Wondering where the lions are in King’s Landing?
During the time House of the Dragon takes place, about 150 years before Game of Thrones, House Lannister had their wealth and their ancestral stronghold in Casterly Rock, but not the close political connections to the Targaryen dynasty they would later develop.
In George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire prequels, the noble houses with the tightest alliances to the Targaryens were the Velaryons, Baratheons, Tullys, Hightowers, and Arryns. We’ve already met a few members of those houses in House of the Dragon, including Alicent and Otto Hightower, and Corlys Velaryon.
That doesn’t mean there weren’t any Lannisters in King’s Landing, however, or that they didn’t play a role during the highs and lows of the civil war that’s about to explode. The two most important Lannisters in House of the Dragon are Jason and Tyland Lannister. They’re twins, like Cersei and Jaime, though with far less emotional baggage. So how did they transform the Lannisters from just another house to one with serious power and political connections? Spoilers ahead.
Who are the Lannister Twins in House of the Dragon?
Both Jason and Tyland Lannister are portrayed by Jefferson Hall, who makes his first appearance in Episode 3. Coincidentally, Hall has already played someone in Game of Thrones: Ser Hugh of the Vale, who is killed by Ser Gregor Clegane in a jousting tournament in Season 1 Episode 4.
Jason and Tyland Lannister are twins born to Lord Gerold the Golden and Lady Rohanne Webber at Casterly Rock. They both vied for the hand of Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen (Milly Alcock) about seven years after the death of Queen Aemma Arryn (Sian Brooke), but both were unsuccessful. Jason returned home and soon fathered eight children, some legitimate and some not. Tyland, meanwhile, was named Master of Ships and sat on King Viserys I Targaryen’s (Paddy Considine) council.
Tyland’s job was a quiet one until Viserys’ death and the messiness that followed. On the night of Viserys’ passing, Tyland gathered with the other small council members at the request of Queen Alicent Hightower (Olivia Cooke), who wanted to keep Viserys’ death secret. There, they discussed who would succeed Viserys on the Iron Throne — his daughter, who he had named as heir, or his son by Alicent, his first-born male child. Tyland allied himself with Alicent and her son, Prince Aegon II Targaryen (Tom Glynn-Carney).
Ser Tyland was promoted to Master of Coin by Alicent, and he used the appointment to seize and essentially siphon the royal treasury. One part was sent to the Iron Bank of Braavos, another to Casterly Rock, a third to Oldtown, and the remaining portion was allotted to Alicent so she could buy support for her son’s ascension to the Iron Throne with bribes.
Once King’s Landing fell to Rhaenyra, Ser Tyland was captured and brutally tortured for information regarding the crown’s treasury. Tyland refused to talk and was eventually released from captivity, though he was left blinded and disfigured. Tyland was instrumental in ordering the execution of members of Rhaenyra’s line and, ironically, he wound up the Hand of the King to one of Rhaenyra’s sons after the Dance of the Dragons. While the Lannisters were already wealthy, Tyland’s actions catapulted the Lannisters to fame and further fortune.
It’s still uncertain how Jason and Tyland Lannister will be adapted for the small screen, but we’re positive we’ll see some Lannister scheming in House of the Dragon sooner or later. Probably sooner.
House of the Dragon airs Sunday nights on HBO.