Like the rest of these I’ve done, zero spoilers for fans of the Game of Thrones experience on HBO, and nothing that a readers of the books doesn’t already know. This week: House Tyrell of Highgarden and The Reach.
1. House Tyrell is, along with House Lannister, the wealthiest house in Westeros, and can field the largest army in the Seven Kingdoms. Among its bannermen are extremely powerful houses and lords in their own right, including Tarly , Hightower, Rowan, Oakheart, Florent, and Redwyne, the latter of which also gives Highgarden one of best naval elements on the continent. The lands of The Reach are large, fertile, and heavily populated, thus they can raise large forces and have large (tax) revenue). All things considered, this is probably the plum Lord Paramount gig.
2. In my post about House Targaryen I talked about “The Field of Fire” where Aegon the Conqueror and his dragons utterly defeated a host made up of Lannisters and Gardeners. The Gardener house, then rulers of the Reach, ceased to exist there, and Aegon promoted House Tyrell as Lord Paramont of the Reach. House Tyrell is often viewed as upjumped by many houses in the reach because of this, and due to their belief in their stronger lines to House Gardener.
3. In the books Loras is not the only nor eldest son of Mace Tyrell, though he is a much more of a badass (enough so where his arrest last episode, so easily, irritated me). He has older brothers in Willas and Garlan. Willas is the heir, and by all accounts a pretty good and capable dude, though he was maimed in a accident in his first tourney in a tilt with Oberyn Martell, which caused some posturing between the two traditional rival houses, though it is said Willas himself did not blame Oberyn, and they were actually somewhat chummy. HBO had a Tyrell family tree that included them but we don’t see them, and they have Loras as the eldest.
Have you seen Mace Tyrell’s boy? The Knight of Flowers, they call him. Now there’s a son any man would be proud to own to. Last tourney, he dumped the Kingslayer on his golden rump, you ought to have seen the look on Cersei’s face. I laughed till my sides hurt.” — Robert Baratheon
Garlan is a bit of a favorite characters if going by appearance to awesome ratio. Garlan led the vanguard, while wearing Renly’s armor, at the Blackwater when they beat Stannis. We don’t know a lot about him but we do have passing scene where we see he likes to train against 3 or 4 guys at a time, and because of this we kind of view him as a dude not to be trifled with. Loras admits Garlan is better with the sword than him.
Now that I think about it, all things considered, relatively the Tyrell kids seem pretty well adjusted, though admittedly we only see a lot of two of them.
In the books the Tyrells want to marry Sansa off to Willas.
4. Who is their mother though? Alerie Hightower. The Hightowers are a very powerful house, and she’s the daughter of its Lord, Leyton Hightower. The Hightowers rule Oldtown, the oldest and one of the largest cities in Westeros and hosts the Citadel, the HQ of the Maesters. It is said Leyton has not left Hightower, the tallest structure in Westeros, in over a decade.
5. Olenna Tyrell, the Queen of Thorns, was a Redwyne before she married Mace’s father, Luthor. When she was younger she was promised to a Targaryen, Daeron. Coincidentally, Luthor was also betrothed to a Targaryen, Shaera. Shaera would go on to marry her brother and have two children: one of them, the Mad King, and the other Rhaella, who would go on to marry themselves and have children, one of which was Daenerys.
6. Mace Tyrell is shown to be a total oaf on the show, which I’ve stated irritates me, but even in the books he’s viewed as not that sharp even by his own mother, and while a powerful Lord, perhaps the most powerful post-Tywin (and maybe even before given the aforementioned power and wealth of The Reach), he is viewed by some as taking credit in the small instances of victory he has been attached to. He often takes credit or gives boons to his immediate family, bypassing his very loyal, capable, and in their own right powerful bannermen — including Randyll Tarly. That said, it’s kind of hard to knock a guy whose family is flourishing.
As I’ve discussed before though, neither Ned and Robb ever lost a battle they were a part of.
7. In the books Loras is a member of the Kingsguard, which makes sense because in the books he’s not the heir to Highgarden, and instead is a third son. It’s a good spot for him because he would be situated to be close to Margaery and he’s kind of a glory hound. I never really thought about it until now, but I wonder if even beyond the fact that he’s young and good, maybe he hears rumors about pops and he has a chip on his shoulder to be the guy that gets things done.
He was the Lord Commander of Renly’s Rainbow Guard. They didn’t call it that in the show. Brienne was blue.
“Renly says he has this sister, a maid of fourteen, lovely as a dawn …” — Robert to Ned
8. In the books Renly was trying to get Robert to put Cersei aside for Margaery, and was hoping a resemblance to Lyanna Stark would help. When he showed Ned a picture of her, Ned didn’t see a resemblance.