Margaery Tyrell

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Margaery Tyrell
A Song of Ice and Fire character
Game of Thrones
Margery Tyrell-Natalie Dormer.jpg
Natalie Dormer as Margaery Tyrell
First appearance
Last appearance
Created byGeorge R. R. Martin
Portrayed byNatalie Dormer
(Game of Thrones)
Voiced byNatalie Dormer (video game)
  • The Little Queen
  • The Little Rose
  • Maid Margaery
TitleQueen of the Seven Kingdoms
  • Mace Tyrell (father)
  • Alerie Hightower (mother)
  • Willas Tyrell (brother)
  • Garlan Tyrell (brother)
  • Loras Tyrell (brother)
  • Luthor Tyrell (grandfather)
  • Olenna Redwyne (grandmother)
  • Leyton Hightower (grandfather)
KingdomThe Reach
The Crownlands

Margaery Tyrell is a fictional character in the A Song of Ice and Fire series of high fantasy novels by American author George R. R. Martin, and its television adaptation Game of Thrones. Though a supporting character in the books, she played a more prominent role in the HBO series, and rose to become a main character eventually, where she is portrayed by Natalie Dormer. Margaery is first mentioned in A Game of Thrones (1996) and first appears in A Clash of Kings (1998).

Character profile[edit]

Margaery is the only daughter of Alerie Hightower and Mace Tyrell, the Lord of Highgarden in the Reach. Her older brothers are the heir Willas, Garlan and Loras the Knight of Flowers, who is a member of the Kingsguard. One of the wealthiest and most powerful families in Westeros, House Tyrell is actually guided by the willful Lady Olenna, Mace's mother, who has arranged Margaery's marriages and mentors her in politics and court intrigue.


A coat of arms showing a golden rose with five petals on a green field
Coat of arms of House Tyrell


Margaery appears in A Clash of Kings (1998), having married Renly Baratheon and supporting his claim to the Iron Throne. After Renly's assassination, the Tyrells switch allegiance and Margaery is instead offered to wed King Joffrey Baratheon. In A Storm of Swords (2000), she becomes popular among the citizens of King's Landing through her various charitable activities. Margaery forms an amiable relationship with the King's ex-fiancee Sansa Stark[1] and through Sansa she learns much about Joffrey's true nature. Margaery weds Joffrey, but he is poisoned at their wedding feast. In A Feast for Crows (2005) Margaery marries Joffrey's younger brother, Tommen, and encourages him to assert himself as king. Margaery's growing influence over Tommen puts her in a bitter power struggle with his mother Cersei Lannister, which eventually culminates in Cersei framing Margaery for adultery. In A Dance with Dragons (2011), Margaery is released from prison and placed under house arrest, where she awaits trial.

Television series[edit]

In HBO's Game of Thrones, Margaery's backstory and plotline in the early seasons remain largely unchanged from the novels, though the character is more prominent in the series and this version of Margaery is an adult as opposed to a teenager. Margaery first appears in the second season, following her marriage to Renly; she is well aware that her marriage is a political one, and displays pragmatism regarding Renly's homosexuality and his relationship with her brother Loras.

Season 2[edit]

Margaery, freshly married to Renly, reveals that she is aware of his relationship with her brother and is willing to work around his desires to secure their alliance and her position. Following Renly's assassination, Margaery indicates to Petyr Baelish that she is aware that her brother-in-law, Stannis Baratheon, is more likely to be behind the assassination than Brienne of Tarth, the official suspect. She also makes it clear that her ambition is to be the Queen of Westeros, and that she will not settle for anything less.

Season 3[edit]

Margaery has relocated to King's Landing and taken up residence in the Red Keep. She swiftly proves that she is one of the few people capable of managing Joffrey, which pleases his grandfather, Tywin Lannister, but makes her an enemy in Cersei. The series also expands on Margaery's friendship with Sansa Stark, though her motives are unclear and Margaery swiftly replaces Sansa as Joffrey's fiance. Through several shrewd PR moves towards the city's poor and orphaned, Margaery becomes extremely popular with the common people as their future Queen.

Season 4[edit]

Margaery Tyrell has been married to Joffrey Baratheon, but she is widowed hours later when he is poisoned at the wedding feast. Soon after, Olenna reveals herself as masterminding the poisoning, but Margaery, now aware that Tyrion Lannister's trial is a farce, keeps quiet. Arrangements are made to wed Margaery to Joffrey's younger brother Tommen, to whom Margaery swiftly ingratiates herself. Cersei and Margaery continue their bitter rivalry; Cersei resents being displaced as Queen and being forced to marry her very young child to the much older Margaery, while Margaery tries to outmaneuver her.

Season 5[edit]

Margaery and Tommen wed, and she finally becomes the Lady of the Seven Kingdoms. She taunts Cersei over her triumph, and begins to try to convince Tommen to send Cersei away from the capital. Cersei, in a shortsighted attempt to get rid of her rival, consents for the Faith of the Seven to once again bear arms. Cersei intends for the increasingly fervent religious order to seize Loras and charge him for homosexual behavior, and to trick Margaery into perjuring herself by denying, under oath, knowledge of his proclivities. Margaery finds herself arrested and awaiting trial, although Cersei is arrested as well on unrelated charges.

Season 6[edit]

After a period of captivity, Margaery is permitted to visit Loras in his cell. She discovers that he is beginning to break under the Faith's questioning, and that the meeting is a ploy to break her too. Jaime Lannister leads the Tyrell army on the Sept of Baelor to secure Margaery's release, but it is revealed that she has been absolved by convincing Tommen to forge an alliance between the Faith and the Crown. Margaery later convinces Olenna to return to Highgarden, subtly indicating that she is still loyal to House Tyrell.

Margaery persuades the High Sparrow, the leader of the Faith, to release Loras if he surrenders his claim as heir of House Tyrell and joins the Faith. However, when Cersei fails to arrive for her trial Margaery deduces Cersei is plotting something and tries to convince the High Sparrow to evacuate the Sept of Baelor, but the High Sparrow refuses and has the Faith Militant bar the exits. Moments later, wildfire that had been ignited beneath the Sept on Cersei's orders explodes, and Margaery is killed in the explosion, along with all others present. Her death, and those of her brother and father, lead Olenna to accept a proposal by the Sand Snakes (who currently lead the Reach's ancient rival, Dorne) in supporting Daenerys Targaryen's invasion of Westeros.[2]


A Song of Ice and Fire[edit]

Adam Whitehead of the wertzone feels Margaery's rivalry with Cersei Lannister is a major driving force in A Feast for Crows.[3] Hahn Nguyen of feels that Margaery is a background character whose cunning is only addressed subtly. She states that; "In the books, I felt [Margaery] was just pushed to the background. A pawn," and "Margaery's cunning was hinted at in the books, especially in her lunch with Lady Olenna and Sansa."[4] In a similar vein, Sean T. Collins writing for Rolling Stone feels that author Martin has been vague about Margaery's ambition and political cunning and describes her as a; "mute mystery whose motives and level of involvement in the game of thrones are unknown [by A Clash of Kings]"[5] However other writers feel Margaery's political ambition is more obvious. Madeline of Feministing writes; "Margaery is an ambitious politico as well as being a damn good actress – she plays the part of the tragic, virginal twice-widow so well that almost no one suspects that she is dead set on winning the throne. Despite frequently being used as a bartering chip, Margaery uses her womanhood to her advantage, knowing that producing an heir will shoot her to power."[6] Similarly Danica Liu writing for The Duke Chronicle describes Margaery as "subtle and graceful" and like most of the women in A Song of Ice and Fire, deals in the currencies of power.[7]

Game of Thrones[edit]

Natalie Dormer plays the role of Margaery Tyrell in the television series.

David Sims writing for The A.V. Club enjoyed the introduction of Margaery's character in "What Is Dead May Never Die" commenting; "the fun twist to this plot is that Margaery Tyrell is obviously not the blushing maiden she appears to be, but an operator just like everyone else," and "Margaery could just be a cypher, a mostly silent cog in Renly's plans for dominance, but instead she's going to be a lot more." He uses her character to praise the writing of Game of Thrones, stating that it; "rarely traffics in cliched characterization."[8] Jenna Busch of Zap2it calls Margaery a "power player" who will "do anything to stay on the throne."[9] Writer and editor Silvia Moreno Garcia describes Margaery as "a sleeker, more determined player of this game of thrones" when compared to her book characterization and goes on to comment that she is a "shrewd politician," who might give the other good players a run for their money." She also believes she is "older and worldlier than the one in the books."[10][unreliable source?] In "Valar Dohaeris", Diana Huang of UC Riverside's Highlander News appreciated the development of Margaery's character and called her "self aware and quick-witted" and believes she has the power to wreak havoc in King's Landing.[11]

Many commentators notice Margaery's desire and ability to gain the support of the public. Rhiannon of feministfiction writes: "this Margaery is ambitious but kind, clearly sweet and generous, but also a master at working people's emotions in her favor. Graceful, elegant, and aware of how powerful every word can be. She's an expert at the game that Sansa has only just begun, and it is stunning to see her."[12] Tiffany Brown, writing for TV After Dark, states "Margaery has gained the favor and love of the people of King's Landing, and has even garnered the affections of her future king."[13] Natalie Dormer, the actress who plays Margaery, when interviewed by HitFix discussed Margaery's political savviness:

Margaery brings this whole new element to the Game that you haven't seen before, which is basically PR. It's quite a modern ethos on PR and courting public affections, hopefully. We've all seen politicians kiss babies. It doesn't mean that she's insincere in her genuine hope to do charitable work and it's just an interesting new comment on how you handle the masses and how you win power that maybe we haven't seen in Westeros before.

She also noted that Margaery comes from a matriarchal family and "that she's more cut from the cloth as a protegee of her grandmother, so she knows what it's like for a woman to be in charge."[14]

For her performance in the show, Natalie Dormer received widely positive critical reviews, making Margaery one of the most popular supporting characters in the series.[citation needed] Dormer, along with the rest of the ensemble cast, was nominated for four Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series in 2012, 2014, 2015, and 2016, respectively, and the cast was awarded the Empire Hero Award in 2015 by the British film magazine Empire. For her performance in the third season of the show, Dormer won the Ewwy Award for Best Supporting Actress - Drama.[15]

Family tree of House Tyrell[edit]


  1. ^ A Storm of Swords, Sansa LXI.
  2. ^ Hibberd, James (June 26, 2016). "Game of Thrones star on that shocking finale death". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on August 17, 2016. Retrieved June 28, 2016.
  3. ^ Whitehead, Adam (February 9, 2010). "A Feast for Crows by George R.R. Martin". the wertzone. Retrieved April 5, 2013.
  4. ^ Nguyen, Hahn (April 1, 2013). "TV Guide - Game of Thrones By the Book: Tyrion's Nose, Margaery's Hunger and Sliced Nipples". Retrieved April 5, 2013.
  5. ^ T Collins, Sean (June 2012). "'Game Changers': The 10 Biggest changes between Game of Thrones and the books". Rolling Stone. Retrieved April 5, 2013.
  6. ^ Madeline (August 25, 2012). "In the game of feminism you win or you well no you pretty much win". Feministing. Retrieved April 5, 2013.
  7. ^ Liu, Danica (October 1, 2012). "In the game of feminism you win or you well no you pretty much win". The Chronicle (Duke University). Retrieved April 5, 2013.
  8. ^ Sims, David (April 15, 2012). "What is Dead May Never Die For Newbies". The A.V. Club. Retrieved April 4, 2013.
  9. ^ Busch, Jenna (April 9, 2012). "What is Dead May Never Die Preview". Zap2it. Archived from the original on March 7, 2013. Retrieved April 4, 2013.
  10. ^ Moreno Garcia, Silvia (April 17, 2012). "Review: Game of Thrones 2.03". Innsmouth Free Press. Retrieved April 4, 2013.
  11. ^ Huang, Diana (April 1, 2013). "Game of Thrones Valar Dohaeris Review". The Highlander. Retrieved April 4, 2013.
  12. ^ Thomas, Rhiannon (April 4, 2013). "Game of Thrones: Valar Dohaeris". Feminist Fiction. Retrieved April 5, 2013.
  13. ^ Brown, Tiffany (April 2, 2013). "The Peoples' Princess: Game of Thrones Episode (3×01) "Valar Dohaeris" – MVA Revealed Review". TV After Dark. Archived from the original on June 30, 2013. Retrieved April 4, 2013.
  14. ^ Feinberg, Daniel (March 31, 2013). "Interview: 'Game of Thrones' co-star Natalie Dormer discusses her Margaery Tyrell". HitFix. Retrieved April 4, 2013.
  15. ^ "EWwy Awards 2013: Meet Your 10 Winners!". Entertainment Weekly. September 13, 2013. Retrieved September 15, 2016.