I haven't read the books yet, but I have been watching and re-watching and re-watching again, the show. And nowhere since he first appeared on the screen Tywin Lannister seemed like the kind of person who will use the service of a whore. Let alone share one with his son.

But sure enough, from reading about the fourth season finale a little bit, it seems that this part was more or less true to the books. So Shae was with Tywin the night Tyrion was sprung out, and it seems to hint that Shae and Tywin "did the deed".

So I wonder if the books reveal a different Tywin than Charles Dance's excellent acting?

  • 4
    In the books Cersei is very surprised by the fact that there was a whore in her father's bed. Everybody knew how much Tywin hated whores and she couldn't believe his hypocrisy. She gives orders for Shae to be taken out oh the Tower of The Hand so Tywin's image would remain unspoiled. – Stefan Urziceanu Aug 1 '14 at 7:15
  • 2
    Yes, I suppose that this sort of agrees with my feeling, that Tywin wasn't depicted as someone who would use a whore's services. But then again, I suppose, Tywin is not a POV character, right? This means that we would only know about him what others see and think about him. So it might as well be that other people didn't think of him as someone who would use a whore's service... – user24620 Aug 1 '14 at 9:34
  • 2
    Rude joke alert... More like the "tower" of the Hand was in Shae! If you know what I mean – Möoz Feb 17 '15 at 2:05

If one pays close attention to what Tywin says to Tyrion, one can notice, as Theik says in his answer, that he is not opposed to visiting whores, only in doing so publicly. For example, he says

"You will not bring the whore to court."

(I.e. "keep her out of sight".) And

"You're done with whores. The next one I find in your bed, I'll hang."

(I.e. "make sure I don't find her".) And of course, we are familiar with the story of Tysha, the common girl that Tywin "made" into a whore by allowing his soldiers to rape her.

The foreshadowing of Tywin's derogatory view of prostitutes is his father's relationship with a woman who was "a common born woman, daughter of a candlemaker". Lord Tytos was not a strong lord, and this woman took liberties that according to Tywin shamed house Lannister. He therefore upon his father's death punished her by stripping her naked and running her out of town.

"I was made to suffer my father's follies. I will not suffer yours."
-- Tywin to Tyrion

If one pays close attention to an earlier Tyrion chapter, where Tyrion and Varys discuss a hidden entrance to the brothel that Tyrion uses as cover:

[Tyrion:] "How is it a brothel happens to have a secret entrance?"

[Varys:] "The tunnel was dug for another King's Hand, whose honor would not allow him to enter such a house openly. Chataya has closely guarded the knowledge of its existence."

We do not know for sure, of course, but Tywin was Hand of the King for a good long time, during Aerys' reign.

With all this in mind, it does look as though Tywin has a rather warped relationship to prostitutes. He takes every chance to humiliate and punish them in public -- like he whipped Alayaya because he thought Tyrion had slept with her -- while in private, they are his guilty pleasure.

But of course, the only real evidence is that we know he slept with Shae.

  • Is it mentioned how long the brothel has been operating? – user24620 Aug 1 '14 at 12:31
  • Not that I recall, King Robert was there at some point, one of the girls had a bastard by him. Presumably, Jon Arryn and Tywin are the only hands to serve long enough the last 40 years to be the "hand" it refers to. – TLP Aug 1 '14 at 14:07
  • Yeah, but I suppose that Jon Arryn might have also been a "too honorable" for openly going to a brothel; and of course there is always the possibility that the brothel is in fact very old, and the owners changed from one time to another. – user24620 Aug 1 '14 at 14:35
  • 1
    The way Varys puts it "Chataya has closely guarded the [secret]" makes it feel like something she was personally involved in, rather than just being the last owner in line to keep it secret. And the description does fit with how we know Tywin behaves. But of course, we'll likely never know for sure. – TLP Aug 1 '14 at 14:50
  • Well, perhaps we can convince GRRM to write a short story "The Exploits of a Hand" where he tells us stories from Tywin's point of view as hand of the king... :-) – user24620 Aug 2 '14 at 3:22

Tywin is not actually opposed to whores, in fact, even the king visits them on occasion. What Tywin is opposed to is the fact that Tyrion falls in love with them and (as a child) even tries to marry 'one'.

The sons of Lords and Ladies are supposed to fall in love and marry with others of high standing so family ties can be strengthened or forged, and throwing that away to be with a woman of extremely low standing (a prostitute) is forsaking your duty to your house.

  • 3
    Your first sentence seems in particularly irrelevant. Robert and Tywin are different people. You could say that incest is not a bad thing, since Targeryan kings did it all the time... doesn't make it better. – user24620 Aug 1 '14 at 8:49
  • 4
    Actually, Tywin does hate whores. His father, Tytos, often visited whores and was always mocked (not only because of whores, but still..). He died while climbing the stairs to visit his mistress. The effort was too much for him, as he was obese. [SPOILER ALERT!!] Jaime admits to Tyrion that Tysha wasn't actually a whore. She was a simple lowborn and the story about paying her to sleep with Tyrion was thought of by Tywin, who forced Jaime to lie to Tyrion. – Stefan Urziceanu Aug 1 '14 at 9:41
  • The way I understood it, Tywin doesn't hate his father for visiting whores. He hates it that his father visited whores and wasn't discreet enough about it, much like how Tyrion fails to be discreet about things.Tywin's attitude isn't so much "don't do whores" as it is "don't do whores and get caught". I was aware of Tysha by the way, hence the 'one' instead of one, but I didn't feel like throwing in fairly irrelevant spoilers. – Theik Aug 1 '14 at 13:02

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy