Brienne of Tarth made a rather grand appearance during Sunday night’s Game of Thrones Season 6 premiere, and Gwendoline Christie sat down with Entertainment Weekly to talk about what her return meant.
After season 5 people would come up on the street moaning about why Brienne wasn’t doing more, and I’d say, ‘I’m terribly sorry I’m not really in charge of that. It was really exciting to see Brienne burst forth again. I loved seeing Brienne fighting again. There was so much action and it’s quite brutal and it’s very exciting to dedicate myself to that moment to overcome that obstacle and rescue Sansa.
As Christie says, fans were frustrated with Brienne’s relative inaction last season. Sure, there was the exciting chase scene early in the year with the Knights of the Vale, but after that, Brienne and Pod basically took a back seat to the action. And then after waiting for what had to be weeks at least, Brienne missed Sansa lighting that candle in the Winterfell tower, choosing instead to go find Stannis and avenge Renly’s death.
That’s all in the past now, as Brienne and Pod saved the day, and rescued both Sansa and Theon from Ramsay Bolton’s men. And then Brienne pledged her sword, a blade made from Sansa’s father’s sword Ice, to another Lady Stark (I refuse to call her Lady Bolton). Christie talked about that endearing moment:
When she pledges her oath to Sansa and lays her sword down for her, I found it very touching. I have so many fond memories of working with Michelle Fairley [Catelyn Stark]. This is a mirror of that oath and this time Sansa accepts it and she can see how dedicated Brienne is to her. It was really gratifying to carry on that oath for Catelyn Stark and finally to find one of the Stark daughters and so she can try to keep her safe.
For now, we wait to find out where Sansa will decide to go now that Brienne and Pod are in her service. We saw Theon tell Sansa that her half-brother Jon Snow was Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch, and that she should head to the Wall. Hopefully, this wasn’t the only action we will see the Maid of Tarth get into in Season 6, because her fighting the Bolton men was one of the better scenes from last night.
Over at Vulture, Sophie Turner also talked about the scene as well. Like everyone else, she was very pleased with it. “I was just like, ‘Finally! Justice!”
It worked out even better than I had pictured it in my head. We didn’t set it up as emotional, but now that I watch it, it just feels right, you know? Things are starting to look up.
Turner feels that Sansa administering the vow to Brienne represents that she is getting “stronger.” With allies like Brienne, Sansa is gaining the power to “get what she wants, go where she wants, and do what she wants.” She also teases Sansa’s relationship with Theon (“For now, they’re forgetting everything he’s done…because they’re just trying to survive. That relationship definitely develops a lot.”), a potential meeting with Melisandre (“They’d be quite the duo!”) and how Sansa might react to learning about Jon Snow’s death (“Jon’s death would affect her, less in an emotional way, but more like, ‘Okay, I want justice for this, too.'”). For the first time in a long time—maybe ever—Sansa looks ready to make her own choices in life. It should be exciting TV.