Tyrion is the son Tywin raised.

There are some theories going around in ASOIAF/GOT fandom. Some of them, I agree with. Others, I don’t. One theory is that Jon Snow is actually the son of Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen. (R+L=J) That, I agree with: after reading the first book, it’s difficult to come to any other conclusion. Another fan theory concerning parentage is that Tyrion Lannister is actually the Mad King’s bastard. (MK+J=T) Which makes him half-brother to the twins, rather than full brother, a half-brother to Daenerys, and uncle to Jon Snow, presuming R+L=J is true, which I’m fairly sure it is. This theory, I don’t like. I can see the appeal of it, and I’m not saying it can’t be true, I’m just saying I don’t like it. In this post, I will show you why I don’t like the theory. Quotes from the books are pasted below the jump!

From Game of Thrones (the book), Tywin assigns Tyrion to head out to King’s Landing and serve as acting Hand to Joffrey:

He pointed a finger at Tyrion’s face. “If Cersei cannot curb the boy, you must. And if these councillors are playing us false …”
Tyrion knew. “Spikes,” he sighed. “Heads. Walls.”
“I see you have taken a few lessons from me.”
“More than you know, Father,” Tyrion answered quietly. He finished his wine and set the cup aside, thoughtful. A part of him was more pleased than he cared to admit. Another part was remembering the battle upriver, and wondering if he was being sent to hold the left again. “Why me?” he asked, cocking his head to one side. “Why not my uncle? Why not Ser Addam or Ser Flement or Lord Serrett? Why not a… bigger man?”
Lord Tywin rose abruptly. “You are my son.”
Martin, George R.R. (2003-01-01). A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 1) (pp. 744-745). Random House Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

From A Clash of Kings: Tyrion acts under his father’s instructions, not his sister’s.

Once back inside his litter, Tyrion Lannister drew the curtains and plumped a cushion under his elbow. Cersei would be displeased to learn that he had intercepted Stark’s letter, but his father had sent him here to rule, not to please Cersei.
Martin, George R.R. (2003-01-01). A Clash of Kings (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 2) (p. 238). Random House Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

Tyrion is determined to act as Tywin’s son rather than Jaime’s brother:

Tyrion stared at the dregs on the bottom of his wine cup. What would Jaime do in my place? Kill the bitch, most likely, and worry about the consequences afterward. But Tyrion did not have a golden sword, nor the skill to wield one. He loved his brother’s reckless wrath, but it was their lord father he must try and emulate.
Martin, George R.R. (2003-01-01). A Clash of Kings (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 2) (p. 585). Random House Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

From A Storm of Swords: Tyrion escapes from the Red Keep, strangles Shae, and finds his father in the middle of taking a dump. THRUM goes the crossbow, and BANG goes the arrow into Tywin’s lower abdomen.

“You always were quick to grasp a situation, my lord,” Tyrion said. “That must be why you’re the Hand of the King.”
“You … you are no … no son of mine.”
“Now that’s where you’re wrong, Father. Why, I believe I’m you writ small. Do me a kindness now, and die quickly. I have a ship to catch.”
Martin, George R.R. (2003-03-04). A Storm of Swords (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 3) (p. 1073). Random House Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

From A Feast for Crows: Jaime meets with his awesome Aunt Genna outside of Riverrun. We probably won’t see Aunt Genna on the show, which is unfortunate, because Genna is fabulous and amazing.

“How could I not love [Tywin], after that? That is not to say that I approved of all he did, or much enjoyed the company of the man that he became …but every little girl needs a big brother to protect her. Tywin was big even when he was little.” [Genna] gave a sigh. “Who will protect us now?”
Jaime kissed her cheek. “He left a son.”
“Aye, he did. That is what I fear the most, in truth.”
That was a queer remark. “Why should you fear?”
“Jaime,” she said, tugging on his ear, “sweetling, I have known you since you were a babe at Joanna’s breast. You smile like Gerion and fight like Tyg, and there’s some of Kevan in you, else you would not wear that cloak … but Tyrion is Tywin’s son, not you. I said so once to your father’s face, and he would not speak to me for half a year. Men are such thundering great fools. Even the sort who come along once in a thousand years.”
Martin, George R.R. (2005-11-08). A Feast for Crows (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 4) (pp. 567-568). Random House Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

To be clear, I don’t think Genna is suggesting that Jaime was fathered by anyone other than Tywin. Only that he inherited none of his father’s disposition, while Tyrion got all of it.

But then again, we can always find TV!Tyrion to put it in as few words as possible:

Tyrion says, just after shooting Tywin with a crossbow: "I have always been your son."

Tyrion says, just after shooting Tywin with a crossbow: “I have always been your son.”

I think the primary difference between Tyrion and his father is that Tyrion knows how it feels to be mistreated by people like Tywin. Either way, his abusing Tyrion was the most profound mistake of Tywin’s life.

3 thoughts on “Tyrion is the son Tywin raised.

  1. In general, I’m a fan of Jaime and Cersei being Aerys’ son and daughter, since it also syncs up with Aunt Genna’s statement, and it would make Jaime a patricide for killing Aerys, just like Tyrion.

    • I must confess I had not heard that theory. It certainly would be delicious irony if Tywin spent all that time acting like Tyrion wasn’t his while his beloved twins actually weren’t his. And there would be the dynastic incest parallel, as Aerys was the son of full siblings, was married to his sister and lost his oldest son, and the twins have three kids and so far have seen the death of their first son. Interesting.

      • I think there’s been a debate, both for and against the theory, a lot of it involving the dates of when Tywin took Joanna away from King’s Landing (since we know that Aerys was sweet on her.) It’s just one of those theories that I like to hold on to. (It would also explain Joffrey’s Mad King behavior, not that it needs much explanation.)

        I’ve been enjoying your Game of Thrones commentaries, by the way. It helps pass the time between seasons.

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