Olenna Tyrell finally met her maker in Game of Thrones season 7. She did it in style, and her death is actually a first for the show. It was painless, quick and dignified, unlike so many that have come before her. However, that wasn’t before she imparted some important truths. It has become one of the most important deaths throughout the last six years of the show.
Proof the Showrunners Can Offer Mercy
George R.R. Martin has developed some excruciating and awful deaths over the years. Game of Thrones showrunners Dan Weiss and David Benioff have followed suit, making each death more painful and dark than the one before. We’ve seen Joffrey’s face turn purple, heard Ramsey eaten alive by his own dogs and watched a pregnant woman get stabbed in her belly for her husband’s “crimes.”
Olenna’s death could have been messy, undignified and almost impossible to watch. However, the GoT showrunners opted for an extremely different take to the deaths that had come before. They chose to show mercy and make it clear that sometimes deaths can be easy and relatively quick on HBO’s Game of Thrones.
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This particular death showed far more than mercy, though. It wasn’t a show of what the showrunners can do in the future, but a look at how far characters have come. After all, the death was a stark opposite to another in the episode, when Cersei imprisoned Ellaria and Tyene Sand.
It Showed Jaime Remains on a Path of Redemption
Jaime Lannister’s path of redemption has been rocky. He’s tried, but his old ways keep rearing their ugly heads. Yet, Olenna’s death makes it extremely clear that he remains on this path of redemption. There is still a chance that he will turn against his sister and become her murderer.
When Olenna asked whether her death would be painful, Jaime made a point of sharing all of Cersei’s thoughts and dreams. The queen certainly wanted Olenna’s death to involve public humiliation, including being executed after walking through the streets and being flayed alive. It was Jaime that prevented this.
Jaime wanted to give the woman a chance to die a dignified death. His old self would have pushed for an embarrassing, public death, just like Cersei wanted. The whole focus of the scene was more about Jaime’s character development than about Olenna’s expected death.
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Olenna Had a Chance to Do More Than Confess
Of course, the painless and dignified death did allow Olenna the chance to share the truth about Joffrey’s death. She made it clear that it was her all along, and Jaime realized that his little brother, Tyrion, had nothing to do with it. This was a confession that wouldn’t have likely happened had Cersei got her own way of a painful, humiliating death. Olenna wasted no time in drinking the poison and setting the record straight.
The idea of a painless death also gave Olenna the chance to sow some seeds of doubt. Jaime already questions some of Cersei’s actions over the years. Olenna’s words about Cersei will likely play on Jaime’s mind moving forward. Could these be the words that Jaime needed to become the “Queenslayer?”
How do you think Jaime Lannister will react moving forward in Game of Thrones? Will Olenna’s words play on his mind? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Game of Thrones season 7 continues on Sunday at 9/8c on HBO. Don’t forget to like the GoT Facebook page for information straight to your newsfeed.
(Image courtesy of HBO)