In Game of Thrones Season 2 Episode 7, this exchange happens after Tywin finds his guardsman murdered with a dart poisoned with Wolfsbane:

Tywin Lannister: I don't like mutton.

Arya Stark: ... I- I'll bring something else-

TL: Leave it. (walks over to the table) You hungry?

AS: (shakes her head quickly) No.

TL: Of course you are. (gestures to the dish of bread and mutton) Eat.

AS: I'll... eat in the kitchen, later.

TL: (impatiently) It's bad manners to refuse a Lord's offer. (walks around her, offers her a knife) Sit- eat. (Arya sits, takes the knife, and- after hesitating starts eating ravenously) You're small, for your age- I suppose you've been underfed your whole life.

I could believe that he genuinely dislike mutton and likes Arya enough to have her eat before him (instead of bringing him more food), while he goes hungry.

However, isn't it very much possible that he suspected this highly educated girl of unknown noble parentage, dressed as a boy, to have something to do with the assassination? Only someone intelligent would have used a sophisticated poison, and the use of a dart could indicate that the assassin isn't a good fighter. He then insists that she eat before him to test her reaction should she have poisoned his food as well.

Is this covered in the books/elsewhere?

  • 5
    Tywin Lannister and Arya Stark never encounter each other at close quarters in the books.
    – Rand al'Thor
    May 21, 2016 at 14:10
  • 6
    He certainly considers the risk that his food has been poisoned, but I doubt he suspects Arya. He uses her to taste the food so he can make sure it's safe because she happens to be there, and her death wouldn't matter to him.
    – Arnaud D.
    May 21, 2016 at 14:21
  • Interesting theory, I never thought of it this way! Like Rand said this won't be covered by the books as it was not Tywin at Harrenhal... You may run into a POB.
    – Skooba
    May 21, 2016 at 14:22
  • Not sure that a poisoned dart would indicate a poor fighter as much as the stealth an assassin would typically want, so I don't think that would point to the child servant. Also question whether it takes intelligence or sophistication to use poison (individuals of widely varying intelligence and sophistication in Amazon tribes use tree frog poison and darts to hunt monkeys for food). Jul 21, 2016 at 13:32

1 Answer 1


It would probably depend on the specific point in the scene. To draw a parallel, look at the poisoning attempt on Daenerys.

For Tywin:

  • Initially - He's just had an attempt, he's hyper-aware, and the idea of ensuring that his food isn't poisoned is a good idea
  • Arya Hesitates - Now that would seem odd. Initially, he might have just been extra-cautious and Arya was just expendable, but now he definitely doesn't just want that food being taken away. At this point specifically, yeah, he almost definitely finds her behaviour odd and suspicious.
  • Arya Eats - Why, what's to suspect now? She ate the food, it clearly wasn't poisonous, so why would she have anything to do with anything else?

By contrast, when the poisoner is confronted by Jorah and is trying to be evasive - "This is not meant for the likes of you" (paraphrase), at that point Daenerys gets suspicious. He hesitates further by talking about letting it breathe, again further suspicious. And that suspicion is confirmed because he refuses to actually drink.

If Arya had flat out refused to eat the food or tried to run away, that would be a different story. It would have clearly connected her with an assassination attempt on him, and therefore the other assassination attempt. The idea of two random, unconnected assassination attempts within the same day-ish would have been ludicrous. Since that didn't happen, ultimately no. But for that brief moment between her hesitation and eating it, yes.

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