House Tyrell were major players in the show until Cersei blew up the Sept and destroyed them. In the books, they’re still major players, still thriving and surviving — or at least, most of them are.
Game Of Thrones does a good job at bringing a large, epic fantasy series to life, but the nature of an on-screen adaptation with a series this full of details means that many things got cut. The Tyrells were the victims of multiple things being left out, including whole characters! So read on to find out exactly what was present in the books that were brutally cut from the show.
10 Willas Tyrell, Margaery’s Older Brother
One whole character that was cut was Willas Tyrell. Older brother of Margaery and Loras, he is the heir to Highgarden in the books; so it was a pretty big deal to cut him entirely from the show, and a controversial decision for loyal fans of the books.
From what we know of him, he’s not quite as manipulative as the other Tyrells and seems very uninterested in their political games. On the contrary, he’s very kind and educated, and is noted for being very good with animals; he loves hawks, hounds, and horses in particular, and is known for breeding very fine specimens.
9 An Unusual History With Oberyn Martell
His history with Oberyn Martell is also an unusual one. During his first tourney, he competed against the Dornish prince and was knocked from his horse. He pulled the horse down on top of him, crushing his leg in the process. He was then unable to walk without a cane.
Although the Tyrells could have taken this as a grievous insult, Willas didn’t. On the contrary, he and Oberyn exchanged letters afterward and developed a friendship, sharing a passion and bonding over it. This was pretty nice of Willas, considering the bad blood House Tyrell and House Martell already shared, and a further indication he’s not interested in political games.
8 Sansa’s Proposed Engagement
When Sansa was betrothed to Joffrey, the Tyrells were some of the few people close enough to see him for what he really was. Although they were confident that Margaery could handle Joffrey, it was fairly obvious that Sansa could not. Olenna proposed removing her to Highgarden and having her marry Willas, the heir there. Likewise, Olenna seemed to take a genuine liking to Willas and would have happily set her up with her grandson, however, this never ended up occurring since Sansa became the scapegoat for Joffrey’s murder.
There was a questionable age gap, but at least he would have treated her better than Joffrey.
7 Another Surprise Brother, Garlan!
You thought Willas was the only brother cut? Think again. They cut two Tyrells!
Older than Margaery and Joffrey—but younger than Willas—is Garlan; a sibling very much present in the book series. He’s said to be very handsome and exceptionally skilled in battle but much less of a show-off than his brother Loras, so he ends up getting less attention for it. His brother Willas gave him the nickname Garlan the Gallant, which stuck pretty fast.
He fought loyally for Renly in the books and tried to calm Sansa down when she was afraid of marrying Tyrion. He seems to have a fond opinion when it comes to Tyrion in comparison to Joffrey and implies she’d be happier with him than she would be with Loras — which may hint that he’s very aware of Loras’ sexual orientation, and doesn’t bear Tyrion any ill will despite him being a Lannister.
6 And His Wife, Leonette
Although many minor Tyrells were cut from the show, tragically, the last worth mentioning is Leonette Fossoway; Garlan’s wife in the books.
Not much is known about Leonette, but she seems to be another kind face. It’s never implied that she’s as manipulative as Margaery or Olenna despite also coming from Highgarden. She’s described as dainty, seems to be very young and happy, and is kind enough to teach Sansa to play the harp.
It's a shame she was cut, as Sansa definitely needed a lot of people around her to be kind when she was stuck with Joffrey.
5 Poor Loras’ Fate
Loras dies from being blown up in the Sept by Cersei’s wildfire in the show, and his true fate in the books is therefore left out (or at the very least, implied fate). In the books, he ends up disfigured, at the very least.
Loras is always described as being handsome. It’s pretty much one of his defining traits — how good-looking and charming he is, how he could have any woman he wanted (but doesn’t, for obvious reasons). But in the books during battle, he’s scarred by maces and boiling oil. The last we hear of him, he’s dying from those wounds. Even if he does survive, we can assume that he won’t be the same Loras, since he doesn’t have his good looks to rely on anymore.
4 Margaery’s Reliance On Moon Tea
Moon tea is a tool used in both the books and the show to prevent pregnancy; almost like an emergency contraception drank after sex to prevent a baby from forming. Although it’s implied in the show that Margaery is keeping a lot of secrets, and Cersei names her some slurs that would imply she’s taken lovers before, she’s never quite shown as relying on moon tea as heavily as she does in the books. In the books, it’s pretty much a sure fact that she’s slept with men before, and is continuing to do so to get her way.
It’s a small detail, but one that says so much about Margaery.
3 Their Unusual Climb
The Tyrells are the only family in the books with their backstory; an interesting and unique one that’s never touched on in the show. They were senior servants of those who once ruled the Reach, not born into power or riches at all back then. Over time, they married into the royal line and although many houses rose by doing this, slowly exerting influence, none did it quite as well as the Tyrells — leading them to be rulers of the Reach, eventually.
It’s a story that fits even the present-day Tyrells, with Olenna and Margaery both being master manipulators (although Olenna is a Tyrell by marriage).
2 Renly’s Tribute To Them
Renly Baratheon and Loras’ relationship was far more explicit in the show than in the books, where it was only heavily implied at best, but one thing that isn’t quite emphasized in the show is his dedication to Loras.
In the books, he exclusively wears green and gold. Initially, this might be taken as a sign of respect to the Tyrells for supporting him in the War of Five Kings, but as time goes on, it seems more likely that this is actually a nod to his dedication to Loras. At least having the Tyrells on his side is an easy cover up for the tribute.
1 Olenna’s Almost-Targaryen History
Olenna’s past history is mentioned in the show, but the story of her being engaged to one of Aegon V’s sons is cut because the show couldn't possibly have the time to mention everything in her history. She was, however, engaged to a Targaryen. Although she does mention in the show that it was “all the rage,” the details are pretty much skimmed over. This was pretty monumental, however, when mentioned in the books considering the influence Olenna would have had if the relationship had been finalized. The Targaryens were, after all, the rulers of Westeros at the time.
The Tyrells are worryingly good at clawing power towards them.