Buffy Meme [3/7] characters → Daniel “Oz”
Well, to the casual observer, it would appear that you’re trying to make your friend Xander jealous or even the score or something. And that’s on the empty side. See, in my fantasy when I’m kissing you, you’re kissing me. It’s okay. I can wait.
(This is about book!Shae only)
I look at Shae as just selfish. She’s not necessarily that bad (like lol this is a series with Ramsay Bolton/Gregor Clegane,) but she’s fueled by selfish motivations.
She’s out for herself. She’s not there to make attachments- though she’ll act that way if it’s helpful. Shae is part of the worst treated group of Westeros: whores. Generally, no one cares about whores, no one is going to be looking after them. Shae probably learned from a young age that she needed to take care. Assuming her claimed backstory is true, this is all the proof that’s needed:
“My father made me his kitchen wench,” she said, her mouth twisting. “That was why I ran off.”
“You told me you ran off because your father made you his whore,” he reminded her.
“That too. I didn’t like scouring his pots no more than I liked his cock in me.” She tossed her head. ACoK
Her own father treated her as his own personal whore and servant.
No one was going to look out for Shae, so Shae decided to look out for Shae. She’d ingratiate herself to anyone necessary. Forget the Tyrion/Tywin aspects, we see her play that game in front of Tyrion:
It grated on him to hear her call Varys m’lord in that tone; that was what she called him in their pillow play.
“Has m’lord grown tired of me?” She reached a hand under his tunic and found his cock. In two quick strokes she had it hard. “He still wants me.” She laughed. “Would you like to fuck your kitchen wench, m’lord? You can dust me with flour and suck gravy off my titties if you…”
“Stop it.” The way she was acting reminded him of Dancy, who had tried so hard to win her wager. Tyrion, ACoK
Shae needs people on her side to live. She has no family, no money, no status, any allies she’s gaining are through her charming the pants off of them (literally and figuratively.)
Shae may be fond of people, but her loyalty is to herself first and foremost. If it wasn’t, she might not have lived so long.
She’s 18 and smart, she knows where she stands in Westeros.
“Lord Varys has come to see you,” Shae announced.
The begging brother blinked at her, astonished. Tyrion laughed. “To be sure. How is it you knew him when I did not?”
She shrugged. “It’s still him. Only dressed different.”
“A different look, a different smell, a different way of walking,” said Tyrion. “Most men would be deceived.”
“And most women, maybe. But not whores. A whore learns to see the man, not his garb, or she turns up dead in an alley.” Tyrion, ACoK
Now, I don’t think she’s a good person, I certainly wouldn’t want to be her friend, but she’s not evil either. She could have shown more empathy to Lollys who she mocks, but then again, so could a lot of characters. She could have probably gone without the admittance of her nickname, “My Giant of Lannister”, for Tyrion (doubtful anyone but she and Tyrion knew of it,) but she likely didn’t care enough about Tyrion’s feelings to spare him humiliation.
Cersei was the one who had her life in her hands, why not sell her condemnation of Tyrion more?
Tyrion locks eyes with her after the fact:
“Get this lying whore out of my sight,” said Tyrion, “and I will give you your confession.” Lord Tywin nodded, gestured. Shae looked half in terror as the gold cloaks formed up around her. Her eyes met Tyrion’s as they marched her from the wall. Was it shame he saw there, or fear? ASoS
Which was it? We’ll never know. Doubtless she was afraid. She was probably afraid of Cersei, of Tywin, of Tyrion himself (her smile dies when she sees him post-trial.) She was afraid of her powerlessness, the mess she got wrapped up in. She was afraid of losing favor with the people in power. She was afraid of dying. That right there is much of her motivation.
As for shame, I’m not sure she felt it- Tyrion probably saw what he hoped to see there. That being said, maybe she was ashamed. I don’t think she necessarily liked betraying Tyrion though. She did what she thought she had to.
Do I think she had some feelings for Tyrion? Yeah, probably. I felt like she liked him more than she cared for some other characters, just not more than her own life.
But I think she was smart enough to see that Tyrion was projecting his own fantasies on her- and smart enough to know that she should play the part of his dream girl.
At least until his fall from grace, then Shae cut ties.
In fact, she’s a lot like Bronn for Tyrion. They’re fond of Tyrion, but their loyalty only extends as far as the power, money, and influence
The difference isn’t that Bronn is a better person so much as Tyrion doesn’t see Shae clearly. He recognizes that Bronn is a rogue and a sellsword who will put himself first. He is blinded in his interactions with Shae and can’t see that she’s not so different.
Bronn is out for money, Shae also recognizes the power of money:
(on Varys’ riddle of the king vs. the priest vs. the rich man) Shae wrinkled up her pretty face. “The rich man lives. Doesn’t he?” Tyrion, ACoK
Bronn sells his sword to stay alive, Shae sold her body (and in Tyrion’s case, affection.) Bronn likes Tyrion well enough, but he’s not going against the Mountain for him- he likes his life more. Similarly, Shae probably liked Tyrion in some capacity, but she put her life first and wouldn’t go against her very own impossible opponent. Tywin/Cersei in politics at this time were the Gregor Clegane of battle.
Bronn and Shae wanted no part because they’re survivors first and foremost.
Shae wanted more than Tyrion could (was willing to?) give her as well.
“The Hand’s whore, you mean?” She looked at him with those big bold eyes of hers. “Though I would be your lady, m’lord. I’d dress in all the beautiful things you gave me, in satin and samite and cloth-of-gold, and I’d wear your jewels and hold your hand and sit by you at feasts. I could give you sons, I know I could… and I vow I’d never shame you.” Tyrion, ACoK
Shae wanted out of her station in life. She looked for people who would give it to her. Considering how kind and affectionate Tyrion was with her and the way she spoke of him sometimes, I think Shae would have liked that Tyrion himself be the one to give it to her- but I also think she wanted security for anyone who could give it.
So like Bronn, Shae tried to use Tyrion and then other Lannisters as a way out, for safety and status and all that they could never hope for.
Bronn got what he wanted by abandoning Tyrion. Shae ended up dead.
Hope you’ve saved your energy. If you haven’t, you might not last five minutes.
If the day comes when you would find me again, give that coin to any man from Braavos, and say these words to him—valar morghulis.
whenever I’m underwater I always touch my hair because there’s no frizz and it’s smooth and flowing and all w h o o s h and that’s why I’m pissed I’m not a fucking mermaid.
For the rest of his life. However long that might be.