When Jaime gave Brienne leave to walk through the Lannister camp and up to the gates of Riverrun to try and convince the Blackfish to surrender the castle without bloodshed, most assumed it would not go well. After all, the Blackfish is a crusty and stubborn old man, and they figured he would dismiss a woman in a suit of armor out of hand.
WARNING: SPOILERS FROM LAST NIGHT’S EPISODE AHEAD
Clive Russell, who plays the Blackfish, spoke to IGN on why his character did not, in fact, laugh at Brienne, but seemed to admire her by episode’s end.
Brienne represented for him his young self, a person of integrity, a soldier of integrity, trying to do the right thing. That added to the conflict he felt of what was the right thing to do: whether to send men to Sansa or not.
It also helped that both of them were stubborn as mules, making it hard for the Blackfish to just get her to buzz off. Russell said that height was also a factor.
I’m probably about 6’6″ tall. I think she’s about 6’3″, but all the time I worked with her, I felt like she was taller than me. Now I don’t really know what that has to do with it. It might be something to do with being confronted by a physically charismatic very tall woman, or maybe it’s that she’s caught the impressiveness of the character of that woman, that soldier.
Either way, Russell says, by the end of the episode, he feels like it’s the next generation’s turn to take over. “There’s a touching moment where he acknowledges that to her face. It’s very touching and sad, and I think that’s what it’s about. He’s really recognizing the next generation of what I once was.”
It helped, of course, that he and Gwendoline Christie also got along on set like a house on fire. “We had great fun together. It was great fun to play.”
Here’s to you, Blackfish! Let’s hope you didn’t make to big of a fool of yourself with that sword.