Shae was a prostitute and Tyrion Lannister’s mistress. She was a camp follower who met Tyrion during the war between the Lannisters and Starks and became attached to him. As time went on, their relationship blossomed, and Tyrion almost believed he had gotten over the scars of his past until she betrayed him in the worst way possible.
Shae Personal Details
- Name: Shae.
- Year of Birth: 280 or 281 AC.
- Year of Death: 300 AC at the Tower of the Hand.
- Aliases: The Whore, The Lying Cunt, The Mysterious Foreign Beauty.
- Hair Color: Black.
Appearance and Personality
Shae is a beautiful girl with a slim frame, firm breasts, and large dark eyes. She has dark hair and loves to wear expensive clothes and jewels. She has a beautiful and innocent smile that charms most men. However, though she acts innocent and shy, she can be prickly, disrespectful, and irritating.
Though there is little information on her childhood, Shae told Tyrion that she ran away from home when her father tried to make her his kitchen wench and whore. However, the information from her may not be valid as she later got discovered to be a liar after she betrayed Tyrion in front of everyone.
Relevance in A Song of Ice and Fire Novels
A Game of Thrones
When Tyrion gets arrested by Catelyn Stark, Tywin Lannister calls his banners and begins raiding the Riverlands. After a trial by combat, Tyrion gets freed and reaches House Lannister’s camp, where he tells Bronn, a sellsword, to find him a whore. Bronn brings Shae, and Tyrion sleeps with her before the Battle of the Green Fork. After the Lannisters’ victory at the battle, Tyrion sleeps with her again and gets emotionally attached.
Meanwhile, Joffrey Baratheon becomes King and assigns his grandfather as the Hand of the King, but with the war going on, Tywin decides to send Tyrion to King’s Landing as the acting Hand of the King. Despite his father’s warning, Tyrion takes Shae to King’s Landing. Later, Eddard Stark gets killed, and Robb becomes King in the North. Renly and Stannis Baratheon also raise claims to the throne, and Westeros plunges into chaos.
A Clash of Kings
Knowing that taking Shae to court is a terrible idea, Tyrion hides his mistress at the Broken Anvil near the Gate of the Gods and tasks Challa and the Black Ears to protect her. However, Lord Varys, the master of whisperers, discovers Shae but keeps the knowledge secret from everyone else.
Later, Shae is relocated to one of Chataya’s manses near the Iron Gate and gets her servants and guards. To further prevent anyone from knowing his secret affair, Tyrion connives with Lord Varys, who shows him a secret passage he can use to reach Shae’s Manse under the guise of visiting Chataya’s daughter in a brothel, Alayaya. Tyrion begins spending time with her. As time passes, he falls in love with her and tasks Shagga with protecting her.
When Symon Silver Tongue, a singer, enters the company of Shae, he discovers that she is Tyrion’s lover and gets tasked to swear not to reveal anything. Tyrion’s love for Shae grows, and he tells her about his first wife, Tysha. When Stannis begins moving his fleet towards King’s Landing, Tyrion relocates Shae to the Red Keep and gives her a reclusive job as a maid of Lollys Stokeworth.
When Cersei learns that her brother has been visiting Alayaya, she arrests and beats her up, thinking she is Tyrion’s whore. However, Tyrion threatens to return the favor if anything should happen to Alayaya. Later, the Battle of the Blackwater occurs, and though Tyrion almost gets overwhelmed, his father and House Tyrell save King’s Landing from getting sacked.
A Storm of Swords
With the return of Tywin Lannister as Hand of the King, King’s Landing begins recovering from the Battle of Blackwater. Tywin threatens Tyrion about seeing whores and tells him he will hang the next one he beds. Scared for Shae’s life, Tyrion begins arranging for her to leave the city. To unite the North and South, Tywin proposes a wedding between Sansa Stark and Tyrion, and though Tyrion tries to fight against the idea, he gets married to Sansa.
To continue his relationship with Shae, Tyrion makes her Sansa’s maid. A wedding between Joffrey and Margery Tyrell gets arranged, and on the wedding day, Joffrey mocks his uncle, Tyrion. He later chokes to death, and his mother, Queen Cersei, accuses Tyrion of murdering her son.
A trial gets held for Joffrey’s murder, and to Tyrion’s surprise, Shae gets brought forward. She reveals the full details of their affair. She tells everyone that Tyrion planned to kill his nephew and how she calls him ‘my giant of Lannister.’ Angry at her betrayal, Tyrion requests a trial by combat.
Later, Oberyn Martell meets him and learns the truth behind his sister’s death; this prompts him to fight for Tyrion. Oberyn gets killed by Ser Gregor Clegane, and after the battle, Tyrion gets condemned to death. Later, his brother, Ser Jaime Lannister, and Lord Varys help him escape the black cells.
Before leaving, Tyrion sneaks into the Tower of the Hand and meets Shae naked in Tywin’s bed, wearing his gold chain of office. He then strangles her with the gold chain and kills his father with a crossbow.
A Feast for Crows
After Lord Tywin’s body gets discovered, Cersei tries to convince herself that her father will not stoop low to sleep with a whore. She reminisces on how she offered to give her a mansion and a knight to wed. She then orders the Kettleblacks to dispose of her body.
Appearance in Adaptations
In HBO’s tv series, Game of Thrones, Shae got portrayed by Sibel Kekilli. She appeared in seasons 1, 2, 3, and 4 and starred in 20 episodes. Shae entered the service of Tyrion Lannister after Bronn took her from a ginger-haired knight. She returns to King’s Landing with him, and when Joffrey gets poisoned, she gets brought as a witness.
Out of jealousy for Sansa, Shae lies and states that Tyrion kidnapped her and planned with Sansa to murder Joffrey. She tells everyone his pet name, ‘my lion,’ and in rage, Tyrion requests a trial by combat. After his champion gets killed, Tyrion gets sentenced to death. He later gets freed by his brother, Jaime.
Tyrion then sneaks into his father’s room, where he meets a naked Shae on the bed. She tries to reach for a knife, but he beats her to it and strangulates her. Tyrion then kills his father.
Shae: The Golddigger
Shae is a character that Geroge R. R. Martin used to show how one-sided love could be hurtful to the mind and body. Shae had the opportunity to live a good life free from troubles. However, she dreamed too big and got too greedy; this led to her downfall. Her outright disregard for Tyrion’s efforts to keep her safe only made him rage more when he discovered the truth.
Shae’s character also reveals the hypocrisy of Tywin Lannister. After going to great lengths to prevent Tyrion from staying married to Tysha, a young wheelwright’s daughter, Tywin threatened to kill the woman he saw. However, it later got revealed that he was doing the one thing he made a crime for his son.
Did Shae love Tyrion?
In A Song of Ice and Fire, Shae is a golddigger who has no loyalty to anyone but herself. She is greedy and aims too high before getting killed. In the tv series, Shae genuinely loves Tyrion but later betrays him.
Why did Shae sleep with Tywin?
Shae slept with Tywin because she got paid. She was a prostitute and slept with whoever paid the highest.
How does Shae die?
When Tyrion sneaks into the Tower of the Hand, he meets Shae naked on his father’s bed with the gold chain of the Hand of the King on her neck. Enraged, he strangles her with the chain and kills his father with a crossbow.
How does Shae betray Tyrion?
After Joffrey Baratheon dies on his wedding day, Cersei accuses Tyrion of killing him. A trial gets held, and Shae comes up as a witness. She lies, stating that Tyrion planned his nephew’s death.