An Ode to Olenna Tyrell

In the third episode of the seventh Season of Game of Thrones we bade farewell to one of our favorite Characters, “the queen of thorns” Lady Olenna Tyrell.  In the Game of Thrones you either win or you die and alas although she moved her pieces well Lady Olenna’s time was up.

Olenna Tyrell
Diana Rigg as Lady Olenna Tyrell: HBO

We’ll definitely miss Diana Rigg’s portrayal of the sharp tongued Matriarch of House Tyrell, she was a player in the game that even Tywin Lannister  respected as an intellectual equal.  Both Tywin and Olenna understood the importance of family legacy.  Although she never reached the mantle of Queen in her days, one could say she was the first woman to play at the game once dominated by men, and now has been taken over by women.  She understood that you play for the Generation that follows not yourself and that alliances were needed to ensure one’s family legacy.  This was evidenced by her attempts to marry her grandson Loras (Willas Tyrell in the Books) to Sansa Stark to eventually reclaim the North with a Stark, and later settling(maybe) for Cersei once her plan was thwarted by Tywin Lannister.  Her cunning and manipulation led to her poisoning of King Joffrey so that her grand daughter could marry a younger, kinder and more malleable Tommen Baratheon.  It was a risk she was willing to take to protect her granddaughter Margaery Tyrell, as Margaery was High Garden’s greatest asset in attempting to gain more power for House Tyrell.

Natalie Dormer as Margaery Tyrell; Diana Riggs as Olenna Tyrell: HBO

Unfortunately for Olenna, Queen Cersei’s distrust of everyone led to the end of House Tyrell and ultimately her own end at the start of what I’ll dub the “Clash of Queens.” Yet  it’s in her final moments that Olenna Tyrell truly served one last bit of her Sharp tongue for both Jaime and Cersei Lannister to choke on:

“Must have been horrible for you as a Kingsguard, as a father. It was horrible enough for me,” she said of Joffrey’s death. “A shocking scene. Not at all what I intended. You see, I had never seen the poison work before. Tell Cersei. I want her to know it was me.”

Jaime Lannister must have instantly regretted the peaceful and painless death he granted Lady Olenna, but it was a very gratifying end for a character that was never afraid to tell you what she thought.


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