A whimsical short piece utterly lacking in seriousness, structure or basic critical reasoning.
One of the many unexpected treats of Game of Thrones Season 3 was the wonderful inserted scene in episode 6, in which Tywin Lannister and Olenna Tyrell argue about Lord Tywin’s desire to wed Cersei to Loras. It’s a typical example of the non-canonical brilliance that the show is so devastatingly good at: putting two powerful, strong-minded characters that see precious little of each other in the books together in the show, and making glistening, witty, intellectual gold out of what happens between them. So, after watching this truly marvellous scene half a hundred times, Her Ladyship began to think, as she does sometimes. Actually lots of times. Her ultimate conclusion is this: that these two need to get married, as in right now. Here’s why.
They’re both absurdly intelligent people used to having others tiptoe around them with fear disguised as respect. They’re also used to dealing with stupid people every day of their lives. So, from the moment Lady Olenna somewhat stoutly declares ‘Impossible!’, her opinion answered by a knowing and rather disrespectful ‘why?’, something clicks, and we’re suddenly confronted with all the simmering volcanic fire of two intellectual equals having a tremendously good time fighting each other; Lord Tywin’s reasoned, cold, insinuating civility partnering perfectly with Lady Olenna’s brash and utterly immodest humour. Each reads the other with uncanny accuracy, knows which buttons to press when, and takes an almost indecent enjoyment in the other’s discomfort; each chucking the other’s argument soundly back into their faces without the slightest trace of fear or nervousness. That they both enjoy this immensely is exemplified by Tywin’s rather naughty smile as he pours out wine, and Olenna’s evident pleasure at being defeated for once in her life: ‘it’s a rare enough thing: a man who lives up to his reputation.’ That they both need this immensely is also evident simply by making the most cursory examination of their characters: they’re both unashamed bulldozers who are used to terrifying people, and bored out of their wits with how good they are at it. Since his wife’s death, Tywin has become utterly unused to having anyone talk back to him, with the notable exception of Arya; and Olenna shows signs of being similarly afflicted even before the days of her marriage. So, facing up to someone who is masterfully capable and unafraid of cutting them down to size is not only enjoyable, but necessary for both parties. If only they would keep it up: Tywin would be less of a cruel old man, and Olenna would be less of a domineering old hag.
Sure, they’re too old to have children. But let’s hypothesise. Tywin’s ruthlessness, brains and devotion to legacy combined with Olenna’s wit, intelligence and sharp tongue would produce the most beautiful, formidable and utterly badass kids in the history of Westeros, ever.
The Money and the Power
Together, their families probably have more money than the rest of Westeros combined. They could join forces, cement their positions as shadow rulers, and put the Iron Bank of Braavos out of business while they’re at it. Their combined wealth could also buy them a small legion of Faceless Men to deal with their enemies, so the war ends, Joffrey dies (if they’re smart) and Tywin’s dream of a dynasty that will last a thousand years comes true.
At the end of the day, the entire question of why these two should get married can be reduced to three extremely simple concepts. They’re smart, they’re bored, and they love a good fight.
Empires have been built on less.