In Game of Thrones Season 4 finale, “The Children,” one of the most shocking moments came when Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) discovered his love Shae (Sibel Kekilli) lounging in Tywin’s bed. It was shocking because Tywin (Charles Dance) didn’t seem like the type to sleep with prostitutes, but also because we were under the impression that Shae loved Tyrion and was likely forced to turn on him. So what in seven hells was Shae doing?
According to Sibel Kekilli, who portrays Shae, her actions were justified. “She didn’t have any choice after the trial scene,” Sibel says to TVLine of Shae hooking up with Tywin. “The people hated Tyrion after the trial, and she had been with him. Who could she be with after that? There was one choice. She had to choose the most powerful man in King’s Landing. And who is that? It’s Tywin. If she wants to stay alive, she has to take that step.”
Sibel also goes on to explain further Shae’s mental state, showing more depth of the character than the books or show imply. “In the end, she thinks Tywin is in the room, and she says ‘My Lion,’” Sibel says. “That expression was for Tyrion only. He was her lion. But because she’s a prostitute again, she’s lost all hope for a regular life, she’s trying to get rid of everything that reminds her of Tyrion — to make nothing special of what they had.”
Of course she went on to try to literally get rid of Tyrion as well, with a dagger, but hey, a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do to survive!