When Joanna discovers of the incest between Cersei and Jaime, she does not inform Tywin. According to this link,

When Joanna learned of this, she send the maid away, moved Jaime's chamber to the other side of the castle, and put a guard outside of Cersei's chamber. Joanna then warned her twins that they must never do such a thing again, or else she would be forced to tell their father. Joanna died birthing Tyrion not long after this event.

I am particularly interested in knowing if Cersei, Jaime and Tyrion were born out of incest. Why am asking is because from the same link I provided above, I also see that Joanna had a brother named Stafford.

Why did she not inform Tywin of this illicit relationship?

Is it because, she felt the same mistakes she committed with her brother are now committed by Jaime and Cersei or due to the fear that Tywin might harm the children? Also, she dies when Jaime and Cersei were only 9. I do not understand how they could have engaged in some sexual activity at such an early age.

  • There seems to be something wrong with that wiki page on my system.
    – TLP
    Apr 17, 2014 at 12:43
  • 2
    In a way, the kids are born of incest, since Joanna and Tywin are cousins. Which is noted in Tywin's wiki page (I cannot read Joanna's, it seems to have been vandalised).
    – TLP
    Apr 17, 2014 at 12:46
  • @TLP, Interesting. Just when I asked the question if they were born out of incest, the page got vandalized. I hope the Lannisters don't kill me for finding out :D
    – Ramesh
    Apr 17, 2014 at 15:50
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    @Ramesh - The Lannisters always pay their debts... Apr 17, 2014 at 22:23
  • @SystemDown, Thankfully there was no relation between Myrcella and Joffrey :D
    – Ramesh
    Apr 17, 2014 at 22:25

1 Answer 1


First things first. Are the Lannister kids born out of incest?

Quite assuredly no. Sure Joanna Lannister had a brother, but so do 90% of the noblewomen of Westeros. And Stafford Lannister has been described (in the books) as oafish, so not exactly the dashing Jaime Lannister.

Now back to the question itself.

Since we have no POV chapters for Tywin and no flashbacks of Joanna we are left to speculate. Most probably Joanna thought only to protect her children. Incest is a grave sin in Westeros, and if word got out the repercussions would be huge. It is not uncommon for mothers to abstain from telling fathers about their children's wrong doings. For if Tywin found out, chances are he would punish them severely. This is a man who did horrible things to his son Tyrion because of his whoring and other (in Tywin's eyes) crimes. So probably Joanna attempted to hush it up and not expose them. We do know from the books that the two were separated by their mother soon afterwards.

  • Thanks for the answer. I was just curious if those things were mentioned anywhere in the book. Because, with each and every new episode, it seems in GOT anything is possible :)
    – Ramesh
    Apr 16, 2014 at 22:09
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    "Incest is a grave sin in Westeros" Wasn't it general knowledge that the Targaryens did it keep their bloodlines pure? Apr 21, 2014 at 23:52
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    @RoyalFlush - Yes it was common knowledge. But: A) the Targaryens weren't native to Westeros, and B) they had lots of dragons, and people who have lots of dragons tend to do whatever the hell they please. Apr 21, 2014 at 23:58
  • @SystemDown it's definitely mostly B: Might makes right! Nobody dared tell the Targaryens that they were a bunch of twisted, inbred sickos - and what does sin matter if it's not punished, right?
    – MPF
    May 18, 2016 at 3:32
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    Depends how you define incest. Joanna was Tywin's first cousin, which in our world would count as incest in some jurisdictions, and not incest in other jurisdictions. Obviously Westeros does not consider it to be incest.
    – Mike Scott
    Aug 21, 2017 at 18:34

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