Tower of the Hand

Tywin Lannister, Machiavellianist?

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This post discusses the fifth book of the series, A Dance with Dragons (published 2011). If you've completed the book, set your scope above to ADWD. Otherwise, we advise you to avoid reading this post as it may contain spoilers.

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Footnotes

Warning: Footnotes may contain spoilers from later chapters or books.
  • 1 - Steven Attewell: Hands of the King; "Machiavellianism for a Purpose," Tower of the Hand: A Hymn for Spring (2015).
  • 2 - George R. R. Martin: The World of Ice & Fire, p. 146.
  • 3 - George R. R. Martin: The World of Ice & Fire, p. 77-81.
  • 4 - George R. R. Martin: The World of Ice & Fire, p. 148.
  • 5 - I use the word here in a rather loose sense. Here it signifies the prince, lord or king.
  • 6 - Note that "amoral" is not the same as "immoral". If something is amoral it means - in this context - that morality is not a concern in the first place. Immoral, on the other hand, means "at odds with a distinct moral code". While we can relatively easily make the case for considering Tywin's deeds immoral, depending on which moral code we apply, we would only be able to consider his actions amoral if we were able to show that he is not acting according to a moral code.
  • 7 - Cf. Ludwig Siep: Machtzerfall, Legitimierung und Widerstandsrecht in der politischen Philosophie der Frühen Neuzeit.

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