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The_Salt_Wife

Did Shae get a raw deal?

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Fearsome Fred: LOL! That was a fun read but seriously, you can make any character look like a monster if you twist things around like that.

I guess you are accusing me of twisting things. But all I have done is report the facts, and try to imagine how these facts must look like from Shae's perspective. The picture I paint is certainly no more speculative than that of those who paint Shae as a monster, so they can feel better about her murder.

So, would you like to tell me what facts you think I have distorted? And why your speculations are better?

So far, the only "substantive" criticism of my post is from someone who became angry with me for suggesting that Shae's precise age is unknown, but somewhere between the age of 12 and 18 when they meet (and about a year older at her death). I imagine this person prefers the TV show, where Shae is about 30. This is extremely important to him, presumably because he believes that 21 is the age of consent for being strangled to death.

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For starters, you assume that everything Shae said during the trial about how Tyrion came to meet her was true. Considering how many other things she'd lied about, I don't know why you'd believe her there, especially since there's no other evidence of it. Yes, Bronn kidnapped her at knife-point, but Tyrion didn't tell him to and was upset when he found out about it. Beyond that, we have no way of knowing whether or not she was really serving a knight who'd planned to marry her, but if that was really the case you'd think either she or Bronn would've told Tyrion about it. Also, Tyrion did not deliberately send that knight to die on the front lines, which was what Shae implied. Even if he really did die during the battle, it was in no way Tyrion's fault as she suggested.

As for Tyrion taking her to King's Landing, you also convieniently forget that Tyrion offered to end his working relationship with Shae several times over, and she was the one who kept refusing. Shae also had no way of knowing that Tyrion was responsible for killing Symon Silver-Tongue, so talking about "her perspective" on Tyrion's motives there is pointless. Tyrion had even planned on marrying her off to Ser Tallad eventually, and while she had no way of knowing that either, it's a far cry from saying he was going to "marry her to one of his vicious sellswords." If she was really so concerned with her safety, wouldn't she have jumped at the first opportunity Tyrion gave her to get away from him? She didn't truly love him, but she did want to keep working for him, if only for his money.

Yes, Shae didn't truly enjoy her relationship with Tyrion, but does that really make him such a bad person? She was a prostitute and that was her job, she was getting paid well for it, and she chose to continue doing it even after Tyrion had offered her several ways out. Also, who's to say that her crying at the trial wasn't just more crocodile tears? It wouldn't be the first time she feigned emotion. She has no reason to love Tyrion, but she has no reason to hate him or want him dead either. He was her client, nothing more and nothing less, and that certainly doesn't justify her trying to have him killed.

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For starters, you assume that everything Shae said during the trial about how Tyrion came to meet her was true.

No. I don't assume that at all. Nor do I assume that everything was a lie either, which is apparently YOUR preferred assumption.

I think a mixture of truth, lies, half-lies and honest mistakes is the best explanation for Shae's testimony.

Also, Tyrion did not deliberately send that knight to die on the front lines, which was what Shae implied.

Probably what she believed. Like I said, she heard him refer to him as an enemy; she heard him say what she does to enemies (he eliminates them). The rest is just adding 2 + 2.

Even if he really did die during the battle (and I don't see how Shae would've found out if he did), it was in no way Tyrion's fault as she suggested.

I never suggested she was infallible. I never suggested she was right. I merely suggested that she was not, in this case, lying.

Are you really suggesting that there is no way she could possibly have found out that her "fiance" had died in the battle???

Shae also had no way of knowing that Tyrion was responsible for killing Symon Silver-Tongue, so talking about "her perspective" on Tyrion's motives there is pointless.

I never said she knew for sure about Simon. Are saying that Shae cannot possibly have been afraid of him, and suspected him of being capable of murder because she did not know for sure what murders he had committed? He TOLD her that he was a murderer. He wasn't joking, and the case of Simon proves it.

So basically, she was right about him being murderer, but guessed at the wrong victim.

And then you quibble about the "injustice" of her fingering him for the murder of Joffrey. That's irony, not injustice. Of all the horrible things he's done, the one murder he gets convicted of is the one of which he is (technically) innocent. Not only is Shae unaware of any "injustice", she is surely unaware of the irony as well. As far as she knows, he is in fact guilty of this too.

Tyrion had even planned on marrying her off to Ser Tallad eventually, and while she had no way of knowing that either, it's a far cry from saying he was going to "marry her to one of his vicious sellswords."

Bronn. He was thinking of marrying her to Bronn. You know ... the guy who seized her at knifepoint. He also considers Tallad, but does not really think it is an option. (BTW, you do not know enough about Tallad to say he is a far cry from a vicious sellsword).

Yes, Shae didn't truly enjoy her relationship with Tyrion, but does that really make him such a bad person?

???? Dude... he's a murderer.

She was a prostitute and that was her job, [...]

... and therefore his to do with as he pleases. She's just a common whore, and he's a noble Lannister. Yes, this is PRECISELY his perspective. This is why she is right to be afraid of him.

she was getting paid well for it

I don't see that she ever got paid at all. His Lannister generosity and Lannister gold manifested itself as a luxurious prison, and then a less-luxurious prison. The expensive clothes and jewels he gave her, he took right back again.

and she chose to continue doing it even after Tyrion had offered her several ways out.

I don't recall that he ever offered her a way out at all. Sending her away is not the same as granting freedom. His schemes to marry her to Bronn, or sell her to a whorehouse, make that clear enough. However, I have already explained why telling him she WANTED to leave was not really an option for her. She sensed he was dangerous, and did not dare shatter the fantasy.

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I don't assume that everything Shae said was a lie, just the things that contradict what we know, such as him sending a man to be killed on the front line just to steal her away from him. Maybe he really was a knight, maybe he really would've married her, maybe he was killed in battle, maybe she did find out, and maybe she really did think Tyrion was responsible for it, but that's a LOT of maybes. If she really believed that Tyrion did kill Joffrey (and that's another big maybe), why would she lie about it? You'd think it'd be enough for her to just confess what she knows instead of making something up.

Oh, and Tyrion does consider marrying her to Bronn, but only after he's been knighted, and even then he quickly concludes its a bad idea. That chapter ends with him deciding that he will marry her to Ser Tallad after all. Aside from that, nothing you've said in your posts is really wrong, we just have no way of knowing if it's right either. That's what I meant by twisting things around, you're presenting a ton of facts but they only back up your argument if you interpret all of them in a certain way. There was never a Shae POV chapter, so we don't really know what was going through her head, but I see no reason to think it's "constant fear of her client" as opposed to "not caring about her client at all beyond the fact that he's her client." You see it as adding 2 + 2, I see it as adding X + Y. You can't say for sure that the answer is "4" without knowing what the variables are.

Regarding what I said about Tyrion not being a bad person, that wasn't in reference to him murdering Shae or anyone else, just to what you said about her not really enjoying sex with him. Most prostitutes presumably don't enjoy what they're doing, but that doesn't make all of their clients monsters. Yes, I do think it was wrong of him to murder Shae; my point was that it was also wrong for Shae to lie during his trial, and so in that light it makes his actions much more understandable and even somewhat more forgivable. Now if he had beaten her, kept her in captivity, and treated her horribly in general, it might've justified her wanting him dead and lying about him, but that wasn't the case. At absolute worst he treated her like a whore, like any other client would treat her, which doesn't excuse the fact that she was willing to trade his life in for whatever payment Cersei had promised her.

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And then she calls him "my giant of Lannister" again, which is when Tyrion, understandably, snaps.
True enough. It's a bad idea to taunt a murderer. But I don't think anyone argued Shae was very intelligent.

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I don't assume that everything Shae said was a lie, just the things that contradict what we know, such as him sending a man to be killed on the front line just to steal her away from him.

This shows that it is not true, not that it is a lie. There's a difference.

She never claimed to have PERSONALLY observed Tyrion ordering her fiance sent to his death. This is clearly a deduction. Since we can see pretty clearly the true facts that the deduction is based on, we can reasonably deduce she is not lying, but saying something she reasonably believes.

Maybe he really was a knight,

She said he was a squire, not a knight. But squires and knights work together, and Bronn confirms that he took Shae from a knight's tent. We know she cared enough about him to try to convince Tyrion not to hurt him. We know that the squire (or his knight) cared enough about Shae to try to prevent her from being taken, even after the Lannister name was mentioned. Sounds like confirmation to me.

maybe he really would've married her

What he REALLY would have done is irrelevant. One way or another, it is perfectly plausible that he would tell her this.

maybe he was killed in battle, maybe she did find out, and maybe she really did think Tyrion was responsible for it, but that's a LOT of maybes.

Those are not maybes at all. That's exactly what she says happened, and we have no contrary evidence. In theory, she COULD be lying, but you have no evidence that she is. In this case, her facts are the only facts available.

If she really believed that Tyrion did kill Joffrey (and that's another big maybe), why would she lie about it?

Because she does not want to die. Because, whatever she thinks she guesses, she does not really know very much, has to come up with enough information to placate an interrogator who is threatening to torture or kill her.

You'd think it'd be enough for her to just confess what she knows instead of making something up.

Dude. It WASN'T enough. Cersei STILL thinks she may be holding out, and told her so. She said everything she knew, and a few things she didn't really know, and Cersei still wanted more. She managed to placate Cersei enough to save her life, but earned no reward beyond that.

Oh, and Tyrion does consider marrying her to Bronn

Yes.

but only after he's been knighted,

So? He's still the same vicious bastard.

and even then he quickly concludes its a bad idea.

No he doesn't. He merely slips into a generous mood and decides she deserves better.

That chapter ends with him deciding that he will marry her to Ser Tallad after all.

Right. Because she says he loves him and calls him a Giant of a Lannister, he decides she "deserves" to wed a decent man.

Otherwise, the Bronn option and the whorehouse options are lurking in the background.

Shae understands the situation pretty well. That's why she dares not ask to leave.

There was never a Shae POV chapter, so we don't really know what was going through her head, but I see no reason to think it's "constant fear of her client" as opposed to "not caring about her client at all beyond the fact that he's her client."

I think it is reasonably to assume that Shae has normal instincts of self-preservation. Realistically, she would be insane not to be afraid of Tyrion. We even see her acting afraid, sometimes, like when Tyrion slaps her. So I think she was afraid.

We KNOW Tyrion is not some harmless Teddy Bear. Is it really reasonable to suppose that Shae naively THINKS he is a harmless Teddy Bear, after GRRM made such a point of telling her about her whore survival instincts, her observation skills, and her ability to read men.

Would I rather give Shae the benefit of any doubts? Sure I would! She is a murder victim. Would you rather that I resolve any doubts against her, and give aid and comfort to those who would justify murder? Should I really join forces with those who clap and cheer as a naked young woman is strangled in her bed? To be honest, I never much liked Shae. I have no particular reason to believe she is some kind of saint. But ever since that bastard Tyrion murdered her, I have been completely on her side.

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She got off easy in my book. Shae was not treated like a whore by Tyrion. I believe he loved her and was betrayed for it. You lie and try to have me killed after everything I've done to protect you, you bet I'm gonna wrench your life from your body with my own hands.

Just wow. He once hit her and when she tried to establish a more "normal" relationship (with talking and stuff) he said that she could help him best between the sheets. Do you really want to argue that this is not treating her like a sex worker (In a rather abusive way I might add).

You do not have to like Shae. She is a Brechtian character, a Westerosi Mother Courage, and it is awfully hard to really like such characters. She is hardened and out for herself, just like Bronn who unbelievably gets much love by fandom. Tyrion´s story is not only about being an outside but also about privilege and the latter he gets in spades which simply shows in his relationship with sex workers and the way he uses this does not make his character look white as snow. .

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So far, the only "substantive" criticism of my post is from someone who became angry with me for suggesting that Shae's precise age is unknown, but somewhere between the age of 12 and 18 when they meet (and about a year older at her death). I imagine this person prefers the TV show, where Shae is about 30. This is extremely important to him, presumably because he believes that 21 is the age of consent for being strangled to death

Angry? God forbid... you do have rich imagination! I don't care enough about the issue to spend time on trying to refute each and every point of your monumental speech presented at imaginary Shae perjury trial, written by a defender with a fresh degree from in Cercei & LF law college, seconded only by another monumental one : "I didn't want to kill him, he just happened to turn in his sleep and accidentally fell on knife I pulled out to scratch my back"

I am surprised though you went so difficult way to it. I can do it better and simplier - All women from birth in our male dominated society are brainwashed and conditioned to please men. So there is no such thing as consent - all women are victims and all men are rapist... so any woman is justified in doing anything to struggle against any man.

Now, joking aside....I referred to the age thing, since it is very much indicative of your method to interpret text against it "reasonable" meaning and assume things based on little and less. "No more then 18" interpreted by a robot, lacking any human insight or experience, could well mean 12 or 5, all the same. Any human being though understands very well that "no more then 18" actually means something very close to 18, otherwise a speaker would have used a lesser number.

I am not saying that all the facts assumed by you are necessarily wrong, they are all simply very improbable and farfetched.. and the one claiming improbable things has the biggest burden of proof laid on his shoulder.

The center of your argument is that Shae actually didn't want to be with Tyrion, but that we cannot accept anything she said to Tyrion about it because she feared him that much, and was afraid he would kill her if she would refuse him. (of course you contradict yourself later when you claim that Shae was afraid what will happen to her without Tyrion- if he was such a monster, any other thing would have been better). But all you have to support your incredulous claim is conjuncture and assumption about what Bronn told Shae. Can you show at least one instant when Shae tells someone (for example Sansa) before the trial that she is afraid of Tyrion? That she want to leave him but is afraid to do so?

In same fashion I can claim that it wasn't actually Tyrion who killed Shae. In truth it was LF who warged into him in his sleep and is actually a Great Other. We know that warging is possible, and we know that LF is Tyrion's enemy and is interested in chaos. By making Tyrion killing a crucial witness and his father besides, he made Tyrion to be seen totally guilty, in case people still had doubts about the trial. It MUST be true... we know that Tyrion couldn't kill his father, he was too afraid of him. Tyrion was controlled, but he don't understand it, and blames himself. Now, prove me wrong, I dare you!!!

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Fearsome Fred: Again, there's no evidence that Cersei would've killed and tortured Shae if she hadn't lied. Yes, Cersei is ruthless and it's certainly in her character to kill innocent people solely out of paranoia, but that doesn't seem to be the case here. She questioned all of Sansa's maids, not just Shae, and none of them were imprisoned or executed.

Also, (MINOR SPOILERS for A Feast For Crows)

in Cersei's POV chapter in the next book, it specifies that she was offering Shae a manor house and eventual marriage to a knight in exchange for her testimony. So Shae wasn't forced to commit perjury, nor did she do it out of spite (since there's no evidence she hated or resented Tyrion any more than she "loved" him), she did it purely out of greed.

As for the rest of your arguments, I've already gone over why I find them specious. You have the facts straight, but you're interpreting them in a way that doesn't seem especially likely to me, and jumping to quite a few conclusions from there. If it was just one or two of these unwarranted assumptions it might be more believable, since none of them are that unlikely on their own. However, when you build your entire argument on a dozen or so of these assumptions, that's too much of a stretch.

Once more, I want to specify that I don't think Tyrion murdering Shae was right, just that it was not as horrible as some people are making it out to be. In the real world, I would find Tyrion guilty of third-degree murder, but in the real world- as Arland and Horza pointed out- Shae would be in for a very lengthy prison sentence for what she did. In Westeros, it's very likely that giving false testimony during a murder trial- when the defendant's very life is on the line- is a crime that would be legitimately punishable by death. Tyrion was merely taking justice into his own hands.

Again, if it'd been Ser Osmund Kettleblack who Tyrion murdered on his way out of the city, I doubt anyone would've given half a damn. Hell, they'd probably cheer him on for it!

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Okay. Shae was not an angel, but who in this book (except maybe Sansa to a point) ever was? She just did what everyone else in the book was doing - looking out for herself.

The real issue is that Shae was actively participating in a conspiracy to get Tyrion unjustly sentenced to death

Perjury is a SERIOUS crime in every society, including ours. In fact, in the original ten commandments, "Thou shalt not lie" was actually the much more specific "Thou shalt not bear false witness," meaning that even in ancient times giving false testimony was considered one of the worst possible offenses. In Westerosi society, I wouldn't be surprised if it was legitimately punishable by death.

A couple of things here... First, there is a possibility that she really did believe that Tyrion had a role in killing Joffrey. For all we know, she could think that all of the rich people are just the same and are capable of anything. She might have changed her story a bit cause she wanted that manor and a husband, though. Is that right? No. But is killing a person right? Again, I am not trying to excuse Shae for what she did, I am just trying to understand why she did it. If she was Ned Stard she would have told the story as it was, but how far would it get her?

Hell, do you know what happens to people who refuse to testify in Cersei's favor? Yeah, Cersei did offer her a manor and a husband, but Cersei didn't say what she has offered Shae if she didn't decide to testify... If you read AFfC you can see Cersei's ways of making someone tell the "truth".

Maybe he really was a knight, maybe he really would've married her, maybe he was killed in battle, maybe she did find out, and maybe she really did think Tyrion was responsible for it, but that's a LOT of maybes. If she really believed that Tyrion did kill Joffrey (and that's another big maybe), why would she lie about it? You'd think it'd be enough for her to just confess what she knows instead of making something up.

And the maybes are what GRRM usually uses to play with what we thought we knew, but turns out we didn't (like the murder of John Arryn or the attack on Bran). In case of Shae, we will probably never know what the real deal was.

True enough. It's a bad idea to taunt a murderer. But I don't think anyone argued Shae was very intelligent.

Well, that as well could have been the case. :P

Tyrion was merely taking justice into his own hands.

Again, if it'd been Ser Osmund Kettleblack who Tyrion murdered on his way out of the city, I doubt anyone would've given half a damn. Hell, they'd probably cheer him on for it!

Well, maybe Shae was taking justice in her hands by trying to condemn Tyrion. Taking justice in one's hands can be tricky, cause people sometimes see things differently and what's just for one person might not be just for another (I am talking about the subjective feeling of justice here).

If it were Osmund Kettleblack I would have felt the same. I didn't care too much about Shae, either.

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I think it's a bit hard to accuse Shae for not speaking favourably of Tyrion in trial. We know how Tywin treats whores in general and Tyrion's whores in particular. And we know Cercei. What would happen to Shae, if she does not say what Cercei wants to hear? Everybody believed Tyrion guilty, even Kevan, why not Shae? So perhaps she didn't even lie.

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Shae behaved the way the Westerosi expect a whore to behave; it was Tyrion who deluded himself thinking he could make her care for him.

Don´t take me wrong, had she been another healthier, kinder, more caring person, it may have worked; prostitutes are people like the rest, and there are people who are able to see through your external appearance and appreciate you for your virtues, but Shae obviously wasn´t that kind of person. It was always obvious she was for the gold and for the posibility or gaining a respectable position: Bronn killed her previous lover, and she didn´t care; she claims her father abused her, but that what really made her left home and become a prostitute was that he made her make chores; we know she desired Tyrion to make her a respectable woman or at least aknowledge her openly as his lover, but she concealed perfectly any feelings of disappointment when he made her a maid for Sansa...

There are many, many hints that she doesn´t care who she goes to bed with as long theres is gold involved, that she conceals her true feelings, and that she has neither any sense of loyalty nor real self-respect.

Again it´s not her fault: The abuse received from her father probably destroyed any sense of self-worth she has, and messed her in other ways; afterwards she behaved as society expected to behave somebody in her position (somebody "defiled") and made the best of what she had, but it doesn´t change the fact that she wasn´t a person to be trusted...but Tyrion, knowing the way she was, tried to change her and make her care with gifts and gold, instead of seeking a person who may be a little less atractive, but had a more noble personality, able to care for others...because Tyrion wanted to be loved by a teenaged, attractive, sexually skilled girl, and wouldn´t settle for less.

As for the trial, I can´t make my mind: Shae isn´t a POW character we don´t know how things really went; we know

she asked for a reward in exchange of her testimony, but Cersei denied it,

so she may have acted out of fear...did she even had an option?

As for becoming Tywin´s lover, she certainly didn´t had any option: You don´t reject Tywin and live afterwards.

Tyrion should have expected her to turn agains him if pressed of menaced, or just bribed; protecting him would have been something heroic, and Shae is no heroine.

I wouldn´t have tried to take vengeanze on her if I were in Tyrion position, and I don´t think he would have seeked her to hurt her if he hadn´t found her by chance in a moment he was out of his head...

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I think it's a bit hard to accuse Shae for not speaking favourably of Tyrion in trial

I don't think anybody have expected that - even not Tyrion. What I would expect from a decent person who is forced to testify falsehoods (and yes,,, in my eyes selling sex doesn't makes you indecent)is at least to do it as reluctantly as possible. Shae did exactly the opposite.

Shae behaved the way the Westerosi expect a whore to behave;...

Again it´s not her fault: The abuse received from her father probably destroyed any sense of self-worth she has, and messed her in other ways; afterwards she behaved as society expected to behave somebody in her position

This is exactly the elitist view I am so appalled about. There is a huge difference between selling sex services and selling another persons life. Prostitutes are not automatically and intrinsically immoral and indecent .they don't get lower standards for human decency. Being abused or growing in poor and rough environment doesn't make you subhuman devoid of basic decency - quite the opposite, frequently such people are much more moral, loyal and decent then the "privileged" ones.

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This is exactly the elitist view I am so appalled about. There is a huge difference between selling sex services and selling another persons life. Prostitutes are not automatically and intrinsically immoral and indecent .they don't get lower standards for human decency. Being abused or growing in poor and rough environment doesn't make you subhuman devoid of basic decency - quite the opposite, frequently such people are much more moral, loyal and decent then the "privileged" ones.

You make a good point here, but I don't think it is simply a matter of Shae betraying Tyrion. As Freedom Fred points out, Tyiron bends reality to fit his vision. He bites her, hurts her, and she plays the "good whore", so to speak, by flattering his ego. Really, why shouldn't she care about her jewels - that is how he paid her for sex. In the end she is just a maid with a supposed promise of...what? At the point she's Sansa's maid, she is getting a raw deal in that she is a sex worker who cannot leave but gets nothing for it. She *may* get a marriage out of it, but no guarantee of that given Tyrion's jealously, and she knows he won't marry her.

I actually think it was perfectly justified for her to get angry, though the "little boy" barb was too much. I mean, he tries to dress this up as a relationship (but not one where they can talk), but the reality he creates is one of perfumed slavery.

He wants her to love him, but the reality, to me, is that he deceives himself.

ETA: grammar

ETA II: Don't get me wrong, Tyrion got a raw deal as well. Fate fucks people over, I think that is one of the big themes in the books.

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Man, this argument just never ends.

So far, the only "substantive" criticism of my post is from someone who became angry with me for suggesting that Shae's precise age is unknown, but somewhere between the age of 12 and 18 when they meet (and about a year older at her death). I imagine this person prefers the TV show, where Shae is about 30. This is extremely important to him, presumably because he believes that 21 is the age of consent for being strangled to death.

And I don't get why it is so important to you to "prove" that Shae was 12 years old. Murdering an adult isn't reprehensible enough?

Posted this in another thread but I think it's also relevant here:

IMO, the fact that Shae committed perjury is rather irrelevant to this discussion. Regardless of whether it is a crime punishable by death, Tyrion was certainly in no place of legal authority to be able to sentence her, and as such his killing of her was still murder and not some act of legal justice. Besides, the fact that Shae broke the law doesn't even enter into his reasons for killing her; it's not like he thinks "She committed perjury and is unlikely to be brought to justice for it, therefore I need to take the law into my own hands.", he kills her purely because he views her actions as a personal betrayal.

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I think its pretty plain that Shae isn't twelve years old. She simply doesn't act that age and it isn't plausible. Her height is meaningless, my eleven year old daughter is 5'2", my cousin's thirteen year old daughter is 5'9".

That being said, while I don't agree with everything that Fearsome Fred said, I greatly enjoyed reading the post and think that he did an excellent job of collecting all the evidence that indicates that there is more to Shae than meets the eye. I don't agree with all the theories put forward, but it was interesting nonetheless.

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And I don't get why it is so important to you to "prove" that Shae was 12 years old.

Huh ??? What ????

I have not tried to "prove" any such thing.

For the record, I think it perfectly possible that when GRRM describes Shae as being "not more than 18 by the look of her" he means the reader to understand that she is exactly 18.

I merely pointed out other possibilities. I never expressed ANY opinion as to which of these possibilities were more likely.

And regardless of her actual age, I think it important to emphasize that Tyrion knows little, and cares less, about who and what Shae really is. I think this fact is important in judging his actions.

Also, FYI, the main reason I am interested in Shae's age is because I am hoping Tyrion's crime will come back to haunt him. Thus, I am curious about who Shae really is, and thus want to keep in mind her plausible age range when forming theories about who she might be. Which, as stated, is probably somewhere between 12 and 18 when he meets her, and somewhere between 13 and 19 at the time of her death.

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And I don't get why it is so important to you to "prove" that Shae was 12 years old. Murdering an adult isn't reprehensible enough?
The perceived age of characters can be a decisive factor in how readers react to them. Most people don't expect the same things from a teenager than they expect from an adult; selfishness, lying and superficiality are easily tolerated coming from a teen. I understand why he insists, and it's well possible that Shae was 16 or 17. (wasn't it how old Pia was, too?)

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I could easily see Shae as sixteen. Not much younger, though.

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