Game of Thrones is jam-packed full of layered, complex characters that you can’t help but become emotionally invested in. One of the most popular characters on the show is Olenna Tyrell, the Queen of Thorns and grandmother of Loras and Margaery Tyrell. An enemy to Cersei Lannister, Olenna won over many fans of the show from the very first episode she appeared in.
Olenna is famous for her razor-sharp tongue and wit, but there are a few comments that she makes throughout the show’s run that will stay in our memories forever.
Updated October 24th By Rhys McGinley: Game of Thrones may have officially ended over a year ago, but its legacy and influence, as well as its undeniable popularity, live on in the pop culture zeitgeist, with a lot of that owed to the brilliant characters, even despite the final season. One such character who did not make it to the final season but who still made a colossal impact on the show was Olenna Tyrell, played by the late great Diana Riggs. The Queen of Thorns is known for her wit and sharp tongue, with only ten quotes not representing well enough the full catalog of her excellent lines throughout the show.
15 “The Cheese Will Be Served When I Want It Served, And I Want It Served Now.”
Olenna Tyrell is very dry when it comes to the formalities of being in a position of power like she is in; due to her age and temperament, from the golden roses to the sight of King’s Landing, she is pretty sick of it all.
She pretty much wants things done when and how Olenna says, and gives no care to the servants that come with being in her power. So when one of them tries to deny her cheese, she hits back, and it is a want for cheese that many people can relate to.
14 “The City Is Made Brighter By My Presence? Is That Your Usual Line, Lord Varys? Are You Here To Seduce Me? Oh no, please seduce away. It’s been so long. Though I rather think it’s all for naught. What happens when the nonexistent bumps against the decrepit?”
While some GoT characters seem to wilt under the powers of flattery, Olenna Tyrell doesn’t allow anybody to butter her up. From the very beginning, she’s wary of Varys, as she’s well aware of his reputation as a spider with many spies around King’s Landing. When he tries to flatter her, she doesn’t want a bar of it.
“Is that your usual line, Lord Varys? Are you here to seduce me?” she asks. Being a smart woman, she knows that Varys isn’t trying to seduce her. She says it to show him that she won’t fall for cheap flattery, and she can see right through people.
13 “I’ve Known A Great Number Of Clever Men. I’ve Outlived Them All. You Know How? I Ignored Them.”
Olenna Tyrell is the matriarch of House Tyrell, and during her time was one of the most powerful and crucial people in Westeros. She was a bit of a rare find considering most Great Houses were led by men.
By the end of the show a couple more led their houses, but before that it was nearly all men leading Great Houses in Westeros while Olenna fearlessly led hers during a period were women were definitely viewed in a certain light that would not fly today. This quote pretty much sums up the badassery and brilliance of Olenna.
12 “I Was Told You Were Drunk, Impertinent, And Thoroughly Debauched. You Can Imagine My Disappointment At Finding Nothing But A Browbeaten Bookkeeper.”
There are some legendary talkers in the world of Game Of Thrones, from the likes of Littlefinger to Tywin Lannister, but it was rare to find anybody who could compete with Tyrion Lannister.
His sister never outwitted him, even the aforementioned Tywin and Littlefinger struggled. But Olenna Tyrell’s sharp tongue never backed away from anyone, and this quote which displays her disappointment of the then Master of Coin shows that she was a match for Tyrion.
11 “Not Now Mace, Lord Tywin And I Are Speaking.”
The son of Olenna and father of Margaery and Loras, the Lord of Highgarden Mace Tyrell, is, as Olenna describes him, “an oaf,” and really lacks the edge and intelligence the Tyrell women have.
Olenna knows this and does not shy away from that fact, not necessarily demeaning him out of spite. This quote comes when Olenna is walking with Tywin and Mace appears only for Olenna to instantly shut him down and send him away which he happily abides. It is a laugh out moment that shows nobody is safe from Olenna, not even her own son.
10 “Oh, Not At All, A Sword Swallower Through And Through”
Speaking of Tywin, he and Olenna shared a good few scenes together before Tywin’s death, and each one of them was brilliant, written to excellence, and highlighting one of the show’s biggest strengths, people talking in rooms.
When Tywin tries to take a dig at Loras Tyrell’s nighttime proclivities, Olenna does not shy away, hitting right back at Tywin with this excellent quote. Not only showing support for Loras and the nature of him sleeping with other men but embarrassing Tywin in the process.
9 “I Wonder If You’re The Worst Person I’ve Ever Met? At A Certain Age, It’s Hard To Recall. But The Truly Vile Do Stand Out Through The Years.”
You could argue that Olenna’s one true nemesis is Cersei Lannister. She despises her from the second she enters King’s Landing, and her hate grows when Cersei invokes the help of the High Sparrow to take care of Loras and Margaery. She doesn’t even feel sorry for her after Cersei endures her walk of shame.
There’s no question about how Olenna truly feels about Cersei, thanks to lines like this. In a land like Westeros, labeling someone as the worst person you’ve ever met is definitely saying a lot.
8 “You Look Like An Angry Little Boy. Don’t Presume To Tell Me What I Need.”
Some people might be intimidated upon meeting the Sand Snakes for the first time. With their lightning-quick moves, they’re definitely three girls to keep an eye on. But Olenna isn’t intimidated in the slightest when she meets with them and their mother.
When Obara interrupts her, she takes the opportunity to put all three girls in their place. After saying that Obara looks like an angry little boy, she tells Nymeria to shut up before sarcastically asking if Tyene would like to add anything. She then promptly tells all three to let the grown women speak.
7 “I Hear You Knocked My Grandson Into The Dirt Like The Silly Little Boy He Is.”
One of the things that we love most about Olenna is that she doesn’t allow family relations to skew her views of reality. Even though she loves her grandchildren, she can always see their weaknesses. This is highlighted when she tells Brienne, “I hear you knocked my grandson into the dirt like the silly little boy he is.”
We can also tell from the way Olenna constantly dismisses her son Mace that she doesn’t give out praise and respect just because people are related to her. If her own family lacks in any way, she will always let them know.
6 “He Really Was A C***, Wasn’t He?”
These are strong words from Olenna Tyrell, but they are necessary. Joffrey, who she’s describing, really does fit the description she gives him. There’s no denying that Joffrey is a source of pure evil. We can see it in the way he torments Sansa and how he enjoys causing pain for everyone else in the kingdom.
Olenna can see that Joffrey is a monster from the beginning, but she doesn’t give him this label until she hears from his father, Jaime Lannister, that he gave his sword the name Widow’s Wail before he died.
5 “Put The Pen Down, Dear. We Both Know You’re Not Writing Anything.”
One of the greatest joys in watching Game of Thrones is witnessing the savage remarks that Olenna Tyrell makes over the course of the show. They certainly don’t call her the Queen of Thorns for nothing! During one meeting with Cersei, the Queen Regent pretends to be writing as Olenna tries to speak with her.
“Put the pen down, dear. We both know you’re not writing anything,” she says. Who else has the confidence to say that to Cersei Lannister?! If that’s not bad enough, seconds later, Olenna refers to Cersei as a tart.
4 “Are You Going To Bring The Food Or Do You Mean To Starve Us To Death?”
Of course, it’s not just the primary characters in power around King’s Landing that Olenna puts in their place. She’s also in the habit of shutting down servants and members of staff.
During one garden meeting, as she’s waiting for a meal, she swiftly asks the servants, “Are you going to bring the food, or do you mean to starve us to death?” The line may be slightly dramatic, but it does result in the food being brought quicker!
3 “Spare Me The Homilies. I Can Smell A Fraud From A Mile Away.”
Another character that Olenna is not afraid to stand up to? The High Sparrow. She has a particular disdain for the holy man, seeing as he imprisons her grandchildren. And while thousands of his followers view him as a kind-hearted leader and preacher, she sees him as a phony and isn’t afraid to tell him so.
“Spare me the homilies,” she says as he starts to go on one of his rants. “I can smell a fraud from a mile away.” We love the way Olenna sees straight through his demeanor.
2 “The lords of Westeros are sheep. Are you a sheep? No. You’re a dragon. Be a dragon.”
In the later seasons, Olenna leaves King’s Landing and meets Daenerys. Just as she advises Margaery on the best moves to make for most of the series, she turns her attention to the Mother of Dragons and gives her some advice. By telling Dany to “be a dragon,” she encourages her to give up hopes of taking King’s Landing nicely and instead take the throne that is hers.
Some viewers have wondered whether this line was one of the many factors that ultimately provoked Dany to transform into the Mad Queen and burn the city to the ground.
1 “Tell Cersei. I Want Her To Know It Was Me.”
The single most memorable line that Olenna Tyrell has ever uttered in the history of the show has to be her final confession just before her death. As she drinks the poison that Jaime Lannister gives her, she admits that it was she who poisoned Joffrey at the Purple Wedding.
It’s not enough for Olenna to have killed Joffrey. It’s also not enough for her that Jaime knows about it. She also wants her rival, Cersei, to suffer the pain of knowing that it was Olenna who killed her son. Olenna, who dies swiftly from poison rather than from the cruel death Cersei would no doubt have planned for her had she known the truth all along.
NEXT: Game Of Thrones: Olenna Tyrell’s 10 Best Moments
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