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The_Salt_Wife

Did Shae get a raw deal?

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From his POV, she wanted to be his whore all along and cheated him and testified against him out of pure greed.

But do you see that there is some evidence that shows Tyrion deludes himself as to how the relationship really is between him and Shae?

Mind you, I went back and looked over some of the parts with Shae, and she does encourage Tyrion by saying things like "I don't mind being your whore". But then, as Fred pointed out, given that she was brought in by knife point she might not be sure what she's supposed to say to stay safe.

I actually do think Martin gave us enough rope for Tyrion to hang himself, but it is hard not to read the text and feel Shae is also being deceptive/manipulative. I just agree with Fred that Tyrion's self deception is what led him to commit murder.

(I'm also not sure how the word murder doesn't apply)

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sciborg2

Of course Tyrion deluded himself. In every case of con artist scheme it is build upon delusion of a victim. That is the specialty of con artists - they recognize a weakness, a need, a hidden hope and masterfully use it. Bystanders, in hindsight, or even looking at it all from aside, see right trough it. The victims themselves, don't. The fact that victim was so gullible, doesn't makes con artist's acts less despicable. I am not saying necessarily that Shae was necessarily a cold blooded con artist, but the core of the issue is the same.

BTW As already noted above the whole "knife point" issue is false. It is no so much Shae was threatened by Bronn, but her previous owner, and during a first dialog between Shae and Tyrion, he speaks in a fashion that doesn't really befit a murderous psychopath. Anyhow Shae had more then a year to get to learn to know Tyrion more and change her mind.

With regard to Tyrion...I think Tyrion's killing of Shae was motivated by mix of reasons. Sure disillusion played it's role, but not alone. The fact that Shae broke his trust (forget the love issue for a moment - for whatever reason she was his "trusted" servant), the fact that she testified against him eagerly (see the "giant of Lannister"), the fact she humiliated him, the fact she thought him to be stupid enough to fall again for her lies, the sheer anger he felt about Tysha issue and his father being a hypocrite.

Now, even if we will accept that the his delusion was the one that made him act, still the question is ,if Tyrion's belief that Shae really loved him (or at least cared for him) so unreasonable, so preposterous, so impossible, that the we must blame Tyrion for even considering it. Meaning - was it a willful delusion - a conscious decision to be deluded, or a reasonable slip off, something that can happen to anybody, something he may be even couldn't resist.

Those who claim that all "whores" are inherently treacherous and immoral, and incapable of caring and loving, would say yes - Tyrion knew she was a "whore", he willfully deluded himself. Those who believe that prostitutes are also human beings with different values, who can (may be a romantic notion) to see their clients as living people (and not only as purses and cocks), will not see Tyrion's delusion as utterly unreasonable, especially considering his psychological weaknesses. He was mistaken, but trough no major fault of his own.

In my personal opinion, Tyrion was a drug addict presented with a filled syringe and Shae was a "pusher", who used Tyrion's addiction and condemned him in the end. Unfortunately Tyrion's drug was love.

Still. IMHO ...Tyrion wouldn't have blamed Shae for her abandoning him for better client and even for testifying against him. What made it insufferable was her eagerness to hurt him and her final attempt to fool him again. That combined with all the anger he had in his mind because of Tysha issue.

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Of course Tyrion deluded himself. In every case of con artist scheme it is build upon delusion of a victim. That is the specialty of con artists - they recognize a weakness, a need, a hidden hope and masterfully use it. Bystanders, in hindsight, or even looking at it all from aside, see right trough it. The victims themselves, don't. The fact that victim was so gullible, doesn't makes con artist's acts less despicable. I am not saying necessarily that Shae was necessarily a cold blooded con artist, but the core of the issue is the same.

BTW As already noted above the whole "knife point" issue is false. It is no so much Shae was threatened by Bronn, but her previous owner, and during a first dialog between Shae and Tyrion, he speaks in a fashion that doesn't really befit a murderous psychopath. Anyhow Shae had more then a year to get to learn to know Tyrion more and change her mind.

I think you are being quite unjust to Shae. Some form of deceit is always going to be part of the prostitute-John relationship, unless you think the women would be better served to be honest about their feelings of the men who patron their services?

Those who claim that all "whores" are inherently treacherous and immoral, and incapable of caring and loving, would say yes - Tyrion knew she was a "whore", he willfully deluded himself. Those who believe that prostitutes are also human beings with different values, who can (may be a romantic notion) to see their clients as living people (and not only as purses and cocks), will not see Tyrion's delusion as utterly unreasonable, especially considering his psychological weaknesses. He was mistaken, but trough no major fault of his own.

It has nothing to do with prostitutes being inherently treacherous, just with the misguided expectation that the money spent on them buys anything other than the illusion of affection. Tyrion more than most men had reason to accept that as a reality.

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Salt Wife...

Obviously. That is why I an a bit ambivalent on this issue (I posted about it on other Shae vs Bron thread). The question is what sort of a deceit, and how far it should go? Does a client hiring a prostitute willfully pays her for trying to realistically convince him she loves him, while actually she doesn't care about him , or is it a possibility he dreads?

After all Tyrion hired a prostitute to provide him a pleasant company, not someone to play for him a role of devoted wife.

Still the issue is what question are we dealing with ? If the question is, if Shae was bad person that deserves some kind of punishment (not death obviously)... for me it was enough that she eagerly testified against Tyrion. This was immoral. Even if she was some strange woman from a street, who didn't know Tyrion a bit. Certainly considering she was his long time employee, he cared about great deal (whatever the reasons). Whole delusion issue is beyond the point.

(Still, come to think about it, if Shae was better person she would have tried to straiten things with Tyrion,especially considering how emotional it was for him - certainly not to feed more fuel to flames. Playing so forcefully on his dire need for true love she played with fire)

If the issue is Tyrion's guilt, as I have stated from his end of the bargain, he simply couldn't resist. So maybe Tywin, was right after all - Tyrion couldn't cope with "whores" , he saw in them more then piece of meat or things incapable of true feelings beyond pretense, but rather persons who are capable of falling in love with him for real. And that was his falling.

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I think his self-delusion had more to do with his life-long desire to be loved, by anyone.

The fact that the delusion was understandable does not make it any less unjust on Shae.

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The Salt Wife

I agree. With little addendum - it doesn't make it any less unjust or MORE unjust on Shae. As I have said earlier Tyrion had a legitimate cause to be angry and seek retribution (obviously not death) against Shae, with no regard to his illusions. So to answer to original question :Shae did get a raw deal, she didn't deserve to die , but she did deserve a lot of it.

And, it can not be ignored that Shae willfully played on Tyrions long life desires. She used them ... like a pusher uses drug addict. If you ask a blind man to give 1 dollar bill in exchange for something, and he will in mistake give you a 100 dollar bill, will you take it? And if you will, would you blame a blind-man for whacking you on your head with a stick afterwords. I wont.

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WRT perjury, you can certainly pull down a lengthy sentence for it today in England (eg Jeffrey Archer). Nor was it unknown, in medieval trials, for a proven perjurer to be given the sentence which the Defendant would have received if found guilty. For example, in one capital case, the judge noted that the perjurer had "deserved death, but by way of dispensation, let her eyes be torn out ,"

But that doesn't justify Shae's murder.

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I don't know how its even possible to claim that Shae used Tyrion when he turned her into a maid and slapped her for complaining about it.

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Of course Tyrion deluded himself. In every case of con artist scheme it is build upon delusion of a victim. That is the specialty of con artists - they recognize a weakness, a need, a hidden hope and masterfully use it. Bystanders, in hindsight, or even looking at it all from aside, see right trough it. The victims themselves, don't. The fact that victim was so gullible, doesn't makes con artist's acts less despicable. I am not saying necessarily that Shae was necessarily a cold blooded con artist, but the core of the issue is the same.

This is crazy. Full stop. Shae is not a con artist at any level. Tyrion was the one with all the power in the relationship, he was the one who hired her, he was the one who dictated terms to her, he was the one who could at any moment find a new shae if she displeased him. There is a south park episode, where Butters (the moronic socially awkward kid) becomes obsessed with a hooters waitress because she flirts with him when he goes there. Now is she conning him? No, she flirts with the male customers because that's her job and if she was terse and unresponsive hooters would fire her. Its the same with shae. Tyrion hires her to be his fantasy girlfriend (which is not too unusual among johns, look in the backpage of a downmarket paper and you'll see ads for "girlfriend experience" right next to the ones promising exotic orientals). She played that role for him because she was paying him to, if she had been terse and unresponsive Tyrion would have ditched her and hired someone else. A prostitute who pretends to enjoy your presence is no more conning you than a hooters waitress who pretends your not just another drooling fool with hot sauce spilling down your shirt. Tyrion sent his goon out to find her and than dictated terms of employment to her, that he subsequently became infatuated with the fantasy character he hired her to play doesn't mean she was conning him, and doesn't mean she was wrong for seeing him as nothing more than a john.

With regard to Tyrion...I think Tyrion's killing of Shae was motivated by mix of reasons. Sure disillusion played it's role, but not alone. The fact that Shae broke his trust (forget the love issue for a moment - for whatever reason she was his "trusted" servant), the fact that she testified against him eagerly (see the "giant of Lannister"), the fact she humiliated him, the fact she thought him to be stupid enough to fall again for her lies, the sheer anger he felt about Tysha issue and his father being a hypocrite.

Now, even if we will accept that the his delusion was the one that made him act, still the question is ,if Tyrion's belief that Shae really loved him (or at least cared for him) so unreasonable, so preposterous, so impossible, that the we must blame Tyrion for even considering it. Meaning - was it a willful delusion - a conscious decision to be deluded, or a reasonable slip off, something that can happen to anybody, something he may be even couldn't resist.

Those who claim that all "whores" are inherently treacherous and immoral, and incapable of caring and loving, would say yes - Tyrion knew she was a "whore", he willfully deluded himself. Those who believe that prostitutes are also human beings with different values, who can (may be a romantic notion) to see their clients as living people (and not only as purses and cocks), will not see Tyrion's delusion as utterly unreasonable, especially considering his psychological weaknesses. He was mistaken, but trough no major fault of his own.

No it was a major fault of his own he was possessive about a sex worker. Which again isn't rare in RL, homicide is the number one cause of death for prostitutes (above aids). The way Shae died, strangled by a jealous client is quite common today. Prostitutes are neither inherently treacherous nor immoral, and they are held to the same legal standard as everyone else. If a bodyguard, secretary, aide, or whatever abandons your employment and works for your hated father, they have done nothing wrong. Its the same with a prostitute, you can't be possessive or the acts of an employee.

Tyrion was delusional, shallow and possessive. If he wanted shae to love him, he should have drastically modified his behavior, although its still likely she wouldn't have had any love for him. Now in regards to publically humiliating him, that was unkind. But it wasn't illegal in any way, and if one murders an employee who embarrasses them they are just as much a murderer.

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It seems more like you're the one arguing with a strawman. No, of course Shae taking on another client doesn't justify Tyrion's murder, but that's not the main issue here. The real issue is that Shae was actively participating in a conspiracy to get Tyrion unjustly sentenced to death, and even if that doesn't justify him murdering her, it certainly makes it a lot more understandable than simply murdering her out of pride and jealousy.

This. Exactly.

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.

Say Tyrion had been executed, and someone (who wasn't working for Cersei) later found conclusive evidence that Shae had lied during the trial... Do any of you really doubt that a good man (like Kevan Lannister or Addam Marbrand, for instance) would have had her hanged or beheaded for her crime?

Keep in mind that while Shae's testimony alone didn't seal Tyrion's fate, she was one of only three people to outright lie on the witness stand. If it'd been Osmund Kettleblack who'd been murdered instead, would anyone really be talking about how he got a "raw deal" or calling Tyrion a horrible person for killing him? :P

Yes, but in Shae's defence - her testimony was coerced from her by the threat of torture and gang rape (iirc). As a prostitute lacked the strength or ability to defend herself - what could she do against Cersei's gang of thugs.

Anyone else remember Lannister's idea of justice regarding Tysha - a story Shae may remember vividly?

Don't forget - even Ned Stark confessed to "his crimes".

Tyrion should have cut her a bit of slack as there was little she could do apart from complying with whatever Cersei demanded of her.

Even if she did testify on his behalf - what could she say in his defence apart from telling the truth that Tyrion hated Cersei and even poisoned her once. And after that her fate was sealed.

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Also, Shae did not betray tyrion. Its annoying how often this is said. She testified against him and lied about him in court, which was also done by half the court. Her testimony against tyrion was no more of a betrayal than varys or lady taena, or peckledon, or anyone else. A sex worker doesn't have any duty of loyalty to a john.

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This is crazy. Full stop. Shae is not a con artist at any level. Tyrion was the one with all the power in the relationship, he was the one who hired her, he was the one who dictated terms to her, he was the one who could at any moment find a new shae if she displeased him. There is a south park episode, where Butters (the moronic socially awkward kid) becomes obsessed with a hooters waitress because she flirts with him when he goes there. Now is she conning him? No, she flirts with the male customers because that's her job and if she was terse and unresponsive hooters would fire her. Its the same with shae. Tyrion hires her to be his fantasy girlfriend (which is not too unusual among johns, look in the backpage of a downmarket paper and you'll see ads for "girlfriend experience" right next to the ones promising exotic orientals). She played that role for him because she was paying him to, if she had been terse and unresponsive Tyrion would have ditched her and hired someone else. A prostitute who pretends to enjoy your presence is no more conning you than a hooters waitress who pretends your not just another drooling fool with hot sauce spilling down your shirt. Tyrion sent his goon out to find her and than dictated terms of employment to her, that he subsequently became infatuated with the fantasy character he hired her to play doesn't mean she was conning him, and doesn't mean she was wrong for seeing him as nothing more than a john.

No it was a major fault of his own he was possessive about a sex worker. Which again isn't rare in RL, homicide is the number one cause of death for prostitutes (above aids). The way Shae died, strangled by a jealous client is quite common today. Prostitutes are neither inherently treacherous nor immoral, and they are held to the same legal standard as everyone else. If a bodyguard, secretary, aide, or whatever abandons your employment and works for your hated father, they have done nothing wrong. Its the same with a prostitute, you can't be possessive or the acts of an employee.

Tyrion was delusional, shallow and possessive. If he wanted shae to love him, he should have drastically modified his behavior, although its still likely she wouldn't have had any love for him. Now in regards to publically humiliating him, that was unkind. But it wasn't illegal in any way, and if one murders an employee who embarrasses them they are just as much a murderer.

If public embarrassment was a death sentence - Tyrion should have been killed many times over for embarrassing other people.

Fantastic post by the way.

I like Tyrion - but even then I found the way he treated Shae very appalling to say the least.

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Tyrion sent his goon out to find her and than dictated terms of employment to her, that he subsequently became infatuated with the fantasy character he hired her to play doesn't mean she was conning him, and doesn't mean she was wrong for seeing him as nothing more than a john.

No, it doesn't. I agree with you there. However, it also doesn't make it any less wrong for Shae to lie during a murder trial. The fact that the defendant was her john and that she never really loved him is irrelevant.

Yes, but in Shae's defence - her testimony was coerced from her by the threat of torture and gang rape (iirc). As a prostitute lacked the strength or ability to defend herself - what could she do against Cersei's gang of thugs.

Anyone else remember Lannister's idea of justice regarding Tysha - a story Shae may remember vividly?

Don't forget - even Ned Stark confessed to "his crimes".

Tyrion should have cut her a bit of slack as there was little she could do apart from complying with whatever Cersei demanded of her.

Even if she did testify on his behalf - what could she say in his defence apart from telling the truth that Tyrion hated Cersei and even poisoned her once. And after that her fate was sealed.

It never says anywhere that Shae would've been tortured or killed if she hadn't testified, only that she was expecting a reward for lying about Tyrion. Remember, at first Cersei thought Shae was just another one of Sansa's servants, and nothing bad happened to any of Sansa's other maids. Shae was the one who confessed that she'd been Tyrion's whore, presumably in the hopes of getting a reward from the queen. Besides, even if Shae would've been harmed if she hadn't testified against Tyrion, she probably didn't have to go so far as telling complete lies about him. Most of the other witnesses didn't, even those who were clearly working for Cersei and/or actively hated Tyrion.

How can you even compare Shae's actions with poor Ned's? When he lied it was his own life on the line, not someone else's, and it was to protect his children. Ned's false confession was a noble sacrifice, what Shae did was almost the exact opposite of that.

Also, Shae did not betray tyrion. Its annoying how often this is said. She testified against him and lied about him in court, which was also done by half the court. Her testimony against tyrion was no more of a betrayal than varys or lady taena, or peckledon, or anyone else. A sex worker doesn't have any duty of loyalty to a john.

Actually, Shae was one of only three people who actually lied on the stand, Osmund Kettleblack (who's not exactly a shining beacon of morality) and Lady Merryweather (who I'm frankly confused about) being the other two. Other people might've portrayed Tyrion in a negative light, or stated facts out of context, but they didn't outright make things up. It might seem like a minor distinction but in real life there's a huge difference, at least in terms of law.

Besides, if Tyrion had murdered Kettleblack or Pycelle or Varys instead, I wouldn't exactly be crying over it.

If public embarrassment was a death sentence - Tyrion should have been killed many times over for embarrassing other people.

Once again, embarassment is not the issue here, nor is the fact that Tyrion's whore was seeing another john. Shae took actions that very nearly led to Tyrion being unjustly executed. Shae did not owe Tyrion love or loyalty or much of anything, but she did owe him the same decency she'd owe any other human being, and she failed to give him that. Yes, murdering her is disproportionate retribution, but it wasn't anywhere near as petty and cruel and evil as "she humiliated me, therefore she must die."

Really, I've said just about everything I can say about this topic, and I feel like this argument is starting to go in circles. In the end it seems to come down to motives: What people think Tyrion's motive was for killing her, and what they think Shae's motive was for betraying him. If you think she betrayed him because it was the only way to save her life, or because he'd been abusing her for a year and she wanted revenge, then it makes her actions much more understandable and sympathetic. If you think he murdered her because she "embarassed him" or "broke the fantasy," then yes, that would make him a complete monster. However, those are not the ways that I interpreted those characters' motives, nor do I think they're the author's intended interpretations, going by my reading of the text.

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Actually, Shae was one of only three people who actually lied on the stand, Osmund Kettleblack (who's not exactly a shining beacon of morality) and Lady Merryweather (who I'm frankly confused about) being the other two. Other people might've portrayed Tyrion in a negative light, or stated facts out of context, but they didn't outright make things up. It might seem like a minor distinction but in real life there's a huge difference, at least in terms of law.

Besides, if Tyrion had murdered Kettleblack or Pycelle or Varys instead, I wouldn't exactly be crying over it.

I don't disagree with what your saying. It is wrong to knowingly lie during a murder trial, and shae, osmund kettleback and lady merryweather were all wrong to do so. That said there a couple things here.

First when testifying in court the oath is "tell the whole truth", which varys deliberately didn't do. And further there is a question of what actually influences the trial. Having shae lie, a commonborn prostitute embarrasses tyrion, but her testimony wouldn't be widely believed if not for varys (who is a lord famed for his knowledge of secrets). Judging the whole thing by using a neat perjury/shading the truth axis seems off, when the whole trial wasn't fair. Tyrion wasn't allowed to cross-examine his witnesses, and varys knew that, hence his shading of the truth.

I think this distinction here is not really relevant, varys and shae both testified in such a way so that tyrion was convicted of something they knew he didn't do. The key difference (to me anyway) is not that shae lied whereas varys told lies by omission, but that varys knew that tyrion was being framed and had a great deal of power to alert tywin as to the real killers whereas shae was likely being threatened and had no idea what was going on.

Now the question of motives comes up, and I think its fairly blatant that Tyrion killed shae out of sexual jealously and revenge for embarrassing him. His last words to her are "“Did you ever like my touch?”", not "why did you lie about me in court". He spends most of time in DWD thinking about revenge plots against cersei (and Jaime), while barely even remembering kettleblack or merryweather. In fact right after shae testifies he says regarding shae "Will you miss your giant of Lannister when he’s dead?". Tyrion spares barely a second though about those who testified against him other than shae, whereas when he finds shae, he is sure to question her about how much she liked him sexually.

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However, it also doesn't make it any less wrong for Shae to lie during a murder trial.

No. But in light of all the circumstances, including the fact that she almost certainly believed him guilty as charged, I wonder how she can be blamed for trying to save her life by helping the prosecution.

It never says anywhere that Shae would've been tortured or killed if she hadn't testified

Excuse me? How dumb can you be? Of course she would have been tortured and killed if it were suspected she were in league with the conspirators. Who exactly do you think she is dealing with? In order to survive she must at least APPEAR to be cooperative. She must at least APPEAR to be loyal to the crown and disloyal to Tyrion. Anything else is death. In fact, had Cersei been FULLY in charge of the investigation, it is inconceivable to me that she could have escaped at all.

only that she was expecting a reward for lying about Tyrion.

The promise of the carrot does not disprove the threat of the stick. And she was not offered a reward "for lying about Tyrion". She was offered a reward for cooperating with the prosecution. Cersei is not interested in lies, but in information. Shae had to satisfy interrogators who suspected her of complicity, and who (for perfectly understandable reasons) were already certain of Tyrion's guilt. Her life was obviously at stake, and to argue otherwise is just dumb.

Remember, at first Cersei thought Shae was just another one of Sansa's servants,

No. Varys said he would tell her ... and presumably he told her, as promised

and nothing bad happened to any of Sansa's other maids.

Sansa's other maid was also arrested, imprisoned, and interrogated. I am certain she was also in fear of her life.

Shae was the one who confessed that she'd been Tyrion's whore, presumably in the hopes of getting a reward from the queen.

Presumably, the reason she confessed is that Cersei already knew about it, since Varys told her, as he said he would, and as Tyrion concluded he must have done.

Besides, even if Shae would've been harmed if she hadn't testified against Tyrion, she probably didn't have to go so far as telling complete lies about him.

You go too far. Nothing she said was a COMPLETE lie, as far as we know.

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I think this distinction here is not really relevant, varys and shae both testified in such a way so that tyrion was convicted of something they knew he didn't do.

Except I'm not sure Shae knew that Tyrion was innocent. Varys certainly knew, but Shae had very little information as to what was going on and Tyrion looked guilty as sin to everyone except the reader, Sansa, Littlefinger, and the Tyrells. She did, however, know that at least some of the words coming out of her mouth were falsehoods but not necessarily that they were falsehoods railroading an innocent man.

Agreed with the rest of your post.

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You go too far. Nothing she said was a COMPLETE lie, as far as we know.

Well, the part about Tyrion banging her while telling her that Joffrey would never know his wife the way Tyrion knew her was... although I agree that we can't dismiss her testimony about the marriage, et al.

I think that Cersei scripted most, if not all, of Shae's testimony, to be honest.

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Well, the part about Tyrion banging her while telling her that Joffrey would never know his wife the way Tyrion knew her was...

It sounds vaguely like the sort of thing he might say, though whatever he actually said probably did not mean "Joffrey will die before he consummates his union". In the corresponding Tyrion chapter, it just sort of fast forwards through this part, so we do not really know what Tyrion did nor did not say during sex.

I think that Cersei scripted most, if not all, of Shae's testimony, to be honest.

Remember, Cersei is not really trying to "frame" anybody. She wants real information. She wants the real culprits. I can see Shae twisting the truth to please an implacable interrogator who already "knows" Tyrion is guilty, and who already "knows" that Shae knows something about it, but I cannot see Cersei literally scripting anything.

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Remember, Cersei is not really trying to "frame" anybody. She wants real information. She wants the real culprits. I can see Shae twisting the truth to please an implacable interrogator who already "knows" Tyrion is guilty, and who already "knows" that Shae knows something about it, but I cannot see Cersei literally scripting anything.

Oh I can, didn't Cersei start screaming that Tyrion had killed her son right after it happened? I think Shae did probably stretch the truth but I think Cersei wanted certain embarrassing details added just to spite Tyrion and implicate Sansa.

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