreciate the gravity of the situation, and thus himself suited for battle and led a sortie beyond the walls to clear Stannis' men from the gate and secure the area once again. Riding a horse and wielding an appropriately sized battle axe, Tyrion was enormously successful in this effort, leading his men in the killing of nearly all of the men at the gate. In fact, in the heat of the fighting, Tyrion recalled something Jaime had told him about the experience of "battle fever" in which the warrior falls into a frenzy such that his moves become especially quick, effective, precise, and deadly. Tyrion was surprised and pleased to experience this feeling himself. Later in the battle, he attempted to secure the mouth of the Blackwater and took a severe facial wound (the loss of most of his nose) in an assassination attempt during the fighting. He spends a great deal of time recovering from this life-threatening wound, and suspects (correctly) that Cersei is to blame. The only reason he survived the attempt was because his squire, Pod, arrived on the scene to push Tyrion's would-be assassin into the Blackwater to drown under the weight of his armor.

Upon the return of his father, Tyrion found himself demoted to Master of Coin and forced into a political marriage with Sansa Stark. At the wedding, Tyrion's potential greatness is again noted briefly, as Garlan Tyrell encourages Sansa to be more hopeful about her marriage, as Tyrion may be a "larger" man than she suspects. Though they were married for over a month and though Tyrion grew to care for his unwilling bride, he never forced consummation on her, making him an object of scorn and jest in court. The two were eventually accused of the murder of King Joffrey (they both had plausible motive for the act but were both innocent), but because Sansa had fled, only Tyrion stood trial. His jury included Tywin Lannister, Mace Tyrell and Prince Oberyn Martell. During the trial, Tyrion was falsely accused and deeply humiliated by a string of witnesses, including his prostitute, Shae, who at Cersei's direction offered intimate and devastating details about his sex life. During the trial, Tywin sent his brother, Kevan, to Tyrion's chambers to inform him that, should he confess, he would not be executed but rather sent to the wall - consistent with his strong sense of pride and justice, Tyrion refused. Also, during the trial, Cersei made clear that Gregor Clegane would be her champion in the event that Tyrion picked trial by combat, to forestall any attempt by Tyrion might make to evade a conviction; however, this only served to entice formidable duelist Oberyn Martell to champion Tyrion so he could revenge himself against Gregor Clegane. The Mountain that Rides managed to kill the Red Viper of Dorne, and was ruled the winner, with Tyrion condemned to death (Clegane later died himself, in agonizing fashion, as Oberyn had applied manticore venom, which had been thickened with sorcery to prolong death, to the tip of his spear).

With the loss of his champion, Tyrion was declared guilty and placed in a Black Cell in the third sublevel of dungeons in Maegor's holdfast (where Ned Stark had been kept). However, late on the first night of this captivity, Tyrion was secretly freed from his prison cell by his brother Jaime and a reluctant Varys. During their escape, when Tyrion thanked Jaime, Jaime revealed that he had owed this to Tyrion. In his explanation, Jaime recalled that their father had made him lie about Tysha being a prostitute, and that she was exactly what she seemed: a crofter's daughter who had genuinely loved Tyrion. Jaime suggested that Tywin rationalized this brutality and deception by saying that Tysha was so poor and to wed a Lannister was tantamount to whoring herself for the family's wealth. This news devastated Tyrion unlike any insult or act of aggression he had suffered at his family's hands. Tyrion abandoned Jaime, promising retribution if they ever met again. To hurt Jaime, he also revealed that Cersei was "a lying whore" who was "fucking Lancel, Osmund Kettleblack, and Moon Boy for all I know," and (falsely) claimed that he had indeed poisoned his nephew Joffrey. This shocked Jaime and may have led to the first significant doubts and feelings of contempt that Jaime eventually began to feel for their sister. Before leaving the castle, Tyrion visited his father's room via the secret tunnels and, to his horror, found Shae naked and alone in his father's bed, wearing his chain of the office of the Hand around her neck. When Tyrion confronted her, she begged his forgiveness for betraying and humiliating him at the trial. Tyrion strangled her (with the Hand's chain) nonetheless. He then set out to look for his father. Before leaving the bedchambers, Tyrion took a crossbow from the wall and loaded it. He found his father sitting on the privy and confronted him (aiming the crossbow at him), demanding that he tell him what became of Tysha, his wife and love. Tywin asserted that he had not killed her but sent her away with her earnings. Tywin referred to her repeatedly as a "whore", leading Tyrion to warn his father that his next use of that word would mean his death (even then Tywin would not take his son seriously, saying "You do not possess the courage"). After Tyrion's repeated efforts to learn Tysha's whereabouts, Tywin said dismissively that she had gone "Wherever whores go." With that Tyrion fired at his father's chest just as he began to stand from the privy, and the bolt stuck him in the bowels. With his last words, he disowned Tyrion as his son. Tyrion escaped the way he had come, to a ship that awaited him on the river, which Varys had prepared for him.

Tyrion has since fled across the narrow sea, his motives unknown even to himself. In an excerpt from A Dance with Dragons on Martin's website it is revealed that Tyrion is currently in Pentos and is staying with Illyrio Mopatis.[2] In this excerpt, Tyrion somewhat rhetorically asks several characters: "Where do whores go?" It is implied that his thoughts are still with Tysha, as his question appears to relate to his father's final explanation of her whereabouts.

Back in the Seven Kingdoms, Cersei Lannister has put a bounty on his head, resulting in the indiscriminate murder of dwarves and ugly children.

Overall, Tyrion is a classical quick-witted trickster figure who has a large number of POV chapters, and the reader learns a great deal about the events at court through his intelligent and observant perspective. He is also prone to dark moods and depressions, however, as well as melancholy (although he often masks this with wit and humorous cynicism). Tywin, his father, appears to loathe Tyrion, and only their shared blood keeps Tywin from banishing/disowning Tyrion during most of the story. At various times, Jaime and (especially) Cersei have believed that they have a great deal of Tywin Lannister in their personalities, but it has been said more than once in the series that it is in fact Tyrion who is most like their father. This alleged similarity in personality is deeply ironic given Tywin's contempt for his son (and vice versa). Just before his father's death, when Tywin finally disowns Tyrion, Tyrion acknowledges their great similarities with a faux merriness, proving that Tywin is wrong: "I am you writ small, father."

Tyrion will be played by Peter Dinklage (the top choice of many of the fans and the series author George R. R. Martin as well)[3] in the HBO adaption of the books.[4]

Other Lannisters

  • Cerenna. Older daughter of Stafford.
  • Damion. Knight and cousin to the ruling Lannisters, married to Lady Shiera Crakehall. Appointed castellan of Casterly Rock by Cersei, the Lady of Casterly Rock.
  • Gerion. Younger brother of Tywin, missing since leaving on an expedition to Valyria in search of his family's lost Valyrian Greatsword, "Brightroar".
  • Janei. Infant daughter of Kevan.
  • Joy Hill. Bastard daughter of Gerion and niece of Tywin. As part of the Frey alliance, she was betrothed to a Rivers of the Twins. Jaime mistakenly offered her later to Raynald Westerling—however the mistake has not yet come to light. It may never become a problem, because Raynald Westerling is among the supposed dead from the Red Wedding.
  • Lanna. Daughter of Damion, married to Antario Jast.
  • Lucion. Knight and son of Damion.
  • Margot. Cousin to the ruling Lannisters and sister to Damion. She is married to Titus Peake.
  • Martyn. A twin son of Kevan. Served as a squire to Jaime until his capture. Exchanged for Robett Glover and sent to Golden Tooth.
  • Myrielle. Younger daughter of Stafford.
  • Rosamund. Cousin to the ruling Lannisters. Companion of Princess Myrcella and travels with her to Dorne.
  • Tyrek. Son of Tygett and nephew of Tywin. Served as a royal squire to King Robert. Married to the infant Ermesande Hayford to gain Lordship of her lands, and for this was jokingly called the "Wet Nurse." Lost in the mob during a King's Landing riot and has not been seen since; he is presumed dead, but much speculation surrounds his fate.
  • Willem. A twin son of Kevan. Served as a squire to Jaime until his capture. Murdered while a captive at Riverrun by Rickard Karstark, who desired revenge for the deaths of his sons at the Whispering Wood.

Past and historic members

Damon

Lord of Casterly Rock, Shield of Lannisport, and Warden of the West in the time of King Daeron II. When young, took part in a Lannisport tourney as a mystery knight called the Gray Lion. After earning a reputation for his prowess, he was unhorsed and unmasked by Arlan of Pennytree. Thereafter he remained known as the Gray Lion. At the Ashford tourney, he ignored Duncan's pleas for aid in the trial of seven.

Lann

Legendary founder of the Kings of the Rock, from the Age of Heroes, known as Lann the Clever and Lann the Trickster. His original seat was in Lannisport, however he was able to trick the House Casterly out of its holdings of Casterly Rock and make it his main seat. Legend also has it that he stole the gold from the sun and hid it in his hair.

Tybolt

Son of Damon, Tybolt was Lord of Casterly Rock, Shield of Lannisport, and Warden of the West in the time of King Aerys I. In his youth, he was a renowned tournament knight. At the Ashford Tourney he defeated Androw Ashford to become one of the contest's five champions. He successfully defended his position from all challengers, including Jon Penrose, whom he battered with his shield after losing his horse and sword.

Tytos

Tywin's father, Tytos was Lord of Casterly Rock, Shield of Lannisport, and Warden of the West. He was a tolerant and kindly man, but a terrible lord. Under his lordship, House Lannister lost much of its prestige and power. He allowed himself to be easily bullied by lesser lords, who laughed at him behind his back. Two of his own bannermen, the lords of Tarbeck and Reynes, openly rebelled against his authority. After the death of his wife, Tytos began sleeping with whores and took one as a mistress. He gave his mistress free rein over Casterly Rock and allowed her to wear his late wife's jewellery. This enraged the young Tywin, who rebuilt the house's reputation after Tytos's death.

Sworn Houses

  • House Banefort of Banefort.
  • House Brax of Hornvale. House Brax is one of the more powerful houses sworn to Casterly Rock. Lord Andros Brax had once made a visit to Hoster Tully in hopes of marrying his son to one of Hoster's daughters.
  • House Broom.
  • House Clegane
  • House Crakehall of Crakehall. Members are regarded as being uncommonly strong and robust.
  • House Estren of Wyndhall.
  • House Farman of Fair Isle.
  • House Jast, seat unknown.
  • House Kenning of Kayce.
  • House Lefford of the Golden Tooth.
  • House Lorch
  • House Lydden of the Deep Den.
  • House Marbrand of Ashemark. The current Lord of Ashemark is Damon Marbrand. His son and heir, Addam, is a capable commander and was made commander of the city guard in King's Landing.
  • House Payne. Ser Ilyn the headsman and Podrick, squire to Tyrion Lannister are from this house, though Podrick is from a lesser branch.
  • House Reyne of Castamere. Extinct house that rebelled against Tytos. Destroyed by Tywin Lannister and an inspiration for a famous song in Westeros, "The Rains of Castamere".
  • House Prester of Feastfires.
  • House Serrett of Silverhill.
  • House Spicer. House Spicer is seen as an upstart house. They descend from a spice merchant and a witch-woman famous in Lannisport for her potions.
  • House Swyft of Cornfield.
  • House Tarbeck of Tarbeck Hall. Extinct house that rebelled against Tytos. Destroyed by Tywin Lannister.
  • House Westerling of the Crag.

References


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