Who wins: Otto Hightower or Twyin Lannister?

As I like to remember, in a universe of incomparable villains like Game of Thrones, it’s scary when there’s a highlight. The tyranny of Joffrey Baratheon, the psychopathy of Ramsay Bolton, the wit of Littlefinger, the wrath of Cersei Lannister, and of course, the silent command of the Night King. However, two Hands of Targaryen Kings have led the years-long argument over “who is worse”: Otto Hightower or Twyin Lannister?

My vote is for Twyin, but Otto – who came before him in the story – doesn’t lose by much. In House of the Dragon, it was possible to see the similarities and common goals. In the series, Alicent Hightower‘s brother was not featured, but obviously, in a macho time, the girl had only one use for her father: a means of political alliance via marriage. And Otto won the landslide in Season 1.

As we know, Otto Hightower served as Hand of the King to more than one Targaryen: beginning with Jaehaerys I and continuing as the king’s most trusted advisor when Viserys I ascended. Because of his open dislike of Daemon Targaryen, there was a little rift between him and the King, but for the most part, his words found open ears to his brother’s criticisms, so Otto held strong in the Council and in Westeros until his game got closer. Of course.

First, with the death of Aemma Arryn and the only male heir of Viserys, Otto was quick: better to name Rhaenyra as successor to prevent Daemon from occupying the throne. Alicent was already the princess’s greatest confidant and so the Hightowers would be “secured”, but it wasn’t enough. Anticipating what would come next – the demand for a new marriage for the King – Otto immediately recommended that his daughter secretly “comfort” Viserys, still in the early days of widowhood. The bet paid off because the candidates were very young (Laena Velaryon was only 12 years old) and no one really understood the sadness of the loss like Alicent, who had already lost her mother. It worked: Alicent became queen and soon provided a son, Aegon II. Only, to Otto’s surprise, Viserys I was determined to keep his word: the queen after him would be Rhaenyra.

By having to force his hand, Otto exposed himself. Rhaenyra was making it easy with rebellious and irresponsible behavior, but by insisting on switching the succession to Aegon II, putting the suggestion of marrying him to his sister on the table, and also continually trying to ruin the princess’s name, Otto not only irritated the King like Rhaenyra too. His strategy was obvious, Viserys understood that his marriage to Alicent was part of a plan and dismissed his father-in-law. In 13 years, however, when he loses his replacement – ​​Ser Lyonel Strong – Viserys ends up giving in to his wife and brings Otto back. By this time, Otto just wants to take Rhaenyra down and is finally able to reap what he sowed in Alicent. After feeding his daughter insecurities about the lives of Aegon, Helaena, and Aemond (as well as the fact that the princess’s children are clearly bastards), Otto finds in Alicent the support to act. We bid farewell to him as Hand of the King to his grandson, Aegon II the usurper.

Otto is calculating, practical and ambitious, but he wasn’t the one who killed Ser Lyonel (it was Ser Larys) and therefore he’s more like Littlefinger than Twyin, but we have to wait. Rhys Ifan‘s ambiguous interpretation brings moments where we are left in doubt if he has a love for Alicent or if he manipulates her without sensitivity, it is not clear. He’s fond of his grandchildren (especially his granddaughter) and somehow seems to believe he’s doing what’s best for Westeros. It will be?

The same doubt we do not have in House Lannister. Twyin was so cruel that the song written for him – Rains of Castamere – sings of how he disposed of his enemies by mercilessly drowning them. Among the children, he only liked Jaime and even then, with reservations. Twyin loathed Tyrion for his physical appearance and moral debauchery. He was impatient with Cersei’s ambitions, which he considered less intelligent and who was only useful as a political piece exchanged at weddings. And the grandchildren? He hated Joffrey and bossed Tommen around, we just didn’t see him with Marcella.

Politically, Twyin’s rise to the position of Hand of the King is at times reminiscent of that of Otto Hightower. As the eldest son of Tytos Lannister and Jeyne Marbrand, Tywin went to court at a young age, serving as cupbearer in the court of King Aegon V and becoming close friends with Prince Aerys. In love with his cousin, Joanna Lannister, who was Princess Rhaella’s lady-in-waiting, Twyin proved to be an excellent knight and a great strategist.

With the accession of Aerys II to the throne, he was chosen as the new Hand of the King after the cruelty shown in the revolt of Reyne-Tarbeck. Proving himself as a brilliant administrator as well, the first 10 years of Aerys’ reign were prosperous. But a personal conflict between friends soured the relationship. It is that some claim that the King also became interested in Joanna, already married to Tywin, and she was dismissed from the Court. At Casterly Rock, twins Jaime and Cersei were born, and when Twyin’s father died, he inherited his family’s fortune.

After a decade of understanding each other as brothers, Aerys and Tywin began to clash, with the King shrugging off the Hand’s commands, publicly insulting Joanna, denying the suggestion that Prince Rhaegar marries Cersei, and refusing Twyin’s resignation from the position. When Joanna died giving birth to Tyrion, Tywin blamed his son for the tragedy and grew more morose. Soon fate would help him.

When Rhaegar “kidnapped” Lyanna Stark and provoked Robert’s Rebellion, Tywin was ambiguous. He ignored the calls to arms on both sides until Robert Baratheon killed the Crown Prince. By joining the usurper, who agreed to marry Cersei as part of the alliance between their houses, Twyin cheated and didn’t even have to fight because Jaime killed Aerys and Robert became king.

The deaths Twyin directly carried out were only no greater in numbers than those he ordered: such as the murders of Elia Martell, and her two young children, Rhaenys and Aegon, he had Tysha raped and killed, the peasant girl Tyrion had secretly married. , ordered the execution of Robb Stark and his followers at the Red Wedding, was going to condemn Tyrion for a crime of which he was innocent and would continue to do more atrocities if his youngest had not killed him with an arrow in the heart.

Otto’s fate – after Rhaenyra’s fleeting victory – will be execution, which was a much nobler end than Twyin’s. But, like Mãos and Reis’ grandparents, the two have a connection, even if it’s negative.

Will we change our minds in the second season of House of the Dragon?


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