"Hear me Roar!"
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 unofficial motto states, "A Lannister always pays his debts." Their official house words are "Hear me roar!"
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 at Casterly Rock. The House had fallen on hard times but was 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.
Lord of Casterly Rock, Shield of Lannisport and Warden of the West, Tywin is a calculating, ruthless, and controlling man in his mid-fifties. His wife Joanna Lannister died in childbirth while delivering his dwarf 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 wife Joanna's death.
During his youth, Tywin managed to single-handedly restore his family's honor and fortune, and dedicated himself to reinforcing Lannister prestige. He was an able and shrewd ruler who brought great prosperity during his two tenures as Hand of the King, However, King Aerys' increasing paranoia and jealousy drove the two into bitter disagreement. Tywin resigned as Hand and returned to his own lands. During Robert's Rebellion Tywin remained at Casterly Rock, taking no side until after Robert's decisive victory at the Battle of the Trident. Tywin then gathered his forces and rode for King's Landing. Aerys was convinced that Tywin had returned to aid him and opened the gates of the city. Tywin's forces promptly sacked the city, Jaime murdered Aerys, and Rhaegar's wife and children were slain.
After Robert Baratheon's death, Tywin became Hand of the King again, this time for King Joffrey, his grandson. For much of the next year he led his troops against House Stark and appointed his son Tyrion serve as Hand while he was away. As Hand, Tyrion displayed a pragmatic talent for intrigue and ingenuity. During the War of the Five Kings, Stannis Baratheon became a serious threat to the Lannisters, besieging King's Landing at the Battle of the Blackwater. Tywin Lannister delivered a strike that decimated Stannis' army. Many of Stannis' men switched sides. This was the final blow that ended the siege once and for all.
Tywin arranged the betrothal of Margaery Tyrell to Joffrey to secure an alliance between the Lannisters and the Tyrells. An elaborate wedding was planned. Joffrey died from poison at the wedding feast, and Tyrion was blamed. Tywin presided at his trial. Tyrion chose trial by combat. Tyrion's champion was slain and Tyrion imprisoned to await execution. However, Tyrion was soon secretly freed by Jaime and Varys in the middle of the night. 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 killed Tywin.
Older than Jaime by mere moments, Cersei (a POV character) is the twin sister of Jaime Lannister with golden hair and bright green eyes. 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. She has no respect for her husband, King Robert.
Cersei's three children were all fathered by her brother Jaime, rather than her husband. This secret was discovered by Jon Arryn, Eddard Stark and Stannis Baratheon. Being an honest man, Eddard offered Cersei an opportunity to flee before he broke the news to King Robert. Cersei, however, had no intention of leaving; ultimately, this led to Eddard's downfall.
Cersei has since climbed the ladder of power. She arranged for the death of her husband, King Robert. After that, she put her 13-year-old son Joffrey on the throne, ruling as Queen Regent. However, when leaving for battle, as Hand of the King, her non-twin brother Tyrion curtailed much of Cersei's policy. Several characters in the series state that Cersei wants power but does not wield it well.
When both her eldest son and father Tywin were murdered in quick succession Cersei believed that Tyrion was guilty of both. She resumed her regency over her younger son, the eight-year-old newly crowned King Tommen. As Tywin's eldest child, she was also acknowledged as the Lady of Casterly Rock. Thus empowered and unrestricted, Cersei began her regime by filling Tommen's Small Council with her own supporters and agents, disregarding previous arrangements. 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.
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. She began a campaign 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 had begun drifting away from his family, even further and he abandoned her to her own political paranoia. 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. As a result the Faith refused to bless King Tommen and the Iron Bank of Braavos refused any new loans to Westeros but called in all the debts from their previous loans which caused economic chaos.
A plan to have Margaery Tyrell seduced failed as Margaery did not respond to seduction. Her henchman (Osney Kettleblack) confessed to the High Septon the complete and actual truth (Osney had slept with Cersei and smothered the previous High Septon with a pillow at Cersei's 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. Accused of capital crimes, her only hope lay in a Kingsguard champion to stand for her in a trial by combat. She sent Jaime a letter begging for his help. Jaime threw her letter into a burning fireplace as snow began to fall on Riverrun, and winter descended on Westeros.
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. He became a knight and ascended to the Kingsguard. Two years after his induction he murdered the mad king during the sack of King's Landing, earning him the epithet "Kingslayer". He shares his sister's arrogance, amorality, and striking good looks. In A Storm of Swords he becomes a point-of-view character.
Jaime was an immensely talented warrior from his youth. He gained honors for valor in the field during the suppression of the Kingswood Brotherhood and was invited to join the Kingsguard at the age of 15, becoming its youngest ever member. It was a great honor; however, his true reason for accepting was to be closer to his lover, his own twin sister Cersei. The honor was tarnished when he realized that his appointment was a way for King Aerys to deprive the powerful Lord Lannister of his eldest son and heir, since knights of the Kingsguard renounce their lands and titles and take a vow of celibacy. Seeing Aerys's true purpose, Tywin resigned as Hand, and returned with Cersei to Casterly Rock. With his sister gone, and tasked with guarding a king he now realized to be insane and cruel, Jaime became increasingly disenchanted with his role.
During Robert's Rebellion, Aerys kept Jaime out of the fighting to secure the continued loyalty of the Lannisters. However, after the Battle of the Trident, Jaime discovered that Aerys planned to burn King's Landing and all of its inhabitants rather than let Robert Baratheon take them. When Tywin Lannister tricked Aerys into letting his troops into King's Landing and began to sack the city, King Aerys attempted to put this plan into action. Jaime responded by killing the king, earning him the epithet "Kingslayer" and a reputation as an evil and dishonorable man. Jaime later reflected that he is often reviled for what he considers to be his finest act.
Jaime is arrogant, impulsive and amoral. He attempted to protect the secret of his incestuous relationship with Cersei by throwing the seven year old Bran Stark from a high window at Winterfell. He was captured by Robb Stark and spent much of the War of the Five Kings imprisoned at the Tully stronghold of Riverrun. He was freed by Catelyn Stark in exchange for the freedom of her daughters Sansa and Arya and his oath to never take arms against the Starks or Tullys again.
During his journey back to King's Landing, Jaime's sword hand was cut off by his father's former sell-swords. Having lost his identity-defining martial prowess and with the example of the honorable Brienne of Tarth, Jaime began to re-evaluate his life. He managed to defeat the Tullys without actually taking up arms against them, and has dispatched Brienne to rescue the Stark girls and keep them safe from his family. Since leaving King's Landing, Jaime has also been training with Ser Ilyn Payne. While he hopes to eventually learn to fight left-handed, his progress has been very slow.
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.
After Tywin's death, Cersei offered him the position of Hand of the King. However he did not trust 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 returned to the West, After Cersei's imprisonment, the Small Council named him Regent.
He took things back in hand, restoring alliances and fixing grievances Cersei created. The new council he created had 3 people for House Tyrell, 3 people for House Lannister, and was expected to welcome one of the Sand Snakes, Lady Nymeria, in replacement for her dead father. He was killed with a crossbow bolt by Varys, after Varys had already killed Pycelle in the same room. The reason being that Varys wants the kingdom available to the taking by the Targaryens children (Daenerys and Aegon), and Kevan risked uniting the kingdom again. With him dead, more discord is created and Aegon Targaryen will be more likely to gain friends without a united front to act against him, and a kingdom in discord will make the Targaryens more welcome by the people of the seven kingdoms.
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. 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. He guarded Joffrey until Cersei ordered Joffrey to be taken away during the Battle of the Blackwater. 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., 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.
Tyrion Lannister, (a POV character from the start of the series) is Tywin's third child, a highly intelligent dwarf mockingly nicknamed "The Imp" and "Halfman". 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. Overall, Tyrion is a classical quick-witted trickster figure.
Tyrion joined the royal family on their fateful trip to Winterfell, after which he visited The Wall. Jon Snow and Tyrion came to be unlikely friends during this time, brought together by their common lot in life as outcasts.
On Tyrion's return south, Catelyn Stark arrested him as the attempted murderer of her son Bran Stark 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. Tyrion escaped punishment with the victory of his champion, the sellsword Bronn, in a trial by combat. After leaving the Eyrie, he recruited the fierce and undisciplined mountain clans of the Vale with promise of steel and glory. Back at court in King's Landing, Tyrion suspected that he would need protectors against his family members, including possible assassination attempts from his sister, Cersei.
Tywin made Tyrion his temporary replacement as Hand of the King. Tyrion entered a bitter power struggle with Cersei, and consistently outplotted her. He also arranged for wildfire-filled ships and a massive chain boom that eventually devastated Stannis Baratheon's fleet during the Battle of the Blackwater, contributing greatly to the victory against Stannis. Stannis' men attempted to breach a major city gate. Tyrion alone seemed to appreciate the gravity of the situation and led a sortie beyond the walls to secure the gate area. Riding a horse and wielding an appropriately sized battle-axe, Tyrion led his men, unexpectedly experiencing the adrenaline-fueled high of "battle fever". He then took a severe facial wound (the loss of most of his nose) in an assassination attempt during the fighting. During recovery, he (correctly) suspected that Cersei was to blame.
Forced into a political marriage with Sansa Stark, Tyrion took pity on his unwilling bride and did not force consummation. The two were wrongfully accused of the murder of King Joffrey; however, Sansa fled, and only Tyrion stood trial. Cersei's champion was the formidable Gregor Clegane. The notoriously skilled duelist Prince Oberyn Martell volunteered to champion Tyrion. Gregor Clegane managed to kill Oberyn, and Tyrion was condemned to death. However, he was secretly freed from his prison cell by his brother Jaime and a reluctant Varys. Before leaving the castle, Tyrion visited his father's room via the secret tunnels, and killed him in cold blood.
Tyrion has since fled across the narrow sea, his motives unknown even to himself.
Houses Sworn to Casterly RockEdit
- House Algood
- House Banefort of the Banefort
- House Bettley
- House Brax of Hornvale
- House Broom
- House Clegane
- House Crakehall of Crakehall
- House Doggett
- House Drox
- House Estren of Wyndhall
- House Falwell
- House Farman of Faircastle
- House Ferren
- House Foote
- House Garner
- House Greenfield of Greenfield
- House Hamell
- House Hawthorne
- House Hetherspoon
- House Jast
- House Kenning of Kayce
- House Lefford of the Golden Tooth
- House Lorch
- House Lydden of the Deep Den
- House Marbrand of Ashemark
- House Moreland
- House Myatt
- House Payne
- House Peckledon
- House Plumm
- House Prester of Feastfires
- House Ruttiger
- House Sarsfield of Sarsfield
- House Serrett of Silverhill
- House Spicer
- House Stackspear
- House Swyft of Cornfield
- House Turnberry
- House Vikary
- House Westerling of the Crag
- House Yarwyck
- House Yew
Extinct Houses of the WesterlandsEdit
Lannister characters in the bookEdit
- Cerenna Lannister
- Cersei Lannister, the Queen Regent
- Damion Lannister
- Darlessa Lannister, formerly of House Marbrand
- Daven Lannister
- Dorna Lannister, formerly of House Swyft
- Ermesande Frey, formerly of House Hayford
- Genna Lannister, married into House Frey
- Jaime Lannister, called the Kingslayer
- Janei Lannister
- Kevan Lannister
- Lancel Lannister, now the Lord of Darry
- Lanna Lannister, married into House Jast
- Lucion Lannister
- Margot Lannister, married into House Peake
- Martyn Lannister
- Myrielle Lannister
- Shiera Lannister, formerly of House Crakehall
- Stafford Lannister
- Tyrek Lannister
- Tyrion Lannister, called the Imp
- Tywin Lannister
Historical Lannister charactersEdit
- Damon Lannister
- Gerion Lannister
- Lann the Clever
- Loren Lannister
- Tya Lannister, married into House Baratheon
- Tybolt Lannister
- Tygett Lannister
- Willam Lannister
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