The Shae Swindle: What happened to Shae’s appearance in Game of Thrones Season 6?


Those who don’t read spoilers are likely confused by this article title. Shae? Season 6? She’s been dead since Game of Thrones Season 4! What insanity is this that the writers of WiC thought she would be appearing this past season?

And yet…

Back in October, months before Game of Thrones Season 6 arrived on our TVs, the production was in Peñíscola, a Spanish town that stood in for Meereen’s outdoor locations, the ones that Tyrion and Varys wandered through, walking like rich people. The scenes were filmed in an open square, surrounded by high walls, and tourists were flocking to the area to get pictures from filming and post them to social media. Although one could not fully tell what was happening, we saw the “Mhysa is a Master” graffiti, the destroyed city, the bags and bags of grain, and we tried to guess what was happening.

To say we were mostly wrong would be an understatement. We hypothesized a much longer city siege. We guessed there may be riots. We thought perhaps our characters were starving.

And then there was the day Sibel Kekelli, who had played Shae for the first four seasons of Game of Thrones, showed up.

At first, we thought she had just come by to visit her fellow cast members, since she was in street clothes. But then we had word she stayed in the cast hotel.

And then she was photographed in a costume.

It appeared, then, that Shae would be a part of Season 6. We guessed that Tyrion might see her in a hallucination. After all, he dreams of her in the books. Maybe she had a twin? Maybe Tyrion would get into a relationship with a lady who looked like her. Conspiracy theories ran wild.

And then she never showed up.

Looking back now, it looks like the show pulled a fast one on us. They knew fans were watching. They knew we were speculating. Kekelli may have originally meant to only stop by the set for fun, but she was the right shape, and she had the right coloring, and the production may have put her in a costume just to screw with us.

Based on the costumes seen on set, we can guess what they were filming when Kekelli was present. Peter Dinklage was seen wearing the following:

Tyrion only wears this outfit once: in the first episode, “The Red Woman.” In the other outdoor scenes later in the season, he wears a dark cloak, or a gold-embroidered, high collared coat. And the pertinent scene from “The Red Woman” does feature a crowd.

It’s a crowd that’s standing in the shadow, and that features many women wearing the same type of outfit Kekelli is in the picture above, with their hair piled high. They could have easily had Kekelli as an extra in this scene, for old times sake? Or just to have a little fun with us because she was already there, and they saw Twitter was speculating about her arrival?

Or was there a scene cut? Was Tyrion supposed to see someone who looked like Shae in the crowd, and the show decided last minute to cut it? The production isn’t saying. Only the deleted scenes on the Season 6 boxset will tell.