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Did Shae ever really love Tyrion?


128 replies to this topic

#1 Lady Snowcat

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Posted 30 June 2012 - 11:46 PM

I know we have a 'Did Cersei ever really love Jaime' thread but how about a 'Did Shae ever really love Tyrion thread.'

I was quite shocked when Shae was found in Tywin's bed. Not surprised but shocked. What an evil bastard Tywin was. First the Tysha episode & now Shae. After all that he berated Tyrion about his whoring and his (Twyin's) many tirades about whoring in general and of course his last word's to Tyrion, he was a double evil bastard with a heart of stone - certainly NOT a heart of gold.

/devil.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':devil:' /> /devil.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':devil:' />


Now to the matter at hand: was Shae playing Tyrion all the time or did she really love him?

Being a survivor, she saw in Tyrion a great opportunity to advance her own interests. But call me a softie, I think she did have feelings, if not love for him, until someone - Tywin - made her a better offer. Then, I ask, was Tywin motivated to steal Shae away by his great hatred for his own son? And if his hatred was so intense, why did he appoint Tyrion as Hand of the King? There was definately a very complicated father/son relationship there; worthy of more discussion & analysis.

In my own demented fantasy, Dany & Tyrion meet and she falls madly in love with his wit & cunning ( and the fact that he has 1/2 a nose & two different collored eyes!) and they rule Westeros together: Beauty & the Beast. All hail Danaerys Stormborn and Tyrion Lannister, 1st of their names. /bowdown.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':bowdown:' />

#2 Gabriel Gubert

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Posted 01 July 2012 - 12:09 AM

book-shae never showed any real love interest for Tyrion, she was always playing a part. TV-Shae had a beautiful scene with Tyrion on the season finale, and i just couldn't relate to the character from the book while watching, it was a completely different character on the TV show. maybe the showrunners know something we don't, so, go figure.

#3 LampreyPie

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Posted 01 July 2012 - 12:09 AM

I don't think Shae ever loved Tyrion. I think GRRM was hinting in a lot of Shae and Tyrion's conversations that she cared a lot more about jewels, silks, etc. than about him. I think she was advancing her own interests, and that was it. (By the way, they are taking a marked departure on the show in this regard--they really do seem to love and be committed to each other. How can they have him kill her at this point? That will be BIG.)

I think Tywin had a weakness for whores and that is why he was so horrid to his son about that particular issue. I think Tywin hated that of all his children, Tyrion was the most like him--intelligent, cunning, well-read, and with the same weakness. As to why he chose Shae in particular for his bed that night, I can't say. Maybe he took a devilish delight in betraying his son just that much more.

#4 Lady Snowcat

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Posted 01 July 2012 - 01:39 AM

Gawd, both of you are right, I was completely letting the show dictate my reading of their relationship in the books.

She was a whore after all, all about money and finery. She was used to selling herself for a buck. Tyrion was the perfect customer. She was certainly a great actress - her profession demanded it.

So, do you think then that Tyrion with his soft spot for bastards and lowborn might have fallen for her despite his savvy & cynicism? I guess I have a soft spot for the idea that Tyrion deserves some happiness in this cruel world. I've let that thought view their relationship with rose-colored glasses.

As for Tywin:

I think Tywin hated that of all his children, Tyrion was the most like him--intelligent, cunning, well-read, and with the same weakness. As to why he chose Shae in particular for his bed that night, I can't say. Maybe he took a devilish delight in betraying his son just that much more.


You hit it on the head Lamprey Pie.

We have the hardest time looking at our faults in the mirror.

#5 Left Wondering Whether

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Posted 01 July 2012 - 02:00 PM

I don't think Shae ever loved Tyrion. I think GRRM was hinting in a lot of Shae and Tyrion's conversations that she cared a lot more about jewels, silks, etc. than about him. I think she was advancing her own interests, and that was it. (By the way, they are taking a marked departure on the show in this regard--they really do seem to love and be committed to each other. How can they have him kill her at this point? That will be BIG.)


As they have already gone in such a completely different direction with Tyrion and Shae's show relationship, I wonder if they might change the circumstances of Shae's death. Perhaps they could have Tywin somehow causing her death, thus providing Tyrion with an even greater motivation to kill him in return. As others have noted, the show writers have often portrayed several characters (including Tyrion) in a somewhat less morally ambiguous light than their book counterparts. Avenging both of his true loves would be a more sympathetic and more straight-forward motive for show viewers to swallow. Also, I'm not sure if show viewers have been given the chance to really "feel" the depth of the wound left by Tyrion's experience with Tysha without insight into his inner monologues. These more tender and genuine scenes with Shae allow the viewer to see that side of Tyrion and to be more invested in his potential heartbreak.

Edited by Left Wondering Whether, 01 July 2012 - 02:02 PM.


#6 LampreyPie

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Posted 01 July 2012 - 11:10 PM

As they have already gone in such a completely different direction with Tyrion and Shae's show relationship, I wonder if they might change the circumstances of Shae's death. Perhaps they could have Tywin somehow causing her death, thus providing Tyrion with an even greater motivation to kill him in return. As others have noted, the show writers have often portrayed several characters (including Tyrion) in a somewhat less morally ambiguous light than their book counterparts. Avenging both of his true loves would be a more sympathetic and more straight-forward motive for show viewers to swallow. Also, I'm not sure if show viewers have been given the chance to really "feel" the depth of the wound left by Tyrion's experience with Tysha without insight into his inner monologues. These more tender and genuine scenes with Shae allow the viewer to see that side of Tyrion and to be more invested in his potential heartbreak.


Very astute, this seems like a likely scenario.

#7 Gabriel Gubert

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Posted 02 July 2012 - 02:25 PM

but that would be the wrong way to do it. it would change the circumstances entirely. they should never have changed Shae that much in the show, just because they didn't have any other way to show what Tyrion is feeling. i know its an adaptation, but that changes the whole perspective of Tyrion's character towards the end of the book. the fact that Shae slept with Tywin and betrayed Tyrion during the trial is a damn good reason to kill her, and now that they have to kill her, it won't be the same. who watches the show is never much suspiscious about Shae as in the books we all wonder if she's to be trusted. for me, at least, it CHANGED the characters and the storyline, and i hope they stop creating scenes that didn't happen to substitute scenes that did happen in the books, just like Dany's storyline in Qarth (what was that? completely different, and they can't play the card of budget, because they didn't need to spend money to be truthful to the book).

Edited by Gabriel Gubert, 27 December 2012 - 10:34 PM.


#8 Left Wondering Whether

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Posted 02 July 2012 - 07:20 PM

I get where you are coming from, Gabriel, but I just can't see them taking the show in that direction at this point. The first scene that really made me wonder about the development of Shae's show counterpart was when she threatened Sansa's other handmaiden with a dagger on the morning of Sansa's "flowering".

Another thing that I found notable was show Tyrion's refusal to consider absconding for some time to the free cities with Shae, when his book counterpart was the one who posed the idea to Sansa (although this was further along in the story). Just musing...

#9 Gabriel Gubert

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Posted 03 July 2012 - 12:02 AM

yeah, but i don't see how changing the characters personalities and feelings would not affect the story. not about this, because it is a major plot twist, specially for Tyrion.

#10 your grace

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Posted 05 July 2012 - 11:16 AM

is there a single shred of evidence of shae having sex for money?

#11 S N Black

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Posted 05 July 2012 - 09:33 PM

Being a survivor, she saw in Tyrion a great opportunity to advance her own interests. But call me a softie, I think she did have feelings, if not love for him, until someone - Tywin - made her a better offer. Then, I ask, was Tywin motivated to steal Shae away by his great hatred for his own son? And if his hatred was so intense, why did he appoint Tyrion as Hand of the King? There was definately a very complicated father/son relationship there; worthy of more discussion & analysis.




This makes sense. I thought maybe she did have some feelings for him, but her own interest, advancing her life style and opportunities, was her first priority.

I don't think she loved Tywin. It's more believable that he is a filthy hypocrite who took a perverse pleasure in conquering his unwanted son's lady.

#12 Kellyline

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Posted 08 July 2012 - 12:22 AM

I think there have been many clues through out the book demonstrating that whores are like actresses and don't fall in love. I don't think she ever loved him, although it would have been nice!

#13 Left Wondering Whether

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 11:20 PM

But I also wondered at Tyrions love, I don't even think he had completely honest love for Shae, I think he loved the fact that she loved him or so he thought.


This is a good point. Although I think that "book" Tyrion had developed some genuine affection for "book" Shae, I'm not sure if it was really love.

#14 hannahcat

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Posted 13 July 2012 - 08:31 AM

I think she loved his money and his promises.

#15 Head of Ned

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Posted 13 July 2012 - 09:10 PM

Lady Snowcat described how she was shocked at how Shae ended up in Tywin's bed - and it was shocking, to be sure - but for me the truly shocking part came a bit earlier (and this speaks to the comments about how if Tyrion really loved her how could he kill her so easily) when she betrayed him at the trial, not just with her testimony, but her claims that he was the one who demanded she call him her "giant of Lannister". This was such an awful thing to say - a twist of the knife to be sure. That comment seemed to indicate that she was taking some relish in her betrayal of him. I could feel myself go cold when I read that part, and I could just feel Tyrion's heart sink. Don't forget how, in their passages together in the books, how Tyrion's conscience spoke to him, telling himself not to be such a fool, that Shae could not really love him. He let himself fall against all his instincts...she really was quite the actress! I think that Tyrion realized that there was nothing between them. That, combined with his embarrassment (they laughed at the trial when she spoke the "giant of Lannister" comment) and the opportunity presented when he found her in his father's bed (and all THAT meant, as others have said) resulted in it being a relatively easy decision to kill her...and I was glad that he did.

To answer the question: No, I don't think Shae ever really loved Tyrion, and I think her "piling on" with her comments and detail at the trial indicate that she may have actually resented having slept with an ugly dwarf (as he's described in the books). I do, however, believe Tyrion did love Shae, at least insofar as Tyrion can love, having been the victim of such deceit and heartbreak in the name of love over the course of his life.

Edited by Head of Ned, 13 July 2012 - 09:15 PM.


#16 sunxiaohu

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Posted 13 July 2012 - 09:19 PM

Call me a softie, but I always hoped that Shae and Tyrion's relationship was more substantial than it seemed. Tyrion needed her, in a way. He couldn't feel safe or at rest without her. I always felt great sympathy for Tyrion, especially because of his resourcefulness, and the way he protected Sansa. I should have liked for him to have a place where he could be happy, but even Shae was an ugly lie.

#17 Arya-Underfoot

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 02:38 PM

I wanted to believe there was some depth the Shae and Tyrion's relationship, if you want to call it that - but there were a few times Shae would let something slip that hinted that she was a harder, colder character than Tyrion thought. So I was shocked when she turned against him at his trial - that, to me, was the real betrayal, being found in Tywin's bed was just extra - but retrospectively, figured I shouldn't have been so surprised. I believed in Shae because I wanted to, but the clues were there, I think.

#18 GreenxDreamer

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Posted 24 August 2012 - 01:57 PM

Shae was a whore and her interest in Tyrion was only materialistic, there was no love or attraction anywhere except for the payment. Part of me believes that Shae was playing him all along, but not by her own doing. I partially believe that Tywin set the entire thing up. Though he appointed Tyrion as the Hand that only could've been to further push any suspicions Tyrion had on what his father was up to. I was not at all shocked to find Shae in Tywin's bed, I was shocked at how Tywin's life perished in his bedroom and by whom. Why would Tywin set it up? Possibly to teach his son a lesson, girls- especially whores- will cloud the mind of sound judgement. Or it could've been the Spider who set the entire thing up. He is the one who brought Tyrion to the brothel in the first place, wasn't he?

Edited by GreenxDreamer, 24 August 2012 - 02:57 PM.


#19 epilepticfridgeboy

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 12:06 PM

Shae was a very cold character (her "all they did was fuck her" comment comes to mind), I would be incredibly surprised if she did have any feelings for Tyrion beyond interest in his wealth. Her sudden depth in the tv show kinda annoyed me for that reason.

Tyrion on the other hand is a vulnerable man on the inside, and despite his increasingly jaded attitude I can easily imagine him falling for another whore (and likely getting betrayed /bang.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':bang:' /> )

#20 reverendsteveiii

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Posted 21 September 2012 - 05:24 PM

The show doesn't harp on the "don't love them hos" attitude the way the books do, and I think it's a setup to make Shae's betrayal all the more shocking. Either that, or later in the series we're going to get some insight into Shae's motivations beyond coin. given her death, it may not mean much or even happen at all, but RR did go back to the taisha setup to reveal that she might have been genuine after all. I like GreenxDreamer's idea that Varys set the whole thing up. Perhaps with Tywin's help, as another 'sharp lesson' because Tyrion's whoring was the spoken reason that Tywin disinherited him. I doubt the head of House Lannister has ever told the entirety of a truth in one sitting, but he made it abundantly clear he considers Tyrion's whoring a black mark on his House, and I would not be surprised to find that Shae belonged to Tywin from the first word. In fact, that would be another betrayal and reinforce Tyrion's personality, as well as the commonly held belief in Westeros that whores and camp-followers never love.