In Game of Thrones, it's obvious that we supposed to root for House Stark. We're introduced to this world and story largely from the noble-to-a-fault Ned and his family's perspectives...and then his family is routinely screwed over by the Lannisters. It stands to reason, therefore, that the Lannisters would be perceived as the villains and that everyone should hate them. But just like we shouldn't hate on Slytherins because Slytherins are awesome, we shouldn't write off House Lannister as one-dimensional villains. In fact, I'll go ahead and say something unpopular: the Lannisters are awesome and I love them.
Truthfully, most people say they hate the Lannisters, but they really don't. So many fan favorites — Tyrion, Tywin, and Jaime — are all Lannisters. Also let's give George R.R. Martin, and the rich and wonderful world he has created, more credit than assuming there are straight-forward "good guys" and "bad guys." Everyone in Game of Thrones has more going on with them than meets the eye, and that includes the likes of those notorious Wardens of the West. Sure, they may have done some dastardly things throughout the course of the series (even by the standards of a show that regularly features gruesome murders and sexual violence), but for those among us who know ourselves to be Lions of the Rock, we know it's not all shoving children out windows and incest!
Katy Perry Stole The Lannister House Words
Before "Hear Me Roar" was a pop anthem about finding your voice, they were the words for House Lannister, whose sigil is a golden lion on a red field. You're a thief, Katy Perry! The Lannisters will have their due!
Do. Not. Fuck. With. A. Lannister.
One of the most famous stories of Lannister vengeance comes from long before the infamous Red Wedding. After House Reyne decided not to pay House Lannister a debt it owed them (amid a decade or so of getting pretty saucy and insolent, despite owing fealty to the Lannisters), Tywin, then just a teenager, decided to lay siege to their castle, reroute their water supply and literally drown every man woman and child in their home. "The Rains of Castamere" is a song that references these events and has served as the unofficial theme song of the Lannisters ever since.
Lannisters Don't Shit Gold... But They Have Enough To Pay Someone To Figure Out How To Make That Happen
Because they are based out of Casterly Rock, which is literally an enormous mountain of gold. It's pretty badass.
Lannisters Are Ambitious
The Lannisters have been one of the most powerful houses in the Seven Kingdoms since the Age of Heroes. During the Targaryen dynasty, some even married into the royal family. But in recent years, Tywin Lannister began a campaign to assert their dominance and look at them now!
Nothing Is More Important To A Lannister Than Family
Some Lannisters *cough cough Jaime and Cersei cough cough* take that loyalty to their clan a bit too far, but what family doesn't have some dysfunction?
It's Not Easy Being Beautiful
This is a consistently good-looking house: blonde with bright green eyes and vivacious smiles. That's kind of their thing.
(Sidebar: Damn, Jaime. Damn. My body is ready.)
Unless You're Tyrion, In Which Case, It's Not Easy Being Not Beautiful
Womp womp. Sorry dude.
(And to be clear here, I'm not talking about the very handsome Peter Dinklage, but rather Tyrion as he is described in the books: decidedly unattractive, bent and twisted... oh, and also he lost his nose in the Battle of Blackwater. Peter Dinklage: I would, with the lights all the way on.)
All Lannister Are Wunderkinds
At 18 years old, Tywin was the youngest Hand of the King in the history of Westeros. Jaime was the youngest knight appointed to the Kingsguard at 15. Cersei was a queen at 18. As a young teenager, Tyrion's father gave him the degrading task of managing the sewer system in Casterly Rock, which he not only fixed but re-engineered to get them to work perfectly.
Lannisters Are Clever AF
House Lannister was founded by a man known as "Lann the Clever" so... ya know... it stands to reason everyone would be at least a little brilliant. (Even Cersei has some cunning; Alas, homegirl has no long game.)
Lannisters Have A Good Sense Of Humor
Wit comes with all that cleverness... Just don't make a joke about the Lannisters...because they will end you.
Lannisters Can Handle Their Booze
Tyrion declares himself "the god of tits and wine." Cersei is frequently described as being "in her cups." Hey, life in Westeros is tough, dudes. You need to get through somehow.
You Will Always Know How A Lannister Feels About You
They sort of wear our opinions on their sleeves.
A Lannister Always Pays His Debts
It's up to you whether that's a good thing or a bad thing.
Haters Gonna Hate
Look, you can hate on the Lannisters all you want, but whether you love them or love to hate them or just plain hate them — they don't care. They know who they are, and they are fucking awesome.
Oh, And Remember: Joffrey Is Technically A Baratheon
Lannisters can go ahead and disavow that little prick entirely, at least publicly.