Two Sides of the Same Lannister Coin


Daniel is a journalist.

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31 Responses

  1. Ryan says:

    I totally buy Jamie’s affection for Tyrion and agree that it’s one of his most redeeming characteristics.

    But I’m not sure that I buy your idea that this affection is mutual. As far as I can tell, Tyrion hates and loathes his entire family, Jamie included.

    Tyrion certainly envies Jamie, and there is evidence that Tyrion desperately appreciated the kindness with which Jamie treated him… before the Tysha incident. One of the reasons that day really seems to hurt, aside from the obvious, is the element of betrayal by Jamie, and I didn’t get the impression that Jamie’s revelation about what really happened helped much. The fact that he was willing to go along with their father’s lie is, in Tyrion’s view, almost as bad as if it had been true. Indeed, Tyrion’s dislike of Jamie runs so deep that he is willing to lie about killing Joffrey, a totally unnecessary move which seems to have been motivated purely out of spite. Granted, he was likely acting in the heat of the moment, but he never seems to have regretted it.

    There, I think, is where it gets really interesting. This isn’t really a grass-is-greener type of situation. We’ve got one brother with very little reason to love the other beyond pure brotherly affection who does exactly that, for exactly that reason, and one brother with every reason in the world to love the other who doesn’t, arguably due to miscommunication and the machinations of their father. That’s not only quite a tragedy, but it seems quite a bit more original than you make it out to be.Report

    • Daniel in reply to Ryan says:

      You raise a very good point and I hate to sort of avoid confronting your argument front on but I have to: My argument is based on what I’ve read so far, I haven’t gotten to the big revelation with Jaime (although I’ve read the books before so you didn’t spoil anything for me). Still, despite your good points I can’t help but stick with my argument here. Tyrion admires his brother, he likes his brother, and he looks forward to his brother’s company. Remember at the Eyre? Sure Tyrion is arguably the best sword in the Seven Kingdoms but I’m sure there are plenty of others ahead of Ser Vardis. Tyrion requested Jamie because he wanted Jamie there, not the Kingslayer.

      I think you’re right though. The Tysha incident did hurt Jaime in Tyrion’s eyes but I still don’t think the love was lost there between them. It just seems more like an unfortunate incident. He also seems to blame his father more for it than Jaime.

      You know, what’s also interesting about Jaime and Tyrion is how much Tyrion wants to be loved. He wants to be loved as the Hand, he wants to be loved by Shae, he wants to be loved by his family and that includes even Cersei. It’s not just a question of being liked or not being hated. Tyrion wants love.Report

    • Murali in reply to Ryan says:

      The thing is Tyrion is so hurt by Jaime’s betrayal because
      he loves and trusts Jaime.

      In fact, he does regret saying that he killed Joffrey immediately after he said it.Report

      • Daniel in reply to Murali says:

        Exactly. Let’s all keep in mind that Tyrion can hate the character of House Lannister and also care about his family members. Truthfully, there are moments that suggest Tyrion even actually cares (to an extent) for Cersei.Report

        • Kim in reply to Daniel says:

          Tyrion, of all the people in the book, sees clearest (most of the time). So he knows Cersei. It’s… kinda hard to care for Cersei, if you know her. But he tries to be a good teacher/brother to her. It may not work, and she may scream under his “tutelage”… but he does try.Report

  2. North says:

    Jamie’s chapters seem to suggest to me that he only really came of age so to speak after his Father died and he lost his hand. Prior to that he was a perpetual adolescent. While I don’t love him myself the chapters did make me find him much more interesting. I hope to see some more.Report

    • Daniel in reply to North says:

      I actually think Jaime’s coming of age has more to do with the loss of his sword hand than anything else. That seems to be what changed him in a lot of ways. This quote comes to mind:

      “You ought to be pleased. I’ve lost the hand that I killed the king with. The hand that flung the Stark boy from that tower. The hand I’d slide between my sister’s thighs to make her wet.”


    • Mike Schilling in reply to North says:

      +1. When Jaime (not “Jamie”, dammit!) could solve all problems with his sword, he did just that. Only after his maiming did he take any time to think about the world, that is, to grow up.

      I have to disagree with Ryan, though. Tyrion is horribly lonely, enough so almost to convince himself that Shae really cares about him, and to be hurt every time Sansa rejects his attempts to be kind to her. (He’s smart enough to realize how idiotic both of these are, but at an emotional level he continues both of them.) His father and sister both despise him. He knows that Jaime is the only person in the world that loves him, which is why it’s such a huge betrayal that Jaime had been lying to him about Tysha all these years, and why he claimed to be Joffrey’s murderer as a way of striking back.

      Spoilers follow.

      Tyrion is convinced the world hates him because he’s a dwarf. In fact, Cersei hates and fears him because of the prophecy that he’ll kill her, it’s becoming clear that his father hated him because he’s a bastard, and the rest of the world (Starks included) hate him because he’s a Lannister.Report

      • Ryan B in reply to Mike Schilling says:

        He’s not a bastard. It makes no sense either plot- or character-wise.Report

        • Mike Schilling in reply to Ryan B says:

          If he’s not, GRRM is really fishing with our heads.Report

          • Ryan B in reply to Mike Schilling says:

            I don’t see how. It seems clear to me that, if any of Tywin’s kids aren’t really his, it’s Jaime and Cersei. That makes a lot more sense plot-wise (unless you think Tyrion was conceived before them and then somehow born after), and it has the added bonus of dramatic irony.

            Never forget the words of wisdom from good old Aunt Gemma. Girl knows what’s up.Report

          • Ryan B in reply to Mike Schilling says:

            Just to flesh that last bit out a bit, here are the literary reasons I prefer my version:

            1. The only son Tywin actually had was the one he hated. And that son “grew up” (as it were) to be just like him.

            2. Cersei loves her some fire. And also is insane.

            3. Jaime’s not just the Kingslayer; he’s also guilty of killing his own father (shades of Tyrion/Tywin here).

            4. You know, incest.Report

          • North in reply to Mike Schilling says:

            I’m totally missing the boat here. Cersai angrily twisted a baby Tyrion’s prick before the Dorne children for the same reason that Tywin Lannister loathed that same son; because both blamed Tyrion for A) being a dwarf but more cheifly B) killing their mother/wife in childbirth.

            Tywin told Tyrion just that when he declared that Tyrion would never inherit Casterly Rock. That he hated him for killing his wife. All three of the children were born of the same woman and she died giving birth to Tyrion. I don’t see how on earth we’d start thinking that they had mysterious parents.Report

            • Mike Schilling in reply to North says:


              How often has Tyrion said that “All dwarfs are bastards” or did Tywin say “You are not my son”?

              Tyrion has the white hair of a Targaryen, not the blond of a Lannister. And he’s fascinated by dragons. And we learn, in ADwD that …..

              (Spoilers coming)

              Aerys didn’t much are for his sister/wife but had the hots for Joanna Lannister.Report

              • Ryan B in reply to Mike Schilling says:

                The most decisive evidence against this is that Martin isn’t a bad writer. Making Tyrion the son of anyone other than Tywin would be really bad writing. It would completely undermine both of their characters. It simply makes no sense.

                Also, again, unless your claim is that Tyrion was conceived before Jaime and Cersei and then somehow born after, the “reveal” in ADWD does not imply that *Tyrion* is the bastard here.Report

              • Mike Schilling in reply to Ryan B says:

                Why does it matter who was conceived first? Aerys was quite capable of forcing himself on Joanna at any time.Report

              • North in reply to Mike Schilling says:

                I frankly doubt that Tywin Lannister would have permitted Tyrion to live had he not been of his own flesh and blood. The man was a stone cold killer and clearly adored his wife and loathed the child that “killed her”. Aerys of course wouldn’t have cared a wit for some secret bastard of his and Tywin would have had no impediment from burying Tyrion at the bottom of Lannisport Harbor or in some grave in a dug out goldmine under the Golden Tooth. Nor, for that matter, can I imagine Tywin going through the motions of having any interest in Tyrions’ upbringing (see Tysha) if the boy didn’t share his blood.
                I mean yes, Tyrion has pale hair, but Lannisters run to blond anyhow.Report

              • Daniel in reply to North says:

                Yeah I think it’s hard to argue against the fact that any and all motivation Tywin has for Tyrion’s well-being has to do with the pride and reputation of House Lannister.Report

      • James K in reply to Mike Schilling says:

        Tywin hates Tyrion because he blames her for his wife’s death. It would seem his wife was the only person he really held genuine affection for.

        To be fair the smallfolk in King’s Landing seem to hate him because he’s a dwarf. That’s why they attribute Joffrey’s madness to him, but his attempts to restore sanity to Joffrey. Because Joffrey is blond and pretty, and Tyrion is neither.Report

        • Daniel in reply to James K says:

          Ummm I’m not sure about that King’s Landing part. What I got in A Clash of Kings is that the smallfolk of King’s Landing didn’t like Tyrion because he was the Hand presiding (remember, Joffrey is young so he can’t get too much of the blame) during a time of extreme poverty, famine, and general misgovernance in the city.

          They also didn’t like him for the way he cleared out a poor part of the city to prepare for King Stannis’s attack and for also bringing in the Mountain clans. They may have disliked him before that but they really disliked him after.Report

  3. Ryan B says:

    What I love the most about Jaime’s “shit for honor” line is that all of the people we think of as the “most honorable” (Ned, Stannis, Davos) are people who basically thought it was no big deal to rebel against the rightful king, throw him down, murder his family, and then pretend like the Baratheon claim has some kind of divine provenance.

    To my knowledge, Jaime, Littlefinger, and Renly (quite a rogues gallery there) are the only ones who ever point all this out for the farce it is. And Jaime’s the only one of the revolutionaries who ever had to make a tough choice, and look what he got for it.Report

  4. Alanmt says:

    Tyrion suffers as a character in ADwD. I wonder if GRRM has just gotten tired of him.

    Nice analysis, although I think Ryan added positively to it. Maybe I deserve a Van Hoffman award, but the speculation on the parentage of the Lannister brood seems misdirected.Report

  5. Kim says:

    If anyone would believe that Jaime killed Aerys For His Own Reasons, and not because Tywin said so, I think Jaime would get a better hearing.

    Tywin is a vicious snake, and everyone knows it.

    Jaime in particular didn’t have much reason to be nice to Tyrion, other than Jaime is actually a rather decent guy.Report

  6. Jay D G says:

    Though I do not agree with the fact that Tyrion is not of Tywin’s get, I do see, and have for a while, why Mike Schilling may have cause to doubt the legitimacy of Tyrion’s birth. And to further add to Mike’s case here, Tywin says that he can not prove that Tyrion is not his. Which would also lead one to conclude that Tywin can’t prove that Tyrion is his either.

    Like I said, I don’t think there is any real weight to it but I DO see where Mike Schilling is coming from.Report