Game Of Thrones was essentially a war and power struggle between several families with conflicting interests and values – jostling for positions and fighting for justice in the cruel lands of Westeros and beyond. While the Starks were often viewed as the protagonists, fans of the show were often divided when considering their favorite families and characters, with some even preferring the more antagonistic Lannisters.
In the harsh world of Game Of Thrones, the Lannisters had found wealth and high standing with the crown, giving them a formidable reputation. As events of Game Of Thrones unfolded, Lannisters had to endure trials and tribulations of their own, despite their standing and their flirtations with power. While there were plenty of perks to being a Lannister, there were also drawbacks.
10 Harsh Reality: The Lannisters Having The Throne Put A Huge Target On Their Backs By Default
For all the enemies that the Lannisters gained over the course of Game of Thrones, a majority were made due to the actions of various Lannisters. However, the Lannisters sat on the throne and had the power that everybody else desired which was reason enough to put a target on their backs.
Although their power, wealth and reputation warned off most potential rebellions, powerful armies and alliances posed a real threat. Daenerys with her quest for conquest from the seventh season onwards really jeopardized the Lannisters.
9 Perk: Tywin Had Rebuilt The Family And Given His Children A Chance To Build On The Family Legacy
Considered to be one of the Great Houses of Westeros, the Lannister family were stabilized and rebuilt by Tywin, who turned them into the mega-force of Westeros. The Lannisters may not have always been the most well-respected – but they had wealth, standing and a future to look forward to, all thanks to what they had built.
No matter people’s opinions of him, Tywin erased the memories of his father Tytos’s misgivings and failures. Tywin did so in an attempt to give his children and their children a legacy to uphold, adding a fitting sense of pride to the family whose Sigil was a lion.
8 Harsh Reality: Tywin’s Obsession With The Family Name & Legacy Saw Him Neglect His Children
Tywin Lannister’s obsession with keeping the family name as an untarnished and formidable entity was ultimately one of many reasons why everything imploded. He was harsh on his children, but protected them, as long as it benefitted the family name in the long run.
Tywin worked hard to rebuild the family that he couldn’t accept any chance of the Lannister family failing or the name being besmudged. The scandal involving his children, Jaime and Cersei, was a catalyst to many of the fights and conflicts that emerged over the course of Game Of Thrones. Tywin appeared to be oblivious, perhaps he was genuinely unaware of it or perhaps his pride had forced him to suppress any knowledge or emotion regarding the matter.
7 Perk: The Lannisters Commanded Power, Albeit Mostly Through Fear
From the work that Tywin put into restoring the Lannister family name, the Lannisters became feared. They were also considered to be among the most powerful and wealthy families in Westeros. Whether the power that the Lanniesters held can be considered respect or fear, it saw them hold strategic points and a substantial foothold within Westeros.
Cersei would eventually build on this ethos but certainly sided more towards ruling with fear. This instilled a sense of dread towards the end of her tenure around King’s Landing.
6 Harsh Reality: Their Actions Tempted Fate With Consequences & Vengeance-Seekers
Aside from being in possession of the Iron Throne for the majority of Game Of Thrones, the Lannisters also put plenty of targets on themselves by making enemies along the way. Rumors of the scandal surrounding the true lineage of Cersei’s three children began to leak. The scandal gave the general public cause to speculate, mock and ridicule.
Additionally, Joffrey’s decision to behead Ned Stark drew the rage and anger of the North, instantly instigating hostilities between the Lannisters and the Starks. This drastically escalated the events of Game Of Thrones. The Lannisters were ultimately responsible for the likes of the Red Wedding by striking secret alliances with the Freys and Boltons, another scheme that added fuel to this ever-raging fire.
5 Perk: Lannisters Possessed Considerable Wealth & Worth
The Lannister’s wealth was well-documented and talked about throughout Game Of Thrones, with “a Lannister always pays his debts” a constantly thrown-about phrase. This referred to favors and debts, be they monetary or vengeful. But Tyrion in particular hammered home the Lannisters’ endless amounts of wealth and money.
However, Tywin revealed on multiple occasions that the Crown had accrued a substantial debt, with them needing help and an alliance with the Tyrells. This still does not change the fact that the Lannisters still flaunted their wealth over the less fortunate.
4 Harsh Reality: Every Lannister Had To Deal With Their Own Personal Demons & Traumas
The Lannisters each had individual problems and personal demons that came into play, often with deadly or dire consequences. Tyrion had to deal with abuse, jibes and mockery for years regarding his nature, Jaime and Cersei’s relationship sparked conspiracies and conflicts, and their children ultimately got caught up in the consequences.
Tyrion was even driven to kill his father. He finally snapped when he discovered his former love, Shae, in his father’s bed, who Tyrion also subsequently killed. Tyrion had to flee and discover a life outside of the Lannister name. Jaime had life as he knew it taken away from him, when Locke chopped off his sword-wielding hand. The Lannister’s really suffered consequences for their actions, whether they were just causes in the first place or not.
3 Perk: Their Standing Drew Allies & Followers Who Would Get Their Hands Dirty For Them
The Lannister’s power gave them the means to control and enlist other families to do their dirty work, and keep their hands clean of responsibility and accountability. The Red Wedding is the main example of this, with Roose Bolton and Walder Frey turning on the Starks and dealing a severe blow to the overall war effort. Cersei even employed the services of Bronn to try to kill her brothers, Tyrion and Jaime. Though this was more of an internal struggle.
2 Harsh Reality: Power & Deception Tore The Family Apart & Ultimately Destroyed It
Cersei’s scheming and plotting ultimately tore her family apart. The affair, subsequent fallout and scandal exposed how the Lannisters had been using the Baratheons and King Robert as puppets.
Cersei lost her three children due to various people’s actions in the wars that followed. Joffrey being killed by Petyr Baelish and Lady Olenna Tyrell. Myrcella being killed by Ellaria Sand, and Tommen’s demise due to Cersei’s own actions of vengeance. In amongst all of this, Tyrion also killed Tywin, the head of the family, due to his own deceit and years of torment.
1 Perk: The Lannisters Had Been Fortunate Enough To Gain Experience & Preparation Before Dealing With The Harsh Realities Of Life
For better or worse, the children of Tywin Lannister all learned from him. From surviving to ruling, diplomacy to war. Forgetting how everything was wrapped up in the eighth season of Game Of Thrones, the three children all embarked on very different paths, but they had each been given a certain level of preparation beforehand.
Jaime still had his swordsmanship knowledge and wherewithal even after he lost his hand, so merely needed to adjust accordingly. Cersei learned how to rule and scheme from her father, which she did until she died. Tyrion served as Hand to two Kings and a Queen over the course of the show, learning and applying new strategies and ideas each time.