Game of Thrones: Is Diana Rigg right about Olenna Tyrell?


Did Game of Thrones really have to kill off Olenna Tyrell in season 7? Well, maybe, at least according to Dame Diana Rigg.

Look, we don’t need to recount how much this writer could go on about Olenna Tyrell of Game of Thrones fame, right? Other than to say that she’s probably one of my favorite characters of the entire series?

But enough gushing. It’s time to look at the latest comments Dame Diana Rigg has made, thanks to our sister site, Winter is Coming. She actually talked up her role in Victoria as well, tying the two together since they’re both “waspish” (what a great word considering Olenna’s rose sigil as a Tyrell, right?)

However, most interesting is that she says: “I think it was about time that the old bag croaked.” Now, as WiC points out, it’s probably mostly in jest. But, let’s take it seriously for just a moment here. Was the loss of Highgarden pretty sudden, all things considered? Yes, it was. In the greater sense of the story, though, Olenna’s loss made things very seriously perilous for Daenerys.

When a character has something that, at the time, no one else had, it makes it difficult for that character to face actual challenges. In Daenerys’ case, it’s dragons. Removing her allies from the situation easily made fans worry that the re-conquest of Westeros would not be so easy after all, and neatly reminded us that this show likes to play with expectations anyway.

Did it have to come with the death of Olenna? Not necessarily, but for the greater theme of the old guard passing away and a new generation rising up — most of the characters we root for at this point were born right around the time that Robert’s Rebellion took place, meaning they’ve contended with only that world — the “old bag” was, well, the oldest of the old guard and one of the oldest characters still on the show at that point, with Melisandre far outstripping everyone else and ditto the Night King. Call her one of the oldest non-magical characters, we suppose.

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So, while we may still be mourning the loss of the Queen of Thorns, at the end of it all, we have to agree with Dame Rigg. She knows what she’s about, and we’ll always have her many episodes of quips to see us through a rough day.