Olenna by Amok©
|Alias|| Olenna Redwyne|
Queen of Thorns
|Title||Dowager Lady of Highgarden|
|Allegiance|| House Redwyne|
|Born||In 228 AC, at Arbor|
|Spouse||Lord Luthor Tyrell|
|Book(s)|| A Game of Thrones (mentioned)|
A Clash of Kings (mentioned)
A Storm of Swords (appears)
A Feast for Crows (appears)
A Dance with Dragons (mentioned)
|Played by||Diana Rigg|
|TV series||Season 3 | Season 4 | Season 5 | Season 6|
Olenna Tyrell, also known as Olenna Redwyne, is the widow of Lord Luthor Tyrell and the mother of Mace Tyrell, Lord of Highgarden. Born into House Redwyne of the Arbor, she is commonly known as the Queen of Thorns because of her sharp tongue. In the television adaptation Game of Thrones she is portrayed by Dame Diana Rigg.
Appearance and Character
- See also: Images of Olenna Redwyne
Lady Olenna is in her sixties  with white hair and very small. She has soft, spotted hands with gaunt thin fingers. Olenna has an old woman's sour breath. She is older than Lord Hoster Tully. She has lost her teeth. Olenna walks with a cane  and claims to be near deaf, but both might be part of her feigning to be more frail than she actually is.
Olenna rarely shies from stating her opinion. She is described as a wizened, cunning old woman with a wicked wit and a sharp tongue, earning her the moniker 'Queen of Thorns'. According to her granddaughter Margaery, she is not the most patient of women. Although she regularly mocks members of her own family, she seems to be a staunch supporter of Tyrell family interests.
In her youth, Olenna was arranged to marry Daeron Targaryen, but Olenna (so she claims) did everything she could to make sure it never came to fruition. Although according to history it was Daeron who actually broke the betrothal, she speaks contemptuously of the Targaryen family history of madness. Olenna liked her husband Luthor Tyrell well enough, as he was kind and not unskilled in bed, but she still considered him an oaf. She regrets that she did not have a chance to beat her son Mace more often when he was a child, as that would have made him more ready to heed her advice when he became an adult.
A Clash of Kings
After the death of King Renly Baratheon, Lord Petyr Baelish is sent to Highgarden to negotiate an alliance between House Lannister and House Tyrell, including a marriage between King Joffrey I Baratheon and Margaery Tyrell, Renly's widow and Olenna's granddaughter. During the negotiations, Lady Olenna asks Petyr pointed questions about Joffrey's nature. Petyr praises Joffrey to the skies, but secretly uses some of his escorts to plant disturbing rumors about the king among the servants at Highgarden, thereby creating doubts about the truth of his official statements.
A Storm of Swords
Lady Olenna comes to King's Landing to attend the wedding of Margaery to Joffrey. During a supper with Margaery and a number of noble ladies of houses sworn to the Tyrells, Olenna sharply questions Sansa Stark about Joffrey's nature. She refuses to listen to Sansa's evasions and half truths about Joffrey and gets Sansa to speak the truth about Joffrey's cruelty and the beatings he gave her. To prevent any potential spy from listening to Sansa, Lady Olenna orders her jester, Butterbumps, to sing loudly. She also compares her son, Mace, to a puff fish of the Summer Isles.
Olenna plots with Margaery to marry Sansa to her grandson Willas without letting Lord Mace know about it. However, Sansa unwisely tells Dontos Hollard about the plan and Dontos supposedly shares the information with Petyr Baelish. Lord Baelish foils the plot by telling Lord Tywin Lannister about it, who quickly marries Sansa to his own son, Tyrion.
In turn, Olenna sabotages Tywin's plan to marry his daughter, Queen Regent Cersei Lannister, to Willas, the heir to Highgarden. Although Mace Tyrell is originally inclined to accept the offer, Olenna belabors her son and talks him out of it, arguing that Cersei is too old and too used for Willas. Tywin learns about this from Varys and shares the information with Tyrion, but orders Tyrion not to tell Cersei about the reason and rather act as if the offer has never been made.
Olenna seems to share the general aversion of the Tyrells against House Martell. During an ugly confrontation in the yard of the Red Keep, she calls Oberyn Martell's paramour, Ellaria Sand, "the serpent's whore".
Olenna is present at the wedding of her granddaughter Margaery and King Joffrey at the Great Sept of Baelor. In the wedding procession after the ceremony, Ser Kevan Lannister escorts her out of the sept. Before the wedding feast in the throne room, Olenna approaches Sansa and expresses her condolences over the deaths of her brother, King Robb Stark, and mother, Lady Catelyn Stark, at the Red Wedding. While she talks with her, Olenna puts Sansa's messy hair in order and straightens the hair net that Sansa has received from Dontos and which he told her to wear at the wedding. Later, Olenna makes a snide remark about how often "The Rains of Castamere" is being performed during the wedding feast. When Joffrey begins to choke, she calls for help and later comforts Margaery.
While later revealing his part in planning Joffrey's death, Petyr implies to Sansa that Olenna is the one who poisoned the king, with some help from himself and the people he used, especially Dontos. He refers to Olenna straightening Sansa's hair net, implying that this was the moment the old woman took the black stones (actually a crystallized form of the strangler), which she used to poison Joffrey. Petyr suggests that Olenna killed Joffrey to spare her granddaughter Margaery from the same cruelty the boy showed Sansa and to prevent her hot-tempered grandson, Ser Loras, from becoming a kingslayer in case he, while serving in the Kingsguard, had to witness the king mistreating his sister. Petyr also shares how he planted disturbing rumors about Joffrey's character while he was at Highgarden, prompting Lady Olenna's questioning Sansa when they first met. According to Petyr, Olenna knew Mace dreamed of his daughter Margaery becoming queen and for that they needed a king, but they did not need Joffrey, as Margaery could also marry his brother, Prince Tommen Baratheon.
A Feast for Crows
Lady Olenna attends the wake for Lord Tywin Lannister with her family. Queen Regent Cersei Lannister informs Lord Mace Tyrell that she has appointed Lord Gyles Rosby as master of coin instead of Mace's uncle Garth, although the position had been promised to the Tyrells by Tywin. When Mace tries to protest, Olenna eases the tension, but not without making some inappropriate remarks about both Gyles and Garth. She also alludes to the smell emanating from Tywin's corpse, making Cersei angry. When Cersei suggests that Olenna would want to return to Highgarden soon, she replies that she cannot leave King's Landing before the wedding of Margaery and King Tommen I Baratheon. She mentions that she had been discussing a date for the wedding with Tywin at the time of his death and proposes to talk about this with Cersei soon.
In the negotiations with Cersei on the marriage between Tommen and Margaery, Olenna drives a hard bargain. She insists on an immediate wedding, much to Cersei's dismay, and she also throws out Cersei's suggestion that Tommen should wed his bride with a cloak in Lannister instead of Baratheon colors. Olenna, vouching for her granddaughter still being a maiden, also proposes that Tommen and Margaery share their bed as soon as they are married. Cersei, horrified by the suggestion, refuses this. However, Olenna is adamant that the royal couple should at least spend the wedding night together, as anything else would mean ill luck for the marriage. Cersei relents on this point, but she later regrets her concession and arranges for her brother, Ser Jaime Lannister, to make certain that nothing happens between Tommen and Margaery that night.
During the wedding feast, Olenna complains mockingly that "The Rains of Castamere" is not being sung. The nasty smile of the Queen of Thorns makes Cersei, who is increasingly wary of all Tyrells, think of Maggy the Frog, although the two hardly look alike. Later that night, Olenna suggests to break up the feast and send king and queen to bed together. The day after the wedding, Olenna returns to Highgarden with her grandson, Ser Garlan the Gallant.
Following Tyrion Lannister's escape after Tywin's death, Qyburn informs Cersei that a gold coin dating from the time of House Gardener has been found in the quarters of an undergaoler named Rugen (actually an alias of Varys), who vanished at the time Tyrion did. From Lady Taena Merryweather, Cersei also learns that Olenna keeps a large chest of gold from before Aegon's Conquest in her wheelhouse. In the event that unwary tradespeople offend her, she pays them in the old gold coins of the Reach, which are only half the weight of newly minted gold dragons. Both pieces of information make Cersei suspect that the Tyrells were involved in the escape of Tyrion and in the assassination of Lord Tywin.
Quotes by Olenna
|“||All men are fools, if truth be told, but the ones in motley are more amusing than ones with crowns. ||”|
- Olenna to Sansa Stark
|“||There is entirely too much tut-tutting in this realm, if you ask me. All these kings would do a deal better if they put down their swords and listened to their mothers.||”|
– Olenna to Sansa Stark
|“||Hush, Alerie, don't take that tone with me. And don't call me Mother. If I'd given birth to you, I'm sure I'd remember. I'm only to blame for your husband, the lord oaf of Highgarden.||”|
– Olenna to Alerie Hightower
|“||Night falls for all of us in the end, and too soon for some. You would know that more than most, poor child. You've had your share of grief, I know. We are sorry for your losses.||”|
– Olenna to Sansa Stark
Quotes about Olenna
|“||Sansa: The Queen of Thorns, she's called. Isn't that right?
Loras: It is. You'd best not use that name in her presence, though, or you're like to get pricked.
|“||Tyrion was beginning to wonder whether Lord Luthor Tyrell had ridden off that cliff intentionally.||”|
– Tyrion Lannisters thoughts on Olenna
|“||The old woman is not boring, though, I'll grant her that. A fearsome old harridan, and not near as frail as she pretends.||”|
References and Notes
- ↑ See the Olenna Redwyne calculation.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 George R. R. Martin's A World of Ice and Fire, Olenna Redwyne.
- ↑ 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 6, Sansa I.
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 60, Tyrion VIII.
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 A Feast for Crows, Chapter 12, Cersei III.
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 The World of Ice and Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aegon V.
- ↑ A Clash of Kings, Appendix.
- ↑ So Spake Martin: Lady Olenna and the Tyrells at the Blackwater, December 17, 1999
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 A Feast for Crows, Chapter 7, Cersei II.
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 68, Sansa VI.
- ↑ A Clash of Kings, Chapter 36, Tyrion VIII.
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 28, Sansa III.
- ↑ A Storm of Swords, Chapter 19, Tyrion III.
- ↑ A Storm of Swords, Chapter 32, Tyrion IV.
- ↑ A Storm of Swords, Chapter 53, Tyrion VI.
- ↑ A Storm of Swords, Chapter 61, Sansa V.
- ↑ A Feast for Crows, Chapter 39, Cersei IX.
- ↑ A Feast for Crows, Chapter 43, Cersei X.
- ↑ A Feast for Crows, Chapter 16, Jaime II.
- ↑ A Feast for Crows, Chapter 24, Cersei V.