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How Game Of Thrones' Latest Big Death Was Unlike Most Others, According To The Showrunner

Lady Olenna Tyrell Diana Rigg Game Of Thrones HBO

Warning this post contains spoilers for the latest episode of Game Of Thrones. Read at your own risk.

Last night was a good night for Game Of Thrones' Cersei Lannister, and as it usually goes, that meant that it was bad for just about everyone else. After Diana Rigg' Lady Olenna Tyrell was blindsided by Jaime Lannister and mercifully given poison, House Tyrell officially fell. The latest big death, while tragic, was unlike most others on Game of Thrones, and showrunner D.B. Weiss explained why, while also praising Rigg's performance.

She really brought it. What I love about the way she plays the scene is that even though you leave the scene knowing she's soon going to be dead shortly after you cut to black you still feel like she won. She's probably the only character to win her own death scene.

Indeed, Lady Olenna Tyrell did have the last laugh when she revealed to Jaime Lannister that she was the one who poisoned Joffrey, and that she was telling him expressly because she wanted Cersei to know. For Olenna Tyrell to drive that one final mental dagger, even after Jaime informed her of the mercy he worked out for her, was a great Game Of Thrones moment, and a righteous exit for Diana Rigg's crafty avenger. Cersei likely will be fuming when she finds out that Jaime granted Olenna the mercy of a painless death, although considering the torture Cersei had planned for the elderly matriarch, Jaime might opt not to tell the Queen anything of the sort.

Olenna's final admission wasn't just a shot to Cersei, though, as she was well aware in her final Game Of Thrones moments that she was also gouging Jaime with her every word. She mocked the militant Lannister's helplessness in regards to helping his son while he struggled for breath, as well as his foolish allegiance to his sister. All things considered, Jaime took it rather calmly, despite clearly wanting to chop her head off as she continued to mock him as the poison spread through her system.

Like D.B. Weiss, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau also praised Diana Rigg's performance to EW, going so far as to indicate the scene showed that Olenna was never really all that different from her enemies:

Olenna is like Cersei in so many ways, but just from our point of view she's been on the 'good' side and I just love how she goes out. She goes out with bite. She's never going to beg. She did an amazing job. It was fun to be there, and when we wrapped, the showrunners came around and said a few words. She's had a huge impact on the series.

She will be missed, but Olenna Tyrell wasn't the only highlight last night, as an unexpected character has proven to be a game changer in the central Throne-taking task.Game Of Thrones is all new August 6th at 9 p.m. ET on HBO. With so much coming up Cersei at the moment, now might be a good a time as any to review our list detailing why she'll win the great war. For a full list of can't miss programming over the coming months, visit our summer premiere guide and our fall TV rundown.

Mick Joest
Mick Joest

Mick likes good television, but also reality television. He grew up on Star Wars, DC, Marvel, and pro wrestling and loves to discuss and dissect most of it. He’s been writing online for over a decade and never dreamed he’d be in the position he is today.