Diana Rigg, star of The Avengers, Extras, Doctor Who and Victoria, died yesterday at the age of 82. The actress had a long and glittering career on stage and in TV and film, but most contemporary fans will remember her as Lady Olenna Tyrell in Game of Thrones, for which she received multiple Emmy nominations. Even amongst the show’s motley collection of schemers and backstabbers, she was one of the best.
Her most memorable achievement was the Purple Wedding, which came during the celebrations after the hated Joffrey Baratheon married Margaery Tyrell. While the room was distracted by some pigeons flying out of a pie, she slipped poison into Joffrey’s wine, killing him in an excruciatingly painful manner. Her role in this remained a secret right up until the moment of her death when she revealed to a dumbfounded Jaime Lannister that she was the culprit. She died like a boss, too, leaving Jaime with the immortal line: “Tell Cersei. I want her to know it was me.”
Rigg absolutely nailed the part and several of her co-stars have been paying tribute to her on social media, as you can see below:
Be a dragon.
The realm will always remember Diana Rigg.
— Game of Thrones (@GameOfThrones) September 10, 2020
— Pedro Pascal he/him (@PedroPascal1) September 10, 2020
Dame Diana Rigg . She always raised the bar with her incredible talent, intelligence and wit. An absolute joy and honor to work with. May her soul Rest In Peace https://t.co/BC4annah1H
— Nikolaj CosterWaldau (@nikolajcw) September 10, 2020
It was my great joy and privilege to have known Diana Rigg. From three slightly hysterical months at the Old Vic in ‘All About Mother’ to writing The Crimson Horror for Diana and her wonderful daughter Rachael. Flinty, fearless, fabulous. There will never be another. RIP pic.twitter.com/2EGc4MVx0S
— Mark Gatiss (@Markgatiss) September 10, 2020
Diana Rigg was just wonderful. But you all knew that already. Everybody did. Very sad news. #dianarigg
— John Bradley (@johnbradleywest) September 10, 2020
Rigg also played Countess Tracy di Vicenzo in 1969 James Bond movie On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, in which she became the only Bond girl to pin down the spy and become his wife. To mark this, the official James Bond Twitter account also paid their respects.
"Our love and thoughts are with her family and friends at this sad time." Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli.
— James Bond (@007) September 10, 2020
Though Game of Thrones wrapped up in notoriously disappointing fashion, Westeros won’t be off our screens forever. Rumors are that HBO is working on a prequel series about House Targaryen, with each season covering a different decade in the family’s history. Apparently, we’ll see plot lines based around a civil war during the Targaryen rule of the Seven Kingdoms, vicious battles of succession and the usual bloody murder that seems part of the territory when it comes to being a Westeros noble.
But no matter how much blood is spilt, those characters are going to have trouble doing it with the style and finesse that Lady Olenna Tyrell is known for.