Shae is a prostitute who begins a relationship with Tyrion during the Battle of the Green Fork. Her family, background and origins are a mystery, however she hints early on to Tyrion that she is not from Westeros, well traveled, and denies that her parents were low-born. She seems to be motivated by wealth and security and is drawn to the excitement at King’s Landing. Shae is beautiful, clever, proud and petulant. Shae is played by Sibel Kekilli on the HBO series.
Tyrion is immediately attracted to Shae and takes her with him to King’s Landing, against his father’s explicit command not to bring any whores. Tyrion believes only Lord Varys knows of her existence. Tyrion falls in love with Shae and she becomes a source of stress and concern for him as he worries what his father will do to her if he finds out about her. As their relationship develops, Shae seems to become very attached and fond of Tyrion, repeatedly resisting his and Varys’ wishes for her to leave King’s Landing to safety. When Tyrion marries Sansa Stark, he employs Shae to be her handmaiden, both as a cover and to help keep her occupied.
Shae is visibly jealous and nervous by Tyrion’s new marriage, as Tyrion has less and less time for her. She worries if he still loves her. The two become further estranged when Tyrion rejects Shae’s amorous advances several times in a row, partially out of fear for her safety and partially from being overwhelmed by the politics of King’s Landing. Eventually, Tyrion arranges for a ship for Shae to leave King’s Landing. He tells her he has set up a comfortable home for her in Pentos, far from the reach of his dangerous father and sister. In order to make her leave, Tyrion calls her a whore and tells her their time is over. Shae is infuriated and leaves in tears. Bronn informs Tyrion shortly after that she has set sail for Pentos.
Unexpectedly, Shae is the final witness called during Tyrion’s trial. Before the court at King’s Landing, she lies and proclaims that he plotted with Sansa Stark to poison the king. She also admits to being Tyrion’s whore, recalling intimate moments and words that were exchanged between them. Her betrayal shocks and hurts Tyrion more than any other witnesses’ testimonies, prompting him to declare he wished he had enough poison for all of King’s Landing.