Gwendoline Christie “loved that it was Brienne’s choice” to be with Jaime


Gwendoline Christie (Brienne of Tarth) has long been one of the consistently strongest parts of Game of Thrones. Christie has brought to fierce life a character most of Westeros just doesn’t understand. We will always remember dear Ser Brienne of Tarth.

The most recent episode, “The Last of the Starks”, was yet another turning point for Brienne. Just two episodes back, she was knighted by Jaime Lannister. In “Starks,” they finally got it on, and at the end of the episode Jaime left her to return to his incredibly dysfunctional sister. Brienne is living in a whirlwind these days.

Christie spoke with Variety about what the events of the latest episode meant to Brienne. “She has let her armor down,” Christie said. “It was essential for the character to evolve beyond what we’d seen so far, which was her strength and ability at fighting and physical combat. We get to see something else of this woman’s emotional world and how she’s developed over the years.”

I agree with all of that, although I wasn’t wild about the scene leading up to it, with Tyrion borderline shaming her for being a virgin. But it is what it is.


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Christie also talked to HBO about Brienne and Jaime, and why their getting together wasn’t a foregone conclusion (it totally was, if you ask me):

"I don’t feel it was inevitable, because they’ve had a very mercurial relationship; it never seemed set on any particular terms. What I liked about it was that it is ultimately Brienne’s choice. Although Jaime [played by Nikolaj Coster-Waldau] comes to her and is the one leading things, she chooses it. It was extremely important to me that even though Brienne is sexually inexperienced, and a virgin at this stage, that it be her choice, in the way that everything else has been her choice."

It was definitely nice to see Brienne take something she wants for once, rather than being selfless all the time. Get it, girl, we see you!

But it wasn’t to last. As Jaime galloped away to King’s Landing, Brienne’s reaction was absolutely heartbreaking. It turns out that this scene was the final thing Christie shot on the Winterfell set in Belfast, so the emotions and pain of saying goodbye were too real. Too real.

We all wish Jaime and Brienne had stayed together longer (or forever, whatever), but Christie said Brienne knew that Jaime hadn’t fully dealt with his Cersei baggage yet. “When she walks into the scene and says, ‘Are you going back to Cersei?’ she knows before she’s got there,” she said. “She knows when she wakes up, he’s gone. She’s under no illusions of what the situation is, I don’t think she believes he will stay with her forever. She might hope that – she rides on hope and she decides to try it. When they say goodbye there’s a part of her that knew it was always a possibility.”

"Episode 4 just ripped me up inside, actually. I was very touched and very moved by the journey they decided to take the character on. And I felt privileged to be playing that part and to have that storyline because it felt as though they’d taken care with the character and that’s all I ever really wanted because I feel she’s such a unique character in mainstream television."

Atta girl for living your best life and putting yourself out there, Brienne of Tarth. We’re hoping for the best for you for the final two episodes.

Naturally, Christie wouldn’t say anything about those episodes, but did say that after she filmed her final scene, showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss paid her a compliment that made her “cry for two hours,” and that she feels that her character’s story comes to “a natural conclusion.”

"Brienne really made me examine the parts of myself that I thought needed to be concealed, that I felt that society was telling me weren’t good enough. I was embarrassed to confront my androgyny, or my strength, or my masculinity, and what I felt about female empowerment and gender politics and the inconsistencies in my body and face. I was forced to confront all of those things to get into the character and that has been a great gift."

Game of Thrones returns this Sunday.

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