How the Lannisters on "House of the Dragon" Connect to the Ones on "Game of Thrones"
In the universe of "Game of Thrones," few Houses are as notable or powerful as House Lannister. When we meet them on "Game of Thrones," they're seemingly invincible, married into royalty, and controlling much of Westeros with their schemes and their money. "House of the Dragon" has introduced Lannisters into the story, and like their descendants, they're set to play a major role in the brewing conflict.
Across the two shows, we've met several Lannisters so far, all of whom have turned out to be critical to the story as a whole. Since "House of the Dragon" takes place centuries before "Game of Thrones," many of the Lannisters we know, like Cersei, Jaime, and Tyrion, will not have any role in the series. House Lannister is still represented, and at least one or two Lannisters are likely to have even bigger roles going forward.
To help you keep track of who's who in House Lannister, we've put together a rundown of the most significant members of the noble House we've met so far. Here's who to keep an eye on and how they're connected to the characters we already know and love (or love to hate).
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Jason Lannister and Tyland Lannister
On "House of the Dragon," the prominent Lannisters at court are a pair of twin brothers: Lord Jason Lannister and his brother, Ser Tyland Lannister. Jason, the elder twin, is the Lord of Casterly Rock, seat of the Lannister family. When he's introduced on "House of the Dragon," he's first seen smugly (and unsubtly) trying to convince Rhaenyra to marry him. Rhaenyra is unimpressed and rejects him, frustrating both Jason and her father, Viserys, who's hoping to make her a match sooner rather than later.
We see less of Jason's younger twin, Tyland, who seems to be on the king's advisory council and takes messages back and forth from time to time. If "House of the Dragon" follows a similar storyline as the book "Fire & Blood," both twins will have a significant role to play in the Dance of the Dragons.
Centuries later, the head of House Lannister is Tywin, a formidable, wealthy, and ruthless lord. By Tywin's time, House Lannister has become one of the most powerful houses in Westeros, in large part due to its vast wealth. Prior to Robert's Rebellion, Tywin was Hand of the King to Aerys II Targaryen, aka the "Mad King." The increasingly paranoid king rejected Tywin's proposal of marrying his daughter Cersei to the king's heir, Rhaegar, and, out of spite and paranoia, forced Tywin's son Jaime into the Kingsguard, where knights are forbidden to marry and have heirs.
When Robert Baratheon rebels against the crown, Tywin keeps House Lannister neutral until it's clear which side will win. Then, he takes his forces to King's Landing under the pretense of defending the king but actually sides with Robert. He orders the sacking of the city and the brutal murder of the royal family, and his son Jaime kills the king. Afterward, Tywin has Cersei married to Robert.
Throughout the succession crisis after Robert's death, Tywin works to grab even more power for him and his house, both on the battlefield and through strategic marriages. He consolidates his power, arranges for the Red Wedding to slaughter the Starks, and halts other alliances in their tracks. His hatred and resentment for his youngest son, Tyrion, prove to be his undoing, and Tyrion kills his father after one betrayal too many.
Twins seem to run in the Lannister family, and none perhaps so famous as Jaime and Cersei. As the older son of Tywin Lannister and his cousin-wife, Joanna, Jaime is intended as the heir to Casterly Rock, but King Aerys II forces him into the Kingsguard instead. It's Jaime who kills Aerys during Robert's Rebellion, after the Mad King ordered him to kill his family and burn all of King's Landing with a wildfire cache. Aerys's vicious final orders are unknown to the public, who only know Jaime as the "Kingslayer."
Jaime spends many years in an incestuous relationship with his twin sister, Cersei, resulting in the birth of three children who are officially believed to be Robert Baratheon's. When Bran Stark catches them, Jaime shoves the boy out of a high window, nearly killing him. Jaime goes on a long journey during the subsequent war, eventually being captured by the Starks and sent back to King's Landing in exchange for the release of the Stark children held there. Along the way, his prickly animosity with Brienne of Tarth becomes something like friendship, although he does lose his sword hand to enemies.
After being reunited with his family, Jaime is given a prosthetic hand and a new sword. Over time, he becomes disillusioned with them, especially after watching his children die. He pushes for an alliance with other Houses to fight the White Walkers and, when Cersei double-crosses them, chooses to lead his own army North to help fight. He survives the battle and briefly starts a relationship with Brienne but ultimately returns to King's Landing, where he's killed alongside Cersei when the Red Keep is destroyed.
Ambitious and complicated, Cersei Lannister is the elder twin sister of Jaime and the only daughter of Tywin and Joanna. As a young woman, she's given a prophecy that defines her life: that she would marry a king (not a prince), that her children would die, and that a younger and more beautiful queen would eventually take her place.
From a young age, Cersei has an incestuous relationship with her twin brother, Jaime, producing three children who are widely believed to be the product of her marriage to King Robert Baratheon. Cersei schemes to build power for herself in a world where women are largely confined to the role of wife and mother — willingly or not. She's one of the driving forces behind House Lannister's power plays, and as her sons Joffrey and Tommen take the throne successively, she is the real power behind the throne. After the death of Tommen (the last of her children surviving), she takes the throne for herself.
As Queen, Cersei's priority is consolidating power to fight off their many enemies. She feigns interest in an alliance against the White Walkers but secretly plans to let them all fight it out, then conquer the weakened survivors. She's shocked, then, when the combined forces — including Jaime — return victorious. Alongside Jaime, Cersei is killed in the destruction of King's Landing, buried beneath the rubble of the Red Keep.
The youngest son of Tywin and Joanna, Tyrion Lannister is viewed with disgust by most of his family, both for being a dwarf and for the fact that Joanna died giving birth to him. Only his brother, Jaime, treats him with something resembling familial affection, while his father, sister, and nephew Joffrey openly hate him. Tyrion has a reputation for drinking, sleeping with sex workers, and answering everything with sarcasm, but he's much savvier than those around him believe.
During the war after Robert's death, Tyrion is shuffled around quite a bit. First, he's a captive of House Stark, which blames him for Bran's injury, then he's returned to King's Landing. He's injured but not killed in the Battle of Blackwater, where he masterminds the victory. As part of one scheme, he's forced to marry Sansa Stark, although he assures her he will not force her into bed and even tries to shield her from some of Joffrey's cruelty. He is later blamed for Joffrey's murder, actually does kill Tywin, and escapes thanks to Jaime's help.
Tyrion meets with Daenerys Targaryen and, in time, agrees to join her side and becomes Hand of the Queen. His diplomacy helps to gain Daenerys more allies and resources, and he's with her delegation when Jon Snow comes to ask for help. Tyrion manages to survive the bloody end of the war, and it is he who suggests the idea of electing kings, starting with Bran Stark.