I wanted to make a post about Tywin Lannister. If you’ve watched or read Game of Thrones, you’d know who he is. I’ve only read up to book 4 of the series (Currently reading book 5, and have not watched the show beyond that point yet either) so I can’t speak for anything that might have been revealed past this point in the story, but I just wanted to comment on something.
How is this relevant? Well, although the series doesn’t really go into this (I guess it simply never came up), Tywin Lannister was married to his first cousin. She was the mother of all their kids. I’m not exactly saying Tywin as a person is a good example for any kind of love.. haha (I actually really hate him because of how he treated Tyrion, who is my favourite character, and for how he cared more about image than his family)… but I have to admit that the way George Martin refers to Tywin’s relationship with his wife was always positive and respectful.
In the books, as in the series, the wife (Joanna) had passed away long ago so we never get to see her (again, I don’t know anything beyond book 4, so I don’t know if there are flashbacks). But we hear of her sometimes in certain passages.
Even though we don’t get much of a sense of her personality, it’s clear from the words of those who knew her that she had an influence on Tywin… There was an observation in the story about how Tywin ruled in public but his wife ruled him. And since cousin marriage was integrated into that society, it was never something that caused stigma for them… His brothers had apparently told Cersei that everyone knew that the love between Tywin and Joanna was strong. It’s also to be noted that he didn’t marry again after her death… also that he possibly used to be nicer while she was alive.
Does this make him a good person? No. He was really awful in many ways. And he had suspected that Joanna had been unfaithful to him, but this was because it was his only way of making sense of Tyrion being born a dwarf..not because Joanna had ever given him reason to doubt her.
Sadly because of the lack of gene testing technology in that setting/time, all people have in that world are superstitions and theories, which led to Tywin making the assumptions that he did. I fully believe that Tyrion is Tywin’s son because the guy has Tywin’s qualities, cunning and intelligence (as was noted many times in the books).
From all that was said by others, it seemed the love between Tywin and Joanna was mutual and true. Portrayals like that really show that Gorge Martin is an honest writer, for allowing the idea that not all incest is abusive and not all cousin marriages are about convenience alone (keeping “money in the family”).
Tyrion turned against Tywin in the end because of Tywin’s own cruelty, not because of a defective quality begotten through his lineage.
So, while Tywin himself was a scumbag… his marriage was not portrayed as being tainted or loveless. I’m strangely touched by that.