- Mace Tyrell: "If I may..."
- Olenna Tyrell: "Not now, Mace! Lord Tywin and I are speaking."
- — Mace Tyrell is chided by his mother, Olenna, as he tries to interrupt her conversation with Lord Tywin Lannister.[src]
Lord Mace Tyrell was the Lord of Highgarden and head of House Tyrell. He was the father of Loras and Margaery Tyrell, and the son of Olenna Tyrell. He initially supported Renly Baratheon's claim to the Iron Throne in the War of the Five Kings, but after Renly's death he successfully negotiated an alliance with House Lannister to support King Joffrey's claim to the throne, on the condition that his daughter Margaery would marry Joffrey, making her the new queen and giving House Tyrell the prestige of entering into the royal bloodline. He was appointed both Master of Ships and Master of Coin on King Tommen's small council.
Mace Tyrell is the Lord of Highgarden and head of House Tyrell, one of the Great Houses of Westeros. He is the Lord Paramount of the Reach and Warden of the South. The Tyrells are one of the richest and most powerful families in Westeros, second only to the Lannisters - for while the mountains of the Westerlands possess rich gold mines, the fields of the Reach are the most fertile in Westeros, capable of supporting armies almost twice the size of any other kingdom.
Mace is not considered a great strategist or general himself - his own mother Olenna openly describes him as an oaf, though not out of spite. On the other hand, he has shown good judgment in delegating such tasks to trusted, skilled subordinates, such as the famous general Randyll Tarly, who often commands Mace's forces in battle.
Mace might not be the most intelligent or subtle man, but he is an amiable fellow well-liked by most of his bannermen, as well a loving husband and father. Mace has one son, Loras, and a daughter, Margaery, arguably the most eligible woman in the Seven Kingdoms. Mace hopes to make a good match for her to increase the already considerable power and influence of his family. Mace is particularly eager for Margaery to secure a royal marriage for their family because unlike some of the other Great Houses of the Seven Kingdoms such as the Starks or Lannisters, the Tyrells never ruled as kings in their own right, but were granted control of the Reach as a reward for submitting to Aegon the Conqueror during the War of Conquest three hundred years ago. Thus entering into the royal bloodline would increase House Tyrell's prestige and secure their rule over their fractious vassals in the Reach.
During Robert's Rebellion, Mace and House Tyrell stayed loyal to House Targaryen. The Tyrells owed their rule over Highgarden and the Reach to the Targaryen kings, who after the War of Conquest three centuries before had awarded rule of the Reach to the Tyrells ahead of other families from the region which actually had better claims (such as House Florent). The Tyrell armies were able to inflict the only defeat that Robert Baratheon suffered during the entire war at the Battle of Ashford. Afterwards, Mace's massive army moved east to lay siege to the mighty castle-seat of the Baratheons, Storm's End. The Siege of Storm's End lasted the better part of a year, while Mace and his commanders feasted in sight of the starving garrison led by Robert's younger brother Stannis. Ultimately Stannis's determined defense held, and the siege only succeeded in pinning down Mace's army and preventing it from assisting the Targaryens in the climactic battles occurring further north. After the Sack of King's Landing, Eddard Stark rode south with the main rebel army to relieve the siege. With the capital city in rebel hands, and both Prince Rhaegar Targaryen and his father Aerys II Targaryen dead, Mace saw that the war was clearly lost and gave no battle to Lord Eddard. Instead he peacefully dipped his banners and submitted to Robert's rule, and in return was treated leniently, pardoned, and allowed to continue ruling the Reach as his family had before the war. However, ever since there was never any great love between Mace and Stannis.
Loras tells Renly that his father would support Renly's claim to the Iron Throne. Renly rejects the notion, pointing out he is fourth in line to the throne, but Loras explains that he could fight for Renly and his father would bankroll their armies. Renly seems more intrigued by the notion and later accepts the plan, though he fails to win the support of Eddard Stark. Along with Loras, Renly flees the city of King's Landing and heads south towards the Tyrell homelands. It is later reported that Renly has been crowned king, with the full support of Lord Mace Tyrell and his forces.
After Renly's death, the Tyrells enter into a new alliance with King Joffrey and House Lannister, instead of siding with Renly's brother Stannis, who is correctly suspected of having something to do with Renly's death.
Mace is mentioned by his mother, Olenna Tyrell, in conversation with Sansa. She describes him as "a ponderous oaf" who rushed into a treasonous alliance with Renly and a dangerous one with the Lannisters just to see his daughter become queen.
Olenna mentions him again some weeks later when in the Great Sept of Baelor with Cersei. She says that Mace enjoys hunting because it hides the fact that he's never been in a real battle. Cersei expresses surprise, as Mace is well known to have besieged Storm's End for over a year during Robert's Rebellion. Olenna dismisses her son's role, as "all he laid siege to was the banquet table in the command tent".
Mace presents Joffrey with a magnificent golden chalice with seven facets, one for each of the major houses in the Seven Kingdoms. He encourages his daughter and soon-to-be son-in-law to both "drink deep". Joffrey graciously accepts his gift. Mace is impressed by the new Valyrian steel sword Joffrey is given next, forged from the Stark's stolen greatsword, though less so when the blade is turned on Tyrion's present of a priceless book: Lives of Four Kings.
Mace gives away Margaery at the wedding before taking his place in the Great Sept of Baelor. As the party moves from the Sept to the reception feast outside the Red Keep, Mace tries to attract Tywin's attention, but Olenna quickly waves him away in typical fashion, which he cannot help but smile at a little. Later, during the wedding feast, Mace is visibly upset by a mock reenactment of the War of the Five Kings in which the dwarf representing Renly rides a bare-bottom figure meant to represent Loras. When Joffrey starts choking violently from poison, Mace watches in shock.
After Tyrion is arrested for Joffrey's murder, Mace accepts Tywin's proposal to be one of the judges for Tyrion's forthcoming trial, the other two being Tywin himself and Prince Oberyn Martell. Mace later attends the coronation of Tommen Baratheon.
Alongside Tywin and Oberyn, Mace sits as a judge during the trial of Tyrion. He is shocked when he learns that Shae was Tyrion's whore as well as handmaiden to Sansa and about the words that Tyrion said to his sister, about that she will lose everything eventually. The trial is brought to an end when Tyrion demands a trial by combat. Mace is present during Tyrion's trial by combat and witnesses Oberyn's gruesome death at the hands of the Mountain.
Mace is one of the many lords present at Tywin's wake. Some time later, Mace attends a meeting of the small council. Like Pycelle and Kevan Lannister, he is somewhat disturbed to see that Cersei has appointed Qyburn to replace Varys. He nonetheless hastily puts himself forward as a candidate for Hand of the King, but Cersei declares that he is instead to be jointly appointed Master of Ships and Master of Coin.
Mace is present during the wedding ceremony of Tommen and his daughter Margaery. Later, Mace and the rest of the small council listen to the High Septon demand the arrest of all members of the Sparrows and execution of the High Sparrow. He is shocked to hear a man who is the head of the Faith of the Seven was visiting a brothel. In a small council meeting Mace reveals that the Iron Bank has called in one tenth of the Crown's debts. When asked by Cersei, Mace admits that the Crown cannot pay back more than half of the demanded sum. Mace offers that House Tyrell could front the money to the Iron Throne and then be paid back afterwards, but Cersei politely refuses, stating that the Tyrells have already given too much.
In reality however, this is because she doesn't want to give the Tyrells any more power by granting them the ability to hold the debt payment over them. She then tasks Mace with personally travelling to Braavos to negotiate better terms with the Iron Bank. She also tells Mace that the king, concerned for his father-in-law's safety, has assigned Ser Meryn Trant to escort Mace to Braavos. Mace and Meryn leave immediately, prompting Pycelle to state that the small council grows smaller and smaller.
After arriving in Braavos, he is greeted by Tycho Nestoris who welcomes him in the name of the Iron Bank. On the way to the Iron Bank, he talks with Tycho about the harvest in the Reach and King Maegor III who once outlawed moneylending. Arriving at the Iron Bank, Mace admires the facade of the enormous building, stating that the men of the Iron Bank are the world's best gamblers, much to Tycho's disapproval. After an unspecified time of negotiation, Tycho tries to bid farewell to Mace (whom he clearly dislikes due to his bumbling behaviour), but Mace does not realize this and continues plaguing Tycho on the way to the docks, loudly singing.
Mace returns to King's Landing and attends a small council meeting to discuss his children's imprisonment, which is soon interrupted by Jaime, Cersei, and Gregor Clegane. When Cersei questions Olenna's presence, Mace begins to defend his mother, but she quickly speaks for herself. Mace rises and follows his mother and Kevan when they leave the chamber.
Later, Mace leads Tyrell troops through King's Landing on horseback and wearing armour with an extravagantly plumed helmet, meeting Jaime Lannister and pausing to give a rather pompous speech. They proceed to the Sept of Baelor to stop Margaery's walk of atonement and free both his children. Olenna also joins them. After Jaime and the High Sparrow square off and Tommen emerges from the sept, Olenna signals Mace to stand down his men. After the King gives a speech, Mace is baffled and asks his mother what's happening. Visibly annoyed, she tells him the High Sparrow has beaten them.
Mace is present when Tommen makes a royal announcement regarding the date of both Cersei and Loras's trials and that the practice of trial by combat is abolished. Mace is visibly uncomfortable during the king's speech but does not speak.
Mace is present at his son Loras's trial in the Great Sept of Baelor. He is visibly distraught when Loras joins the Faith Militant and tries to intervene when his son has the symbol of the Seven carved into his forehead, but Margaery restrains him. He, Margaery, Loras, and everyone present at the trial, are killed from the explosion of wildfire caused by Cersei in her plot to destroy her enemies. Unlike the others, Mace does not panic but instead uses his last moments to share a sad glance with his children. Despite having constantly belittled and mocked her son's lack of intelligence, Olenna is clearly grieved by his death, as well as those of Margaery and Loras - which drives her to seek alliance with both Dorne and Daenerys Targaryen, in order to gain vengeance against Cersei.
|Season Four appearances|
|Two Swords||The Lion and the Rose||Breaker of Chains||Oathkeeper||First of His Name|
|The Laws of Gods and Men||Mockingbird||The Mountain and the Viper||The Watchers on the Wall||The Children|
|Season Five appearances|
|The Wars To Come||The House of Black and White||High Sparrow||Sons of the Harpy||Kill the Boy|
|Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken||The Gift||Hardhome||The Dance of Dragons||Mother's Mercy|
|Season Six appearances|
|The Red Woman||Home||Oathbreaker||Book of the Stranger||The Door|
|Blood of My Blood||The Broken Man||No One||Battle of the Bastards||The Winds of Winter|
- Spoken by Mace
- "My friends, the hour has come. Madness has overtaken this city and grasped in its claws my children. But now we must drive it back under the rocks whence it came. Madness has had its day!"
- ―Mace rallies his troops as they prepare to lay siege to the Great Sept of Baelor.
- Spoken about Mace
- Cersei Lannister: "I seem to recall he laid siege to Storm's End for the better part of a year."
- Olenna Tyrell: "All he laid siege to was the banquet table in the command tent."
- — Cersei Lannister and Olenna Tyrell discuss her son Mace's command of the Siege of Storm's End.[src]
In the books
In the A Song of Ice and Fire novels, Lord Mace Tyrell is described as hungry for power and something of a braggart, claiming the victory of Randyll Tarly over Robert Baratheon in the Battle of Ashford as his own, even though the battle was over before he even arrived. Mace is not particularly intelligent - his own mother describes him as an oaf - and may be more of a figurehead for the more intelligent and scheming members of his family, a trait the series exaggerates. He is handsome and a once powerful looking man, but has since turned to fat. He likes to think of himself as mighty and accomplished. Nonetheless, he is a kind ruler and loving father, resulting in him being well-liked and respected by his children and his subordinates in the Reach.
According to George R.R. Martin, Mace Tyrell and his mother Olenna are aware of Loras's sexuality. Neither of them seem to be bothered by it. The reason for this could be that Loras isn't the heir to House Tyrell in the novels, he has two brothers, Willas, the firstborn and heir, and Garlan, the second son who is already married. Both brothers were omitted from the TV show and condensed into Loras.
During the early stages of the War of the Five Kings, Mace is named Hand of the King by Renly. When Tywin leads the Tyrell forces on King's Landing during the Battle of the Blackwater, Mace commands the left field and is rewarded with the title of Master of Ships, a position left vacant since Stannis fled to Dragonstone. He is present on the small council throughout A Storm of Swords (Seasons 3 and 4 of the show), with Lords Paxter Redwyne and Mathis Rowan serving as advisors.
After Tywin's death, Mace suggests to Cersei that he would be honored to be Tommen's Hand. Cersei, who does not wish to include another Tyrell in the small council, refuses and names Ser Harys Swyft instead, a patsy and potential hostage as Kevan's father by law, instead of leaving the position vacant. Mace also offers his uncle Garth "the Gross" Tyrell as Master of Coin, a choice he had discussed with Tywin, but Cersei lies that she had already offered the position to Gyles Rosby. In private, Kevan chides Cersei, explaining that it would have been foolish to appoint Mace as the King's Hand, but it was far more foolish of her to embarrass him in public by rejecting his offers. Cersei insists it was better than to suffer another Tyrell on the council.
Mace's position as Master of Ships is given to Aurane Waters, a bastard of House Velaryon who had been taken hostage after the Battle of the Blackwater and bent the knee to Joffrey.
Mace doesn't return to the small council until later in the story, and he isn't sent to deal with the Iron Bank; this task is given to Harys Swyft, who is made Master of Coin after Gyles Rosby's untimely death. However, Cersei does consign Mace to a mission away from King's Landing in order to get rid of him for a while, so that she can scheme against the Tyrells more freely - to conquer Storm's End. Cersei secretly hopes that Mace will get killed in such a venture.
Mace takes half of the Tyrells forces to Storm's End. Soon he has the castle invested. Since he does not dare to assault, he raises a city of tents outside the castle and has two dozen mangonels flinging stones against its massive walls, thus far to small effect. When Cersei receives reports about the siege, she muses "Lord Tyrell the warrior. His sigil ought to be a fat man sitting on his arse". However, after Margaery is imprisoned on false charges, Mace abandones the siege and marches his army back to King's Landing to free her.
Following Cersei's downfall, Mace is appointed Hand of the King by Kevan. Although Kevan still thinks Mace is not the right person for that office, he knows it is essential to appease House Tyrell and mend the damage Cersei has done with her scheme against Margaery. Mace fills the ranks of the City Watch with men from his own kingdom, determined not to be outdone by the westermen.
Mace is still alive by the point the books have reached.
These plotlines were condensed in the TV series, so that TV-Mace simply takes the place of Harys Swyft as the new Master of Coin (rather than introduce another large set of characters). George R.R. Martin himself has noted that Mace in the TV series seems to be a condensation of book-Mace with book-Harys Swyft, given that TV-Mace is portrayed as a jovial buffoon - and as he noted, in the book version, Harys Swyft is unintelligent but Mace Tyrell is not. On the other hand, in the Season 5 Blu-ray commentary, writer Bryan Cogman half-jokingly said that TV-Mace is anything but an imbecile, and he only plays the fool - what Cogman called "an I, Claudius thing", pretending to be a useless buffoon in order to trick his rivals into thinking he is harmless. Whether Cogman was being serious or not is of course unclear, though it would match Martin's well-known love for I, Claudius and his use of the trope in which a character pretends to be less dangerous than they actually are (a trick used by all three of the mainstays on the small council in Season 1: Pycelle, Varys, and Littlefinger).
- Mace Tyrell on A Wiki of Ice and Fire
- Harys Swyft on A Wiki of Ice and Fire
- Gyles Rosby on A Wiki of Ice and Fire
- HBO viewers guide, season 1 guide to houses, House Tyrell entry
- HBO viewers guide, season 2 guide to houses, House Tyrell entry
- HBO viewers guide, season 2 guide to houses, House Tyrell - Mace Tyrell entry
- Complete Guide to Westeros
- "And Now His Watch Is Ended"
- "The Wolf and the Lion"
- "You Win or You Die"
- "Fire and Blood"
- "The North Remembers"
- "Dark Wings, Dark Words"
- "And Now His Watch Is Ended"
- "The Lion and the Rose"
- "Breaker of Chains"
- "First of His Name"
- "The Laws of Gods and Men"
- "The Mountain and the Viper"
- "The Wars To Come"
- "The House of Black and White"
- "High Sparrow"
- "Sons of the Harpy"
- "The Dance of Dragons"
- "Blood of My Blood"
- "No One"
- "The Winds of Winter"
- So Spake Martin, April 14, 2008
- So Spake Martin, June 09, 2015
- Season 5 Blu-ray commentary