Gwendoline Christie details the intense, brutal battle between Brienne and The Hound
By Lightbringer on in Interview.

Brienne of Tarth set out on a journey this season, to keep an oath to Catelyn Stark, and ensure the safety of her two young daughters. In the finale she almost had a chance to do so, when she stumbled upon Arya Stark just miles from the Bloody Gate. But a series of misunderstandings would make the task more difficult, as Brienne was forced to take up arms against The Hound.

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Gwendoline Christie details filming the brutal battle at length – and it got intense.

“We filmed it—three days in Iceland and it’s the biggest hardest fight I’ve ever done. It was on the rocks with swords and fists and we both came out unscathed, but it was one of the f–king hardest things I’ve ever done in my life. My hands were like tramps feet — like swollen. They looked after me, they always do, but inevitably things happen. We were fighting up hills, down hills, rolling, fighting on rock face with a sheer down drop. [The Hound actor] Rory McCann is an amazing actor and a very strong man, and that was a challenge — not just as actors, but as characters. It’s a f–king really intense challenge.

It was boiling hot, as it happened, and I really felt for Rory. The costumes are amazing, and they did a great job at making it much easier for me than it has been before, but they’re tough to work with. What’s going through my mind? I’m so into the scene that it becomes real. Rory and I might not be killing each other, but you’re both making contact with those swords. We are two people that really go for it in that situation. Like poor Nikolaj Coster-Waldau last season with the [sword fight] said, “Can you take 10 percent off this please, rather than smashing at me?”

Rory and I were quite serious about it. We want there to be contact —rolling around in the dirt on a rock face with your hand bleeding. You’re in pain, just emotional and screaming through it, and blood is pouring out of your mouth and you’re falling over when you’re meant to and falling when you’re not meant to. I like it to be real. So certain things that are done that are very real and you’re genuinely scared because you look into the other person’s eyes and they mean it. It’s frightening—that is one of the few times I’ve not had to do any acting. I was screaming, “F–k you! Come on!” Blood everywhere, going insane. It is f–king mental.

You were there on top of a mountain with this surreal landscape around you and the sun is shining and your adrenaline is pumping and you’ve got what looks like blood everywhere and you’re in pain and you’ve got swords and you’re on the floor hitting the living daylights out of each other. I actually lost it at points and would just go in screaming … There’s a beautiful arc to it.

The fighting is an immaculate story that goes on and Alex and C.C. Smiff and poor [Paul] Herbert and Dave [Foreman]—all the stuntmen. I didn’t just want it to be a fight, I wanted it to be a physical story that was being told. I worked with [director] Alex Graves and he made it one of the most wonderful experiences. It just looks beautiful and earthy and surreal and it’s a complex emotional scene — and it’s not over yet.”

Could that last bit have been a possible hint that Brienne’s storyline will pick up exactly where it left off next season?

In an interview with The Daily Beast, Gwendoline adds, “After the final day of shooting the fight, we sat together in the car ride home and he turns around and looks at me, and I looked at him, and we couldn’t believe what we’d gone through. It’s acting, but there was something primal that was awakened in both of us.”

Although the fight ended with some primal blows, Brienne went into the fight with her sword, Oathkeeper. Gwendoline reveals that she fought with the real thing, and David and Dan won’t let her go home with the sword until one condition is met.

“It’s the most beautiful sword I’ve ever seen in my life. I was offered by the stunt department to use a rubber sword and I refused because it’s such a magnificent piece of design. It is heavy, but what I love about Game of Thrones is the intricacy of design and the integrity of how everything is carried out, so it’s an absolutely pleasure to carry and use. I asked Dan and David, “Could I please have an Oathkeeper sword?” and they smiled and told me, “When you’re dead.””

Hopefully that death isn’t coming any time soon, and when asked if we’ll be seeing more of her in upcoming seasons, Gwendoline remained coy. “I hope so. But I don’t know anything!”

 


Spirits of Westeros: Lavish Lannister by winteriscoming

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109 Comments

  1. Arden
    Posted June 21, 2014 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

    Brienne getting in a literal slugging match with THE HOUND and comes out victorious lmao. D&D should be proud.

  2. jentario
    Posted June 21, 2014 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

    Honestly, it was the first time the show entered fan fiction material IMO, but damn was it some good fan fiction! I’m glad they put it in, and I hope they follow up with Brienne searching for Arya.

    Thumbs up for Gwen and Rory for being great;

  3. john
    Posted June 21, 2014 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

    The idea that Brienne would beat The Hound like that is a bit of a joke. He’s probably 2x as strong and has 10x as much experience.

  4. Dragonboner
    Posted June 21, 2014 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

    john,

    Thus the infection from the bite…
    how quickly we forget.

  5. Dragonboner
    Posted June 21, 2014 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

    john,

    Plus he just finished a good poop. And we all know a truly poo-phoric poop can suck the energy and strength right from you.

  6. TOIVA
    Posted June 21, 2014 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

    Dragonboner,

    Indeed, the Hound was at a disadvantage and he no doubt underestimated Brienne.

    And Brienne kinda went nuts in the end. Perhaps if there were no mountainside to fall from, the Hound could do more. But still, he got a lot going against him.

    Were he in a similar state as Brienne, he’d most likely win, but ‘if wishes were horses’…

    They still pulled off a great fight. As far as simple fight stories go, it might have been the best in GoT till now.

  7. jwal
    Posted June 21, 2014 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

    john,

    In any other case, I think Brienne has a small chance of beating the Hound, but it’s sheer strength that gives him an edge. In the fight, he grabs her head and I think if he was in top shape he would have been able to snap her neck. I say she’d win 2 out of 10 on a normal day.

  8. Easteros bunny
    Posted June 21, 2014 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

    Was a great fight.

    However, it would of been even better if I was able to tell what was going on without the shot cutting every 0.5 seconds. It was the same issue I had with the mountain vs viper fight, too many cuts.

    Whoever edits the series needs to lay off the cuts. It’s boarder line ADHD.

  9. Omar Brown
    Posted June 21, 2014 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

    One of the best scenes of the last season was a complete fabrication from the books, I loved it. And if this is a sign of season 5, I am looking forward.

  10. Eljuma
    Posted June 21, 2014 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

    john:
    The idea that Brienne would beat The Hound like that is a bit of a joke. He’s probably 2x as strong and has 10x as much experience.

    Who’s taller? Brienne.

    Who has better armor? Brienne.

    Who has Valyrian steel? Brienne.

    Who has been eating and sleeping comfortably in castles and inns in the last months? Brienne.

    Who has no infected bite wound in the neck? Brienne.

    Who was not surprised while in the process of taking a shit? Brienne.

    Who did not fall off a cliff? Brienne.

    And yet the Hound put up a decent fight.

  11. Ser Florian
    Posted June 21, 2014 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

    I think y’all aren’t giving (book) Brienne enough credit… she’s getting along to being one of the most formidable fighters in Westeros. Winning the Melee at Bitterbridge, surviving Renly’s tent, holding her own and eventually getting the better of Jaime (neither was fighting at their full, admittedly), her encounters with the Brave Companions. She might not quite be up there with the best, yet, but she’s still only 20. Ser Goodwin saw it in her, Jaime sees it in her (what he says to Loras, that if he draws his sword he’ll be a corpse, she’s as strong as the Mountain etc.). If anything, show Brienne has reached her potential, while book Brienne is still on the way to it. Show Brienne could easily match the Hound… But, as Goodwin said, she’ll always be underestimated.

    That aside, was a great fight. When I first saw the preview and saw the two of them meeting, I was dreading the fight, thinking it was such a departure from the books… how would Arya react, how would she strike off on her own afterwards, how would the Hound and Brienne come to blows despite their shared goals? But they handled all of the buildup and aftermath brilliantly, and the fight itself was one of the best we’ve had, this season or any.

    There’s only 1 thing that concerns me, slightly; The efficacy of Valyrian steel. We’re told it’s lighter, sharper, stronger, better than standard steel… but we’ve yet to see anyone completely owning with a Valyrian blade, chopping through their opponents weapons, totally dominating a fight and outclassing their opponent. Can’t remember which season it’s from (2 I think), but one of the Histories and Lore sections, on the Greyjoy Rebellion, shows Ned fighting alongside Robert, cleaving through his opponents sword with Ice.

    Would be great to see something of this famed Valyrian steel, and what it can do, but we haven’t seen it yet. In fact, the last two fights we’ve had involving a Valyrian sword (Brienne vs the Hound, and Jon vs Styr) the Valyrian steel wielders have been disarmed at some point. Might just be that it’s an advantage but it’s not an automatic win, I guess. But I’d like to see it cleaving through armour, taking off a head or two, shattering a sword or some spear shafts.

  12. Ross
    Posted June 21, 2014 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

    It’s not over yet??

    That is very interesting. A possible hint that The Hound is not yet dead?

  13. Lyn
    Posted June 21, 2014 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

    Don’t underestimate Brienne. We are talking about the woman that defeated Loras Tyrell, one of the best fighters in the Seven Kingdoms. She is a beast and I’d say that even with the Hound in perfect state she would win.

  14. Arden
    Posted June 21, 2014 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

    Ser Florian,

    Handled it brilliantly? Oh shit… Brienne would never draw steel instead of talking it out with Sandor. She attacks Sandor because……. Stockholm syndrome? Lmfao

  15. Ser Florian
    Posted June 21, 2014 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

    Arden,

    Why would Brienne not draw? Sandor had half drawn his sword, and the time for talking was over… that’s why Brienne drew. The Hound stood between her and the girl she swore an oath to protect.

    And why would she talk it out? He’s the Hound ffs, a wild dog, a killer. Can you reason with a dog? It’s taken plenty of quiet chats in the countryside about killing and killers for Arya to get a glimpse of Sandor Clegane, but to Brienne he’s still just the Hound. And Brienne swore an oath to protect Arya, from people like the Hound. And the way Brienne sees it, Arya needs protecting from the Hound… she doesn’t know that Sandor is looking after Arya, and that there is something more than the captor/captive relation going on.

    And, she’s a fighter, not a diplomat. Brienne talking it out… lmfao.

  16. Almost A Knight
    Posted June 21, 2014 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

    All the talk about X would never beats Y is such a rubbish, tbh. Have anyone here actually watched actual sports? Beside Brienne in the show is different than Brienne in the book. Brienne in the book’s first killing was at this point. And it was such a painful experience for her because she doesn’t quiet enjoy the killing part itself. But Brienne in the show is different. She’s older and probably has reached the prime and potential as a fighter. She beats all those men in Renly’s camp and when she beats Loras in the show was actually final part of the tourney. Jaime Lannister admitted that few men including Clegane Brothers are stronger than him, and she is stronger than him.

    Brienne in the show was the one who didn’t think twice when those men in the woods found out that she was guarding Jaime Lannister. She killed three men in one beat, what did you expect from her? If you’re in the Brienne position and saw the little girl with this older man who has not-quiet good reputation, wouldn’t you fight him if he drew his sword on you?

    In the end, it always goes down just like what her master-at-arm said:

    Men will always underestimate you, he said, and their pride will make them want to vanquish you quickly, lest it be said that a woman tried them sorely. Let them spend their strength in furious attacks, whilst you conserve your own. Wait and watch, girl, wait and watch.

    Gwendoline and Rory are such an unexpected MVP in the finale (especially Rory). The best one on one fighting in the series. Thank you for making this happen, guys!

    tvline: Performers of the Week: Rory McCann and Gwendoline Christie

  17. Ser Tahu
    Posted June 21, 2014 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

    As Eljuma pointed out, given the circumstances and, in particular, Sandor’s health at the time I thought the outcome was entirely reasonable.

    Anyway, I’ve never really been a fan of either Sandor or Brienne, but that scene had me on the edge of my seat. It was absolutely brilliant, and was easily one of the best duals in the entire series.

    On another note, after all the Shae nonsense I’m surprise (in a good way) that no one is trying to call Sandor sexist for fighting Brienne. Good job, fanbase, you aren’t entirely insane :P

  18. Kells
    Posted June 21, 2014 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

    Ser Florian,

    There was no room for talking or compromise the moment Brienne mentioned Jaime Lannister. Once it was revealed that it was a Lannister sword, while her intentions where true and pure, there was no way Arya would have gone with her willingly. I actually thought the moment she introduced Podrick Payne, Arya would have been wary of her. Illyn Payne being on her “list” and all.
    Sandor had it right, there is no safety. Brienne thought Arya had to be saved from the Hound. The Hound thought he had to protect Arya from a Lannister hench(wo)man. Both have the same goal (at this point in the game, the thought of gold long gone) but, considering what they have seen and the world they live in, a dead ally is better then a living enemy.
    While Brienne isn’t sworn to House Lannister, her journey to find the Stark girls is being backed by a Lannister. Her own oath be damned at that point. There is no way this confrontation could have ended peacefully.
    All and all though, it was a beautifully brutal fight. Rory and Gwendolyn committed in a way that made the moment so intense, I will never forget it.
    And as for who would win if the Hound was at 100% (no infection, well rested/fed)? Who knows. Brienne is a fierce warrior. Sandor has experience and size (Rory is 6’6″, Gwendolyn is 6’2″-ish) on his side. Both could hold their own and both I would want on Team Stark.
    This is my hope, should the Gravedigger theory prove to be true. Imagine the two of them? The strongest sworn shields in the Seven Kingdoms, helping to take back the north?
    Even if GRRM doesn’t write it, that would be fanfic I would be happy to watch.

  19. Ours is the Fury
    Posted June 21, 2014 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

    Ser Tahu,

    It isn’t nonsense, and please don’t dismiss people’s reasonable arguments as ‘insane’ simply because you don’t agree.

    In general, fans are treating the Brienne/Hound fight and the Shae-Tyrion thing differently because they are very different situations. Why would you treat a brawl between strangers the same as an emotionally loaded struggle between ex-lovers? Common sense says you wouldn’t.

  20. Ser Tahu
    Posted June 21, 2014 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

    Ours is the Fury,

    Sorry, I kind of missed my opportunity to vent/weigh in on the topic over the last few days (I’ve been busy with exams), and one of my friends had just linked me an incredibly sexist article on the matter so I kind of vented in this post when I shouldn’t have.

    Also, it may just be me but I think the site may be having some issues on Google Chrome (e.g. comments not displaying properly and the site occasionally not loading). It’s working fine for me on firefox, but ever since the redesign (which I like, by the way. I can’t remember if I mentioned that when it happened) I’ve been having a few problems on chrome. Speaking of which, sorry if I double posted, as far as I could see (on chrome) my comment hadn’t posted at all.

  21. Boojam
    Posted June 21, 2014 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

    Ser Florian: And, she’s a fighter, not a diplomat. Brienne talking it out… lmfao.

    One thing to note in that scene, and I missed it the first time, is that just as the fight starts Brienne looks at Arya quickly, and decides that Arya is too close to the combat so moved herself and Sandor away.

  22. Ronin
    Posted June 21, 2014 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

    This is pure fantasy. Hound is one of the best fighters in Westeros and much stronger than Brienne as well. In real world she could never beat him.

    I feel that many changes to the book material are made to please female audience, such as introducing this scene where a woman beats a man in a fight. Also Cersei’s character is changed a lot, HBO show made her almost likeable and not evil at all.

  23. kdenn1020
    Posted June 21, 2014 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

    Did anyone note how fucking coil the music was foe that fight?

  24. Monica
    Posted June 21, 2014 at 9:53 pm | Permalink

    It was the best fight this season, and Brienne won because she didn’t hold back, she gave it her all. It was already established as being possible, when she won the battle with the Knight of the Flowers in front of Renly in Season 2, and held her own with Jaime Lannister in Season 3.

    That being said, I thought she won because the Hound was sick, and she pushed him off a cliff. Amazing!

  25. Zack
    Posted June 21, 2014 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

    It’s crazy to me that the best fight of the show so far is one that was both original to the TV show and that happened without any pre-episode hype over it.

    I love Gwen.

    I wish Brienne had a surname though. I can’t think of other major characters whose surnames are unknown to us.

  26. Almost A Knight
    Posted June 21, 2014 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

    Boojam,

    You’re totally correct. That’s why she stepped some steps back and that’s one of reason she fell at first.

    Zack:
    I wish Brienne had a surname though. I can’t think of other major characters whose surnames are unknown to us.

    I believe her surname is Tarth. Because Jaime mentions in season 2 that her father’s name is Selwyn Tarth. I believe there are different theories out there why she’s called Brienne of Tarth. Mainly because that’s applicable too, since she also comes from Tarth Island.

  27. Ser Tahu
    Posted June 21, 2014 at 11:07 pm | Permalink

    Almost A Knight,

    I always assumed that she was referred to as ‘Brienne of Tarth’ due to the fact that ‘Brienne Tarth’ really doesn’t roll off the tongue very well :P.

  28. Zack
    Posted June 21, 2014 at 11:07 pm | Permalink

    Almost A Knight,

    That seems very strange if their surname is their homeland’s name but I’ll go with it! Maybe they are the only family that lives on the island of Tarth. I would be interested in learning about her home.

  29. Almost A Knight
    Posted June 21, 2014 at 11:26 pm | Permalink

    Ser Tahu,

    That’s actually reason that I believe. But there are actually debate out there why she’s called as Brienne of Tarth. People really think this through. I think the most awesome theory is because her allegiance is not really for Tarth. She served Baratheon, Stark and now (in shadow) Lannister. So “Tarth” is basically not where her allegiance comes but only where she comes from.

    Zack,

    We don’t even know their house words! (probably “loyalty through and through”) The information about her background is really minimum. Other than the interesting title of his father as “Evenstar” and we don’t even know why he’s called the “Evenstar” The most interesting part is probably her family ties strongly with certain character in GRRM’s novellas.

  30. MrsBlobby
    Posted June 21, 2014 at 11:39 pm | Permalink

    Heavy sword? Must be a pile of shit then, sword’s shouldn’t weigh much.

  31. outdoorcats
    Posted June 22, 2014 at 12:00 am | Permalink

    Ser Florian,

    I think they’re deliberately downplaying the power of Valyrian Steel on the show as compared to the books perhaps for the fear it wouldn’t look ‘realistic’ (and perhaps is or isn’t, I’m no expert, but for a wider audience it might look cheesy). The significance of Valyrian Steel on the show will be limited to: it’s really good and rare steel and 2) more importantly, it can kill White Walkers.

  32. KG
    Posted June 22, 2014 at 1:17 am | Permalink

    Like the book takes time to note – no one takes her seriously, either. You KNOW the Hound sure as hell didn’t.

    john:
    The idea that Brienne would beat The Hound like that is a bit of a joke. He’s probably 2x as strong and has 10x as much experience.

  33. WeirwoodTreeHugger
    Posted June 22, 2014 at 1:22 am | Permalink

    Ronin:
    This is pure fantasy. Hound is one of the best fighters in Westeros and much stronger than Brienne as well. In real world she could never beat him.

    I feel that many changes to the book material are made to please female audience, such as introducing this scene where a woman beats a man in a fight. Also Cersei’s character is changed a lot, HBO show made her almost likeable and not evil at all.

    Did you read the books? Because Brienne beats men in fights there too. So do Arya and Asha.

    Sorry if that hurts your manfeels. Maybe you’re watching and reading the wrong series? Because GRRM has said he approaches female characters as human beings just like he does male characters.

    I found a site where you might feel at home though http://www.manfeels-park.com/

  34. Dogmayor
    Posted June 22, 2014 at 2:19 am | Permalink

    Brienne beating the hound is one of the biggest insults from D&D yet. After Jaime’s unfortunate behanding, Sandor is the absolute best fighter on the continent. It’s just another example of the ultra feminist ‘women are better than men at everything’ bullshit that D&D have warped this show into. George had crafted a world with realistic characters, without the sickening gender politics of toxic feminism polluting it and then these disgusting hacks have to take it to the gynocentric extreme for what I can only assume is to appease their own misguided and sad political views.

    I’m sorry, but Brienne would have been cut in half by Sandor in 2 seconds.

  35. Dogmayor
    Posted June 22, 2014 at 2:52 am | Permalink

    WeirwoodTreeHugger,

    Stop trying to silence men. “Manfeels”? are you fucking kidding me, get out of here with your sexist bigotry. Just because I am a man my opinion is automatically invalid?

    No one is saying that Brienne and other women couldn’t easily beat men in the ASOIAF universe, it’s just that Sandor is literally THE BEST fighter in Westeros and Brienne is an inexperenced novice who got completely decimated by what is essentially a mindless brute in biter.

    It doesn’t even follow the logic as presented by the show. In season 1 Sandor sword fights with Gregor after Gregor loses his bout with Loras. Sandor easily defends himself and turns away sword blows as he stands toe to toe with his brother. We see just how strong Gregor is in his duel with Oberyn when he picks him up with one hand, while lying on his back punches out all of Oberyns teeth in a single blow and the CRUSHES HIS SKULL with his bare hands. And Sandor stood with that man in a sword fight as that man was trying to kill him. And your’e telling me that Brienne is stronger than Gregor… You are fucking delusional. Sandor would have caved her head in with the first punch if he didn’t cleave her in half first.

  36. Troublesome Birdsong
    Posted June 22, 2014 at 3:04 am | Permalink

    Zack:
    Almost A Knight,

    That seems very strange if their surname is their homeland’s name but I’ll go with it!

    It happens a lot with minor nobles in the books, for instance -
    Bronn’s new wife Lollys Stokeworth is from Stokeworth in the Crownlands, but also Hightower, Crakehall, Ashford, Rosby, Hornwood, Cerwyn, Redfort, Volmark, Saltcliffe, Yronwood, Blackmont, Darry and Hayford.

  37. tiny direwolf
    Posted June 22, 2014 at 3:51 am | Permalink

    I am interested to see what, if anything, Brienne does with the truth the Hound pointed out to her about the notion of getting the Stark girls somewhere “safe”. He really illuminated the fact that she has no real plan after finding the girls, and now Arya has refused to be “saved” and has dissapeared.
    I wonder if that will be addressed in Season 5?

  38. strokememarge
    Posted June 22, 2014 at 4:32 am | Permalink

    Kudos to Rory for his outstanding and perfect performance as Sandor Clegane, his talent and presence brought ASoIaF most enigmatic anti-hero to life as only Rory could, the Hound will be missed…on the other hand…

    Sandor reborn as a brother of the faith must arise to protect Sansa, thereby I could see her instead of Brienne coming across the grave digger as their party inspects the Vale, just move the Quiet Isle Monastery there. In fact I found the absolutely ideal location, and it is in Croatia at that, behold the Elder Brother’s home…

    http://static.panoramio.com/photos/large/60549962.jpg

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visovac_Monastery

  39. Mikken's Mark
    Posted June 22, 2014 at 4:44 am | Permalink

    ~{M}~{M}~{M}~

    SCENE:
    The Hound studied her face. Hmm, he thought to himself….must be Tyrek Lannister. His eyes shifted to the hilt of the stranger’s sword. “Been around Lannister gold long enough to know it when I see it……Tyrek”, said Sandor.

    Who the hell is Tyrek, thought HBO adapted Brienne? She was rattled. Her lips quivered but no words came out.

    Ayra studied her face. Hmm, she thought to herself, look at her hair. It can’t be she told herself, this is the ugliest Lannister I have ever seen.

    No! Thought Podrick. She is fumbling, is this where I die? But then it came to him, this was the fate the Gods had intended for him. Flashes of the Blackwater blinded his sight and he was suddenly overwhelmed with adrenaline. For the first time in his life the words came out exactly as he had planned, “Wait! If we were Lannister men, why would we be carrying this?”.

    Arya watched as the boy unclothed a small bundle that he had been carrying underneath his armpit. The boy had been sweating profusely and the cloth was damp. It was a small pie, in the shape….in the shape of a direwolf!

    “Hand the pie here boy”, said the Hound. He was hungry and in no mood for conversation.

    “Twas a gift for my lady, Arya Stark of Winterfell”, said Podrick

    HBO adapted Brienne still had not uttered a word.

    Arya was skeptical. Her journey on the king’s road had been long and tiresome but she should would not let her guard down. Never. She thought of Nymeria….and her brother, Jon. ‘Tis my own sigil she thought. Could these truly be friends? She had never met a friend on the king’s road. But what had the Hound ever gave her?

    “The pie boy, hand it here!” The Hound was unwilling to play games and his tone had grown restless. He stepped forward.

    The Hound was completely fixated on the young boy. Arya could see his mouth begin to water. Micah, she thought. She rubbed the coin in her pocket. Valar Morghulis. She unsheathed Needle as quick as a snake and hurled it into the back of the Hound’s neck like a spear. The Hound came crashing down on Podrick and the pie flew from his hands. HBO adapted Brienne fainted.

    “Get him off of me!”, Podrick cried. But who was he yelling to. The man on top of him was instantly dead as far as he could tell. He did not bother to check his pulse.

    Arya whistled and her white mare came running full speed. In one motion Arya grabbed the side of the horse, and reached for needle. It slid out of Sandor’s neck with ease and with a twirl she used it to scoop the pie from the ground. She never turned back. She was on her own.

    -Adaptation of HBO’s adaptation of GRRM’s a Song of Ice & Fire
    {M}

  40. KG
    Posted June 22, 2014 at 4:50 am | Permalink

    The one thing that bugged me about the fight is the effect of grabbing the blade. It was idiotic of the Hound to deliberately gouge up his hands, going for intimidation or not.

    How’d that under-estimation work out for ya, dogboy?

  41. Felagund
    Posted June 22, 2014 at 4:53 am | Permalink

    Again: this is NOT how you wield a longsword. Not even remotely. Not with or without armor. Who the heck teach the actors this bullshit?

    Thank you for your attention.

  42. Tatters
    Posted June 22, 2014 at 5:14 am | Permalink

    Dogmayor,

    It seems like you forgot a hound in the books. You know, the one that dies from a sad infection.
    Brienne also kills a hound in the books.

  43. TheBerylfly
    Posted June 22, 2014 at 5:17 am | Permalink

    There are several undeniable facts:
    a) show Brienne is very much different from the book Brienne; tougher and a better fighter. Not sure if this change is for the best – I would take “cannot help admiring a man she hates” Brienne over “likeaboss!” Brienne any day; there is no chance in hell book!Brienne would have defeated the Hound even somewhat weakened Hound – he is bigger and stronger than her and much more experienced.
    b) D&D are known for their attempts to make female characters “cooler” and more likable which very often backfire tbh
    c) if you use words like “gynocentric” and “feminism pollution”, you should be excluded from any intelligent conversation until you grow a brain

  44. TheBerylfly
    Posted June 22, 2014 at 5:25 am | Permalink

    strokememarge,

    oh my god that IS the Quiet Isle

  45. Joe Frost
    Posted June 22, 2014 at 6:27 am | Permalink

    The fight itself was good but matching Brienne and Sandor up was a mistake. Not sure why they’ve gone the route of making Brienne the best fighter on the planet as in the books shes a decent fighter but not in the same league as Jaime, The Hound, etc. She’s still ridiculously green and part of her appeal in the books is her naivity about honour and what being a knight means. They should have used time this series to better develop her personality instead of this daft duel which takes away from The Hound’s character and does nothing to build hers. Show Brienne is getting very dull and almost robotic. They should have taken her to Maidenpool instead and shown the crap she had to put up with when she was trying to become a knight. Would have done more for her character than pointless waffle with Pod.
    Before anyone complains and calls sexism as is so often the case in these threads. I don’t care what her gender is, it’s about misrepresenting the source material. If she was a great fighter/beat Jaime/beat the Hound in the books then I’d have no issue with it happening in the show. Instead the books portray her as a decent and stubborn fighter yet not as formidable as in the show. She won a tourney against Loras (who is reknowned as a jouster not a meleee fighter). Has killed a couple of bandits (her first kill only happened in the books series of events!), fought to a DRAW (as people keep forgetting)an out-of-shape, starved, unarmoured, manacled Jaime and killed Rorge before nearly being killed by Biter, which she would have been if Gendry hadn’t turned up. To say this rather average combat record could defeat an stronger, more experienced Hound who has massiev experience of killing and regularly takes on multiple opponents at the same time is too muc of a push for me.
    I do hope they make more of an effort with her next season. She may be winning fights but she’s losing my interest.

  46. Grundang
    Posted June 22, 2014 at 7:00 am | Permalink

    jwal,

    Haha
    If you had read the book you would have known that she would win 0/1000 in any day.

  47. Grundang
    Posted June 22, 2014 at 7:10 am | Permalink

    WeirwoodTreeHugger,

    Yeah she beats a lot of men but not Sandor. It is not the point that woman beats a man the point is that Brienne beats Sandor where it is clear from the books that he is in top3 fighters in westeros. He has more strenght and more speed than her, also a lot more experience. Even with the infection Sandor should have an easy win over her in a couple of seconds. We can say that D&D changed and show Brienne is more skilled fighter but still her background which is more or less the same as in the books does not suggest that she could have more fighting skill than Sandor.

  48. Dame of Mercia
    Posted June 22, 2014 at 8:07 am | Permalink

    TheBerylfly: c) if you use words like “gynocentric” and “feminism pollution”, you should be excluded from any intelligent conversation until you grow a brain

    I do agree, Berylfly. I’m not saying this site has to be like the Oxford Debating Society but it is perfectly possible to make a point without being unduly rancid.

    Of course if somebody was blocked from the site, he/she would probably just open another free email account and give himself/herself another name.

  49. House Mormont
    Posted June 22, 2014 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    Season 4 screen time:

    1) Tyrion Lannister 56:24

    2) Jon Snow 43:53
    3) Cersei Lannister 41:44

    4) Jaime Lannister 38:59
    5) Sansa Stark 35:43
    6) Tywin Lannister 33:11
    7) Oberyn Martell 30:07

    8) Daenerys Targaeryen 29:33
    9) Sandor Clegane 29:23
    10) Arya Stark 25:55

  50. House Mormont
    Posted June 22, 2014 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    Brienne got 20 minutes, Theon got 12, Bran got 11, Stannis got 9 and Yara got a grand total of 2:24

  51. Abyss
    Posted June 22, 2014 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    KG,

    Grabbing the blade of your opponent (or your own) is actually a technique in some medieval sword fighting styles. That said, most of the time it was done near the crossguard where the blade is much blunter IIRC, and ideally you would wear gloves for that. ;-)
    I think the main reason for the Hound to grab Brienne’s blade was to surprise her and get the upper hand in a desperate situation with a desperate move. Yes, it was a dumb thing to do, but he was down on the ground and the fight was over. He didn’t wanted it to be over, he didn’t wanted to surrender and was will to do what ever it it would take to win the fight.

  52. Grey Ghost
    Posted June 22, 2014 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    This instantly became one of my favourite moments in the entire series. About halfway through the fight I was like “Jesus Christ will you both chill.” D: Awesome stuff. Fearful for both characters yet cheering them on. Raaawr

  53. Ours is the Fury
    Posted June 22, 2014 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    I have to say, it makes me laugh to see Brienne treated by real people just as she is in Westeros, with her skills disregarded and underestimated. She isn’t said to the best fighter in the Seven Kingdoms, but she is terrifically strong and she’s big. She’s skilled, and in the episode she isn’t above using the same rough tactics as the Hound. It’s established in the show that the Hound at this point is already wounded and infected from the bite and walking slower now, which means he’s not in top fighting shape. Frankly there is no proof that the Hound is the best fighter in Westeros. There is no firm ranking system like that, that’s just his fans’ opinion. It’s believable that a healthy, better-rested, better-armored, Valyrian-steel wielding Brienne was able to take on the Hound.

  54. Turncloak
    Posted June 22, 2014 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    Loved Brienne vs The Hound. Don’t know why people say she shouldn’t have beat him. She’s a top 5 fighter in westeros

  55. Grey Ghost
    Posted June 22, 2014 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    What? People are doubting her abilities against a wounded Hound? That’s just silly. This is fiction remember. Personally I felt like we watched two of the best fighters in Westeros going at it HARDCORE STYLEY. I’m not fussed about specific rankings lol

  56. ArgonathofBraavos
    Posted June 22, 2014 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    Have any of you critics watched sports, or participated in real life before?

    Even if the Hound had better ‘stats’ on paper (which remains debatable), underdogs win all the time. Just like low probability events happen all the time.

    Spain was one of 3 nations expected to win the World Cup this year, based on their excellent stats. And they lost their first toe games (the first one 5-1) and were eliminated in the first round.

    Circumstances, psychology, hubris, chance, adrenaline. These all conspire to make the rules of competition less than an exact science.

    There are probably 100 interrelated factors that led to Brienne beating the Hound, not the least of which might be that she was oath-bound to protect the Stark children, while the Hound was motivated by financial reward (and perhaps a growing respect for Arya).

    This debate is beyond silly, and is a disservice to GoT fandom. This kind of thing is one of the reasons why fantasy is so often dismissed: it’s adherents are deemed to be strangely detached, pedantic and obsessed with irrelevant detail over literary quality.

  57. Joe Frost
    Posted June 22, 2014 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    Ours is the Fury,

    It’s believable but I think people are entitled to question the decision to have them meet up and to have Brienne come off the victor. Not sure why they changed the Jaime scene in Series 3 though as them fighting eachother to a standstill and then being captured worked better as a plot and also Jaime’s personality works better when you realise despite him being an arrogant git he is exeptionally good with a sword. I felt that was lost in the way it was executed in the show. As it’s not in the books then I guess they can write the Hound/Brienne scene how they like but I prefer if they stuck to the source material a little closer as I don’t think they’re developing Brienne’s character very well. It seems to be a more simplistic ‘she’s a girl who can beat boys’ than the more complex character she is in the books wrestling with the concept of honour and her naivity about what it means to be a knight. The duel time and Pod/HotPie scenes this season would have been better spent in Maidenpool with Randyll Tarly et al, showing the sort of crap she had to put up with growing up wanting to be a knight and also what an arse Sam’s dad is.
    For the…

    “ It is said that your father is a good man. If so, I pity him. Some men are blessed with sons, some with daughters. No man deserves to be cursed with such as you.” – Randyll Tarly

    …line alone it would have been better as you immediately feel more sympathetic for her character and also realise the impact his father must have had on Sam.
    Character development beats forced fight scenes any day of the week for me!

  58. Dame of Mercia
    Posted June 22, 2014 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    Grey Ghost:
    What? People are doubting her abilities against a wounded Hound? That’s just silly. This is fiction remember. Personally I felt like we watched two of the best fighters in Westeros going at it HARDCORE STYLEY. I’m not fussed about specific rankings lol

    Grey Ghost, I heard somewhere (and I apologise that I can’t find the original source to credit the person who said it) that fandom was a deeply scary place. Hound Fans – v – Brienne fans could be discussed in a more good-humoured sort of way. You are right – it is fiction.

  59. Valyrian fencer
    Posted June 22, 2014 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    Abyss,

    Out of curiosity, which school of fighting are you referring to? In my experience it’ perfectly ok to grab the mezza/punta spada when it’s not cutting you.

  60. Lyn
    Posted June 22, 2014 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    Garlan Tyrell is imo the best fighter in Westeros and not
    Sandor but we can’t really know who’s the best. This was the best fight of the entire series for me and it didn’t seem unrealistic to me. Kudos to D&D for this awesome deviation.

  61. ArgonathofBraavos
    Posted June 22, 2014 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    Ours is the Fury:
    I have to say, it makes me laugh to see Brienne treated by real people just as she is in Westeros, with her skills disregarded and underestimated. She isn’t said to the best fighter in the Seven Kingdoms, but she is terrifically strong and she’s big. She’s skilled, and in the episode she isn’t above using the same rough tactics as the Hound. It’s established in the show that the Hound at this point is already wounded and infected from the bite and walking slower now, which means he’s not in top fighting shape. Frankly there is no proof that the Hound is the best fighter in Westeros. There is no firm ranking system like that, that’s just his fans’ opinion. It’s believable that a healthy, better-rested, better-armored, Valyrian-steel wielding Brienne was able to take on the Hound.

    And they see no irony in it! What a strange, scorecard world such people live in. It’s certainly a simpler world than our own, but I do not envy the rigid certainty they have boxed themselves in.

  62. Snake_Pliskan
    Posted June 22, 2014 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

    Dragonboner: poo

    Exactly…..it’s why boxers don’t have sex before a fight and sword wielders don’t take a massive dump before a duel.

  63. Abyss
    Posted June 22, 2014 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    Valyrian fencer,

    I didn’t had a specific fighting school in mind. Frankly, I simply don’t know enough about the matter to go into detail. I know however that sources like the Codex Wallerstein have references to grabbing the blade of a sword (see page 18).

  64. TOIVA
    Posted June 22, 2014 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

    Winning in a swordfight is hardly a charactericstic I’d call transmissible (ie if A wins over B and B wins over C, then A would win over C). Therefore the only way someone can be called the ‘best …’ is him (her) winning in some sort of tournament. On that one occasion, him (her) winning would mean he (she) was the best fighter at that one moment (day, several days). It in no way means the same person would win the next month, or a following year (see pretty much any sport).

    After previous and latest seasons, I’d say (two-handed) Jaime, Oberyn, Sandor, Loras, Brienne and Gregor are ones of the best fighters (I probably forget about more, maybe Tormund might do very well). In a duel, each of them should have a good chance winning.

    Of course, in such a duel, every little detail might influence who wins and who dies. Had Oberyn had a single spear, he’d be done very soon. Had Oberyn gone for a kill, the whole duel would end in his favor. Had the Hound been in better form (infected wound, hardly ideal alimentation), he’d have far better chances. Had he not had underestimated Brienne, he’d at least have started better. Had Brienne not gotten in what seemed like ‘maternal protection of Arya’ mode in the end (she was absolutely nuts there), Sandor may have thrown her down the cliff. Everything plays a role.

    Brienne’s win does make sense and is very believable given the circumstances.

  65. KG
    Posted June 22, 2014 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

    Abyss,

    Oh I know. I just didn’t want to muddy the water of my post and lose my overall point; that it didn’t succeed in showing what a “badass” (?) Clegane was supposed to be.

    And nice to talk to other swordy-fencey types.

  66. KG
    Posted June 22, 2014 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

    Based on … what?

    Being “a better sword” than Loras? Who – by the way – Brienne also beat in a melee.

    You have absolutely no textual backup for that opinion.

    Lyn: und had better ‘stats’ on paper (which remains debatable), underdogs win all the time. Just like low probability ev

  67. Lyn
    Posted June 22, 2014 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    KG,

    I know I have no evidence as to why I think Garlan is the best fighter in Westeros, only quotes of some characters saying he is really good. What I was trying to say is that those who say the Hound is the best fighter can’t back it up either because there isn’t a ranking or anything.

  68. Darquemode
    Posted June 22, 2014 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    Abyss,

    I agree.
    I’ve seen a more than a few documentaries and demonstrations by medieval combat re-enactors, weapon-masters, historians etc that had swordsmen grabbing the blade during a fight.

    Some propose it was far more common than one might think and quite often used to defend blows as well as to get leverage for new strikes after attacks/ parries that left you out of balance or unable to return to the more traditional sword poised in front and ready position.

    In combat every area of the sword could be used as a weapon and for defense. The pommels and cross guards themselves were dangerous and could do serious damage. They were almost mace-like if the sword was held at the blade.

    That said, like you mentioned, the Hound grabbed the blade for completely different reasons meant to mentally, not physically, disarm his opponent. Anything to get an advantage if you are in a certain loss situation.

    Re: The Fight Outcome..
    I don’t see why anyone would think it was implausible that Brienne would defeat Sandor. He was infected and fatigued… quite possibly not just doing his morning business behind the bush. He could have been very sick from his infection (sepsis can cause diarrhea and vomiting ya know) and needing to stop behind every tenth bush in the Vale!

  69. SusieQ
    Posted June 22, 2014 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

    Someone said Brienne is taller than the Hound, which is false. Don’t know if this has been addressed as I haven’t read all the comments but Gwendoline Christie is 6’3″ and Rory McCann is 6’6″….

    On a normal day, The Hound would have been able to best Brienne but he was weakened from the infection caused by the bite on his neck.

  70. Mikken's Mark
    Posted June 22, 2014 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    Ours is the Fury,

    My lord of Storm’s End,

    We are treating Brienne exactly as she is in Westeros. We have discussed all of the points you have touched on in the sullied finale recap if that is something that would interest you. For one, we feel that many are underestimating the character development of Brienne in the books. There is more to the discussion but I will withhold here because it was prolonged on the recap.

    ArgonathofBraavos,

    Many of us on the opposite side of the table concerning this matter have expressed an understanding of your side’s opinion. We reached a point where we all agreed to disagree…..expect for you. I still do not know if you at least understand where our side is coming from because at this point you are coming off as “rigid” and “boxed” in.

    {M}

  71. Mimsy
    Posted June 22, 2014 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

    This scene was one of the best out of GOT. I wanted this fight to be a draw, but NOOOOO, that’s not the way things work in Westeros.

    I don’t understand why Brienne continues to be underestimated. So far she has won all of her on screen fights by physical force. She tackled Loras, shoulder shoved Jaime to get the best of him and monkey punched the hell out of Sandor to scramble his brains. She wins by skill and FORCE. Brienne is a professionally trained fighter and isn’t afraid to get teeth knocked out. The boys will always underestimate her in a fight and they will lose when they think Brienne has “had enough” and will be an easy kill. Brienne is a formidable threat and it’s anyone’s game should they fight her.

  72. Joe Frost
    Posted June 22, 2014 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

    Mimsy,

    Everyone keeps claiming that people are underestimating her yet I have seen no sign of anyone in the show doing so except for those three Stark men who hung the whores. Again , I’m not sure why her gender needs to come into it? Mine and a lot of people’s issue is that her fighting ability seems to have been scaled up from the books oft time at the expense of other characters. Yes, she’s got talent but she doesn’t have much experience in no-tourney fights and in the book was a lot more endearing with her lack of fighting “wins”.

  73. Mikken's Mark
    Posted June 22, 2014 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    Let’s keep gender out of the equation of her capabilities. If you have something to say to, “why do people have a problem Brienne beating the Hound?” and your answer is automatically labeled as sexist than there is no use explaining oneself.

    {M}

  74. King in the North Carolina
    Posted June 22, 2014 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

    Ronin:
    This is pure fantasy.

    As is literally everything that happens in the show and the books. So why is this instance a problem?

  75. ArgonathofBraavos
    Posted June 22, 2014 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

    Let me attempt a conversation-ender.

    We do not REALLY know who was technically a better fighter – Brienne or the Hound. In neither the books nor the TV show is there enough information to make an objective determination about their relative skills as fighters. It seems to me, based on the limited information available in the show and books, that the Hound, all things being equal, has a slight upper hand – making Brienne a slight underdog (in my opinion.)

    However, this analysis has little to do with the plausibility of the scene. There were a number of mitigating circumstances. This wasn’t just a tourney fight. For Brienne, she was honor bound to both Catelyn Stark and Jaime Lannister to protect the Stark girls. This certainly enhances the fierceness of her combat. The Hound, on the other hand, is primarily driven by the promise of financial reward (I believe) – even though he has respect for Arya. Remember that the Hound tells Arya that Brienne “saved her.” What did that mean? IMO, that meant that since all of Arya’s family members with money were gone, the Hound was going to consider handing her over to someone else that might have use for her (the Boltons, the Lannisters, who knows?) In any case, the Hound may have felt a little conflicted about this motivation, or simply not as passionate as Brienne, and this could have contributed to his loss.

    Furthermore, he was sick and likely hungry and tired, whereas Brienne was in much better health.

    And sometimes underdogs win.

    And perhaps the Hound was an underdog, and the ‘rankings,’ such as they are, given by the residents of Westeros, are unreliable?

    In the end, it is nearly impossible to predict the outcome of any human event. Nevermind one where two very capable fighters clash over an objective that is laced with emotion and passion.

    In this context, the debate is just silly. It leads nowhere, and means little. “Sound and fury, signifying nothing…” and all that.

    Lastly, losing the fight does not diminish the Hound’s character at all. Why should it? He fought for the right to continue being Arya’s custodian, and we will never quite know why (to protect her, or to sell her to someone else?) Losing such a fight makes him neither worse nor better than before. It’s just an occurrence. It just happened. And it doesn’t mean a thing.

  76. Mimsy
    Posted June 22, 2014 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

    Joe Frost,

    I don’t see Brienne’s character as being ramped up from the books or to be seen as invincible. It was a great fight where two opponents had the same chances of killing the other off, but they didn’t take advantage of it so it came down to overwhelming the opponent by force. The fact that the Hound survived that beating and fall is a testament to his strength.

    The sense I got from reviews is that people felt like the scene diminished the Hound in some way, but I just didn’t feel that. I felt the scene showed his strength even though he wasn’t at 100% physical level. I was disappointed that reviewers minimized the fight into gender physicality instead of the circumstances of the fight. I tend to view fights as getting that split second upper hand that you can exploit until your opponent falls and I thought this fight was a perfect example of that. There were so many instances in the fight where it could have gone either way, which made it extremely enjoyable to watch.

    Joe Frost:
    Mimsy,

    Everyone keeps claiming that people are underestimating her yet I have seen no sign of anyone in the show doing so except for those three Stark men who hung the whores. Again , I’m not sure why her gender needs to come into it? Mine and a lot of people’s issue is that her fighting ability seems to have been scaled up from the books oft time at the expense of other characters. Yes, she’s got talent but she doesn’t have much experience in no-tourney fights and in the book was a lot more endearing with her lack of fighting “wins”.

  77. john
    Posted June 22, 2014 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

    There’s a reason why men and women never ever compete against each other in sports where strength plays a part. Especially fighting sports.

    And the Hound is among the top 5 of the baddest motherfuckers in Westeros on top of that.

    The actress who plays Brienne does not look particularly strong or athletic. She’s just tall.

    As I said before, it’s a bit of a joke. And it does smell of D&D wanting to appease the female audience of the show. But it’s not a huge issue. I’ll get over it…

  78. ArgonathofBraavos
    Posted June 22, 2014 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

    john:
    There’s a reason why men and women never ever compete against each other in sports where strength plays a part. Especially fighting sports.

    And the Hound is among the top 5 of the baddest motherfuckers in Westeros on top of that.

    The actress who plays Brienne does not look particularly strong or athletic. She’s just tall.

    As I said before, it’s a bit of a joke. And it does smell of D&D wanting to appease the female audience of the show. But it’s not a huge issue. I’ll get over it…

    Straw, meet grasping hands. :)

    Fighting is not merely a feat of strength. It is a feat of strength, agility, mental quickness, energy, passion, etc. And of course, Brienne is no ordinary woman (and looks far more than just “tall”).

    There are plenty of women in the martial arts, for example, who would quickly eliminate the seemingly toughest of men.

    And there are “strong women” out there who could do the same.

    Brienne beating a weakened, unprepared and less-motivated Hound is very plausible, particularly in the show. That’s that.

  79. Mimsy
    Posted June 22, 2014 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

    *sigh* My response went into the abyss. Basically, I didn’t view this fight in terms of gender, but instances of combat skills. Both opponents had various instances where they could have had the upper hand and Brienne ended up being the victor.

    I don’t feel like Brienne is being ramped up to be seen as Wonder Woman or anything. She’s just a worthy opponent that keeps her head in the game until the end. The show stayed true to the story line progressions even though there was a slight character detour, but it didn’t make me think more or less of either character. I expect greatness from both Brienne and Sandor.

    Sandor showed impressive strength and resilience by surviving that fight and falling down the mountain. I don’t know if any other character would survive such a brutal beat down.

    Joe Frost: Mimsy

  80. Joe Frost
    Posted June 22, 2014 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

    Mimsy,

    Not really into the abyss as I responded but I’m getting fed up of typing the same reasons why I think the Hound would destroy her which aren’t going to be agreed with so it’s not worth doing the dance again.
    I think most book readers would say the evidence that could be taken from the books is that Sandor would most likely win but that’s by the by. It’s never happened in the book so whatever ahppens happens. I had bigger isue with the Jaime fight which DID happen and was changed for no apparent reason.
    My argument is that I think the development of her character could be a lot better and that she is turning into a much different Brienne for me from the book and not in a good way. I found the fleshing out of her character and the plotlines made her much more of a sympathetic character who I was rooting for. Show Brienne , I’m struggling to care about as she’s just someone with a sword who beats people.
    I think we should refrain from branching out this into a conversation about men and women in real life fighting situations as it’s not relevant to this one particular case and will also open a massive can of worms.

  81. Nimble Dick
    Posted June 22, 2014 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

    Eljuma,excellent points.

  82. Sandor Claws
    Posted June 22, 2014 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

    Top 6 “knights” in the books:
    Jaime, Brienne, Loras, Barristan Selmy, The Mountain, The Hound

  83. Joe Frost
    Posted June 22, 2014 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

    Sandor Claws,

    Ooooo controversial! :P Are you only including those that are still active and not historical?

    If you’re only including currently active or active during the books, I’d replace Loras with Garlan. You could make a case for Bronn, Balon Swann, Adam Marbrand, Lyle Crakehall and possibly The Blackfish.

    If you’re expanding it to people with Ser in front of their name then the options become even greater!

  84. Grey Ghost
    Posted June 22, 2014 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

    Dame of Mercia,

    I like The Hound, a lot, but I couldn’t call myself a fan. That final moment when he tells us what he wanted to do to Sansa, reminded us all of who he truly is. I was concerned they’d cut that but they didn’t! Yay. Add to that the stench of a butcher’s boy and lol, I had no problem seeing him suffer. Brienne is far more righteous, and allied to the Starks (mostly).

    For once the good guy (gurl) won. Who cares about the technicalities. Like, erghhh… fresh armour, no wounds, a fuller belly and a valyrian sword.

  85. ArgonathofBraavos
    Posted June 22, 2014 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

    Joe Frost,

    Based on my reading of the books, I think The Hound would probably be a favorite, with mitigating circumstances (such as infection, hunger and a non-oath based motivation for protecting Arya) possibly evening out the odds.

    But low and medium-probability outcomes are quite common in the real world, so why not in Westeros?

    As for character, I could have done with less of Brienne berating Pod (the meanest and most unnecessary being the line “you’re not interesting enough to be offensive” which was a bad and uncharacteristic piece of dialogue,) but I still think she comes off as sympathetic, given her begrudging respect for Pod over time, and great exchange with Arya (that exchange alone was better than all of Brienne’s Riverlands chapters in the book, IMO).

    One thing’s for sure. This issue may be rewarded as the “tempest in a teacup” of the year for GoT fandom. I mean, of all the th

  86. Sandor Claws
    Posted June 22, 2014 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

    Joe Frost:
    Sandor Claws,

    Ooooo controversial! :P Are you only including those that are still active and not historical?

    If you’re only including currently active or active during the books, I’d replace Loras with Garlan. You could make a case for Bronn, Balon Swann, Adam Marbrand, Lyle Crakehall and possibly The Blackfish.

    Bronn hasn’t built enough street cred. Only active and only those who fight with a sword. Barristan said he could cut down the five of yous like cutting a cake, so I had to include him, but from the books, my impression was the best fighters at the time were Jaime, Loras, The Mountain & The Hound for sure, but then Brienne beat Loras & a weakened Jaime, so….and don’t even bring a-Daario into this. I heard he’s really good. :p

  87. Grey Ghost
    Posted June 22, 2014 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

    Sandor Claws,

    Spot on. With Loras in sixth. The little cheater.

  88. krats neyragrat
    Posted June 22, 2014 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

    Ronin,
    Oh for Stark’s sake. If they were trying to please the women audience, they wouldn’t have transformed the consensual sex scenes in the book into rape scenes in the show. I don’t think D&D’s primary motivation is to please anybody, but to instead tell the best story that they can. That’s the whole point of art. It’s not to pander to the audience. They said themselves that they don’t listen to comments of fans, women’s or men’s.

  89. Sandor Claws
    Posted June 22, 2014 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

    krats neyragrat, Also, a woman beating a man in a fight is something we can all enjoy, not just women. Was anyone rooting for The Hound to bite her cheek off & knock her teeth out? The Hound’s demise was falling off a cliff. One thing’s for sure. He has the strongest knuckle bones in all the 7 kingdoms.

  90. Arden
    Posted June 22, 2014 at 10:45 pm | Permalink

    Almost A Knight,

    Why not show arya the direwolf cookie that we had to waste 10 minutes of screen time on?? What was the point of the cookie???

  91. KG
    Posted June 23, 2014 at 12:36 am | Permalink

    Just to piss you off.

    Yes. You, personally. D&D hate you that much.

    Arden:
    Almost A Knight,

    Why not show arya the direwolf cookie that we had to waste 10 minutes of screen time on?? What was the point of the cookie???

  92. Sandor Claws
    Posted June 23, 2014 at 1:29 am | Permalink

    KG ,
    Don’t be silly. The point of the bread was to inform Brienne that Arya is linked with The Hound & they didn’t give Arya the bread because obviously Pod ate it.

  93. KG
    Posted June 23, 2014 at 2:02 am | Permalink

    Sandor Claws,

    Shh let me tease him!

  94. Ilovejam
    Posted June 23, 2014 at 4:18 am | Permalink

    WeirwoodTreeHugger,

    I love you, WeirwoodTreeHugger!

  95. Joe Frost
    Posted June 23, 2014 at 5:38 am | Permalink

    ArgonathofBraavos,

    See I think another plot device they could have used would have been Pod helping her beat teh Hound in some way, which would echo the Gendry helping her against Biter and also build some respect and trust between Pod and Brienne. As I’ve said before I think the time devoted to berating Pod/talking about pies with hotpie and dueling the Hound this season would have been better spent in Maidenpool to flesh out Brienne’s character a bit. I also think if they had to include a duel then why not against Locke as with him being a Vargo Hoat proxy it would have made more sense her biting his ear off/killing him. It’s not as if there was any real point to Locke being beyond the wall so that wold have worked a lot better. Personally I found the Brienne/Arya exchange a little cheesy and I always thought Arya’s characters strength came from knowing herself what she wasnts to be and not needing a role model.
    Although I’m not happy how certain things happened in the finale, I’m at least glad everyone seems to be in the right place and on course for their other plotlines. Just I’d prefer they not make unnecessary changes like they have been doing this season (The Jaime “rape”, fireballs, ec). With Alex Graves not directing any episodes next season then I’m more positive about this.

  96. Phil
    Posted June 23, 2014 at 5:40 am | Permalink

    Felagund:
    Again: this is NOT how you wield a longsword. Not even remotely. Not with or without armor. Who the heck teach the actors this bullshit?

    Thank you for your attention.

    Please tell us how you wield a longsword.

  97. Joe Frost
    Posted June 23, 2014 at 5:43 am | Permalink

    Sandor Claws,

    He’s been knighted now though so qualifies! Daario doesn’t count does he as he’s not a knight? If we’re including non-knights then throw in Khal Drogo, The Greatjon, Quohrin Halfhand, Mance Raydar, Thoros of Myr, Vicatrion Greyjoy and many many more!
    Loras is near unbeatable in jousting but in melee he’s pretty poor. His brother is a lot more compotent.

  98. Joe Frost
    Posted June 23, 2014 at 5:45 am | Permalink

    Phil: Please tell us how you wield a longsword.

    Are you guys talking about the Hound? He may have only been wielding it one-handed as he had that infection in his left shoulder/neck?

  99. Livewire
    Posted June 23, 2014 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

    Eljuma,

    The hound is taller (or meant to be) – That’s one of the hints towards Gravedigger, Brienne describes him as being taller than her.

  100. Strider
    Posted June 23, 2014 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    Sandor Claws:
    KG ,
    Don’t be silly. The point of the bread was to inform Brienne that Arya is linked with The Hound & they didn’t give Arya the bread because obviously Pod ate it.

    POD ONLY HAD ONE JOB! ONE JOB!!!! Hot Pie clearly told him to give Arya the wolf-bread. I hate Pod!

  101. Mister Stoneheart
    Posted June 23, 2014 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

    Loved Brienne beating the Hound. Absolutely seemed possible to me, given the circumstances of a weakened Hound.

    Now, Loras beating the Mountain, or beating anything that isn’t above age 75, is stretching it. That boy just does not convey fighter in any sense, even a lithe one.

  102. Lyn
    Posted June 23, 2014 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

    Mister Stoneheart,

    I disagree. Loras has won many tourneys and has shown that he has great swordsmanship skills. I don’t understand why everybody hates him for being a cheater when other characters such as Bronn would totally cheat on a fight in order to win yet they recieve no hate because they are badasses. I would understand the hate he gets if it was based on his arrogance which I personnally don’t like. But I fear he is hated and underestimated for other reasons…

  103. Sandor Claws
    Posted June 23, 2014 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

    Joe Frost:

    He’s been knighted now though so qualifies! Daario doesn’t count does he as he’s not a knight? If we’re including non-knights then throw in Khal Drogo, The Greatjon, Quohrin Halfhand, Mance Raydar, Thoros of Myr, Vicatrion Greyjoy and many many more!Loras is near unbeatable in jousting but in melee he’s pretty poor. His brother is a lot more compotent.

    I said active and fights with a sword as Brienne and The Hound are no knights, Ser. You can’t add Khal et al. because in order to make a comparison, you need to match characteristics as best as possible. The ones I mentioned seem to be mentioned in the books as the best swords or most achievement with a sword in the land. Bronn is good but he’s a newbie. He hasn’t killed enough or been in any tourneys to be known as an ultimate fighting champion like Jaime, Loras, & Clegane Bros. Thoros? I don’t remember details from the books but I do remember Jaime, Loras, & Clegane Bros had reputations for being ultimate fighting champions. Nobody wants to fight Gregor except Sandor.

  104. Mister Stoneheart
    Posted June 23, 2014 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

    Lyn,

    Sorry, I meant specifically the actor they cast to portray that character. The character in the Books makes sense. They guy they have playing him just is unconvincing.

  105. Lyn
    Posted June 23, 2014 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

    Mister Stoneheart,

    Oh, I’m really sorry then. I completely misunderstood you.

  106. Joe Frost
    Posted June 23, 2014 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

    Sandor Claws,

    Brienne and Sandor have both been knighted but ok the contenders have to be active and use a sword.

    Ok I’d say top 10 would be (based on teh books and not the show

    Barristan Selmy
    Jaime Lannister (pre-chop)
    Garlan Tyrell
    Thoros of Myr
    Gregor Clegane
    Sandor Clegane
    Balon Swann
    Qhorin Halfhand
    Mance Rayder
    The Greatjon

    I’d leave Brienne out as still think she’s a bit green and Loras because he’s a jouster not a melee guy. Blackfish would be close to getting on there but think he’s more of a soldier than a fighter ( a bit like Ned). Lyle Crackhall was close but I think other stronger men like Gregor, Sandor and the Greatjon have more skill. Adam Marbrand also gets an honourable mention.

  107. Sister Wrister
    Posted June 23, 2014 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

    This thread is humorous.

    Eljuma: Who’s taller? Brienne.

    Who has better armor? Brienne.

    Who has Valyrian steel? Brienne.

    Who has been eating and sleeping comfortably in castles and inns in the last months? Brienne.

    Who has no infected bite wound in the neck? Brienne.

    Who was not surprised while in the process of taking a shit? Brienne.

    Who did not fall off a cliff? Brienne.

    And yet the Hound put up a decent fight.

    Thought I would give you a refresh. Thank you for this.

  108. Sister Wrister
    Posted June 23, 2014 at 11:40 pm | Permalink

    Joe Frost,

    Is the halfhand still active?!

    Coldhand has already been cast I knew it! FUUUuuuuck…….. MIndBLOWN bgggggggghhhhsh

    Aaaaand. Splat.

  109. Sister Wrister
    Posted June 23, 2014 at 11:42 pm | Permalink

    Joe Frost,

    Otherwise, not a bad list.

    You should prolly consider droppin the halfhand and including Brienne of Tarth.


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