House Tyrell: Knights of the Reach
The profile of House Tyrell is best depicted by their sigil: a golden rose on a green field. They rule over the largest and most fertile lands in Westeros. Theirs is a family that values beauty and chivalry, and they are not afraid to flaunt it.
Despite having defended House Targaryen during Robert’s Rebellion, they have maintained their status as one of the most powerful Houses in the Seven Kingdoms. Since they control the most populous region in Westeros, their military strength is formidable. Although House Lannister’s military forces are better equipped, House Tyrell’s resources make them a strong ally – and a troublesome enemy.
House Tyrell traces its descent to Garth Greenland, the First King of the Reach. Since they are descended from the female line, however, they served as stewards to House Gardener, the ancient ruling family. After the fall of House Gardener, its head steward, Harlen Tyrell, surrendered the castle at Highgarden and was rewarded with the title Lord of the Reach by Aegon Targaryen.
The Tyrells fought for House Targaryen during Robert’s Rebellion and were victorious at the Battle of Ashford. Their victory was short-lived, however. After the brutal Sack of King’s Landing, the Targaryens faced a devastating defeat. Lord Mace Tyrell, the current head of House Tyrell, swore his fealty to King Robert Baratheon.
Another telling factor of the profile of House Tyrell is its motto, “Growing Strong”. The current members of House Tyrell appear to be quite ambitious – they do not hesitate to take the opportunities in order to elevate their status. During the War of the Five Kings, they married Margaery Tyrell to Renly Baratheon and supported his claim to the throne. Following Renly’s demise, they switched allegiances to the Lannisters and planned to wed the newly widowed Margaery to King Joffrey Lannister. No one knows how long the present ruling House will hold power amidst the deadly game of thrones, but the Tyrells are likely to survive and take advantage, however the winds of fate blow.
The first Tyrell to make an appearance is Ser Loras Tyrell, a tournament knight who is also known as the “Knight of Flowers”. His jousting skills, dashing good looks, and flair for the dramatic have made him a popular and well-loved figure throughout the Seven Kingdoms. While Loras fits the profile of House Tyrell to a tee, later books will soon reveal other family members who are just as intriguing as this ostentatious knight. First, there is Garlan, Loras’ elder brother and the better swordsman of the two. Next is Willas, the eldest brother. Although he is crippled, he is both kind and educated and is proving to be a better leader than their father, Mace. Their sister, Margaery, is a beautiful, shrewd young woman who understands the intricacies of ruling a kingdom and the importance of being held in high regard by the populace. Last, but certainly not the least, is Mace’s mother, Olenna. Despite her old age, she is a cunning woman who is well-known for her sharp tongue and has been nicknamed the “Queen of Thorns”. She is always looking out for the best interests of her favorite grandchild and protégé, Margaery.
While undeniably a good-looking man in his old age, Mace has proven to be a poor leader with little political insight. He is little more than a figurehead for the more able members of his family. His own mother refers to him as the “Oaf”.