Tywin Lannister, the Great Lion, Warden of the West, and Hand of the King was perhaps the richest and most powerful man in Westeros for quite some time before his demise.
Tywin shared many talent in instilling feat and putting people in their place, his family first and foremost. Portrayed brilliantly by actor Charles Dance in the HBO adaptation, we look at 10 moments in the series where his dominance was clearly and undoubtedly showcased.
10 – When He Entered The Throne Room During And After Blackwater
Who in the Seven Kingdoms, or anywhere for that matter, could walk inside the Throne Room, with the King present, and have their horse defecate all over its floor without having to answer for it? Lord Tywin of course.
The same throne room we had seen him an episode earlier walk in, accompanied by the Tyrells, to announce the Lannister Forces’ Victory against Stannis’ army. “The Battle is Over. We Have Won”.
That’s enough of a reason to get away with it…
9 – Talking To His Son Jaime While Gutting A Dead Stag
This scene introduced us to the character in what is most probably one of the most impressive ways to introduce one. Here stood the Warden of the West, Tywin Lannister, gutting a dead stag while lecturing his son Jaime on how foolish and stupid it was for him to attack Ned Stark.
He didn’t stop at that; he made sure to belittle him as well on how his choice of being a “Glorified Bodyguard” for 2 Kings, “One a Madman, the other a Drunk”, reminding him on how the legacy of the family name is what is at stakes at all times and how “Lions don’t concern themselves with the opinion of sheeps”
Having Tywin gut a stag would also proved to be strong foreshadowing, the stag being the sigil of House Baratheon. Robert Baratheon would die of Cersei’s manipulations, and Stannis would be defeated by Lannister forces at the Battle of Blackwater, as well as being “Killed” by a Lannister Valyrian Steel Sword.
8 – Counseling Joffrey
Tywin’s condescending tone towards his grandson is what made this scene. Ruling 7 Kingdoms is a lot of work, and he’d be damned before he’d let this selfish spoiled brat get in the way of his work.
It all starts with that look he gives the seated King as he approaches the Iron Throne. When asked why the small council meetings are currently held in the Tower of the Hand: “It’s where I do my work, Your Grace”
When Joffrey asks why they can’t be held down in the small council chamber, since the Tower of the Hand is too far, the Kingsguard don’t even bother to budge when Tywin walks towards the King “We can arrange to have you carried”.
And the cherry on top; when Joffrey asked to be counseled: “You are being counseled now, Your Grace”
7 – When He Called Pycelle On His BS (Deleted Scene)
This deleted scene from Season 3 should have definitely made the cut. Tywin is seen fishing for fish while being approached by Grand Maester Pycelle, pleading him to allow him back into the council.
At the time of this scene happening, Pycelle had been released from the dungeons, where he had been put by Tyrion, the Hand of the King at the time, for betraying his trust. While pleading, Tywin confronts the Grand Maester with regards to his act and calls him out on him not being fooled by it.
It is then we see that Pycelle is really acting like his old self at all time, a tactic he uses to “remain in the garden”. We had seen Pycelle break out of character only once since, in front of Tyrion right after being released following the end of the Battle of Blackwater.
Another touch for that scene, knowing it is happening before the Red Wedding, is Tywin asking Pycelle to take the fishes to the kitchen. “I’ll Have Them For Supper” he said. Just as he ordered the murder of many members of House Stark and House Tully, whose sigil happens to be: a Fish. First we see him gutting a stag, now he’s killing fishes. Another brilliant Foreshadowing, this time, of the Red Wedding.
6 – Tyrion’s Wedding (The Look He Gives The Mocking Guests)
Blocking the potential marriage between Sansa Stark and Loras Tyrell, only to give Sansa to Tyrion and Loras to Cersei again confirmed how much of a master manipulator Lord Tywin truly was. Just that look he gives to all the other guests when they begin to mock his son Tyrion, and how they all immediately stop says it all. He may hate his son, but no one mocks a Lannister at his wedding:
I would stop laughing immediately as well…
5 – The (Many) Conversations with Tyrion
One could always expect a battle of wits every time Tywin would have a conversation with his son Tyrion. From when they first meet in a Lannister Camp after he escapes from the Vale, to the last meeting in the Tower of the Hand after he escapes execution, Tyrion and his father always had a knack for the verbal sparring.
Tywin never held any punches when it came to putting his son in place, even if he truly, but would never admit, to respect his wit. As Brutal as these scenes are, confirming that Tywin is an Emotional Desert, they nonetheless show the Power the Warden of The East held over everyone, especially his family.
4 – Conversation with Oberyn Martell
Lord Tywin isn’t afraid, and he truly doesn’t care, as shown here. The King has been assassinated by poison at his wedding. A Dornish Prince known for his mastery of poisons is in town and has made it known he hates the Lannisters, and that he’s here to avenge the death of his sister Elia, which he blames on Gregor Clegane for the act, and Tywin Lannister for ordering it.
So what does Tywin do? But of course, confront him one on one with no protection. On top of it all, he confronts him, knowing he’s most likely not the culprit even though speculations could point otherwise. With the threat of a Targaryen girl on the other end of the world with Dragons looming in, and knowing the Dornish were the only in Westeros to successfully resist the Dragons, he even offers to unite the houses, first by having Oberyn sit on the small council.
Tywin truly shows his boldness in this scene.
3 – Putting Joffrey Back In Place
Following the Red Wedding, the small council meets to discuss the new plans following the Lannister/Baratheon victory and end of the War of Five Kings. The King cannot hold his enthusiasm. Yet a dispute between him and the current Master of Coins, his son Tyrion leaves the whole room awkward at the Imp’s response towards the King “Kings are dying like flies” he tells him.
This leads Tywin to step in and put his grandson in place. “Any man who must say “I am the King” is No True King”. Not knowing his place, Joffrey responds with “My “Father” won the REAL War, while you stood and waited at Casterly Rock”
The tense silence that follows, with everyone giving a “Oh No He Didn’t” look is what makes the scene. Tywin doesn’t even budge. He simply states: “The King is Tired”.
Again, how many would get away with this… Only a man more powerful than the King. Tywin Lannister that is!!!
2 – Conversation with Olenna Tyrell
The marriage between Joffrey Baratheon and Margaery Tyrell approved, Tywin wants to solidify the union between both families even more by betrothing his daughter, the Queen Regent, Cersei to Loras Tyrell, Olenna’s grandson and Margaery’s brother. Olenna is quick to dismiss it, and qualify Cersei as “too old”.
A few verbal shots between the two with regards to Loras’ “Nocturnal Activities” and Cersei’s Incest rumors draw Tywin to officially hit the Tyrell matriarch right where it hurts: if he doesn’t marry Cersei, he will name him as a Kingsguard, a role in which he will never marry nor bear children, killing the Tyrell name altogether. Olenna ends up accepting and is impressed by “a man that lives up to his reputation”
1 – Conversations With Arya Stark
While those scenes weren’t in the books (Arya is captive to Roose Bolton in Harrenhall in the second book), they were among the best of the second season.
The mutual respect both Tywin and Arya showed each other despite being on opposite ends of the war is the first thing that stood out in these scenes. Tywin sees through her, calling her out for not being a boy, and for being high born from the North. We even got this foreshadowing quote from Arya:
He even opened up to her in ways he couldn’t in front of anyone in his council for fear of appearing weak; he discussed the story of his father, revealing to us why he was so attached to the legacy of his family name.
Actor Charles Dance, who brilliantly portrayed Tywin in the show has even publicly stated that these exchanges with Maisie Williams were his favorites of his career.