I love Game of Thrones. There are many things I could do without within the show and even the books. I do not like watching sex and nudity. I do spend a good amount of time looking away from the screen. I am also not a huge fan of gore.
But I keep watching GoT and am currently reading the books because the story is worth it and the characters are worth it. In this case and in my opinion, the good outweighs the bad of the show. It asks and answers very important questions, trying to get to important truth’s about humanity.
But the character I would specifically like to get at today is Tywin Lannister. He is such a complete character that it is amazing. It is often hard to know what to think of him, because at times I genuinely like him, and at times he is genuinely terrible. But is that not humanity?
The Red Wedding is probably the most horrible and heartbreaking moment in the entire series. We are taken from this moment of pure joy: A wedding, announcement of pregnancy, etc. And then it is all trampled in the mud as Robb, his wife, his wolf, and his mother are all brutally murdered. We are left with an undying hatred of he Frey’s, Roose Bolton, and of Tywin Lannister, who orchestrasrated and paid for the assassination. It was an absolutely despicable move. And these men are despicable for taking part.
And yet, when Tyrion calls his father out it, Tywin responds with the quote: “Tell me how it is more noble for 10,000 men to die in battle than a dozen at dinner.” That line sends chills down my back, but not necessarily in a bad way.
Noble does mean having high moral principles etc. so perhaps assassins aren’t very noble. But isn’t it better? Robb’s father was wrongfully executed, it’s true. But by what right does Robb have to sacrifice thousands of his people’s fathers, brothers, and sons for his vengeance. Tywin’s involvement is despicable, yes. But is it less despicable than Robb’s choice to wage war? Tywin saved thousands of lives, both Northman and Lannisters.
Maybe it is just the Slytherin in me. But sometimes what is considered right is despicable. And sometimes what is considered despicable is the better path.