So I keep thinking about Shae’s line in the show about Tysha and how Tyrion should have known she was a prostitute because “no woman who is almost raped would have sex with a man a few hours later”.
Because I think she brings up a valid point, however, since we know that Tysha wasn’t really a prostitute, I’ve been wondering why the show put that in. And after this season and the complete omission of the truth about Tysha, I’ve come to the conclusion that the show intended all along to portray Tysha as exactly what Tyrion thought she was. Therefore what Shae says makes sense. Tysha was a prostitute and Tyrion should have known it.
And I have a problem with this because it plays straight Tywin’s belief both that Tysha was a “whore” and that Tyrion is inherently unlovable.
I think it’s possible that Tysha, though not a prostitute, didn’t really love Tyrion and agreed to marry him for his gold. And I wouldn’t blame her at all if that was the case. I mean, from Tysha’s perspective, here’s a guy who’s ridiculously rich and completely infatuated with her. Even if she didn’t love Tyrion, he’s offering her safety and security beyond what she might have hoped for. Tysha probably rarely experienced that kind of treatment in her life. I don’t think she would have lied to Tyrion out of maliciousness but she might have thought here’s someone who is kind to her and really rich and willing to marry her, so why not say yes?
However, since we don’t get Tysha’s voice, all we get is what Tywin assumed, that Tysha was a devious whore who only cared about money. And the great thing about the reveal from Jaime that Tysha wasn’t a prostitute is that Tywin is wrong. Because Tywin’s assumptions about Tysha are misogyny born from his disgust at his father’s mistress, plus his ableist assumption that no one would really love Tyrion.
And going back to what Shae says, it is likely that a woman who is almost raped might not want to have sex with someone she just met soon after. However, victims of sexual assault don’t all react in the same way. And thirteen year old Tyrion might have come across as not a threat in Tysha’s eyes. He’s small, and self-described as very shy. I don’t think we should assume we know what Tysha thought or how she dealt with her assault.
I keep going back to the feeling that D&D are essentially agreeing with Tywin by leaving Tysha as just a prostitute. They’re agreeing that Tysha was nothing but a manipulative whore, they’re agreeing that no one could love a person with dwarfism. They’re agreeing that Tywin was right in abusing both his son and a preteen girl. And that makes me really uncomfortable.