Of all those who perished in the Great Sept, it was Margaery Tyrell’s death that hit me the hardest. Not just because we will never get to find out what Margaery’s end game was with the Faith, not because we lost one of Cersei’s best foils nor even because sweet and innocent Tommen lost his Queen, but because Natalie Dormer will no longer grace our TV screens.
, where she played Anne Boleyn. She was magnetic. I couldn’t take my eyes off of her, for both obvious and non-obvious reasons. But more than just her beauty and charisma onscreen, was the fact that she could
were a master class. The show wasn’t the same after she was gone.
So I was plenty familiar with her when she was cast as Margaery Tyrell and, needless to say, I was thrilled with the choice. That being said, she didn’t quite fit the Margaery of the books, who was younger and more demure. Natalie’s strength isn’t playing shy and demure characters, so many fans suspected that the Margaery of the show would be different from the one in the books.
Those suspicions were confirmed right from the jump as Margaery worked to seduce King Renly to bring about an heir, even offering to let her brother Loras join in if that would help things along. This was most decidedly NOT the Margaery of the books. But Natalie player her so well that pretty soon the Margaery of the books faded from memory and
They say that acting is all in the eyes and that is most certainly true in Natalie Dormer’s case. Her piercing blue eyes say so much. When she smiles, there is a twinkle there, as if you are sharing a secret. And when her eyes narrow, it’s as if she is staring into your soul, trying to ferret out your true motivations.
Natalie Dormer’s Margaery was a masterful player of the game. She had a way of ingratiating herself with powerful people. With that playful half-smile/half-smirk of hers, she would convince kings and princes that they were the most interesting person in the world. All the while gathering information about them that she could one day use to her advantage. Some of my favorite scenes of Natalie’s were her doing just that. First with Renly, then Joffrey, Tommen and lastly the High Sparrow. Each time Natalie plays Margaery’s feigned interest so well that at first you think she really is fascinated by crossbows or devoted to reading “The Seven-Pointed Star.” It’s only that twinkle in her eyes that belies Margaery’s true intentions.
The only one in King’s Landing who didn’t seem to be fooled by Margaery’s game was Cersei. That led to some of Natalie (and Lena’s) best work as Cersei and Margaery sparred with mostly cordial conversations that underneath it all were about two women vying over the most powerful men in the realm. Ultimately, Cersei wins that battle, but it is not Margaery’s fault as she recognizes what is about to happen, but is unable to convince others of their impending doom.
And so we must bid farewell to Natalie Dormer. Thankfully, this won’t be the last we see of her in films and TV as, since her casting on
. Her beauty and undeniable talent will keep her gainfully employed for the foreseeable future.
. Her Margaery was a formidable opponent for the other players in the game and brought a measure of graciousness and femininity to the screen, but unlike the Margaery of the book series, hers came with a steel resolve underneath.
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She was a great score for the show. I’m not sure if they were consciously trying to get Anne Boleyn to play a faux Anne Boleyn: but it worked!
EDIT: Oh, right: Seymour!!!!!! No, wait. Wilson!!!!!! No, no, that’s not right either…
A small role in the books, elevated to great highs by the writing but most of all by Natalies outstanding acting!
I kept screaming at the screen get out get out … Actually believed she was going to get out … So sad she’s gone
She was one of only people I knew prior to watching Game of thrones.I loved her in The Tudors.I think it just hit me that Margaery is really dead.She was amazing in all five seasons and a joy to watch in every scene.Natalie played her to perfection smart and conniving but not a bad person and with a great love for her family.In other times and with a different husband she would have really been the perfect queen.Natalie has had and will continue to have a great career I’m sure but I’ll miss her on the show.
She was amazing – I was in love from the time I saw her with Renly. In every single scene she showed her ability to get everyone (well most everyone) to fall under her spell. She was the good witch to Cersei’s bad, and I hoped she’d make it. But alas, not to be
Phil you are right about those eyes – whether it was the half mocking of Cersei at breakfast, the innocent play with Tommen, the seductive scene with Joffrey or the desparation in the Sept, you saw those eyes work. That scene with her brother, oh…..
Even tho I know they’ll be many other parts for her to see, Im very sorry to see her go from the show. Thank you for putting your heart into everything you did!
Natalie is a doll and played the part of Margaery so well. She was ambitious, clever and cunning with the strength and confidence to stand up to anyone, even Cersei, but she never came across as evil. She was a kind and caring person…with big plans. She came so close! Unfortunately, she was outplayed at the end.
Sansa’s Knight: I kept screaming at the screen get out get out … Actually believed she was going to get out … So sad she’s gone
It should not have mattered: given the blast radius, nobody could have gotten far enough away to avoid being incinerated.
UNLESS…. Marg has superpowers that would have let her grab Loras and then run about 200 kph through the zig-zagging streets! (That’s just a rough guess, but given the way that they show Kings Landing, one would have to run 2-3 times the distance that a crow would fly.) Maybe that was the original plan, and they were going to take advantage of Dormer’s secret athletic superpowers! 😀
This is the number one most painful death of this season for me too. Margaery is one of my favorite characters both in the books and the show and one of the best decisions D&D ever made was casting Natalie and expanding the role.
Not only is she a fantastic actress, but she seems like a really cool, funny, and smart person. If I could pick any cast member to be friends with, I’d pick her.
I know we’ll see plenty more of Natalie on other shows and in movies, but I’ll definitely miss her on GoT.
I heartily agree. I really wish she would have lived on a while longer, with her smarts and good looks it would have been one hell of an endgame and I wish we would have seen it play out.
Natalie was perfect for the role and I’m going to miss her! So sad how she tried to help Loras at the end. Their relationship was one of the few genuinely caring ones on the show I think. I was really hoping they would have lasted a bit longer. Ah well… all hail Queen Natalie! We shall miss you! 🙂
I really loved Natalie Dormer as Margaery and she is one of the only characters in the tv series that is better formed than the character in the book in my opinion. Her realisation of what was about to happen made the explosion at the Sept so much more powerful. Farewell Natalie Dormer, you truly are a class act.
Margaery was my 2nd favourite female character, solely due to Natalie Dormer’s wonderful performance. She was also the main reason I watched Tudors. She is one of the many actors in GoT that have made their characters more interesting and complex than their book counterparts. She was mesmerising, beautiful and full of grace. A caring sister and a good-hearted woman, loved by the common people and admired by the lords and the ladies . A most gifted person that used her intellect and a woman’s best weapon in the best way she could. She would definitely be one of the best queens Westeros had ever seen. Natalie was just amazing in this portrayal. Her performance reached perfection. Nothing more to say. We will miss you Natalie!
She was truly the show’s brightest flower, and will be missed.
A much stronger and interesting character than in the books. Natalie made the role so much bigger. I’m sure that we’ll be seeing lots more of her. Cheers!
One thing about it we will be seeing a lot of Dormer on the silver screen, one film not released in the US yet and 3 in production and I would guess now a number of A-list roles in probably some big productions.
Wimsey: It should not have mattered: given the blast radius, nobody could have gotten far enough away to avoid being incinerated.
That’s assuming that what we saw onscreen just before the detonation was unfolding in real time, unedited – which is a lot to assume given the way that time is telescoped regularly on the show.
I too will miss Dormer’s fine portrayal and the presence of the interestingly greyish character of Margaery in the King’s Landing mix, which I expect to lose a lot of its appeal once reduced to Mad Queenland. And I’m going to hope against hope that the showrunners chose to abbreviate her book arc for reasons of time economy, and that Margaery will remain a player until much closer to the end on the printed page. She really would have made quite a decent queen, given less stubborn opposition – perhaps more decent than the bloody Seven Kingdoms deserved.
Hers was the only death in the finale that I cared about. Not that I loved Margaery or anything. Actually, she irritated me. But I have to admit that she was a great player and I was more than sad to see her character reach its end before she had time to do all that she could. I mean, her death came too soon. On the other hand, Margaery was a very clever woman, and at this point in the show you must either be extremely powerful or batshit crazy to survive. She was neither.
Still, her death left me with a sentiment of unfulfillment, if that word exist.
Firannion: That’s assuming that what we saw onscreen just before the detonation was unfolding in real time, unedited – which is a lot to assume given the way that time is telescoped regularly on the show.
But the sad part is that I could see some fans buying this while at the same time insisting that this could be possible, while at the same time insisting that Varys must have magically teleported back to Daeny along with Martell and Tyrell ships and troops!
On a related note, that is Marg’s last and most lasting contribution to the overall arch. The Tyrell ship(s) in Daeny’s fleet are there because of her as much as (and even more than) for Loras or Mace. And Tommen’s death (setting up a Mad Queen for whom almost nobody will fight) is also because of her. So, in many ways, Margaery is going to ironically provide the “younger, more beautiful queen” that Cersei thought was being incinerated!
Ygritte and Milisande were the only major female additions in season 2.
I’d bet Melissandre. She would have been good, too. Not sure about Ygritte though.
I thought that I read that she originally auditioned for Daeny? Keep in mind that people that they did not cast for Season 1 would have been kept in mind for Season 2 parts.
Firannion: And I’m going to hope against hope that the showrunners chose to abbreviate her book arc for reasons of time economy, and that Margaery will remain a player until much closer to the end on the printed page.
Whoops! I meant to reply to this, too. I think that this is highly improbable. Show!Margaery was much more prominent than was (is) Book!Margaery. Show!Marg actually was a minor protagonist in some seasons (albeit not this one). Book!Marg is really a tertiary character: she has nowhere near the impact as the true secondary characters such as Littlefinger or Varys (or Stannis or Robb, etc.). However, TV and film does much better to consolidate the contributions of multiple secondary and tertiary characters into one character: and that is what the show did with Margery. That’s part of what let Dormer show her stuff: if she’d just gotten the book part, then she would have had nothing to do.
My bet is that Book!Margaery is going to meet a similar fate, and that this is what is going to push the Tyrells back to the Targaryens. She’s basically the equivalent of a laser pointer for Cerise’s Cat that is being used to get Cersei to the cat carrier of her self-destruction. But it will be relatively minor compared to what Show!Marg had.
Well thought she totally nailed Margaery; I mean, some may disagree and say the Margaery of the books was shy and demure, as you point out but…..even in the books, I suspected that was all just an *act*.
So when the TV series decided to show what the Tyrells were actually doing “off screen” (they’re not POV characters), I ASSUMED they would have to show that Margaery is secretly a very different character just pretending to be demure.
Margaery’s death in the TV show is the first one that truly shocked me as a book reader – even Shireen’s death seemed foreshadowed. But Margaery? Up until the second of the explosion, I honestly thought she’s manage to get out of the Great Sept in time.
I’ll admit to being a bit surprised when Natalie was cast because of the age difference between her and the book character, plus the fact that Book Margaery is very much a background character until late on. Pretty much “Serial fiancée/widow” sums it up.
Seeing the series of course it made much more sense, that they were giving Margaery much more of a foreground role and given some correlation with Anne Boleyn’s story who better to play the part? That and a cleavage that could stop an army, but I digress…
So show Margaery was shown to be smart enough but while being a little devious just could not match Cersei for her ruthlessness and total selfish disregard for those around her and the smallfolk. And we saw her view of her marital relationships which was very much skimmed over in the books, giving us a POV we were denied.
When it came to the face-off, the urge to see Margaery get the drop on Cersei was all the stronger for me than through reading the books thanks to the greater exploration of Margaery’s character in the show and Natalie’s portrayal of her. Very fitting that Margaery was the one to cotton on to the danger that no-one else could see at Cersei’s abortive trial and a good if depressing sign off.
Would love to have seen Margaery continue in the show (although we don’t yet know what plans GRRM has for her), and given that Natalie was hoping to leave the show at the end of S5 to pursue other goals she put in a very strong performance through season 6 with no hint of just phoning it in for “contractual obligation”. It sounds like she was pleased to have taken part in season 6, all said and done too.
Thanks you Natalie – may the odds be ever in your favour!
It’s amazing that a show with a named cast of hundreds can still pull names like Natalie Dormer. She was the perfect Margaery, and it was a privilege to watch her in this role.
I could see some fans buying this while at the same time insisting that this could be possible, while at the same time insisting that Varys must have magically teleported back to Daeny along with Martell and Tyrell ships and troops!
I think they made a good decision then. Can’t see her in either of those two roles Dany however? Yeah, that would work
I dreaded this day. I really really dreaded this. Margaery, since Season 3, won my heart and has become my favorite female character in the show (besides Cersei). I can’t really believe she’s gone. Her intelligence, beauty and grace handling situations demonstrated how strong her character was and Natalie just made it work, she brought to life a character I didn’t care much about in the books and transformed it into her own powerful image. Margaery and Natalie will always be in our hearts for doing such a magnificent work on GoT and thank you, D&D, for giving her as much screen time as possible.
And thank you, Natalie. You did a wonderful job with her. May the Warrior grant you courage; may the Smith grant you strenght; and may the Crone grant you wisdom and guide you through the dark places that lie ahead. Wish you the best of luck!!!!
At least Margaery got to be The Queen as she wanted; though for a short period. She’ll always be the true Queen in my heart.
They say that acting is all in the eyes and that is most certainly true in Natalie Dormer’s case.
I think Natalie does a lot with her mouth, as well. Goodness that sounds dirty!
I too, was yelling at the screen the second I saw she was wise to the danger. “Go! Just go!” I feared we might lose Marg in this episode, and now when I hear the mournful score from this sequence, I almost tear up for the loss of this wonderful character and Natalie Dormer. I loved the Tyrells, and Margaery especially.
She did have a plan: to first get Loras safely out of the hands of the sparrows, and then probably work her influence on Tommen to turn against the High Sparrow. If only she had had more time. One of the things I loved about Marge was that her revenge to Cercei would have been to send her packing to Casterly Rock, whereas Cersei savagely sent her and her brother to the dungeons and then brutally murdered them and their father. Can’t wait to see Lady Olenna’s revenge. In fact, seeing the Rose sigil on the sails made the final scene even sweeter! I can’t say enough good things about Dormer’s portrayal, as well as her enthusiasm and insight in interviews. She’ll be so missed.
It was a real pleasure to watch Natalie Dormer’s portrayal of Margaery. Her performance was great and I commend D&D for fleshing out her character.
She (and the rest of the Tyrell family) will be sorely missed.
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