In the latest Podcast of Ice and Fire, Elio and Linda and the hosts have a laugh at the expense of various “Tywin Lannister was poisoned” theories, including mine own contention that the Red Viper had slipped him some Widow’s Blood. As an ASoIaF fan, you haven’t known heartache until a chuckling Elio Garcia refers to your pet theory as “total nonsense,” let me just tell you. Anyway, Linda does the bulk of the debunking, asserting that there’s nothing about either death or even getting shot in the bowels that would magically undo the work of a poison that completely shuts down the excretory system — since Tywin does shit as he dies, we can therefore deduce that the fatal constipation induced by Widow’s Blood wasn’t in effect. I confess I have no idea how such a thing would work, and that my assumption had always been that a crossbow quarrel in your guttyworks is the ultimate laxative, but I could certainly be wrong about that.
But this got me to thinking of another, more definitive way to debunk my theory: listening to what Prince Doran has to say about his brother, and about his plans for vengeance.
Here he is talking to Ellaria in “The Princess in the Tower” from Feast:
“You mistake patience for forbearance. I have worked at the downfall of Tywin Lannister since the day they told me of Elia and her children. It was my hope to strip him of all that he held most dear before I killed him, but it would seem his dwarf son has robbed me of that pleasure.”
And here he is talking to the Sand Snakes in Areo’s chapter from Dance, “The Watcher”:
“I am not blind, nor deaf. I know that you all believe me weak, frightened, feeble. Your father knew me better. Oberyn was ever the viper. Deadly, dangerous, unpredictable. No man dared tread on him. I was the grass. Pleasant, complaisant, sweet-smelling, swaying with every breeze. Who fears to walk upon the grass? But it is the grass that hides the viper from his enemies and shelters him until he strikes. Your father and I worked more closely than you know …”
Put the two together, and it seems unlikely that Oberyn, who’d apparently worked hand in hand with Doran for years on the secret plot, would suddenly seek to ice Tywin before allowing him to witness the utter ruin of House Lannister, as was Doran’s intent.