There have been many betrayals on “Game of Thrones,” and yet Shae’s betrayal of Tyrion Lannister hurt like it was the first one. Maybe it was because audiences fell in love with the couple’s relationship, or maybe it was because people thought Shae was safely away from Westeros when she returned, but seeing her come back and implicate her former lover in “The Laws of Gods and Men” was hard to watch.
For Sibel Kekilli, the actress who plays Shae, the hardest part of the trial scene was actually when Shae named Sansa Stark as part of the fake plot as well. Kekilli argued with creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss to take out that line, but they refused.
“I had really big problems with that, with this line,” Kekilli tells Zap2it. “When I read that, I thought, ‘She can’t say that.’ I think Shae really loves her and she’s said, ‘I would kill for this girl.’ She’s saying one line, and I thought, ‘Ugh, can’t she just say Tyrion did that?’ Or something like that? It’s really hard, so I tried to understand why, of course, why she’s doing it. As I said, she just got wounded now, and is just boxing around.”
The actress who playes Sansa has a few words to say to Shae as well. “We all know that he loves you, OK,” Sophie Turner jokes. “At least you’re loved by someone, Shae.”
Though Kekilli loves Shae, she also admits the character “is sometimes too straight, and she speaks fast and then she thinks.” That could be the case with this trial scene, which shows Shae has sided with the enemies of Tyrion to hurt him.
“I think it’s [Tyrion’s] fault,” Kekilli says of why Shae made this decision. “She was there when he was wounded and in the bed at the end of the second season, and he said, ‘Go! You don’t have to be here. We had a deal, when I have money.’ And she said, ‘No, I am not going. I am not leaving. I’m here because I promised you.’ She’s still there when he tells her he has to marry Sansa. She’s still there and she’s still the handmaiden of Sansa. She had to throw her pride away. He pushed her there.”
She also thinks Shae took part in the trial betrayal because Tyrion would never see it coming. “I think he thought when he treated her like that, he was hoping she was going to leave just King’s Landing and never come back, to rescue her life — and of course to maybe rescue his life to not get vulnerable as well,” Kekilli says. “But he never expected that she was going to be putting the knife back.”
But despite this betrayal, Kekilli thinks Shae truly loves — or at least loved — Tyrion. “He is not a dwarf for her, not a freak at all. Just a vulnerable lovely guy who’s a bit afraid of the family and who needs home and warm love,” she says.
As for a tease of the last four episodes of Season 4, Kekilli says, “It’s all about pride. Just hurt pride. It’s always the same people. When they get hurt, then you see their real faces.”
“Game of Thrones” airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on HBO.