Tower of the Hand

Tywin Lannister, Machiavellianist?

SCOPE No books read

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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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.


Warning: Discussions are not subject to scope. That is, commenters can and often do discuss events from the most recent A Song of Ice and Fire book and/or Game of Thrones episode.

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