‘Game of Thrones’ Showrunners On Olenna Tyrell’s Death

Game of Thrones HBO

In HBO‘s Game of Thrones, you win or you die, and that’s true of several fan-favorite characters. Sadly it was a beloved supporting character’s turn to die at the end of last night’s episode, and showrunners David Benioff and D. B. Weiss have commented on how this character met her dignified end.

Obviously, spoilers will be left unmarked past this point, so the rest of this article presumes that you’ve seen the latest episode. Anyway, Entertainment Weekly spoke with both Benioff and Weiss on the death of Lady Olenna Tyrell, where she died on her own terms by means of a ingesting a painless poison. In the process, she told Jaime Lannister to tell his sister Cersei know that she was the person who orchestrated the death of Joffrey, their incest-born son and former king. Actress Dame Diana Rigg was one of the few people involved in the show to be of actual royalty, so losing her character was something that was hard for the showrunners to do, especially Benioff.

When we initially cast Diana Rigg, we met with Nina Gold, our legendary casting director, and we had tea with her. Dames don’t audition for you, you audition for them. And we loved her. She was funny, she was bawdy, she was everything we wanted for that character. We’ve been very lucky to write for these legendary actors — like Diana Rigg. Max Von Sydow, Jim Broadbent, and Charles Dance — people who have been doing it for so long and are so frickin’ good at what they do. She’s one of the best in the world and [Olenna’s final scene] is one of my favorites in the whole season. She really brought it.

But Weiss adds that in spite of her departure, Lady Tyrell effectively died on her own terms, and in a way was the true victor of the brief encounter:

“What I love about the way she plays the scene is that even though you leave the scene knowing she’s soon going to be dead shortly after you cut to black you still feel like she won. She’s probably the only character to win her own death scene.”

Perhaps, then, it’s not simply a case of “you win or you die” with the Game of Thrones – Lady Tyrell found a way to do both in one fell swoop. The character will be missed by the fans for sure, but she went out with a bang.

Game of Thrones Season 7 airs on Sundays. The series stars Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as Jaime Lannister, Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister, Kit Harington as Jon Snow, Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen, Aidan Gillen as Petyr Baelish, Liam Cunningham as Ser Davos Seaworth, Carice van Houten as Melisandre, Rory McCann as Sandor “The Hound” Clegane, Maisie Williams as Arya Stark, Conleth Hill as Varys, Alfie Allen as Theon Greyjoy, John Bradley as Samwell Tarly, Gwendoline Christie as Brienne of Tarth, Kristofer Hivju as Tormund Giantsbane, Isaac Hempstead Wright as Bran Stark, Jerome Flynn as Bronn, Iain Glen as Jorah Mormont, Hannah Murray as Gilly.

Source: Entertainment Weekly