Olyvar Tyrell is the current lord of Highgarden, having been released from his maester's vows to the Citadel by King Damon Lannister. He is the oldest son of Lord Baelor Tyrell, the head of House Tyrell, and the last surviving male of the Tyrell line.
Born in 472AC, Olyvar Tyrell was the twin son of Lord Baelor Tyrell, along with his (slightly older) brother, Garlan. In order to secure against the unlikely possibility of a succession crisis, Lord Baelor encouraged his son, Olyvar, to study to become a maester, thus removing him from the line of succession. Olyvar had two more trueborn brothers, Troy and Benjen, along with two sisters, Maude and Mellara. In spite of his removal from the line of succession, there is little indication that Olyvar had a strained relationship with his parents, though he was usually left to his own devices and clearly not groomed for rule.
At the Citadel, Olyvar completed chain links in smithing, astronomy, ravenry, economics, and history, though he was especially noteworthy as a mathematician and philosopher, as much of his historical work focused on interpretation of texts from Old Valyria, as well as a select few readings from Yi-Ti. There, Olyvar authored a somewhat controversial book, "The Public Law", in which he laid out a sort of social contract theory as justification for the Westerosi kingdoms.
Olyvar was assigned to Highgarden upon completion of his chains, which he viewed as an academic insult meant to repress his further studies. Nonetheless, Olyvar retained numerous contacts at the Citadel and continued scholarly work in Highgarden.
He is a man of average height, with light brown hair and golden eyes. He was once considered relatively attractive in a boyish sort of way and is still rather handsome, but is now considered very serious looking.
Olyvar is notable for having peculiar views on law and politics which he publicized in his philosophical writings at the Citadel, and these views play a great part in his decisions as a lord. In Olyvar's mind, all men - noble and smallfolk alike - are subjects to "the Realm", and the political constitution of the Seven Kingdoms imposes certain obligations upon vassals (who owe fealty to their lords) and monarchs (who owe public goods such as security to their vassals).
He attempts to moderate his passions and live an austere life, though at times his stoicism gives way to flashes of anger or moments of tenderness. Olyvar notably has trouble engaging in romantic love, which has strained his relationship with his wife Melessa Merryweather.
Though House Tyrell were Baratheon loyalists during the War of the Ascent of the Lion, Olyvar was officially neutral during the course of the war in accordance with his station as a maester. However, he was emotionally devastated to see the sack of Highgarden and the destruction of his family. The fall of Highgarden and the Tyrell dynasty were defining events in Olyvar's life, and he continues to hold a strong personal grudge against Lord Gylen Hightower and House Hightower more generally.
Second Era Edit
True to his vows, Olyvar swore his service to Robert Manderly as the new Lord of Highgarden. He was relieved that his two of his sisters survived the war, grateful that they returned home, even if Mellara Tyrell was a ward and Meredyth Tyrell came home through marriage to a man who had helped dismantle his family's house. He tried to help them as best as he can while staying within his vows as a maester to the castle.
Third Era Edit
Olyvar helped Meredyth poison Robert Manderly at the urging and with the assistance of Queen Danae Targaryen. Suspecting foul play in the death of his friend, Gylen Hightower sent his son Gerold to bring Mellara Tyrell to the Hightower as a ward.
Fourth Era Edit
Fifth Era Edit
After the war's conclusion, King Damon Lannister and Queen Danae Targaryen stayed in Highgarden on their way back to King's Landing. Danae was given a gift of poisoned wine at their arrival feast (unbeknownst to Danae, Olyvar actually served her a particularly high amount of nutmeg to induce the symptoms of having been poisoned) and fell ill. Olyvar's subsequent intervention 'saved' Danae, and a grateful Damon freed the maester from his vows and chain and granted all the titles and holdings of his father, thus making Olyvar the Lord of Highgarden and head of House Tyrell. He later married Melessa Merryweather, sealing his alliance with House Merryweather, who remain Tyrell loyalists.
Olyvar Tyrell began to oversee the reconstruction of Highgarden at the beginning of the Sixth Era. After five years of cautious restoration under Robert Manderly, Meredyth and Olyver Tyrell, the city had slowly recovered some of its vital districts and reemerged as an important trading hub along the Mander River. In order to accelerate the rejuvenation of the Tyrell holdings, Olyvar instituted a radical set of reforms in Highgarden, motivated jointly by a desire to consolidate Tyrell control and to institute the political principles Olyvar formulated at the Citadel. These reforms entailed the expropriation of estates from Olyvar's landed vassals, open homesteading for refugees of the flooding of the Spring Without Sun, and abolition of guild privileges in Highgarden, effectively sweeping aside feudalism in the Tyrell holdings. These reforms encountered a significant amount of pushback from the landed nobility of Highgarden and the mercantile and artisan guilds, to which Olyvar responded forcefully with his personal guard under the command of Ser Clarence Flowers, a veteran of the siege of Highgarden whom Olyvar knighted not long after assuming the lordship of the city.
Melessa Merryweather was pregnant at the start of the Sixth Era with Olyvar's first child, though the two had a cold and largely asexual relationship (especially after the confirmation of her pregnancy). She later gave birth to a girl.
"If he hadn't relinquished his titles, he would have been a formidable Lord." - Gylen Hightower
"He always placed more value on a sharp mind than a sharp sword. He left for the Citadel when I was still a little girl, though I remember all the arguments around the decision well. Funny how his lordship found him afterall." - Meredyth Tyrell
"I first met Olyvar Tyrell after I put down his pitiful brother. He was the most unpleasant, vile piece of horse shit I've ever had to deal with. If that was any other man, Tyrell or not, I would have quartered him, beheaded him, and fed his mangled remains to the fires. But no, this was Maester Olyvar, not Olyvar Tyrell, or so I believed. So I spared him. Yes, can you believe it? Gylen Hightower spared a Tyrell, one that abused his titles and his lord." - Gylen Hightower
"I will not supplicate to the Lion and risk being her next meal. The strong do what they can; the weak what they must. Order cannot be imposed from the top, else those below risk predation by their masters. No - House Tyrell cannot act out of a position of weakness. Stability must emerge from a balance of the powers." - Olyvar Tyrell
"Highgarden is one breath away from anarchy. It requires the rule of a firm hand - not cruel, but firm. And that is a condition of governance which supervenes on justice." - Olyvar Tyrell
Baelor Tyrell, father (deceased)
Maude Tyrell, sister (deceased)
Mellara Tyrell, sister (deceased)
Meredyth Tyrell, sister
Troy Tyrell, brother (deceased)
Benjen Tyrell, brother (deceased)