I just finished a really big piece for FanSided. Yeah, somehow I managed to come up with some ideas.
A major theme that sort of bubbled up in my analysis as I was writing the piece is that, just in case I haven’t gone into detail on it already: the Lannisters’ greatest enemy really is each other. And the funny thing is they’re all responsible to some extent. I tend to talk about Cersei and Tywin being the primary aggressors, and they are, but they’ve all played a part in bringing each other down. If someone, anyone, had shown a bit of concern for Lancel following the Blackwater, for instance, Season 5 might have happened very differently.
If the Lannisters loved each other as a family, they’d be the most unstoppable force. If Cersei had been a loving sister to Tyrion, for example, even if she’d still been a terrible person to everyone else, he would’ve adored her. He’d be her staunchest ally. If Cersei and Jaime had loved each other as brother and sister, rather than that incestuous bullshit two-halves malarkey, there’s no telling how much ass they would’ve kicked together. If Tywin had actually loved his children just for being his children, and especially if he’d been a non-shitty parent to Tyrion, they’d rule the world. If Tywin had simply been a less terrible parent to Tyrion, if nothing else, he’d probably still be alive.
The Lannisters could’ve had everything sewn up, but then they spent most of Season 4 tearing each other apart. Which is probably a good thing for the Realm; even if Tywin had been a better dad, he’d still be a vicious war criminal. Even if Cersei had been a good sister, she’d still be a terrible ruler. Jaime actually starts doing good things after he spends some time away from his family.
It’s just really quite striking how talented the Lannisters are at destroying themselves from within. Littlefinger’s been helping, and Lady Olenna’s been helping him, but they don’t even have to put in much effort.