Ep. 3 - Tywin Talks to Tommen

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Ep. 3 - Tywin Talks to Tommen

Postby Saggins » Mon Apr 21, 2014 4:39 am

Tonight there was a really intriguing conversation between Tywin and Tommen where he employs the Socratic Method to teach his royal grandson the importance of wisdom and heeding the council of others. It's worth transcription and dissection:

Game of Thrones Season 4, Episode 7 - 8m30s wrote:
Cersei and Tommen stand in the middle of the Sept of Baelor, paying their respects to the late King Joffrey Baratheon who lies raised on a platform with painted rocks for eyes and Widow's Wail along his body. As Lord Tywin approaches, two of the Kingsguard man the exit while the High Septon, a few Silent Sisters and other clergy of the Seven look on in the background.

Tywin: Your brother is dead. Do you know what that means? [Lord Tywin steps closer as Tommen eyes him suspiciously] I'm not trying to trick you.

Tommen: It means I'll become king.

Tywin: Yes, you will become king. What kind of king do you think you'll be?

Tommen: A good king?

Tywin: Hm, I think so as well. You've got the right temperament for it. But what makes a good king? Hmm? What is a good king's single most important quality?—

Cersei: This is hardly the place or the time.

Tommen: [the cub ignores his mother with an expression of curiosity] Holiness?

Tywin: [the elder lion dismisses Cersei's input as well, keeping eye-contact with Tommen] Hmm. Baelor the Blessed was holy. And pious. He built this sept. [Tywin begins to pace as his tone shifts to mentoring condescension] He also named a six-year-old boy High Septon because he thought the boy could work miracles. He ended up fasting himself into an early grave because [Tywin mockingly bobs his head as he speaks] 'food was of this world, and this world was sinful'.

Tommen: Justice?

Tywin: [Tywin nods and grumbles in agreement] A good king must be just. Orys I (pronounced Orys the first) was just. Everyone applauded his reforms, nobles and commoners alike. He was murdered in his sleep after less than a year, by his own brother. Was that truly just of him, to abandon his subjects to an evil he was too gullible to recognize?

Tommen: No.

Tywin: [Tywin shakes his head in agreement] No.

Tommen: What about strength?

Tywin: [Tywin nods his head and grunts approvingly] Yes. Strength. King Robert was strong. He won the rebellion and crushed the Targaryen Dynasty. [Tywin's voice shifts again to sneering condescension] And he attended three small council meetings in seventeen years. He spent his time whoring, and hunting and drinking... until the last two killed him. So, we have a man who starves himself to death; a man who lets his own brother murder him; and a man who thinks that winning and ruling are the same thing. [Tywin looks directly at Tommen expectantly] What do they all lack?

Tommen: Wisdom! [It's not a question]

Tywin: Yes! [Tywin yells the word in a whisper, and almost smiles]

Cersei: [The lioness does not speak, but turns her head to completely face her son with eyes wide open]

Tommen: Wisdom is what makes a good king.

Tywin: Yes. But what is wisdom? Hmm?

Cersei: [The mother remains silent and slowly shifts her eyes to her father, and then cuts them back to her elder cub's corpse when Tommen fails to find his answer]

Tywin: A house with great wealth and fertile lands asks you for your protection against another with a strong navy that could one day oppose you. How do you know which choice is wise and which isn't?

Tommen: [The boy looks through Tywin blankly without uttering a reply]

Tywin: You've any experience with treasuries and granaries, or shipyards and soldiers?

Tommen: No. [the Prince admits defeatedly]

Tywin: No. Of course not. A wise king knows what he knows and what he doesn't. You're young. A wise young king listens to his counselors and heeds their advice until he comes of age. And the wisest kings continue to listen to them long afterwards. Your brother was not a wise king.

Cersei: [Still silent her face looks up and into the distance as she endures the Hand of the King's lecturing insults of her freshly dead firstborn over his own corpse]

Tywin: Your brother was not a good king. [Tywin's tone shifts to sneering condescension once more] If he had been, perhaps he'd still be alive.

Cersei: [Remaining forever silent, her eyebrow raises in question above teared eyes that follow Tywin and Tommen. She appears as if she wants to protest as the realization that The Hand has complete control over her royal son washes over her, but she neither speaks nor moves]

Tywin: [The Hand approaches his grandson and leads him by his arm to exit as they speak] Now, as the king you will have to marry. Do you understand why?

Tommen: The king needs a queen.

Tywin: Yes, but why? [Tywin does not wait for a reply] To further the family line.

Cersei: [Cersei ceases all protest and her attention returns to Joffrey]

Tywin: Do you know how that happens?

Tommen: Yes.

Tywin: Yes, but has anyone explained the details to you?

Tommen: Umm, I don't think so.

Tywin: It's all relatively straightforward— [Tywin's eyes meet Jaime's as he enters]

Jaime: [Looking his youngest child in the face] How are you?

Tommen: [the Prince regains his posture and speaks confidently] I'm alright.

Jaime: You are. You will be. [Jaime puts his hand on Tommen] I'll see to that.

Tywin: [The Hand shifts his hand to Tommen's opposite shoulder as they exit quietly]


We have some very interesting dynamics here. For one there is Cersei. When Robert died she felt nothing for him and had acted the swiftest to place her bastard incest-child on the Iron Throne. However now that that bastard king has died she is clearly not able to command the same cold, calculating precision to take control of her younger son. Tywin on the other hand seizes the opportunity without hesitation and she clearly finds his coldness shocking. Perhaps it is an offspring's submission to her father, or perhaps she's too grief stricken over Joffrey to protest. Either way, Tommen is in Tywin's hands.

Then you have the Jaime dynamic. It's very brief, but Jaime made the point that he's going to continue to protect Tommen in front of Tywin. The effect here was two-fold: He was reassuring his son that he is a safe in his hands... er, hand, even if Joffrey was not; and two, he is doing this directly in front of his father which is a direct insult to Tywin by reaffirming his commitment two episodes ago to act against his wishes and remain Lord Commander of the Kingsguard. Oddly the Lord Commander is dressed in the long coat we saw him sport in Season 1, and he is completely unarmed while he passes by two fellow Kingsguard at the entrance who are armed, armored and even crowned with helmets indoors. So his demeanor really betrays his words, which could have been what made speaking them so necessary.

Now lastly we have Tywin's perspective. On one hand his bastard grandson died which he doesn't seem to mind, but pragmatically it makes their regime, if you will, look vulnerable. If that bothers him however he does not seem to express it, likely following his own advice he gave Jaime in Season 1: "The Lion does not concern himself with the opinions of the sheep." Not only does he display no emotion he dismisses any feelings Cersei and Tommen could have for him as well by blatantly insulting his eldest bastard grandchild in his Socratic lecture to Tommen. He's completely thrown any courtesy and formality out the window, went over Cersei's head and grasped the boy who will be king (Tommen will need a coronation, meaning he's still a prince despite being heir) before anyone else can. In what appears to be Tywin's tutoring of Tommen to be a wise king, he is in practice taking advantage of Tommen's youth, inexperience and possible vulnerability in his grief over his brother to persuade him to let his grandfather rule or at least make all of Tommen's decisions for him. This is something Joffrey would never stand for, and it would effectively make the Hand king in all but name. Tywin's move is so subtle that Cersei doesn't even realize what he's doing until he begins escorting Tommen away from her.

These were six minutes of absolute brilliance.

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Re: Ep. 3 - Tywin Talks to Tommen

Postby Steppricon » Mon Apr 21, 2014 12:15 pm

Honestly, I found this scene to be one of the best scenes in the series yet. The writing was brilliant, the setting was perfect, and the dialogue itself was magnificent. Dance's performance was powerful, taking the oppurtunity to tutor his grand son to be a better king than Joff, calling upon history to provide tommen with the guidance he needs to be a great ruler. Cersei's silence was perfect for the tone of the scene. I loved every second of it
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Re: Ep. 3 - Tywin Talks to Tommen

Postby DarrenT » Mon Apr 21, 2014 1:15 pm

Totally agree this was an awesome scene. Charles Dance has that Christopher Lee commanding presence and he plays Tywin perfectly. It says alot about a person who can seem so threatening with a whisper. I can't think of a scene where Tywin wasn't the dominant person in the scene. Joffrey and Cersei try, Tyrion gives him a run for his money and Olenna was about as close to equal in the scene where they agree to Cersei and Loras' marriage, but he always leaves the other person feeling woefully inadequate.

This scene was a pretty blatant message to Cersei that she will not be given the chance to let Tommen get out of control like she did Joffrey. Even Jaime tries to stake a claim to him but it looks like Tywin is aiming for being the Hand and Regent, in practice if not in name.

Side note: I actually think Tywin might be the most equipped person in the entire story to be King. He has served as Hand for over 20 years for 2 complete lunatics and done a pretty good job of keeping the peace. It wasn't until he resigned as Hand that Aerys tried to blow up King's Landing and Rhaegar and Robert started a war. And had he been in King's Landing for Ned Stark's confession there is no chance he would have allowed Joffrey to kill him. Tywin would have likely traded Ned for Jaime and kept Sansa and Arya to ensure that the North stay loyal to the crown.

Don't get me wrong, Tywin is willing to do terrible things (Red Wedding, Elia Martell, setting Gregor loose on whoever needs some of the "King's peace") but I think he does them for somewhat justifiable reasons and if he wasn't trying to rule under a lunatic then he'd probably be better at keeping the peace.
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Re: Ep. 3 - Tywin Talks to Tommen

Postby Webswinger » Mon Apr 21, 2014 2:56 pm

I especially like the shot of Tywin and Tommen walking away and leaving Cersei without even a bye. she is in the foreground with one son she lost and her other son is walking away all but lost to her also. This scene also sets up the battle to see how manipulates the young King. A thread that should run through the next two seasons.
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Re: Ep. 3 - Tywin Talks to Tommen

Postby DarrenT » Mon Apr 21, 2014 3:05 pm

Yeah it will be interesting for sure and definitely setting up a theme. I wonder how much change there will be, if any, because of Tommen being considerably older in the show. Yes he's young but in Westeros hes nearly entering manhood. Book Tommen doesn't really seem to even grasp his power and would literally sign and seal anything you put in front of him because he likes using the wax. Show Tommen seems to understand his role and duty coming up.

We still better see Ser Pounce and Boots and the gang though.
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Re: Ep. 3 - Tywin Talks to Tommen

Postby Webswinger » Mon Apr 21, 2014 3:37 pm

DarrenT wrote:Yeah it will be interesting for sure and definitely setting up a theme. I wonder how much change there will be, if any, because of Tommen being considerably older in the show. Yes he's young but in Westeros hes nearly entering manhood. Book Tommen doesn't really seem to even grasp his power and would literally sign and seal anything you put in front of him because he likes using the wax. Show Tommen seems to understand his role and duty coming up.

We still better see Ser Pounce and Boots and the gang though.


but just as malleable in both books and show. The show does a good job of portraying him as an innocent that really doesn't know how awful and backstabbing the world he is entering actually is. Even though this actors first lines are in this episode.
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Re: Ep. 3 - Tywin Talks to Tommen

Postby DarrenT » Mon Apr 21, 2014 3:52 pm

Webswinger wrote:
DarrenT wrote:Yeah it will be interesting for sure and definitely setting up a theme. I wonder how much change there will be, if any, because of Tommen being considerably older in the show. Yes he's young but in Westeros hes nearly entering manhood. Book Tommen doesn't really seem to even grasp his power and would literally sign and seal anything you put in front of him because he likes using the wax. Show Tommen seems to understand his role and duty coming up.

We still better see Ser Pounce and Boots and the gang though.


but just as malleable in both books and show. The show does a good job of portraying him as an innocent that really doesn't know how awful and backstabbing the world he is entering actually is. Even though this actors first lines are in this episode.


No question that Tommen is exponentially easier to control and rule through but he does at least seem to have a notion of what is expected of him in the show. I definitely think the Tyrell's will be able to manipulate him but maybe not quite so easily as in the books.
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Re: Ep. 3 - Tywin Talks to Tommen

Postby Webswinger » Mon Apr 21, 2014 4:05 pm

DarrenT wrote:
No question that Tommen is exponentially easier to control and rule through but he does at least seem to have a notion of what is expected of him in the show. I definitely think the Tyrell's will be able to manipulate him but maybe not quite so easily as in the books.


I think your right. We maybe in for some very uncomfortable "HBO" type seduction scenes. That could be why they recast Tommen with and older actor. I cane see Margaery taking advantage of a boy going through puberty
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Re: Ep. 3 - Tywin Talks to Tommen

Postby DarrenT » Wed Apr 23, 2014 12:29 pm

Webswinger wrote:
DarrenT wrote:
No question that Tommen is exponentially easier to control and rule through but he does at least seem to have a notion of what is expected of him in the show. I definitely think the Tyrell's will be able to manipulate him but maybe not quite so easily as in the books.


I think your right. We maybe in for some very uncomfortable "HBO" type seduction scenes. That could be why they recast Tommen with and older actor. I cane see Margaery taking advantage of a boy going through puberty


Thats a great point. They probably recast for exactly that reason. It will definitely still be uncomfortable but not completely out of the realm of possibility in that world. Even in Westeros, I'd think seducing an 8 year old would be considered creepy.
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Re: Ep. 3 - Tywin Talks to Tommen

Postby Saggins » Sun Apr 27, 2014 10:32 pm

Webswinger wrote:I think your right. We maybe in for some very uncomfortable "HBO" type seduction scenes. That could be why they recast Tommen with and older actor. I cane see Margaery taking advantage of a boy going through puberty



Boy did you hit the nail on the head tonight. I love making these.

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