“That’s what intelligent women do….what they’re told.” So sayeth Joffrey Baratheon.
Well, well, well. Margaery Tyrell knows how to play her cards right. Recently widowed from the late Renly Baratheon, this woman knows how to play up her looks, her sexuality and her words. She chooses them wisely, in order to avoid bringing suspicion down on House Tyrell and to assuage people’s egos and tempers.
I like Margaery Tyrell. She’s sexy, confident and a realist. When you’re a woman and living in the seven kingdoms, life can be very cruel and violent. If you happen to be born into the right kind of family – you know the kind – the one with lands, titles, money and power – then your life might be a little more cushy then most women.
We first catch a ravishing glimpse of Margaery Tyrell sitting next to a very handsome King Renly Baratheon. Only, we soon find out that their marriage is one of political convenience. Oh yes, and there is the issue of a third party involved in this marriage; the bride’s brother, who is in love with the groom. Can we say, awkward, times two?
Moving along, Margaery is widowed, but that doesn’t stop her from being showcased in front of the Baratheon court at King’s Landing towards the end of season two – with her brother, the gallant Loras Tyrell, singing her praises before the King and the council. Sansa Stark has been set aside in favor of the more prestigious match with House Tyrell. Sansa has more or less escaped a cruel fate. Margaery, however, has her wits and shrewd intelligence to help her wade through the capitol. She also has a very powerful and cunning ally in her corner – the Lady Olenna Redwyne, who just happens to be her grandmother.
Margaery is careful to find out what kind of temperament Joffrey possesses. After all, forewarned is forearmed. She’s not about to let herself be mentally or physically abused by Joffrey, especially after finding out how he treated Sansa. Let’s not let a little thing such as being terrified or having humiliating beatings stand in the way of a great marriage, shall we? Margaery gets her cunning stealth from her grandmother and so far, it seems to be serving her well.
We see Margaery doing some MAJOR damage control in King’s Landing, by visiting Flea Bottom and doting on orphaned children. She personally tells the woman in charge of the establishment to come to her directly for food and other supplies. What’s the saying about secrets not having any friends? Everyone is Westeros has a few things to hide but I like how Margaery is helping the poor and at the same time, bringing a common touch, in order to help rebuild House Baratheon’s reputation. Joffrey is not well liked by the people, so by helping out where she can and performing acts of charity, Margaery not only makes Joffrey look good, but she also shows that she can wield some power of her own.
She certainly knows how to get under more than one Lannister’s skin. Cersei seems to have taken an instant dislike to her future daughter-in-law, and for this, I absolutely adore Margaery. I guess Cersei does not like to be reminded that her power and influence over Joffrey is waning and that her son is not giving her the audience that she desires. Insulting Margaery and trying to tell Joffrey that she visits poor people and dresses like a harlot gets her nowhere fast. Cersei does not like another woman besting her. A little competition never hurt anyone, right?
Margaery is starting to acquire power as the King’s betrothed and because of her young age, status and beauty, Cersei is unnerved. She should be, with good reason. Joffrey is obviously flustered and attracted to Margaery, especially when they are together in his chambers. He has a penchant for making people feel insecure and frightened but Margaery learns how to handle his sociopathic tendencies. She is quick to point out that she wants to do “her duty as a woman” and she was unable to do so with the late Renly. She also agrees with Joffrey and plays it off as though she the fault lay within her. She plays up to his hobbies – skillfully asking permission to accompany him on a hunt and then taking an avid interest in his crossbow. She is stroking his ego by asking him to show her how the weapon works and for a demonstration.
I like how she used that particular moment to get in his personal space – not only by playing up to his violent fantasies about hunting – but she was careful to use her sexual prowess and feed his ego on the one thing he loves – power. “I imagine…it must thrilling to put your finger here and squeeze the trigger and watch something die over there.”
The close physical proximity and the way Joffrey gazes at her in the mirror’s reflection indicate that he is smitten and enjoys what he thinks is power over her. More to the point – she knows he is power hungry and nurtures those vicious tendencies, and is especially manipulative, when asked if she could kill something – “I don’t know, your Grace, do you think I could?”
And judging from the look on Joff’s face, I think you could tell that he was excited, to say the least. At last, here is an intelligent, rich and very attractive woman that he is going to marry and exert power over and she is playing it up like she wants to please him in every aspect of the word. Can’t wait for their wedding…
Makes you wonder….what game is she really playing? It also gives you pause – House Tyrell may be one of the most powerful Houses in the seven kingdoms and have been quietly waiting for an opportunity to seize power. They draw their strength from their words “Growing Strong.” Sometimes, in order to acquire power, you have to carefully nurture it and take your time in gathering your resources – whether they be money, property, titles or manpower. House Tyrell, with Margaery at its center, is a force to be reckoned with.
Roses have thorns. Joffrey and Cersei best remember that about grandmother Olenna and Margaery.