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Winter Is Coming

Game Of Thrones’ Shae On Her Relationship With Sansa And Keeping Up With Peter Dinklage

Sibel Kekilli plays Shae on HBO’s Game of Thrones. A character who, much like many of the women in Westeros, is in a difficult position. Working as a servant for your boyfriend’s wife doesn’t sound like fun but at least you weren’t a guest at the Red Wedding. 

Speaking at a press junket, and reporter by Reveal.Co.Uk, the actress delved into her characters place in the hit series.

“I don’t think Shae is really a girly girl, I think she is a fighter and she’s acting like a man,” she said. “She feels responsible for girls like Sansa, like she’s a little sister and she wants to rescue her from the bad world around her. I love that about Shae. I think I’m a fighter too – I hope I’m not just a girly girl. And, like Shae, I’m patient and loyal.”

Kekilli feels Shae would actually go so far as to kill for Sansa and believes she’s genuinely in love with Tyrion, not just sticking around because he’s rich.

“The greatest challenge for me was to keep up with Peter Dinklage and all the actors,” she said. “I love to work with Peter. There are two sorts of actor. One is always there just acting for themselves and they don’t listen to you or really react when you act, but Peter is one of those rare actors. He isn’t vain. He acts with his eyes. It’s like ping pong with a ball, playing back and forth between us. He really listens to me and he really reacts when I act. I think that’s the secret of our good chemistry.”

The actress said she doesn’t refer to the books for information on her character because book Shae and TV Shae are a bit different but as a reader of the books I’m definitely anticipating her role in Season 4. Kekilli was also asked about the Red Wedding, this was her hilarious response [no spoilers], ”I really just thought I’d wake up and it would be a dream like in Dallas. I really thought, ‘Oh my God!’ I had read it in the script but still said, ‘No, no, they are not doing that! The fans love those characters.’ I was really shocked, even when I first read the script.”

You sweet summer child.


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  • Kate Cooley

    She’s gonna be in for a surprise this season, isn’t she…

  • Viv

    I really love how she’s been portraying Shae, and I am rather touched by her interpretation/opinion of the character. I think that will make the events of book 4 much more powerful when she ends up acting those.

  • Kenneth England

    Loyal? No.

  • Jessi03

    I wonder if they’re going to completely change her story from the book. I have an idea of what they might do, but I don’t want to put any spoilers in here.

  • Adele Quested

    I could imagine the show might change her storyline. After going out of its way to show her rejecting Vary’s offer of money and safety it wouldn’t make much sense to stick with her book arc. (I think whatever she ends up doing will be motivted by a desire to protect Sansa; it’s an entirely different character by now.)

  • Not So Young Democrat

    I can’t get over how tall Sophie Turner looks in that photo. I don’t know how tall Sybil Kekili is but Turner looks like a giant.

  • Nicole Elizabeth Currie

    With the way they’ve portrayed her, I can’t see them writing her character doing the same thing for the same reason. It’d be OOC for show Shae.

  • Nicole Elizabeth Currie

    Book Shae no, but Show Shae? She’s a totally different character. I’d call her loyal.

  • Laszlo

    I think the end result is gonna be the same, whatever leads up to there, anything else just wouldn’t feel right to me.

  • Jill Pantozzi

    Kekilli is definitely standing further back here but Turner might have been standing on something in this scene if I recall correctly. They were putting on her dress.

  • Ashe

    “I think I’m a fighter too – I hope I’m not just a girly girl.”

    Sailor Moon, Fluttershy, Rarity, Sakura, Bubbles, Tali’Zorah, Liara, Ariel, Jasmine, Katara, Ty Lee, Iris, Buffy and Lady Eboshi would like to contend with the implication that being a girly girl is a bad thing and/or is mutually exclusive with being a fighter.

    I really like Show!Shae. They went in a much more interesting direction with her and her relationship with Tyrion is nothing but touching.

  • Laszlo

    She’s pretty big, she can reach 6’2″ in heels, and I think she mentioned in an interview she does wear them on the show.

  • Alex Young

    I thought that she was standing on a stool to get dressed too, but perhaps not.
    Damn tall people.

  • Dessa Brewington

    Curious: Why does the headline refer to two people by character and one by actor?

  • Anonymous

    Presumably because Sibel Kekilli talks about two characters (as characters) and one actor (by name) in the interview, or at least the part of the interview that is excerpted here?

  • Amanda Allen Douglas


    I wonder if they’re
    (Seriously) SPOILER
    going to have Show!Shae betray Tyrion or if her character arc is going somewhere completely new. I don’t want to see Show!Shae strangled… I like her.

  • Zombiepeep


    I was thinking they’d have Shae betray Tyrion but for a different reason… maybe Cersei saying if she doesn’t they’ll kill/hurt Tyrion or Sansa so she does it, thinking it may be to protect them? Then Cersei just kills her anyway or something.

    I really love show!Shae and HAAATED book!Shae. So I hope they do keep show!Shae loyal and loving towards Tyrion and Sansa.

  • Anonymous

    But that’s the exact reason they developed the character so much. The audience and Tyrion must care about her, and that’ll make it all much more powerful for Tyrion and the rest of his arc.
    Her motivations might change but it would be a cop-out for the show to change her storyline.

  • Kate Cooley

    That’s a good point. The show version does seem to have a bit more heart in her, so it might change. I’ll be super-surprised if it changes TOO much, though. GoT-TV doesn’t seem too squeamish about how it treats the characters (except for Tyrion, who got to keep his face and all). It will be interesting to see what they do with it.

  • Kate Cooley

    That’s also a good point. If they just made her heartless, why would we care about what comes later? It’d be “Pfft. So what.” And the show seems to be doing its level best to avoid that at every turn. Every twist in the story comes at OUR expense it seems. LOL

  • Laszlo

    I don’t really think so, she’s pretty much completely defined by her relationship to others. But even if it’s true, that’s all the more reason to do it the book way, that way she can die with agency or how should I put it, while in the most likely alternative, she’d just be a victim for Tyrion the hero to avenge, which would just plain suck, for both characters’ storylines.

  • Kate Cooley

    (SPOILERLAND) In one of the trailers for season 4, they show her in bed (not a stretch of character), but it made me wonder… whose bed?

  • Kate Cooley

    ^^^ This. They’ve built Tyrion’s character as “The Noble Scoundrel” for three seasons. He’s wicked and full of intrigue but often the only person in King’s Landing (post Robert) with any sense of right and wrong. Even if it’s his OWN sense of right and wrong. I can’t imagine they’ll follow through with the inevitable outcome for Shae if she doesn’t follow the storyline from the book. (desperately trying to avoid spoilers) It wouldn’t make sense for SO MANY characters if she doesn’t.

  • Aeryl


    BookShae didn’t “betray” Tyrion either. What was she supposed to do, sacrifice her life because her client was stupid? Tell Cersei “No, I won’t testify to the things you tell me to, I’ll die for this guy who put my life in danger in the first place!” Tell Tywin Lannister, “Look I know you have this weird thing for prostitutes and a desire to head trip your youngest son, so sleeping with me helps you with that, but really, I’d rather not. Oh, and I know I totally told you while being interrogated about the Hand’s chain, but that was just for him, I won’t do it for you.”

    Tyrion murdered a helpless woman in the books, and the show is only making that MORE explicit by changing the relationship dynamic.

  • Anonymous

    imdb says Sophie is 5’9″ to Sybil’s 5’4″.

  • Eric Xin

    No, it was that “a giant of Lannister” that did it. She could had confessed everything but that and Tyrion would forgave her. When she did that, she confirmed (In Tyrion’s mind), that everyone he saved (Battle of Blackwater) is out to betray him.

    Remember, he was also so unhinged at that point deeply wounded the one person who shared a mutual love with him (Jaime), and murdered his own father in the process.

    What is the life of one random prostitute at that point? Especially the one who humiliated him needlessly?