Here's What Young Diana Rigg Aka Lady Olenna From 'Game Of Thrones' Looked Like
Her time on Game Of Thrones has come and gone, but Lady Olenna Tyrell will always be remembered as the ultimate badass. Although it's surprising that a grandmother character takes that title on a show that has a dragon-riding queen and a king who comes back from the dead, it makes sense when you consider what young actor Diana Rigg was up to in the '60s. Decades before she was the Queen of Thorns, Rigg was on TV as a spy in The Avengers. In addition to being a genius, her character was incredibly skilled in martial arts and fencing, so it's no wonder that her TV role eventually led to her being a Bond girl in On Her Majesty's Secret Service. If you're still mourning her Game Of Thrones passing, looking at photos of Lady Olenna in the '60s is a great reminder of Rigg's staying power.
Mrs. Emma Peel wasn't John Steed's first assistant on the British series (which also aired in the U.S.), but she is perhaps his most notable, thanks in large part to Rigg's portrayal. (She's not a dame for nothing.) The character was also brought back to life in the 1998 film version of The Avengers and, though the movie was panned by critics, a pre-Kill Bill Uma Thurman taking on the role is a testament to the fact that Mrs. Peel has always been regarded as a fierce action star. Plus, the character was a fashion icon during Rigg's tenure on The Avengers from 1965 to 1968.
Watching 'The Avengers' TV show from the 60's. Emma Peel isn't in this episode. Just my opinion, it's a million times better w/ Diana Rigg. pic.twitter.com/EhOrUZegan— Rachel O'Donnell (@RachelODonnell6) March 20, 2017
Her bodysuits were even known to have some serious hip cutouts.
Diana Rigg is still my favourite The Avengers pic.twitter.com/GBuZ1xXcIO— roy (@skywalker_roy64) April 27, 2016
Hey Bobby, not my original design, so I'm not 100% sure. But I think it was inspired by Emma Peel(Diana Rigg)'s Look in The Avengers serie. pic.twitter.com/t9pjZhv9iG— Leonardo Romero (@Leo__Romero) June 10, 2017
Yet, her badassery was not defined solely by her sexy silhouette since she was Steed's equal when it came to fighting.
Emma Peel always retained her sense of fashion and sex appeal, which makes sense considering that The New York Times noted that her name is actually a play on the words "man appeal." However, Rigg was able to transcend the character's sexist origins and make Mrs. Peel a smart, savvy hero always worth rooting for; she just happened to look really good doing it.
And "Mrs. Emma Peel - The Avengers" pic.twitter.com/eJFSFhoUQe— CL HARRIS (@MisterSixty) August 7, 2017
Diana Rigg as Emma Peel in "The Avengers" pic.twitter.com/2QQh9Ncx4O— CaptKarnstein (@CaptKarnstein) December 27, 2015
Beyond Rigg being a legend, you can totally see why Game Of Thrones cast her as Margaery's grandmother since Natalie Dormer bares a striking resemblance to Rigg — especially in the photo of her wearing a mod dress above. That's not just a one-off, though, as the internet has proven with side-by-side photos of Dormer today and Rigg in the '60s.
While you may never recover from the fact that Lady Olenna is dead on Game Of Thrones, take comfort knowing that Rigg has been an indomitable feminist icon on TV since the '60s — and nothing is going to change that.