Margaery had everything she needed to win the Iron Throne: the cunning, the right family name, the love of the people, and a royal engagement. In fact, she had three royal engagements, repeatedly queuing her up to be queen. Alas, every time it seemed like a long reign was ahead of her, it slipped between her fingers. But not even two dead husbands and religious imprisonment could hold Margaery back. She always found a way to manipulate someone new and weasel her way back into power.
In a 2016 interview for the HBO production diary, Natalie Dormer admitted that Margaery’s savviness made her a difficult character to play. Asked about the most challenging aspect of her role, she answered “Trying to play a character so finely-nuanced that people believe you can be a good person who is also politically savvy.” Dormer added: “It’s easier to play a nihilistic person or a baddie; you have to get your hands dirty and have real talent, as Jack Gleeson [Joffrey Baratheon] proved, but it’s a simpler task to play a straight psychopath.”
Margaery’s political acumen was her defining characteristic, along with her unwavering ambition. But while she easily could’ve been yet another power-hungry player willing to murder for the throne, she also projected compassion and empathy. “The thing I wanted to communicate with Margaery is that good people can, hopefully, be in positions of power,” Dormer said. “I think that’s quite pertinent. I’ve tried to make her a plausibly real, sensitive, good human being with the skills of a good leader.”