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"Luckily for us Tyrells, our blood runs quite warm."
Margaery Tyrell[src]
House Tyrell banner

The banner of House Tyrell of Highgarden, the rulers of the Reach.

House Tyrell of Highgarden is an extinct Great House of Westeros. It ruled over the Reach, a vast, fertile, and heavily-populated region of southwestern Westeros, from their castle-seat of Highgarden as Lords Paramount of the Reach and Wardens of the South after taking control of the region from House Gardener during the Targaryen conquest.

The House was formerly led by Lord Mace Tyrell. Mace's son Loras was a noted tournament knight and, secretly, the lover of Lord Renly Baratheon. Mace's daughter Margaery married Renly when he crowned himself king in the War of the Five Kings to cement an alliance between Renly and her father. Following Renly's death, Margaery was then married to King Joffrey Baratheon before his assassination at his wedding feast. She was then married to his younger brother, King Tommen Baratheon. Mace's mother, the indomitable Olenna Tyrell, assumed House Tyrell's lordship after Margaery, Loras, and Mace Tyrell were all killed by wildfire at the destruction of the Great Sept of Baelor. Under Olenna, House Tyrell realigned itself with House Targaryen and declared for Daenerys Targaryen in opposition against Cersei Lannister, who had orchestrated the downfall of House Tyrell. With the death of Olenna after the Sack of Highgarden, the House has officially become extinct.

The Tyrell sigil is a golden rose on a pale green field. Their house words are "Growing Strong."

History

Background

House Tyrell began as a cadet branch of House Gardener, the ancient Kings of the Reach. The Tyrells became senior servants of the main Gardener line, serving for centuries as castellans of the royal castle at Highgarden. Over time they rose to prominence as one of the strongest noble Houses in the Reach, and even intermarried with the royal line - though so did many other powerful Houses from the Reach.

During the Targaryen Conquest, King Mern Gardener was burned alive at the Field of Fire by the Targaryen dragons, along with all of his immediate heirs. Subsequently, Mern's steward Harlen Tyrell voluntarily surrendered Highgarden to Aegon Targaryen. Aegon rewarded Harlen by making him Lord of Highgarden and Lord Paramount of the Reach - ahead of other Houses from the Reach which were actually more closely related to House Gardener.[1] Chief among these is House Florent of Brightwater Keep, which claims direct male-line descent from the old Gardener kings, while House Tyrell only claim descent from House Gardener through the female line.
Harlen Tyrell surrender to Aegon the Conqueror

Harlen Tyrell surrenders to Aegon the Conqueror.

House Tyrell's overall disposition is adequately represented by their sigil of a rose: a rose's beauty often hides the fact that it has thorns. Though the Tyrells do try to be just and fair, their benevolent demeanor serves to lull their enemies into thinking that, like the Starks, they are utterly beholden to honorable conduct. In reality, the Tyrells are just as cunning as the Lannisters in court politics and intrigue, though they often prefer a more subtle approach. Thus they strike a pragmatic balance between the Starks' honor and the Lannisters' ruthlessness.

Throughout history, House Tyrell has played by the strategy of following the sure path, siding with whoever is most likely to win in any conflict. During the Targaryen Conquest, they surrendered Highgarden to the invading forces of Aegon the Conqueror, and in return the Tyrells were elevated as the new Lords Paramount of the Reach. During Robert's Rebellion, House Tyrell remained loyal to House Targaryen, as Robert Baratheon was a rebel unlikely to win, and the Tyrells owed their rule of the Reach to the Targaryens. Forces of House Tyrell managed to inflict the only loss Robert suffered during the war, albeit an indecisive one, at the Battle of Ashford. However, the vast army and resources of House Tyrell were tied up on a siege of Storm's End (held for Robert by his brother; Stannis Baratheon). After the Mad King's death, the Tyrells surrendered and swore fealty to Robert Baratheon. 
Tyrell surrender to Robert

Mace Tyrell surrenders to Robert Baratheon.

In the current generation, House Tyrell is a stable and honestly loving family, with none of the internal rivalries that are to be found in House Lannister and House Baratheon. Thus the relationships between Lord Mace and his children, and between siblings like Loras and Margaery, are genuine and uncomplicated.

Season 1

Ser Loras Tyrell suggests to his lover, Renly Baratheon, that the Tyrells would support a claim for the Iron Throne made by Renly with all of their formidable military and economic might. Renly is initially reluctant to make such a claim.[2] However, when Eddard Stark spurns his aid, Renly flees King's Landing by night with Loras.[3] He is crowned King in Highgarden and lays claim to the Iron Throne.[4]

Season 2

The Tyrells and Renly have raised an army of 100,000 men to support Renly's claim to the throne, outnumbering any of the other claimants' armies by a significant number. Robb Stark sends his mother to treat with Renly and seek an alliance against the Lannisters.[5] To cement his new alliance with House Tyrell, Renly marries Lord Mace's only daughter, Loras' sister Margaery Tyrell.[6] Petyr "Littlefinger" Baelish then arrives at Renly's camp as an envoy from King Joffrey. While in camp, he engages Margaery in conversation, alluding to the fact that Renly is actually a homosexual, trying to lure her allegiance (and that of House Tyrell) away from Renly. To Baelish's surprise, he finds that Margaery is not intimidated by him or his court intrigues. Baelish also did not anticipate that, as it turns out, Margaery is fully aware that Renly is in a homosexual relationship with her own brother Loras, but she does not care. Margaery honestly believed that supporting Renly's claim to the kingship was in the best interests of House Tyrell, so she agreed to the paper marriage. Indeed, she actively supported the idea.[7] However, in private, Margaery also shrewdly explains to Renly that he has to impregnate her, as the best way to truly cement the alliance between their two Houses is if "you put your baby in my belly."[6]

King Renly is then assassinated in his tent under mysterious circumstances. As Ser Loras stands vigil over his body, Margaery urges him that it is not safe and they must return with their army to Highgarden. Littlefinger then arrives in the tent, and while Loras is angry with him and overcome with grief, Littlefinger calmly explains to him that Stannis' army will arrive within the hour, and when they do, the Tyrells' former allies in the Stormlands will fight each other over who gets to hand Loras and Margaery over to Stannis as prisoners. Margaery agrees with the sense of what Littlefinger is saying, and that if they have any hope of getting revenge on Stannis for Renly's death (which they accurately suspect he was responsible for) they must live to fight another day. After Loras leaves, Baelish tries to assess the position of Margaery and of House Tyrell. Noting her marriage to Renly, he asks Margaery if she wants to be a queen. Margaery cooly responds that she wants to be "the queen", much to the pleasure of Baelish.[8]

After Renly's death, the Tyrell host returns to Highgarden, while Littlefinger travels to Harrenhal to propose to Lord Tywin Lannister that they should seize Renly's untimely demise as an opportunity to forge a new alliance between House Lannister and House Tyrell. With House Tyrell on their side, the large armies and resources of the Reach will support King Joffrey's faction in the war. Tywin feels that trying to woo the Tyrells to their allegiance is the obvious course of action, criticizing Baelish for acting like he's the only person who could have thought of that, but nonetheless he sends him to try to broker the alliance with House Tyrell.[9]

Littlefinger is successful in negotiating with the Tyrells, and the allied forces arrive in time to achieve a decisive victory against Stannis at the Battle of the Blackwater. Just as Stannis' forces were turning the tide and about to take the city, the Lannister army led by Tywin and the large Tyrell army led by Loras arrived from the Riverlands and the Reach, and caught Stannis' army in the flank. Stannis' army was almost completely destroyed, though Stannis himself managed to escape with a small fraction of his men.[10]

To formalize the new alliance between House Lannister and House Tyrell, King Joffrey agrees to be betrothed to marry Margaery Tyrell, who subsequently takes place at court. The marriage will be finalized once the war is over.[11]

Season 3

Due to the new Lannister-Tyrell alliance, House Tyrell resumes shipment of its foodstuffs along the Roseroad to feed the common people of King's Landing, who were suffering greatly from the deprivations of the war, and the disruption in trade which began when Highgarden declared for Renly Baratheon. Margaery says that 100 wagons are now arriving in the city daily from the Reach, containing wheat, barley, and apples.[12]

In order to strengthen and guide the new alliance, the House Tyrell family matriarch, Lady Olenna Tyrell, arrives in King's Landing. Lady Olenna and her granddaughter Margaery have a private meeting with Sansa Stark in which Olenna asks Sansa to give her frank, truthful assessment of King Joffrey. Olenna bluntly tells Sansa that she feels her fatheaded oaf of a son Mace Tyrell made a major mistake in supporting Renly's rival claim to the throne, much to Margaery's embarrassment. Olenna nonetheless chides that the men of House Tyrell have never been very intelligent: her own husband the late Lord Luthor Tyrell rode off a cliff to his death during a hawking accident because he was too focused on the sky, Loras is good at knocking men off horses with a stick but not politics, and her son Mace is an oaf who is determined to see House Tyrell marry into the royal line. Thus, she says, the more politically savvy women of House Tyrell are left to clean up the mess. Sansa confirms the rumors that have been coming out of the capital: Joffrey is a monster. Lady Olenna says this is "a pity" but takes the news calmly. She thanks Sansa for her honesty, and assures her that her son Mace is too set on entering Margaery into a royal marriage to call off the wedding at this point.[13]

When discussing the prospect of marrying Cersei Lannister to Loras Tyrell, Tywin Lannister and Olenna Tyrell discuss the scandals surrounding the pair. In response to Tywin's suggestion that Highgarden "has a high tolerance for unnatural behavior", Olenna states that while House Tyrell doesn't "turn [itself] in knots over" homosexuality, incest is still very much frowned upon. On a more practical note, she says that the Tyrells cannot take the risk that Cersei will be unable to give Loras any heirs, as otherwise Highgarden will revert to the (Baratheon) children of Margaery and Joffrey.[14]

Season 6

In response to the continued imprisonment of Ser Loras and Queen Margaery Tyrell, the Tyrell army, led by Lord Mace Tyrell and Ser Jaime Lannister of the Kingsguard, marches into King's Landing shortly before Queen Margaery's walk of atonement with the intent of preventing her from the punishment. However, for her help in forming a new holy alliance between the Faith of the Seven and the Iron Throne, she is exempt from the punishment. Later, King Tommen I dismisses Jaime Lannister from the Kingsguard, stating that "an attack on the Faith is an attack on the crown".[15]

Margaery later meets with her grandmother, Olenna Tyrell, where she plays as a follower of the Sparrows to trick Septa Unella. Margaery urges her grandmother to leave the capital. When Olenna refuses to leave her, Margaery discreetly slips a note to her grandmother with a drawing of the sigil of House Tyrell, communicating with her that she has not been fooled and that her true loyalty stays with family.[16]

At the trial of Loras at the Great Sept of Baelor, which is attended by Margaery and their father Mace Tyrell, Loras confesses to his crimes and renounces his claim to Highgarden to serve as a member of the Faith Militant, playing into the High Sparrow. Shortly after his trial, the sept is destroyed in a plot orchestrated by Cersei Lannister and Qyburn to allow for Cersei to evade her own trial while destroying her enemies at the same time. Margaery, Mace and Loras are all killed, leaving Olenna as the sole survivor of House Tyrell.[17]

Olenna later meets with Ellaria Sand and the Sand Snakes in Dorne, where she recognizes that her direct line will not survive. However, Ellaria - and Varys - promise vengeance for Olenna, who pledges her house to once again support House Targaryen and Daenerys Targaryen's claim to the Iron Throne. Some of House Tyrell's ships are later seen alongside Martell, Greyjoy, and Daenerys's own Targaryen ships, and set sail to exact revenge against Cersei and reinstate the Targaryen dynasty to the Iron Throne.[17]

Season 7

As a member of the Dragon Queen Daenerys Targaryen's alliance, Lady Olenna attends a war council in the Chamber of the Painted Table at Dragonstone. When Queen Daenerys remarks that she does not want to become the "Queen of Ashes", Lady Tyrell responds that Queen Cersei will not give up the Iron Throne easily and makes references to the death of her grand daughter Margaery at the Great Sept of Baelor. At the advice of her Hand Tyrion Lannister, Dany approves a plan to use House Tyrell and Dornishmen to lay siege to King's Landing.[18]

Following the meeting, the Dragon Queen summons Lady Olenna for a private meeting and tells her that she is aware that her motives are based on revenge rather than love for her. When Dany insists that she will usher in an era of peace, Olenna counters that there never really was a lasting peace under the Mad King or any preceding Targaryen. She warns Daenerys that Tyrion is a clever man and that Olenna has outlasted many clever men by not listening to their advice. She likens the lords of Westeros to sheep and tells Dany that she must be a dragon if she wants to rule Westeros.[18]

Meanwhile, Queen Cersei summons Lord Randyll Tarly, one of House Tyrell's vassals, and attempts to convince him to cast aside his allegiance to House Tyrell. Despite Cersei's warnings about the threat of Daenerys and her Dothraki hordes, Lord Tarly is reluctant to abandon his loyalty to Lady Olenna due to his distrust of the Lannisters. Jaime Lannister however convinces Lord Tarly to reconsider by painting Cersei as the lesser evil and offers to make him the warden of the south.[18]

703 Tyrell Casualties

The overwhelmed Tyrell forces.

Whilst the Unsullied take Casterly Rock from House Lannister, Jaime Lannister, along with Bronn, Dickon, and Randyll Tarly, lead the combined forces of the Lannister and Tarly armies in an assault on Highgarden, the seat of House Tyrell. Left largely undefended, the castle is taken quickly despite the garrison's spirited defense and lost to the Lannisters. Jaime Lannister gives Olenna Tyrell, the last remaining Tyrell of the main branch, poison which she chooses to willingly drink. Olenna's death is a blow to the Targaryen cause, as well as extinguishing the main branch of House Tyrell, and losing their ancestral seat of Highgarden.[19]

The Iron Throne seizes House Tyrell's assets to pay their debts to the Iron Bank of Braavos. House Tarly's betrayal of the Tyrells allows them to usurp them as the Great House of the Reach and Wardens of the South. However, before she dies, Lady Olenna reveals to Jaime Lannister that she was the one who poisoned his and Cersei's son Joffrey at the Purple Wedding and requests that this be passed on to Cersei; a last little gift from House Tyrell.

Tyrion Lannister makes it clear to Randyll Tarly that Cersei isn't the right choice for Westeros, as she destroyed House Tyrell (Randyll's liege lords) for good, before he is executed by Drogon on Daenerys Targaryen's orders. Thus, in combination with Jaime Lannister's words about Olenna's entire House being dead, it is established that House Tyrell is no more.[20]

Current Status

  • Though it was initially unclear who the heirs to House Tyrell actually were in the TV continuity at this point, it seems that the TV series is drastically condensing it so that the Tyrells would now be extinct after Olenna Tyrell's death (and Olenna wasn't born a Tyrell, she married into the family). In the Season 6 finale, Olenna only vaguely mentions that with the deaths of her son Mace and her grandchildren Margaery and Loras, Cersei took away her "future". In the novels, they actually have two older brothers, Willas and Garlan, who were omitted from the TV continuity, as Loras was repeatedly said to be the current heir to his father. Moreover, as a large and powerful Great House, in the books they have numerous cousins and second cousins who hold various positions within their reign over the Reach.
    • In the books, Olenna and old Lord Luthor Tyrell had three children: their son Mace and two daughters, Janna and Mina. Janna married a Fossoway with no known children, while Mina actually married her own first cousin Paxter Redwyne (Olenna's nephew), producing two sons and a daughter.
    • Meanwhile, even if Olenna's entire bloodline is dead in the TV version, Luthor in the novels had younger brothers who themselves had descendants: Maester Gorman (who cannot inherit), Garth the Gross (Seneschal of Highgarden), and Moryn (Lord Commander of the City Watch of Oldtown). Garth has two bastard sons, while Moryn had two legitimate sons, three grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. It's doubtful that all of them will gather in the Great Sept for Margaery's trial in the next novel and end up being killed in Cersei's wildfire explosion.
  • Tyrell Lady new

    One could assume that Olenna can't literally be the last Tyrell: other Tyrell cousins exist in the books and were even introduced in the TV series.

    The TV continuity technically did acknowledge that other minor Tyrell cousins exist, and they are direct descendants of Olenna. Back in Season 3 episode 4 "And Now His Watch is Ended", an unnamed Tyrell handmaiden - credited only as "Tyrell lady" - actually had a speaking line in which she showed her embroidery to Olenna and asked, "Do you like it, Nana?" - i.e. directly stating that Olenna is her grandmother. In the books many of the minor Tyrell cousins serve as handmaidens to the main members of the family, thus it was always somewhat implied that the background handmaidens that appear in the TV show are actually Tyrell cousins. This "Tyrell lady" was never formally named, but the eldest of Margaery's cousins who serve in her company as handmaidens is Elinor Tyrell (though Elinor isn't a granddaughter but descended from Moryn - Olenna's other granddaughter through Mace's sister is Desmera Redwyne).
    • Of course, given that Mace Tyrell was in the Great Sept with his entire retinue along with Margaery to observe Loras's trial, it is not impossible that all of Margaery's handmaidens, including her cousins, were present in the Great Sept and killed in the explosion, and by the fifth episode of Season 7, it is made clear that this is apparently the case .[20]

Military

House Tyrell can raise approximately 60,000 men in a relatively short period of time. As the second richest house, the Tyrell's forces are numerous in the Seven Kingdoms, though House Lannister commands well-equipped armies. The strength of House Tyrell has remained mostly unscathed during the War of the Five Kings. Nevertheless, It is clear that House Tyrell has a more advantageous leverage compared to the Lannisters, both in manpower and logistics. Highgarden alone can garrison nearly 10,000 soldiers, showing that the Tyrells commands a relatively large army. However, much of this army is later annihilated by the Lannister forces at the Sack of Highgarden leading to the death of Olenna Tyrell thus eliminating the once formidable great house.

Tyrell soldiers seem to be well-equipped yet still far behind to the Lannisters. This is particularly evidenced by the high quality swords and weapons purchased due to the Reach’s fertile lands thus allowing taxation for the region’s large population therefore supplying high-quality to the Tyrell soldiers.

Not only this, but commonly it is seen that the Tyrells are outfitted in high quality plate armor. Many of them protected by sturdy, bright colored dyed symmetrical cut leather augmented steel armor plates, in a striking combination. This design, is not aesthetically impressive but also symbolic, since the Tyrell men are often considered as the “Knights of Summer”. The design also provides practicality in warfare with the combination of leather and steel plates allows considerable protection and mobility for the wearer. This makes them nimble than other soldiers who might be wearing heavy plates of armor, while retaining the defensive properties of armor. Tyrell infantry helmets have a basic flower motif to the overall shape of their helmets, after the Tyrell sigil of a golden rose: the design gives the appearance that the entire helmet is a rose, with large metal ridges shaped like rose petals ringing the "crown" of the head. Tyrell infantry helmets also have cheek guards (unlike basic Stark helmets), which are an extension of the main body of the helmet (not a separate piece of metal like Lannister armor, which is more complex)

The budding crown like crests on their helmets of the Tyrell soldiers in Season 6, are more of an aesthetic feature rather than a defensive one, being designed to hopefully nullify the impacts of a critical blow to the users head.  The design serves as  a direct resemblance to the Tyrell sigil a budding golden rose despite it’s rather ridiculous design. Arguably, the design is as much for show, as for practical effectiveness. The intricacy required for manufacturing tens of thousands of the rather simple yet conventional parts for the helmets, indicates a capability in metalworking and craftsmanship. As seen at the Great Sept of Baelor, the small Tyrell force is visually spectacular in full battle formation, as witnessed by the High Sparrow and the people in King’s Landing.

Tyrell armor and robes, also use logically vast quantities of relatively expensive amounts of teal, gold and other brightly-colored dye, across the Tyrell military forces, universally. Cloaks, robes and under layers padding the armor in these colors, make for fine looking and ornate soldiers. Moreover, they are well protected by heater and ovate shields, constructed of thick wood in multiple layers. Adorning the painted golden rose, and painted blazons/sigils of House Tyrell, teal and yellow-gold being the main color palette. The well-crafted style of the Tyrell garments and armor, indicates an organised system of military wealth and effectiveness.,

However, while most Tyrell soldiers indeed seem to have the classic teal-dyed leather and steel plate armor, some even having golden, bronze, and other metal embellishments over their shoulder plates and helmets, which hides the rather simplistic lifestyle of the soldier in the Reach instead giving them a more intimidating outlook in the field and at the camps.

Despite the Tyrell army being diverse and ornamentally impressive in design, their vassals seem to follow this motif (bright colored armor and steel plates) despite their preference to be considered as independent houses. Most notably, House Tarly which used red tunics and steel armor which distinguishes them from House Tyrell.


During the War of the Five Kings, we see  different variations for the Tyrell army, indicating different types of troops from simplistic levies to the more prominent soldiers. This variation allows a unique dynamic in the equipment used by each soldier. Regional levies, wear more basic armor relying on leather and supposedly chainmail in order to make up for the lack of  plated armor. Medium infantry are unique having the combination of the heavy guard units while being superior to the levies in terms of equipment and possibly training. House Tyrell also commands a formidable group of heavy guardsmen being House Tyrell’s well-equipped infantry being able to intimidate their opponents such as the Faith Militant, wherein Lancel Lannister nervously wields his weapon should a fight breakout.

It is relatively quite unknown how the Tyrell army is experienced in terms of warfare since most of their army didn’t partake in pitch battles during the War of the Five Kings. Numerous battles such as the Battle of the Blackwater showed it’s capability in combat, wherein the combined cavalry of both House Lannister and Tyrell easily managed to crush Stannis Baratheon’s army with ease. Although it can be considered that they fought using mounted soldiers which gives an advantage compared to the foot soldiers used during the battle. Later in Season 7, it is revealed that the Tyrell army is incapable of fighting as stated by Olenna Tyrell by stating “It was never our forte.”. This can be assumed that House Tyrell is more reliant and dependent on their more marital vassals like the Tarly’s and other houses to fight their battles.

Yet it is quite arguably debatable that House Tyrell in the past could actually be a formidable foe being able to win numerous historic conflicts against their vassals most notably Dorne. During the 300 year long reign of the Targaryen.  Though it can be said that the numerous civil wars under House Targaryen could have weakened House Tyrell’s capabilities in combat due to their decisions in remaining neutral in wars. An example of this is during, the Dance of the Dragons wherein House Tyrell remained neutral throughout the war which allowed their vassals to choose between factions.

The Tyrells command a formidable fleet known as the Redwyne Fleet, numbering around 200 long ships such as cogs, carracks, and galley. The fleet has experienced naval battles most notably during the Greyjoy Rebellion. The fleet is also used to protect merchant ships against raiders and pirates such as the Ironborn. In the books the Reach’s navy could arguably be the most powerful in the Seven Kingdoms even surpassing the Royal Fleet, being supported by the Shield Islands, coastal lords and the Hightower fleet.

The Reach is controlled mostly by House Tyrell, mostly due to Harlan Tyrell’s surrender of Highgarden to Aegon Targaryen thus elevating their status. Despite their status however their vassals seem to act self-beneficially and have questionable loyalties such as the Florents and the Fossoways, who aligned themselves with Stannis rather than follow their liege lords. House Tarly, on the other hand chose to reluctantly ally with the Lannisters in fear of the Dothraki.

Relationships

Members

Sworn to House Tyrell

Vassals and allies

Image gallery

Family tree

 
 
 
 
House-Tyrell-heraldry
Luthor Tyrell

Deceased
 
Famtree-OlennaTyrell
Olenna Tyrell
née Redwyne House-Redwyne-Main-Shield
Deceased
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Famtree-MaceTyrell
Mace Tyrell
Deceased
 
House-Hightower-Square
Alerie Tyrell
née Hightower
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Famtree-JoffreyBaratheon
Joffrey Baratheon House-Baratheon-of-King's Landing-Main-Shield
2nd husband
Deceased
 
Famtree-MargaeryTyrell
Margaery Tyrell

Deceased
 
Famtree-RenlyBaratheon
Renly Baratheon House-Baratheon-of-Storm's-End-Main-Shield
1st husband
Deceased
 
Famtree-LorasTyrell
Loras Tyrell

Deceased
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Famtree-TommenBaratheon
Tommen Baratheon House-Baratheon-of-King's Landing-Main-Shield
3rd husband
Deceased

Behind the scenes

  • According to the TV series official pronunciation guide developed for the cast and crew, "Tyrell" is pronounced "TI-rul", as opposed to "Tie-rell", etc. In spite of this, several characters, including Lady Olenna, have inconsistently alternated with pronouncing it "TIE-rell".[13] Even within the same scene in Season 3's "Walk of Punishment," Cersei says "Tie-rell" while Tywin says "Tih-rul" (although since this different works to underscore their disagreement, it may be intentional for that one scene). When asked about this, official Game of Thrones linguist David J. Peterson (creator of the Dothraki and Valyrian languages, who did not create the pronunciation guide) said that he personally pronounces it as "Tie-rell", but has heard it both ways on the TV show - given that he doesn't himself decide how to pronounce basic character names. He did offer that maybe, just as in real life, there are simply multiple ways to pronounce the same name.[21]
  • The HBO Viewer's Guide for Season 1 lists Mace Tyrell and Alerie Hightower as having four children – Willas, Garlan, Loras and Margaery – in keeping with the books. Willas and Garlan were not mentioned at all on-screen, were removed from the Viewer's Guide for Season 2, and did not reappear in the Viewer's Guide for Season 3. Loras was explicitly confirmed as being the heir to Highgarden in "The Climb". Willas and Garlan's roles in the narrative (the Tyrell who was to wed Sansa Stark and the Tyrell who asked for Margaery to marry Joffrey) had already been given to Loras on-screen.
    • In an interview during Season 3, writer Bryan Cogman admitted that the status of the older two Tyrell brothers was always in a limbo state, as they couldn't fit them into the narrative but at the same time were reluctant to outright confirm that they would never appear at all. Similarly, the writers never thought that they would introduce Stannis Baratheon's daughter Shireen Baratheon when they introduced him in Season 2, but were careful to leave the door open to introduce her later, which they ultimately did in Season 3 (making sure to say that "Stannis has no sons" so they could later say he does have a daughter, without contradicting themselves). Thus it only really became utterly clear that the other Tyrells from the books wouldn't be introduced by Seasons 5 to 6. As Cogman said in Season 3:
At this point, in show canon, Loras and Margaery are the only children of Mace Tyrell. Margaery is eldest, Loras is the heir. Considering this plotline dominates the season, it was felt we needed the Tyrell engaged to Sansa (and then Cersei) had to be the Tyrell the audience is familiar with, as opposed to an unseen character."[22]

In the books

In the A Song of Ice and Fire novels, House Tyrell is a powerful noble house. The Reach is the most populous region of the Seven Kingdoms and the Tyrells can field the largest army on the continent, although the Lannisters, being richer, can better-equip their troops. This makes the Tyrells formidable enemies but excellent allies.

House Tyrell never ruled as "kings and queens", as opposed to the Starks, Lannisters, or Arryns. Before King Aegon I Targaryen's invasion and unification of the Seven Kingdoms, the Tyrells were stewards to House Gardener, the Kings of the Reach. The Tyrells had responsibility for maintaining the castle of Highgarden, the seat of royal power in the Reach. In the battle known as the Field of Fire, King Mern IX Gardener and all of his issue were burned alive by Aegon's dragons. Harlen Tyrell, King Mern's steward, surrendered Hightower to King Aegon and was rewarded with the title of Lord Paramount of the Reach and Warden of the South.

House Florent of Brightwater Keep has long disputed the suitability of the Tyrells to the rule of the Reach, on the grounds that they can claim a closer blood-relationship to the old kings of House Gardener. House Florent is a cadet branch of House Gardener, founded by a younger son of the main Gardener line, while House Tyrell can only claim descent from House Gardener through the female line.

As a result the Florents have often bucked the authority of the Tyrells in the past three centuries since the Targaryen conquest. It came as little surprise when after Renly died and House Tyrell led their vassals in switching to support King Joffrey and the Lannisters, House Florent was the only major House from the Reach to instead switch allegiance to Stannis. Indeed, Stannis's wife, Selyse, is herself a Florent.

Thus the Tyrells, while always maintaining firm control of the Reach, have always feared that they have an uneasy grip on their rule. While the Tyrells possess very fertile lands from which they can raise large armies, there are other powerful noble families in the Reach, such as House Florent, which don't particularly respect them the way the vassals of the Starks and Lannisters respect them because they used to be their kings. A great deal of skill at court politics has thus been needed to keep the Tyrells' powerful vassals in check, though Tyrells like Lady Olenna possess this in abundance. Therefore, House Tyrell is always on the lookout to secure a marriage into a royal line, to strengthen their prestige and cement their rule over the Reach.

The Martells and Tyrells have been sworn enemies for many generations. Over the centuries, they have fought border wars beyond count, and raided back and forth across mountains and marches even when at peace. The enmity between the two houses waned a bit after Dorne became part of the Seven Kingdoms, but the maiming of Willas Tyrell by the Dornish prince Oberyn Martell in a joust fanned the animosity between the families, though Willas himself does not hold any grudge against Oberyn, as both men knew what happened was simply an unfortunate accident.

As D.B. Weiss summed it up in a Season 2 featurette, in the current generation House Tyrell is a closet matriarchy of sorts. While dependable, honorable, and loyal, the men of House Tyrell aren't particularly intelligent or adept at politics. Instead, the female members of House Tyrell (such as Margaery and her father's mother, Olenna) are the intelligent ones who actively plan out the political course that House Tyrell will take. An exception to this is Lord Mace's eldest son, Willas, who unlike his father and two younger brothers (Garlan and Loras), is said to be quite well-educated.

Since being elevated to rule of the Reach, during any major Westeros-wide conflict the Tyrells have frequently judged a conflict and then followed the strategy of pragmatically siding with whoever seems most likely to win, rather than fighting for abstract principles of law or honor. During the Targaryen Conquest they surrendered to the Targaryens willingly in return for their favor. In Robert's Rebellion they sided with the Mad King because they owed the Targaryens everything, and didn't think Robert Baratheon could defeat him. During the civil war known as the Dance of the Dragons, however, the Tyrells judged that the faction of Rhaenyra Targaryen and the faction of Aegon II Targaryen were so evenly matched that it was not obvious at the outset which side would win. With neither side having a clear advantage over the other, to the surprise of both, the Tyrells declared their neutrality and took no part in the war (though their bannermen were heavily divided between the two sides).

In the books, as in the series, the Lannisters grow increasingly concerned with how much power the Tyrells managed to gain. Ever since the second novel, the Tyrells become the Lannisters' most important allies, and they take full advanage of that in order to increase their (and their bannermen) political power, slowly but surely.

Following the battle of the Blackwater, the Tyrells are greatly rewarded for reinforcing the Lannister troops: Margaery is betrothed to Joffrey; Loras becomes a member of the Kingsguard; Mace is given a seat at the Small Council as Master of Ships; Garlan is granted the lands of House Florent. Two of the Tyrells' bannermen, Paxter Rewyne and Mathis Rowan, are also granted seats in the Small Council.

During the third book, Tywin Lannister decides to restore Pycelle (whom Tyrion had previously sent to the black cells beneath the Red Keep) to the position of Grand Maester after he received word that the Citadel planned on naming Maester Gormon, born Gormon Tyrell, his replacement.

Following Tywin's death, the Tyrells grow bolder with their demands, among them to wed Margaery to Tommen shortly after his brother's death, much to Cersei's annoyance. Cersei's resentment toward the Tyrells soon turns into mistrust, and then to paranoia, based on several items:

  • Shortly after Tyrion's escape, Qyburn informs Cersei that an ancient Tyrell coin was found in the cell of a jailer named Rugen (who is Varys in disguise).
  • Lady Taena Merryweather of Myr, wife of the newly-appointed master of laws, tells Cersei that her handmaiden Senelle is spying for Margaery, and that Olenna pays merchants in King's Landing with old coins which are only half the weight of newly minted gold dragons.[23]

At first, Cersei suspects that someone is seeking to drive a wedge between the Lannisters and Tyrells; this may be the truth (in view of Varys's statement in the end of the fifth novel), but Cersei's paranoia soon overcomes her logic.

As Margaery's popularity and influence over Tommen grow, Cersei suddenly realizes (correctly) that the Tyrells had a motive to dispose of Joffrey. She becomes convinced that the Tyrells plot to undermine the Lannisters; they conspired with Tyrion to murder Joffrey, maybe to murder Tywin too; they helped Tyrion escape from jail; lastly, Margaery is the queen whom Maggy referred to. Driven by her paranoia, Cersei plots to have Margaery charged with adultery and shamed in public. However, similarly to each and every scheme Cersei comes up with, this one goes wrong too: the witnesses against Margaery prove to be false, and Cersei finds herself in much worse position than Margaery. Ironically, as a result of the scheme the Tyrells grow more in power.

Kevan, like his niece, is wary of the Tyrells' power greed; however, he acknowledges that alienating the Tyrells is much worse option than complying with their demands. He chides Cersei for rejecting Mace's request to be become the King's Hand, reasoning that although Mace is hardly suitable for that office - it is even more foolish to make him a foe.

By the end of the fifth novel, Kevan becomes concerned because the Tyrells increase their power gradually at the expense of the Lannisters: they have three of the seats in the Small Council (Mace - the King's Hand, Randyll Tarly - Master of laws and justiciar, Lord Paxter Redwyne - Master of ships and grand admiral); a hundred of Highgarden men have been added to the gold cloaks; Lord Tyrell and Tarly have both brought armies to King’s Landing, while most of the Lannister troops are away in the Riverlands. Kevan's hands are tied, however, because Cersei's attempts to limit the Tyrells' power were utterly ludicrous and could only be resolved by giving the Tyrells their current concessions.

The rest of the Tyrells are:

  • Lady Mina Tyrell, Lord Mace's sister. Married to Lord Paxter Redwyne.
  • Lady Janna Tyrell, Lord Mace's sister. Married to Ser Jon Fossoway.
  • Garth Tyrell, Lord Mace's uncle. Called 'Garth the Gross'. Lord Seneschal of Highgarden.
    • Garse Flowers, Garth's bastard son.
    • Garrett Flowers, Garth's bastard son.
  • Ser Moryn Tyrell, Lord Mace's uncle. Lord Commander of the City Watch of Oldtown.
    • Ser {Luthor Tyrell}, Moryn's eldest son. Married to Elyn Norridge.
      • Ser Theodore Tyrell, Luthor's eldest son. Married to Lia Serry.
        • Elinor Tyrell, Theodore's daughter. Handmaiden to Lady Margaery.
        • Luthor Tyrell, Theodore's son. A squire.
      • Maester Medwick, Luthor's second son. A Maester.
      • Olene Tyrell, Luthor's daughter. Married to Ser Leo Blackbar.
    • Leo Tyrell, Moryn's second son. Called 'Leo the Lazy'. Studying at the Citadel.
  • Maester Gormon, Lord Mace's uncle. A Maester.

Distant relations of the main branch are:

  • Ser {Quentin Tyrell}, a cousin of Lord Mace. Slain at the Battle of Ashford.
    • Ser Olymer Tyrell, Quentin's son. Married to Lysa Meadows.
      • Raymund Tyrell, Olymer's eldest son.
      • Rickard Tyrell, Olymer's second son.
      • Megga Tyrell, Olymer's daughter. Handmaiden to Lady Margaery.
  • Maester Normund, a cousin of Lord Mace. He is in service at Blackcrown.
  • Ser {Victor Tyrell}, a cousin of Lord Mace. Slain by the Smiling Knight of the Kingswood Brotherhood.
    • Victaria Tyrell, Victor's daughter. Widow of Lord Jon Bulwer.
      • Alysanne Bulwer, Victaria's daughter. The Lady of Blackcrown.
    • Ser Leo Tyrell, Victor's son. Married to Alys Beesbury.
      • Alla Tyrell, Leo's eldest daughter. Handmaiden to Lady Margaery.
      • Leona Tyrell, Leo's second daughter.
      • Lyonel Tyrell, Leo's eldest son.
      • Lucas Tyrell, Leo's second son.
      • Lorent Tyrell, Leo's third son.

The following sworn houses have yet to appear in the series:

See also

References

  1. HBO viewers guide, season 2 guide to houses, House Tyrell entry
  2. "The Wolf and the Lion"
  3. "You Win or You Die"
  4. "Fire and Blood"
  5. "The North Remembers"
  6. 6.0 6.1 "What is Dead May Never Die"
  7. "Garden of Bones"
  8. "The Ghost of Harrenhal"
  9. "The Old Gods and the New"
  10. "Blackwater"
  11. "Valar Morghulis"
  12. "Valar Dohaeris"
  13. 13.0 13.1 "Dark Wings, Dark Words"
  14. "The Climb"
  15. Blood of My Blood
  16. The Broken Man
  17. 17.0 17.1 The Winds of Winter
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 Stormborn"
  19. "The Queen's Justice"
  20. 20.0 20.1 "Eastwatch"
  21. David J. Peterson's blog
  22. Westeros.org, Season 3 Interview: Bryan Cogman.
  23. Taena's true motives and allegiance are unclear. There are various fan speculations about her, among them that she is Doran Martell's agent - the one who warned him about Cersei's scheme to assassinate Trystane.
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House Tyrell
Lord: None, extinct Heir: None, extinct
House-Tyrell-Main-Shield
Seat: Highgarden Lands: The Reach
Title(s): Lord of Highgarden · Lord Paramount of the Reach · Warden of the South
Ancestors:Garth Gardener · Harlen Tyrell · Lyonel Tyrell
Deceased members:Luthor Tyrell · Mace Tyrell · Margaery Tyrell · Loras Tyrell · Olenna Tyrell · Tyrell lady · Alerie Tyrell
Household:Mira Forrester · Sera Durwell
Overlord:House Targaryen · House Baratheon of King's Landing (formerly) · House Gardener (formerly)