A fierce debate ensues as fans consider whether House of the Dragon‘s wily Otto Hightower could be considered as cunning as the ruthless Tywin Lannister from Game of Thrones. Head of the immensely wealthy Lannister house, Lord of Casterly Rock, and serving three rulers as Hand of the King, Tywin was one of the most intellectually intimidating and politically merciless characters from Game of Thrones. Perfectly capturing the character’s stone-cold and razor-sharp aura, Charles Dance helped to solidify Tywin’s legacy as one of the series’ most menacing presences.
Perhaps most closely resembling some of Tywin’s characteristics, or at least his role, in the prequel series, House of the Dragon’s Otto is also the series’ most prolific Hand of the King, serving both Viserys I and by the opening season’s finale, his grandson Aegon II. An evident schemer with keen political astuteness and a penchant for manipulation, Otto manages to remain Hand and have his family’s bloodline installed in several of the realm’s most prosperous positions by the season’s end. However, he is also a father at heart rather than a simple tyrant, and the intricacies of Rhys Ifans performance have implied that there may be more to Otto than the callous figure he often appears.
A question regarding which Hand of the King is the more cunning character has sparked fierce debate among fans of both series on Twitter. While Tywin’s terrifying legacy, responsible for several of the most shocking events in Game of Thrones, still clearly resonates with fans, Otto has certainly left his own impactful mark following the finale of House of the Dragon season one. See what fans have argued below:
Is Otto’s Game Of Thrones Equivalent Really Tywin?
Despite filling a similar role in their respective series’, Otto and Tywin do often fulfill the responsibilities of their position in differing ways. As suggested by the ongoing fan debate, Tywin’s key weapon was fear. The head lion’s history of sheer ruthlessness made crossing him seem a futile task, the still deeply distressing and unsparing Red Wedding being Game of Thrones’ best example of this. Although Otto has shown no hesitation for a certain level of violence, sitting idle during the murder of Lord Beesbury and secretly imprisoning members of those Houses who refuse to accept Aegon as heir, he has been presented with far less of a reliance on fear and bloodshed than Tywin once was. Otto is ultimately more of a manipulator, where Tywin is an intimidator.
In fact, while their respective roles do closely align, the differences between Otto’s and Tywin’s approaches, and what that says about their motivations, emphasize that they are not necessarily the closest match between the two Westerosi series. While Otto has worked to ensure his family obtains positions of power throughout House of the Dragon, it could be argued his ultimate goals do more closely link to the overall safety and wellbeing of the realm. He often appears to hold some genuine affection for Viserys, truly hurt by his initial dismissal as Hand, and has always attempted to counsel against war at all costs. In some aspects, this more prominently mirrors a character like Varys and, Otto’s more evident self-interest notwithstanding presents him as slightly less of an outright villainous character than Tywin often was. As for being cunning, Otto rising from a less influential House as a second son, rather than the heir to the realm’s richest family, is quite telling of the brilliance of his mind. Had Tywin been present during the events of House of the Dragon season 1, it is likely he would have made a more direct approach against characters like Rhaenyra and Daemon, but with the prospect of Dragons still air-bound comes grave risks and perhaps further explains why Otto is a more reserved move maker overall.