House Tyrell is the principal noble house of the Reach in Westeros, the most populous region of the Seven Kingdoms. Their seat is Highgarden, a castle near the Manderly river, and their sigil is a golden rose on a green field. The Reach is steeped in the customs of knighthood and the faith of the Seven, and the Tyrells are paragons of these traditions, presiding over the feasts and tourneys that give the Reach its reputation. Commanders of the golden roses, the largest army in Westeros, they often fought the Dornish before Aegon’s Conquest.
The Tyrells claim descent from Garth Greenhand, the gardener king of the First Men, through the female line. Harlen Tyrell, steward to the last King of the Reach, surrendered Highgarden to Aegon the Conqueror after the death of King Mern on the field of fire. In return, Tyrell was named Lord of Highgarden. Over the course of the next three centuries, the Tyrells served the Targaryens by ruling the Reach. One Lord Tyrell, left to govern conquered Dorne in the Young Dragon’s name, was assassinated at the beginning of the rebellion that culminated with King Daeron I’s death. These events further inflamed the centuries-long enmity between Dorne and the Reach.
The latest in the long line is Lord Mace Tyrell, son of Lord Luthor and Lady Olenna of House Redwyne. During the War of the Usurper, Lord Mace fought for King Aerys but failed to distinguish himself in any battle of the rebellion. Lord Mace later dispatched most of his bannermen to fight under Rhaegar’s banner, while he and his good-brother, Lord Paxter Redwyne, laid siege to Stannis Baratheon’s forces at Storm’s End for nearly a year without result. When Lord Eddard Stark arrived, Lord Mace surrendered with alacrity.
The Tyrells place much stock in courteous speech and manners, but it does not necessarily extend to their actions. Many of them are ambitious, filled with pride and a desire to win ever-lasting fame. This thirst for glory can make members of the house appear to be arrogant, beholden to empty chivalry rather than true courtesy. A few Tyrells, such as Ser Garlan the Gallant and his elder brother Willas, eschew that arrogance entirely, pursuing their goals in ways that are beyond reproach.
The intrigues of the house have varying complexity, depending on the instigators. Some, like Lord Mace, believe that the best solution to any problem is to throw men at it. Others, such as Lord Mace’s mother — known as the Queen of Thorns for her sharp tongue — are as skilled as any schemers in the Seven Kingdoms. Olenna’s craftiness appears to have passed by her children, but her grandchildren share something of it. Most Tyrells, however, prefer to act in the open.
Highgarden is an old and great castle, famed more for its beauty than its strength. From that flowery seat next to the banks of the mighty Mander River, the Tyrells rule over military might unmatched in all of Westeros. While Mace Tyrell may be an undistinguished commander, there is a reason he is Warden of the South. The Tyrells can call more than 80,000 swords to their banner, and their strength is not on land alone. The lords of the Shield Islands and the wealthy Redwynes of the Arbor together command a fleet that rivals the crown’s — and even the Iron Fleet of the Greyjoys.
Long since forgiven by King Robert for taking Aerys’s part during Robert’s Rebellion, Lord Mace has served the Iron Throne loyally. He has no greater desire, however, than to be grandfather to a king. To achieve this end, his youngest son, Ser Loras, plots with Lord Renly Baratheon to unseat Queen Cersei and put Mace’s daughter, Margaery, beside King Robert.
The Tyrells cannot overcome their longstanding animosity with the Dornishmen, however. Their last clash with the Martells occurred some years ago, before Robert’s Rebellion, in which Lord Mace’s heir, Willas, was crippled in a tourney joust with Prince Oberyn Martell.
ALLIED HOUSES: Baratheon (of Storm’s End)
ENEMY HOUSES: Lannister, Baratheon (of King’s Landing), Martell
Mace Tyrell throws his house into the deadly game that follows Robert’s death by wedding his daughter, Margaery, to Lord Renly Baratheon. When the lords of the Reach and Stormlands crown Renly, they put their faith in Highgarden: Lord Mace is his Hand, Margaery his queen, and Ser Loras his confidant and Lord Commander of his Rainbow Guard. Lord Mace now opens the way for an army of unrivalled size and might to be gathered to march on King’s Landing. There are those who wonder, however, if Lord Mace has not gone too far to satisfy his dream.
With the realm at large — including Renly and the Tyrells — unaware of King Joffrey’s true parentage, King Renly is a usurper in the eyes of many, putting House Tyrell’s support in a poor light. Even if Queen Cersei’s children were proven illegitimate, Renly’s elder brother Lord Stannis would still have a better claim to the Iron Throne. Stannis bears the Tyrells no love, however. It remains to be seen whether the actions Lord Mace has taken on behalf of his ambitions will be worth the risk that comes with them.
Lord Mace, Lord of Highgarden, Warden of the South, Defender of the Marshes, and High Marshal of the Reach, is a handsome man gone to fat, lacking political subtlety and military skill. His wife is Lady Alerie Hightower. Their children are: Willas, heir to Highgarden, a scholarly man crippled in a tourney; Ser Garlan the Gallant; Ser Loras, the Knight of Flowers; and lovely Margaery, a maid at 14 and queen to Renly by 15. Mace’s mother is Lady Olenna of Redwyne, known as the Queen of Thorns, perhaps the most savvy of the lot.
FEATS: Blood of the Andals; Growing Strong; Gold Breeder; Keen Mind; Silver Tongue
SOCIAL STATUS: Rank 4 (Member of a Great House)