Saturday, August 21, 2010

Charles Dance to play Tywin Lannister

In news that is a few weeks old and far overdue (on my part) Tywin Lannister, the patriarch of House Lannister has been cast.

Here is what Wikipedia has to say about Tywin
Lord of Casterly Rock, Shield of Lannisport and Warden of the West, Tywin is a calculating, ruthless, and controlling man in his mid-fifties. He was happily married to Joanna Lannister, a cousin, but she died in childbirth while delivering his son Tyrion, and he took no other wife. He loves his children Jaime and Cersei, but despises Tyrion for being deformed and causing his beloved Joanna's death, as well as shaming the family name with his frequent whoring.
Wikipedia does a nice job with their overview of Tywin, but they don't get into how he is one of most influential people in Westeros.......And it's not because the father of Jaime, Cersei, and Tyrion is probably biggest determining factor in each their personalities. No, his influence extends far beyond whether it's the allies he has made during his tenure as Hand of the King, his masterful military strategy or the fact Casterly Rock (the Lannister's castle) is the richest area in Westeros. Either way, it's a simple fact, though Robert Baratheon may be king of the realm, Tywin Lannister is the most powerful man in Westeros.

Tywin is a tall, slender, broad-shouldered man in his fifties. He has kept his head shaved ever since he started going bald, but grows bushy golden side-whiskers out all the same. He has green eyes flecked with gold. In battle, he wears deep crimson armor highlighted with gold, with a cloth-of-gold cape

That title didn't just fall into Tywin's hands. No, the Lord of Casterly Rock has earned that title by shedding a lot of blood, making decisions that most people balk at, and being absolutely ruthless. He singlehandedly turned House Lannister from the being the laughingstock of Westeros into the most powerful house in the realm. His reign as the "Hand of the King" marked one of the most fruitful periods in the history of Westeros. In fact, according to Wikipedia
"Though ruthless, Tywin Lannister was also an able and shrewd ruler who brought great prosperity during his dual, nonconsecutive tenures as Hand of the King. He was especially talented at the raising of funds, leading to persistent rumors of a "Midas touch" and even the whispered jest that he must "shit gold".
You can probably tell by now that Lord Tywin is one of the most important characters in the series, which is why the team behind Game of Thrones had to make sure that they had the absolute right actor to play Tywin. Ever since I saw Lost, I couldn't really see anyone but Alan Dale playing Twin. As Widmore, he had the whole stern face, unforgiving attitude, and he was impossible to please much like the Patriarch of the Lannisters. He also appeared in Entourage so he did have the prior relationship with HBO. I fervently hoped that HBO would make Dale as Tywin happen. Unfortunately, I didn't get my wish, but George RR Martin, David Benioff, and Dan Weiss (the team behind Thrones) did get their first choice....I will let George explain
Playing Tywin Lannister, Lord of Casterly Rock and Warden of the West, will be the distinguished British star of stage and screen CHARLES DANCE, O.B.E., who has been our dream casting for this role since the moment we were greenlighted.
Dance was a popular choice among fans to play Tywin, and it appears as if he was the dream choice for Martin and Company as well. Martin elaborates on Dance's resume and he thought the actor was perfect for the role of Tywin.
Dance was one of the fan favorites for Lord Tywin as well, so he needs no introduction for many of you, I know. For the rest... he has been acting professionally since 1974, but the role that really brought him to widespead attention was Guy Perron in THE JEWEL AND THE CROWN, in 1984. You've seen him in GOLDENEYE, GOSFORD PARK, as Mr. Tulkinghorn in BLEAK HOUSE, and a million other films and television shows. You will shortly be seeing him YOUR HIGHNESS, the film that preceded our pilot in Belfast's Paint Hall. His commanding screen presence and steely charisma should make him the perfect Lord Tywin.

I certainly can't claim to be familiar with the man's work, but from the pictures he certainly looks as if he could play the stern father and ruthless ruler. He also has a frightening stare which ought to serve him very well when it comes to playing Tywin. Plus, from everything I have read on the interwebz about Dance indicated that he is a home run choice for the role of Tywin Lannister.

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The artwork belongs to Amoka, who did a wonderful job doing portraits for many of the A Song of Ice and Fire characters. Also, thanks to the Westeros Forum and GRRM's Not A Blog for some of the info.


  1. I thought he was pretty great as Lord Vetinari in Going Postal.

  2. My dream casting would have been Patrick Stewart or, failing that, Ciaran Hinds.