- Olenna Tyrell: "Loras is young and very good at knocking men off horses with a stick. That does not make him wise. As to your fathead father..."
- Margaery Tyrell: "Grandmother! What will Sansa think of us?"
- Olenna Tyrell: "She might think we have some wits about us, one of us at any rate."
- — Margaery Tyrell introduces her grandmother Olenna to Sansa Stark[src]
The elderly matriarch of House Tyrell, Lady Olenna has been a master of court politics and intrigue par excellence throughout her life. She's also known for her wit and sarcasm. As a result, Lady Olenna is popularly nicknamed the Queen of Thorns, in reference her House's sigil and her cutting barbs.
Olenna is pronounced Oh-lenn-ah.
Olenna Tyrell is the widow of Lord Luthor Tyrell and the mother of Mace Tyrell, the current Lord of Highgarden, Warden of the South, Lord Paramount of the Reach, and head of House Tyrell. She is the grandmother of his children Willas, Garlan, Loras, and Margaery. She was born into House Redwyne, one of the most prominent and powerful vassals of House Tyrell.
At some point following her granddaughter's engagement to Joffrey Baratheon, Lady Olenna moved to King's Landing, mostly likely to work behind the scenes to cement the Tyrells' position. Reasoning that Sansa Stark was the best person to ask about Joffrey, Olenna invited her to a lunch of lemon cakes (Sansa's favorite) and cheese (her own favorite). After much prodding, Sansa finally broke down and admitted Joffrey was a monster. Lady Olenna was disappointed but unsurprised at the revelation.A few days later, Lady Olenna is sought out by Varys, who finds her terrorizing her granddaughters over their unimaginative veneration of House Tyrell's unimaginative sigil. Olenna throws a mild barb or two at him before demanding his reasons for seeking her, aware of the Spider's reputation. They discuss Sansa and Littlefinger's interest in her, with Varys warning her just how dangerous Littlefinger really is. Olenna agrees that Sansa must be kept away from him. When Varys is about to offer a solution, Olenna dismisses him, saying that the solution is rather obvious. 
Hoping to mitigate the potential costs of an extravagant royal wedding, Tyrion Lannister meets with Lady Olenna. She lectures him on the importance of an extravagant royal wedding, particularly if it, along with the large amounts of grain and livestock brought to King's Landing from the Reach, prevents the Smallfolk from ripping the nobles apart. Lady Olenna also reminds Tyrion of the thousands of Tyrell troops now assisting the Lannisters in the War of the Five Kings, and that the royal house traditionally pays for a royal wedding. Nonetheless, she agrees to pay half the costs of the wedding itself provided the celebrations are not cut short. Lady Olenna expressed disappointment in Tyrion's character– she had hoped to encounter a lecherous, mischievous imp and not a bookkeeper– and in Podrick Payne's serving abilities before departing.
After he finds out about the plan to wed Loras to Sansa, Tywin Lannister meets with Lady Olenna to discuss marrying Loras to Cersei instead (both of them pretending that there is no outstanding plot). Olenna, claiming herself an expert on the subject, declares Cersei too old, noting she will be going through "the change" before too long. Tywin counters with the rumors of Loras' sexuality, which Olenna bluntly confirms. She then asks if Tywin had ever experimented in his youth, a suggestion the Hand angrily refutes. Olenna concedes that the Tyrells don't worry too much about "a discreet bit of buggery", but then points out that while the rumors about Loras are gossip-worthy, it is the rumors about Cersei that have the Kingdoms at war. Tywin says that neither he nor Olenna care what other people think of them (an assertion she refutes). He proceeds to call her bluff by threatening to name Loras to the Kingsguard, thereby exchanging the uncertainty of Cersei's childbearing status for the certainty of House Tyrell's extinction. Olenna snaps Tywin's quill in half and graciously concedes defeat. Lady Olenna attends the wedding of Tyrion Lannister in the Great Sept of Baelor. She stands near the feet of the Mother's statue with her grandchildren and is not amused when Joffrey embarrasses Tyrion by hiding his footstool. At the wedding feast, Olenna, muses on now-extremely complicated in-law relationships between Margaery, Loras, Cersei and Tyrion, prompting Loras to storm out and Margaery to give her a withering look. Later on, she regards Tywin and Tyrion's latest argument with amusement.
|Season Three appearances|
|Valar Dohaeris||Dark Wings, Dark Words||Walk of Punishment||And Now His Watch is Ended||Kissed by Fire|
|The Climb||The Bear and the Maiden Fair||Second Sons||The Rains of Castamere||Mhysa|
|Mace Tyrell||Alerie Tyrell|
|Joffrey Baratheon |
Margaery's 2nd husband
|Margaery Tyrell||Renly Baratheon |
Margaery's 1st husband
|Tommen Baratheon |
Joffrey's younger brother
Margaery's 3rd husband
Behind the scenes
Like Margaery, Olenna's role in the TV series has been expanded greatly from her appearances in the novels, likely an attempt by the writers to increase House Tyrell's visibility (none of the Tyrells are POV characters in the books). Olenna also serves as a foil for Tywin– indeed, Charles Dance himself referred to Olenna as "the anti-Tywin Lannister" in a promotional interview for Season 3.
In the books
In the A Song of Ice and Fire novels, her family remains the same. In her youth she almost married a member of House Targaryen, but Olenna did everything she could to make sure it never came to fruition. She is described as a wizened, cunning old woman with a wicked wit and a sharp tongue. She is known as the "Queen of Thorns" for her sarcasm and the rose thorns in the sigil of House Tyrell. In many ways, the cunning Olenna is the true leader of House Tyrell, masterminding political intrigues which her son, Lord Mace Tyrell, then follows. Despite this she has a loving relationship with her family, including her grandchildren. Olenna is particularly close with her granddaughter Margaery Tyrell, whom she has mentored in the skills of court intrigue.
Members of House Redwyne tend to have bright orange hair. Olenna's hair has turned completely white due to old age, but it hasn't been established what her hair color was in her youth.
- Olenna Redwyne at A Wiki of Ice and Fire (MAJOR spoilers from the books)
|Lord:||Lord Mace Tyrell||Heir:||Ser Loras Tyrell|
|Title(s):||Lord Paramount of the Reach · Lord of Highgarden · Warden of the South|
|Ancestors:||Garth Gardener · Harlen Tyrell · Lyonel Tyrell|
|Current members:||Olenna Tyrell · Alerie Tyrell · Margaery Tyrell · Tyrell lady|
|Deceased members:||Luthor Tyrell|
|Household:||Mira Forrester · Sera Durwell|
|Overlord:||House Baratheon of King's Landing|
|Lord:||Lord Paxter Redwyne||Heir:|
|Seat:||The Arbor||Lands:||The Reach|
|Title(s):||Lord of the Arbor|
|Current members:||Olenna Redwyne · Bethany Redwyne · Viola Redwyne|