House Lannister might be the most feared noble family in all of Westeros. The reason for this is because they are the most ruthless and will massacre anyone who stands in their way. The Lannisters don't care about honor or winning the hearts and minds of the people: they simply want to win and they will do whatever is necessary to accomplish their victory.
It's hard not to like the members of House Lannister. We understand the reasons why they perform such heartless acts and it's easy to sympathize with them. It helps that Tyrion is a member of the family, as he is the favorite character of many Game of Thrones fans.
We are here today to look at the lives of the most dysfunctional family in the Seven Kingdoms.
From the mystery of how Tywin managed to get a royal knighthood for Gregor Clegane to the time when Tyrion thought he was Spider-Man, here are the 15 Things You Didn't Know About House Lannister.
15 Both Cersei & Robert Baratheon Were Committing Incest During Their Marriage
Incest is a common theme throughout Game of Thrones. Many of the problems in the series stem from brothers and sisters marrying. Would the Mad King have lost his mind if it weren't for all of the inbreeding? Perhaps, and the same might also be said for Joffrey.
All of the high-ranking members of the court of King's Landing were planning on revealing Cersei's incestuous relationship as part of their individual plans to take the throne. What most of them didn't know was that Robert had also engaged in incest during his marriage to Cersei.
Robert and Cersei visited the lands of House Estermont during their first year of marriage. Robert's mother was Cassana Estermont, so the rest of the house was composed of his relatives. Cersei suspected that Robert was sneaking off in the middle of the night to have sex with one of his cousins. Jaime followed him on night and confirmed that he was doing this.
14 Tywin Forced His Father's Mistress To Perform The Walk Of Atonement
House Lannister almost didn't survive into the modern era. This was because of Tywin's father, Tytos Lannister, almost destroyed their legacy. Tytos was a good man, but a terrible lord.
His bannermen openly abused him in court and laughed in his face. This treatment of his father is what shaped Tywin into the man he became in the story. When the Reynes and the Tarbecks decided to openly rebel against the Lannisters, it fell to Tywin to wipe them from the face of the planet.
Tytos took a commoner for a mistress in his later years. She essentially took over the rule of Casterly Rock, which involved the mistreatment of the knights and bannermen that were sworn to House Lannister. When Tytos died, Tywin forced the mistress to endure a walk of atonement. He had her stripped naked and forced her to walk through Lannisport and tell everyone that she was a whore.
Cersei would later be forced to endure the same walk by the High Sparrow. This is further proof of how the Lannister influence has diminished and how Tywin's legacy is crumbling.
13 The Tywin/Gregor/Rhaegar Mystery
There are many questions about the A Song of Ice and Fire series that have yet to be answered. Fans have debated these questions to death, to the point where the answers have likely been uncovered by now.
One question about the series that is rarely brought up involves how Gregor Clegane got his knighthood. We know that he is a marauding psychopath, yet he was given a royal knighthood by Rhaegar Targaryen himself.
Gregor Clegane's knighthood was almost certainly set up by Tywin, in order to give some authority to his most feared servant. The question remains about why Tywin needed Rhaegar to do it when he could have easily have given him a knighthood himself or asked one of his bannermen to do it. We also don't know why Rhaegar consented, considering the fact that Gregor's reputation was well-known at the time.
Did Rhaegar consent to granting the knighthood because he needed a favor from Tywin? Did he need money in order to pull off his plan for Lyanna Stark?
12 House Lannister Once Had A Valyrian Steel Sword
It is said that all of the great noble houses in Westeros once owned a weapon made from Valyrian steel. Not all of the houses have managed to hold on to their weapons over the centuries. Longclaw of House Mormont was given to Jon Snow as a reward for saving Jeor Mormont's life, while Lamentation of House Royce was destroyed by dragon fire.
House Lannister once paid a massive amount of money for a Valyrian steel sword to be forged for their leader. This sword was named Brightroar.
The sword was last seen in the possession of King Tommen Lannister, who took it with him on a journey to Valyria. This was after Valyria had been destroyed by the Doom and he wanted to pillage the treasure from the remaining lands. Tommen never returned and Brightroar remains lost.
Tywin's younger brother, Gerion Lannister, went on a journey to find Brightroar. He also disappeared and his fate is unknown.
11 The Poisoning Of Tywin Lannister
When Tywin Lannister is killed by Tyrion, his body is given to the Silent Sisters in order to prepare it for burial rites. His body was embalmed, which meant that many major organs were removed and placed into seven jars, which were laid at his feet.
The corpse had any noticeable wounds cleaned up before it was placed in formal clothes and laid to rest on an altar for a public showing. Due to Tywin's status, his body received a seven day showing at the Sept of Baelor.
Those who visited Tywin noticed something peculiar: his body absolutely stank to the point where people had to leave due to the stench. The embalming process should have prevented any decay, which left many wondering why his corpse smelled so bad.
One of the most popular theories as to why Tywin's corpse decayed was due to Oberyn Martell. It is believed that Oberyn poisoned Tywin before the trial by combat, in order to make sure that Tywin died if he lost the fight. Tyrion just managed to get there first.
10 The Mystery Of Tyrek Lannister's Fate
Cersei plans several assassination attempts on Robert Baratheon in A Game of Thrones. These mostly involved getting him drunk and trying to shame him into performing daring acts (such as entering a melee tournament).
Cersei also managed to get Robert to take on two of her relatives as squires, which is how Lancel and Tyrek Lannister entered his service. They helped Cersei kill Robert, as they gave him strong alcohol during a hunt, which led to him being killed by a boar.
When a riot breaks out in King's Landing in A Clash of Kings, the royal procession is attacked. Several notable figures are killed during this battle. Tyrek Lannister goes missing during this conflict, with no trace of a body left behind.
The fans believe that Tyrek was kidnapped by either Varys or Littlefinger, as he is one of the few people who could testify to the fact that Cersei arranged for the death of King Robert Baratheon. Several characters have mentioned Tyrek since his disappearance, which suggests that George R. R. Martin is keeping him fresh in the reader's minds.
9 The Empty Mines Of The TV Show
In "First of His Name", Tywin reveals to Cersei that the Lannisters are running out of money. The Westerlands' main import for centuries was gold and gemstones.
Tywin has managed to keep the fact that all of their mines have run dry a secret. The Lannister family no longer has the capacity to win every battle with money, which is why they need to tie themselves to the Tyrells, who are the second-richest family in the Seven Kingdoms.
The idea that the gold mines under the ownership of the Lannisters have run dry is an invention of the TV show. The mines of the Westerlands are still as productive as ever in the books.
We know this because it would be impossible to keep that information a secret for long. Why the show created this plot point is a mystery. The Lannisters are also broke in the books, but that is because they just went through a costly war with the Starks and haven't received any payments from their loans to the Iron Throne.
8 The Tywin Marriage Hypocrisy
The only people allowed to practice sibling incest in Westeros history were the Targaryens. This right didn't come without a price, as the Targaryens faced open rebellion from the Faith of the Seven due to the fact that children born from incest were considered to be abominations in the eyes of the church.
The Targaryen royal family consisted of children born from parents who were brothers and sisters, but only they could get away with it.
While sibling incest is forbidden in Westeros, you can still marry your cousins. Tywin Lannister married his cousin Joanna Lannister due to the fact that he was in love with her.
The fact that Tywin married his own cousin-- a woman who brought no extra soldiers or alliances to the family-- acts as the main proof of his hypocrisy as a human being.
Tywin spent most of his life trying to put his children into advantageous marriages that made them miserable, under the reasoning that it helped the family. He was perfectly fine in marrying a woman who offered no power and then never remarrying, as it suited his own personal desires.
7 Varys Killed Kevan Lannister In The Books
We are only privy to the most powerful members of the Lannister family throughout Game of Thrones. There are actually lots of different Lannisters in the world, due to the sheer amount of marriage alliances that they are involved in. This means that there are probably a lot of nice Lannisters out there, who are forced to do the bidding of the higher members of the family.
Kevan Lannister is Tywin's most trusted ally. He is a capable battle commander and diplomat, who was often overshadowed by his older brother. When Tywin dies, Kevan takes it upon himself to try and heal the rifts in the realm.
In A Dance with Dragons, Kevan is killed by Varys. He is specifically killed because he is the only one left with the skill and power to stop the realm from descending into chaos. Varys wants to put his own candidate on the Iron Throne, which means that he needs the realm in as poor a state as possible.
6 The Original Fates Of Jaime & Tyrion
The A Song of Ice and Fire series was once planned to have a very different story. We know this because the Twitter account of the UK publisher of the series posted images of a letter that was written by George R. R. Martin in 1993. It contained his original outline for the first book in the series, which was once planned to be part of a trilogy.
This original outline gives different fates for the characters. Cersei and Tywin are nowhere to be seen in this outline. Instead, it is Jaime and Tyrion who are terrorizing the Seven Kingdoms.
According to the original outline: Jaime and Tyrion would be responsible for killing Robb Stark on the battlefield and sacking Winterfell. Tyrion would arrange for the death of Joffrey and Jaime would take the Iron Throne.
Jaime would blame Tyrion for the succession crisis and have him exiled. While in exile, Tyrion would then realize that he was in love with Arya Stark the whole time...
5 The Lannister/Frey Connection
One of Tytos Lannister's mistakes during his tenure as Lord of Casterly Rock was allowing his only daughter to marry one of the sons of Walder Frey. This created a new Lannister/Frey branch family, which caused issues during the War of the Five Kings. You might not realize this if you only watch the show, as this storyline was completely scrubbed.
House Frey officially declared for the Starks during the War of the Five Kings. The Freys in the Westerlands sided with the Lannisters, which meant that there were Freys fighting on both sides of the conflict.
The TV show removed this by changing all of the Lannister-aligned Freys into Lannisters. The biggest example of this happened to Cleos Frey, who was turned into Alton Lannister in the show.
Jaime killed Alton as part of an escape plan. He killed one of his own family members, which makes him a kinslayer. Killing your own kin might be the worst taboo to break in Westeros, yet the writers had Jaime do it without a second thought.
4 House Lannister Accidentally Kept Westeros Safe From The Valyrian Freehold
The Seven Kingdoms of Westeros were engaged in border skirmishes and wars for centuries. The Riverlands were taken and lost by several different armies during this period. The pointless struggle ended when Aegon Targaryen landed on Dragonstone with his three dragons. He used the dragons to enforce his rule and bound most of the kingdoms to his cause.
The Valyrian Empire was once the most powerful force in the world. They had dragons and the ability to create Valyrian steel. The Valyrian's took control over numerous regions, yet they left Westeros alone, except for some trade that took place.
The World of Ice and Fire offers a potential reason as to why the Valyrians left Westeros alone for so long. According to a prophecy, the gold of the Westerlands was destined to bring destruction to the Valyrian Empire.
They may have decided to shun Westeros out of fear of this prophecy, which kept the Seven Kingdoms safe from enslavement.
3 The Jaime Retcon
George R. R. Martin has said that, if he went back and rewrote the original books, the first thing he would do is age up all of the child characters, as he felt that they were too young for the roles that he wrote for them.
It isn't just the ages that need changing in A Game of Thrones: there is an important piece of information about Jaime that needs to be retconned, as it doesn't gel with the information that we learn later in the series.
After Jon Arryn is killed, the title of Warden of the East should either go to his young son or to one of the Lords of the Vale. Instead, Robert Baratheon names Jaime to this position.
The reason this doesn't make sense is that Jaime is still a Kingsguard at this point, which means that he is forbidden to hold lands and titles, except for temporary ranks on the battlefield.
2 George R. R. Martin Has Stated That Tyrion Is His Favorite Character
Tyrion Lannister is one of the most beloved characters in Game of Thrones. A lot of the credit for the Tyrion love has to go to Peter Dinklage, who was born to play this role. Tyrion is smart and funny, yet he has a deeply unhappy side to his personality.
Of all of the Lannisters, he seems to be the only one who is interested in doing the right thing, or rather, doing the thing that involves the less death.
It isn't just the fans who love Tyrion Lannister, however: George R. R. Martin has gone on record as saying that Tyrion is his favorite character in the entire series.
The fact that Tyrion is George R. R. Martin's favorite character is a good thing because it means that Tyrion will likely survive until the end of the story. It also means that Tyrion will probably suffer a great deal more on his journey, as he has the literal eyes of God watching over him and waiting for him to do something interesting.
1 Tyrion The Acrobat
The ages of the characters and Jaime's promotion aren't the only things that need to be removed from A Game of Thrones. One of the worst scenes in the series happens during the feast for King Robert Baratheon's visit to Winterfell, when Jon Snow meets Tyrion for the first time.
Jon Snow argues with his uncle Benjen and storms out of the feast. He meets Tyrion outside, who is sitting on a ledge above the door. Jon offers to help Tyrion down, only for Tyrion to perform an amazing feat of acrobatics.
Tyrion vaults from the ledge and lands on his hands, before vaulting to his feet. It seems that George R. R. Martin had been reading too many Alpha Flight comics before writing A Game of Thrones, as this is something that Puck would do.
George R. R. Martin wasn't familiar with the feats of agility that can be performed by people with dwarfism. Tyrion's ability to vault around the room like Spider-Man was abandoned after this scene and was never mentioned again.
Can you think of any other interesting facts about Game of Thrones' House Lannister? Sound off in the comment section!