Ser Loras Tyrell was a popular tourney knight and was regarded as one of the most skilled knights in Westeros. He was the heir to High garden, as well as being the younger brother of Margaery Tyrell, who would later become Queen of the Seven Kingdoms. He also had a long-term romantic relationship with Renly Baratheon and was devastated when Renly was murdered; following this, Loras fought at Blackwater to avenge his death, and helped to win the battle to save King’s Landing. Afterwards, he stayed in the city to support his sister in the new alliance between the Tyrells and House Lannister. However, following the Faith Militant’s subsequent takeover in the capital, he was arrested and sent to prison. Informed that his only hope of getting out was to confess and give up his inheritance, he forcibly abdicated his titles and became known as Brother Loras. However, he died only a few minutes later, along with his father and sister when the Great Sept of Baelor was destroyed in a plot orchestrated by Cersei Lannister.
Ser Loras Tyrell is the son of Lady Alerie Hightower and Lord Mace Tyrell, the Lord Paramount of the Reach and Warden of the South. The Reach is one of the constituent regions of the Seven Kingdoms and House Tyrell is one of the Great Houses of the realm. Loras was raised in privilege in the family seat and regional capital of High garden. Loras is the heir to High garden and the Tyrell lands and titles, and this status, along with his skills and good looks, makes him possibly the most sought-after bachelor in all of Westeros.
Loras is a skilled knight famed for his many tournament victories and his good looks, which make him popular with the small folk and with young women in particular. Loras is one of the few knights who has on rare occasion managed to defeat the formidable Jaime Lannister in a joust. He is commonly known as the “Knight of the Flowers”, as a rose is the sigil of House Tyrell and he thus wears armour elaborately engraved with flowers.
Loras is the former squire of Lord Renly Baratheon and remains Renly’s lover. When the series begins Loras is in King’s Landing primarily to compete in tourneys and attend court.
When Catelyn Stark arrives in King’s Landing with news of the attempt on Bran’s life by the man with a knife, Little finger identifies it as his own knife which he lost to Tyrion Lannister on a bet that Loras would defeat Jaime Lannister in a joust which is why Catelyn takes Tyrion prisoner.
Ser Loras takes part in the Hand’s tournament, riding against Ser Gregor Clegane. He charms the common people by giving a rose to Sansa Stark, but at the same time, he also exchanges a look with his lover, Renly Baratheon. Loras uses a mare who is in heat to upset and confuse Gregor’s mount, as Gregor is known to favor unruly stallions, making it easier to unseat him. Gregor, furious, decapitates his own horse with a sword, and then attacks Loras.
Gregor’s brother, Sandor, intervenes and saves Loras’s life. Even though there is supposed to be one more round with Loras jousting against the Hound to determine a tournament winner, Loras proclaims Sandor the champion, to the approval of the crowds. When Loras raises Sandor’s arm declaring him the winner, Sandor looks somewhat lost, as he is not used to the adoration and approval of the public that Ser Loras takes for granted.
Loras shaves Renly’s chest in his chamber. Renly comments about how much Loras’s armour must have cost his father. They discuss the succession and Loras suggests that Renly should claim the Iron Throne himself should anything happen to King Robert. Renly points out that he is fourth in line to the throne, behind his nephews Joffrey and Tommen and his brother Stannis. Loras dismisses them, saying that Joffrey is a monster, Tommen is too young and Stannis has all the charisma of a lobster. Loras suggests that the common people would support Renly, who is more widely known and popular. Loras suggests that his family would support and finance Renly’s claim.
After Robert Baratheon is wounded and is expected not to live, Renly approaches Eddard Stark offering men so they can seize Joffrey before Cersei can consolidate her power, but Eddard chooses not to act while Robert still lives. The next day, he learns that Renly and Loras have fled the city with their loyal retainers, and were last seen riding south. Tywin Lannister learns that Renly has claimed the Iron Throne, as Loras had urged Renly to do.
Renly declares himself King of Westeros with the support of House Tyrell. He gathers an army of over 100,000 men from across the Reach and the Storm lands. He solidifies his alliance by marrying Loras’s sister Margaery. He camps his army near Storm’s End and throws a tournament for his men. Renly and his new Queen watch from a wooden dais. Margaery stands and cheers Loras as he disarms his opponent. His rival manages to step under a swing of his great axe and knock him off his feet.
Loras yields when his opponent lifts his visor and holds a knife close to his face. Renly congratulates the combatants as they stand and calls the winner forward. He commands them to stand and remove their helm. The crowd are shocked when the fighter is revealed to be a woman; Brienne of Tarth. Renly tells her that she is everything that her father promised. Margaery says that Loras fought valiantly and Renly agrees with her. He names Brienne champion and offers to grant anything that she requests. Brienne asks to join his Kings guard, and he accepts. Loras is not happy about her appointment to the Kings guard.
Catelyn Stark arrives and exchanges greetings with Renly and he promises justice for the execution of Ned Stark. Loras interrupts to ask if Robb has marched against Tywin Lannister yet. Catelyn denies knowing Robb’s strategy and says that she would not divulge it to them if she did. Loras says that Robb should have attended rather than sending his mother. Catelyn retorts that Robb is fighting a war rather than playing at one. Renly laughs off the barb and invites Catelyn to walk with him.
Renly and Loras kiss passionately inside Renly’s tent. Renly undresses his lover and notes his badly bruised chest before kissing the marks. Loras stops him and complains about Brienne’s appointment to the Kings guard being a further humiliation after she bested him in the tournament. Renly cites Brienne’s devotion and then realises that Loras is jealous. Loras denies jealousy, mocking her as “Brienne the Beauty”. Renly begins to undo Loras’s britches, saying that he will make it up to him.
Loras stops him and says that he must devote his attentions to another Tyrell that night. He reminds Renly of his responsibilities to their alliance and warns him that his vassals are gossiping about his bride still being a virgin two weeks after their marriage. Renly is disbelieving of Margaery’s virginity and Loras says that she is still officially a virgin before going to fetch her.
Renly is unable to perform with Margaery and she reveals that she is fully aware of his relationship with Loras. She offers to involve her brother next time, to get Renly “started”, and reminds Renly of the importance of fathering an heir. Petyr Baelish later arrives at the camp and offers to open the gates of King’s Landing to Renly. Loras walks Margaery through the camp and leaves her at Renly’s tent where Petyr is waiting for her. Petyr reveals his knowledge of Renly and Loras’s sexuality but Margaery is not intimidated and asserts her loyalty to Renly.
Renly meets his older brother Stannis Baratheon on the coast of the Storm lands to parley. Stannis is accompanied by Melisandre, Davos and several guards. Renly brings Catelyn, Brienne and Loras along with his own guards. They are unable to reach a compromise and Renly maintains his position that he would be a better ruler than Stannis. Stannis wheels his horse and rides away as Melisandre warns Renly to look to his sins because “The night is dark and full of terrors.” Renly asks if his companions can believe that he loved Stannis once as he leads them away. Renly is later assassinated by a Shadow brought into the world by Melisandre just after agreeing to an alliance with House Stark. Brienne is found over the body of Renly, covered in his blood. She is mistakenly blamed for his death and kills two of Renly’s Kings guard in self defence before fleeing the camp with Catelyn.
Loras stands vigil for his lover and king in the command tent. Margaery paces anxiously behind her brother. She tells Loras that they need to return home but he does not answer. Lord Petyr “Little finger” Baelish enters and greets them. Loras immediately orders him out of the tent. Little finger warns them that Stannis is an hour away and that when he arrives Renly’s banner men will join his cause. He says that their companions will fight for the privilege of selling them to King Stannis. Loras stands and draws his sword and asks if Little finger is seeking the same privilege for himself. Petyr points out that he has come to warn them instead of going to Stannis.
Margaery pushes her brother’s blade away from Little finger and warns him that they have no time. Loras tells Margaery to ride back to High garden and says that he will not run from Stannis. Margaery says that Brienne killed Renly and Loras says that neither of them really believes that. He asks her who stood to gain the most from killing Renly and Little finger answers “Stannis.” Loras promises to avenge Renly by killing Stannis. Margaery says that they cannot stay. Loras tearfully returns to Renly’s side and asserts that he would have been a good and true king. Little finger asks Loras what he most desires and learns that it is revenge.
He says that he has always found revenge to be a pure motivation but warns Loras that he will not have a chance to kill Stannis if he stays. Little finger cautions Loras to be smart if he wants justice. Margaery tells her brother that he cannot avenge Renly from the grave. She begs him to bring their horses as she strokes his hair. He rises from Renly’s deathbed and goes to carry out her request.
Before they leave, Margaery tells Loras, who is depriving himself of food, that he has to let go of Renly and consider the future of House Tyrell. Loras expresses regret at having persuaded him to try and claim the throne even though he was behind Stannis, which led to Renly’s murder. Margaery suggests that Renly already thought about his ascension, but Loras insists that it is was his doing. Loras then expresses his love for Renly, after which Margaery consoles him.
Before the Battle of Oxcross two Lannister sentries are debating who is the greatest swordsman in Westeros. They bring up Ser Gregor Clegane and Ser Jaime Lannister, but when one of them offers Loras Tyrell as a possibility, the other says that Loras Tyrell is not a great swordsman, as he has been stabbing Renly for years and Renly isn’t dead.
Petyr obtains authorisation from Lord Tywin Lannister to arrange an alliance with House Tyrell. Loras dons Renly’s armour to fight alongside House Lannister in the Battle of the Blackwater. His forces arrive as Stannis is assaulting the Mud Gate and their cavalry charge routs Stannis’s men. Loras accompanies Tywin to the throne room to announce the victory, and is seen dressed in Renly’s armour removing his helm.
Those who played a key role in securing Joffrey’s victory are summoned to the Throne room to receive the King’s gratitude, and a reward of their choosing. Loras requests that Houses Tyrell and Baratheon be merged via marriage between his sister Margaery and Joffrey, to which Joffrey consents, after being “persuaded” by the small council that his engagement to Sansa Stark is no longer necessary or desirable.
Loras and Margaery host Joffrey and Cersei for supper, where they discuss adapting to life in King’s Landing. When Cersei criticises Margaery’s recent goodwill visit to Flea Bottom, Loras waxes poetic about his sister’s charitable work in the Reach. Joffrey seems placated by Loras’s words; Cersei is not, whose enmity is increased when Margaery states that Tyrell blood runs warm (implying Cersei’s has a cold-blooded in nature).
Some days later, Margaery has Loras call on and escort Lady Sansa to a meeting with her and their grandmother, the Lady Olenna. During their walk, Sansa tries to remind Loras of their first meeting at the Hand’s Tourney many months before. Although Loras has clearly forgotten about it, he plays along to avoid insulting her. He takes his leave when Margaery meets them in the gardens. A few moments later, Olenna reminds Margaery and Sansa that Loras excels in his youth and ability to joust, but is not a wise man (which was evident in his support of Renly’s claim. However, realising that Petyr Baelish is closing in on Sansa and that she, as the only heir of House Stark should her brother Robb lose the war and die as a result, is the key to the North, Olenna, at the suggestion of Varys, directs Margaery to offer Loras’s hand in marriage to Sansa.
Apparently willing to go along with the plan, Loras invites Sansa to watch him spar, although out of earshot he laments that he doesn’t have a real challenge. One of his new squires, Olyvar, states that he would like to see Loras spar with a worthy opponent. Away from prying eyes, Loras and Olyvar have an extended sexual encounter. Loras asks how Olyvar realised that he preferred male company as even his intended bride has no idea of his proclivities. Olyvar assures him that the situation is actually more common than is typically realised.
Loras does not know that Olyvar is actually a spy working for Little finger, who subsequently tells him about Loras’ engagement to Sansa. This information is then passed on to Cersei, who informs Tywin. Tywin then decides to foil the Tyrells and their growing influence by forcing Sansa to become betrothed to Tyrion Lannister and Loras to be betrothed to Cersei.
Loras and Sansa spend more time together in the following weeks, not yet aware of the new Lannister marriage plans. Loras says he has always wanted a big wedding with lots of guests and a good tournament, though he only seems to remember that there will be a bride when Sansa gives him an expectant look. Sansa expresses her happiness and looks forward to moving to High garden. On this, Loras agrees with her, saying that King’s Landing is “the most terrible place there is”.
Following this, Sansa and Loras are both made aware of the new arrangements, and both of them are extremely unhappy about the prospect of marrying into the Lannisters. Loras, as a person of rank in the Red Keep, later attends Sansa’s wedding to Tyrion in the Great Sept of Baelor with his sister and grandmother. During the wedding feast, Olenna irritates him by reminding him that his sister is soon to be his stepdaughter-in-law and he storms out. Tyrion later sees him looking down from the upper gallery and raises his glass in sympathy. Loras sees Cersei miserably regarding Blackwater Bay out a window and tries to make small talk, but she rudely brushes him off.
Loras’s grandmother, Olenna Tyrell congratulates Brienne of Tarth for besting her grandson during the melee at King Renly’s camp, describing him as a “silly little boy”.
Loras attends the wedding of his sister and King Joffrey; enjoying a brief flirtation with Oberyn Martell, before being confronted by Jaime Lannister over his engagement to Cersei. Jaime attempts to intimidate Loras into calling off the wedding, warning him that Cersei will murder him in his sleep, along with any children they may conceive together. Despite having no affection whatsoever for Cersei, Loras retorts to Jaime that he will never be able to marry Cersei either, clearly aware of Jaime and Cersei’s relationship. He walks off, leaving Jaime nonplussed.
During the re-enactment of the War of the Five Kings by dwarfs in full costume, Loras looks on as the one dressed as Stannis (riding Melisandre) attacks another one dressed as Renly (riding a crude naked depiction of Loras). Following a sequence in which the Stannis dwarf stabs the Renly dwarf in an echo of the real murder, Loras, distraught and disgusted, leaves his seat on the dais altogether and doesn’t return. Joffrey is later poisoned with the strangler, after which Tyrion is accused of his murder. Unknown to most, Olenna is the true perpetrator.
Loras later attends the coronation of Tommen Baratheon. Cersei later agrees to marry Loras a fortnight after Tommen’s wedding to Margaery, a month after the coronation. Along with his sister and father, Loras is later present at the Tyrion’s trial, though it is unknown if he is aware that his grandmother was the one who poisoned Joffrey.
During Tywin’s funeral, Loras attempts to approach Cersei, speaking of how supposedly fearsome Tywin was, but Cersei ignores him and stalks off. One night, Loras is in bed with Olyvar, discussing the possibility of visiting Dorne or anywhere far away from King’s Landing, when Margaery walks in. She admonishes Loras for making them late for supper with King Tommen. After Olyvar has taken his leave Margaery urges her brother to be more discreet especially in the Red Keep. Loras no longer cares as he knows everybody is whispering about him anyway. Loras is puzzled by Margaery’s relaxed attitude, as Tywin’s death means Cersei won’t be forced to marry Loras and be sent off with him to High garden, which means Margaery will have to contend with her mother-in-law at the capital. Margaery implies that may not be the case.
Loras is present during the wedding ceremony of Tommen Baratheon and his sister Margaery. During a sparring session, Loras is seized by Lancel Lannister and the Faith Militant. Lancel tells Loras that he has “broken the Laws of Gods and Men”. Margaery deduces that Loras’s arrest was partly Cersei’s doing in order to undermine the new queen. Tommen later attempts to have Loras released by confronting his mother then trying to speak to the High Sparrow, but neither endeavour bears any fruit, prompting Margaery to write at once to Olenna.
During his holy inquest by the Faith, a somewhat disheveled Loras is interrogated by the High Sparrow about his relationship with Renly. Loras denies he was Renly’s lover, telling the High Sparrow they were merely best friends, but cannot look him in the eye. He also denies having lain with any other man. Margaery, when asked to testify, backs her brother up.
The High Sparrow then calls forth a surprise witness, to Loras’s horror: Olyvar, who, on Cersei’s instructions, informs the court that he and Loras were sexually involved, although he slightly misrepresents the situation by making it seem like Loras pursued him first, when Olyvar was actually the one who was asked by Little finger to seek out Loras and seduce him as a way to get information on the Tyrells. Loras is furious and attempts to attack Olyvar but is restrained. This leads to Margaery’s arrest for perjury and a full trial before the gods for Loras.
Margaery is permitted to visit Loras in prison. He is worn out and beaten down by the Faith Militant’s treatment of him. Margaery tries to get him to stand up for himself and calls him the future of the Tyrells, but Loras states that he just wants his imprisonment to end and wants to acquiesce to their demands. Loras begins to sob uncontrollably, and his sister hugs him close to her chest. On the morning of his trial, a shivering Loras is shown huddled on the floor of his cell, repeating lines under his breath, suggesting he has been told what to say in advance and is trying to memorise it. He is taken from his cell by members of the Faith Militant before being bathed, shaven and having his hair cut off. He is then brought before the High Sparrow and the assembled nobles in the Great Sept of Baelor. Loras states that a trial won’t be necessary, because he wishes to plead guilty to all accusations laid against him.
He confesses to having lain with other men, including Renly, and his voice breaks with emotion as he says Renly’s name, following which the High Sparrow turns and looks at Margaery in a very pointed way. Loras’ emotion at saying Renly’s name, and the High Sparrow looking at Margaery in a displeased way as a result, suggests that Loras has not actually been brainwashed into believing his sexuality and his relationship with Renly were wrong, but that he has been obliged to pretend this is the case in order to persuade the High Sparrow to let him out of prison.
The High Sparrow’s glance at Margaery suggests that she told him Loras had genuinely converted, but that Loras’ emotion in mentioning Renly has made the High Sparrow skeptical that this is the case. However, Loras hastily regathers himself, and as he lists a number of other things the Faith considers to be crimes, the High Sparrow seems more convinced again.
As part of the confession and plea to be given mercy, Loras has to agree to join the Faith Militant and renounce his inheritance. The seven pointed star is then carved into his forehead by Brother Lancel as his sister and father look on in horror. When Cersei doesn’t show up to her own trial, Margaery realises that something is seriously amiss. She attempts to lead her brother to safety, but the Sparrows prevent this, and he dies alongside his sister and father when Cersei burns the Great Sept to the ground.
Before the start of the War of the Five Kings, and later his arrest and imprisonment by the Faith Militant, Loras led a carefree life as a tourney knight. A prodigiously skilled warrior and an extremely popular young man, he is shown to be gracious towards everyone around him and grateful whenever someone does him a favour. He was quick to thank Sandor Clegane when the latter saved Loras’s life from his ferocious brother, Gregor, and showed his appreciation by declaring him champion without having a joust. However, Loras was also rather spoiled to a fault, which could have arguably played a role in his downfall. Renly pointed this out to Loras by the expensive and extravagant suit of armour that his father procured for him to wear at tournaments. Loras also shows a hint of his grandmother’s influence when he mocked Robb Stark for “hiding behind his mother’s skirts” as opposed to appearing in person to treat with Renly and Jaime Lannister for his incest when the latter tried to intimidate Loras into calling off his engagement to Cersei Lannister.
Loras thought that Renly Baratheon would have been a wonderful king because he didn’t enjoy killing like Robert did, and he was extremely popular unlike Stannis. When Renly was murdered, Loras correctly deduced it was Stannis and furiously vowed that he would personally execute the man, overlooking the fact that the odds were against him being able to do so. One of Loras’s weaknesses was he did not always think through the risks of his actions, and it took much persuasion by Margaery to get him to back off from confronting Stannis immediately and instead wait for a better moment to seek revenge. Loras takes further risks in later seasons when he becomes involved with Olyvar, despite Margaery’s warnings that people could find out about it, and gave little thought to the possibility that their relationship might be used against him. Due to the protection afforded him all his life as the heir to High garden, Loras reacted with anger and disbelief when Lancel Lannister and the Faith Militant arrested him. Only when the Sparrows call Olyvar forward to testify at the inquest does Loras begin to show genuine fear that he will be betrayed, which occurs when Olyvar tells the High Sparrow about their past relationship. His subsequent imprisonment by the Faith Militant demoralised Loras to the point that he was willing to publicly renounce all he once held dear and humble himself before the High Sparrow in order to be released.
- See: Renly Baratheon and Loras Tyrell