Hear Me Roar
Home to the wealthiest of the great houses, the keep at Casterly Rock sits literally on top of a gold mine, built into the very rock. From that lofty yet uncomfortable position, House Lannister rules over the Westerlands (and influences all of Westeros, by virtue of the kingdom’s purse strings). With the ascension of Lord Tywin to the house seat, the Lords of the Rock developed a reputation for ruthlessness as well as riches. This was due in part to Tywin’s remorseless efforts to keep his bannerhouses in line, but also because Aerys II was murdered by one of his own Kingsguard: Ser Jaime Lannister. Their unofficial motto states, “A Lannister always pays his debts.”
With the recent death of Lord Tywin Lannister, his brother Kevan now rules House Lannister.
The Lannisters claim descent from the legendary trickster, Lann the Clever, along the women’s line. Legends say that Lann conned the Casterlys out of Casterly Rock using only his wits, then plucked gold from the sun to brighten his hair. Even without such a claim, their connection to the Age of Heroes is clearly marked by their fair hair and tall, handsome build — hallmark traits of Andal blood.
When Aegon the Conqueror swept through the land, King Loren of the Rock sided with King Mern of the Reach against the Targaryens. They were defeated upon the Field of Fire, but King Loren survived and later swore fealty to Aegon. Following his surrender, he sired an heir who continued the Lannister line.
Lord Tywin’s father, Tytos, was an amiable but weak man who was mocked and swindled not only by his bannermen, but even his mistress. Even before Tytos’s death, Tywin proved himself repeatedly to be made of sterner stuff than his father, eradicating two of Lannister’s disloyal bannerhouses.
At the age of 20, Tywin became the King’s Hand. During his two decades as Hand to Aerys, Tywin rose to such power that some considered him to be the true ruler of the Seven Kingdoms. He gave up his position, however, after his eldest son, Jaime, was accepted into the Kingsguard at the age of 15. Tywin resigned under a thin pretext, for he believed Aerys was playing games with him by taking away his heir. Tywin returned to Casterly Rock with his daughter, Cersei.
During Robert Baratheon’s rebellion, Aerys summoned Lord Tywin’s swords. Tywin did not respond at once, instead waiting until after Prince Rhaegar’s defeat at the Trident to march toward King’s Landing. When 12,000 Lannister men finally arrived at King’s Landing, the Mad King was desperate for help. He opened the gates to Lannister’s soldiers believing Tywin to be his saviour. It instead proved to be his undoing, as the Lannisters sacked the city while Ser Jaime slit the king’s throat.
Eddard Stark arrived in King’s Landing to find the lion banner of the Lannisters flying above the castle and Jaime seated on the Iron Throne. While Jaime readily yielded the throne to Lord Stark and House Lannister swore fealty to King Robert, Jaime’s betrayal of Aerys has continued to live on in infamy.
To be a Lannister is to know one deserves nobility. Whatever the Lannisters may have been before Lord Tywin is irrelevant, for he forcefully shaped his family into his vision of near perfection. The famous golden Lannister mask has many cracks beneath it, however, as his children and grandchildren seek to be more than his puppets. Those who can hide their deficiencies and maintain the illusion of Lannister greatness are welcomed, while those with more obvious shortcomings, such as Tyrion, are cursed to be neither fully included nor excluded from the house’s agenda.
Casterly Rock is a fortress carved from a stone on the shores of the Sunset Sea, next to the city of Lannisport. Extensive gold mines run beneath the castle. The Lannisters also control gold mines at Castamere, Nunn’s Deep, the Pendric Hills, and the Golden Tooth. The last is also the site of a small but formidable castle that protects the Westerlands from invaders from the east.
With the death of Lord Tywin, the future of House Lannister has fallen into uncertainy. Tywin’s brother Kevan now rules House Lannister. As Lord of the Westerlands, Kevan also receives the title of Warden of the West; he is additionally styled as the Shield of Lannisport. Tywin’s eldest son Jamie remains among the Kingsguard and his daughter Cersei, the once Queen of the Seven Kingdoms, has been imprisoned by order of the High Septon. His third son, Tyrion, is untitled and his whereabouts are unknown.
Tywin’s original goals had been the promotion of his house, ensured by forming beneficial marriages for his children. While Jaime thwarted him by becoming a member of the Kingsguard, he was able to arrange the wedding between his daughter, Cersei, and Robert Baratheon, who later poisoned Robert and became Queen Regent. But circumstances have changed greatly for the Lannisters since they held the Iron Throne. With prominent members now either dead or captive including Tywin himself, Kevan’s goal is to simply hold on to his seat of power.
ALLIED HOUSES: None
ENEMY HOUSES: Stark, Tully
Robert’s death is a mixed blessing for the Lannisters. With Joffrey too young to properly rule the Seven Kingdoms, Cersei assumed the mantle of Queen Regent in order to provide a guiding hand for the young monarch. Combined with Tyrion’s orders from his father to provide guidance in court, Casterly Rock was once in firm control over the Iron Throne. But things began to unravel thereafter, first with Joeffrey’s poisoning followed by Tywin’s death and Cersei’s imprisonment. With a war on every front, the fate of House Lannister is now uncertain and rests upon the ability of Tywin’s brother, Kevan.
Kevan Lannister, elder brother of Twyin Lannister, is Lord of Casterly Rock. His wife is Dorna Swift. Together, they have three living children: Lancel, Martyn, and Janei.
Tywin Lannister’s children are: Ser Jaime Lannister, Kevan’s nephew, is a member of the Kingsguard; Cersei Baratheon, Kevan’s niece, is the former Queen Regent of the Seven Kingdoms imprisoned in King’s Landing; and Tyrion Lannister, “The Imp.” Genna, Kevan’s only sister, is married to Ser Emmon Frey.
FEATS: Able Body; Blood of the Andals; Gold Breeder; Hear Me Roar; Silver Tongue
SOCIAL STATUS: Rank 4 (Member of a Great House)
Brax, Broom, Clegane, Crakehall, Lefford, Lorch, Lydden, Marbrand, Payne, Prester, Serrett, Swyft, Westerling