Gwendoline Christie was surprised that Brienne “got what she wanted”

As expected, plenty of characters didn’t make it out of Game of Thrones, from Theon to Varys to Jaime to Cersei to Daenerys. But for the ones who made it, several of them got something that could resemble a happy ending, including Brienne of Tarth.

It wasn’t all roses, of course. Brienne couldn’t save Jaime from himself, but she did get to be Lord Commander of the Kingsguard, a position she’d wanted in some form since we first met her in season 2. “She wants to be part of Renly’s Kingsguard, so she bests the Knight of the Flowers — played by the glorious Finn Jones,” Christie recalled to Variety. “It surprised me she ended up receiving that. It also surprised me that she ended up travelling all the way through the series to the final episode and being a part of the future of Westeros.”

Brienne’s last scene alone was her doing her duty as Lord Commander of the Kingsguard and recording the deeds of its members in the White Book, in this case Jaime Lannister’s deeds. “What I thought was interesting about that scene was Brienne has achieved the position of commander of the Kingsguard and she decides to take the higher ground,” Christie said. “She uses her power in a positive way, in the way I feel Brienne has always done, to look beyond the surface of who someone is and to examine their deeds and morals. I think what she did was perform an act of respect for someone whom she did love.”

I enjoyed that we got a quiet moment with Brienne before the end, one where she got to close the chapter on that part of her life and work toward making Westeros a better, safer place. Although she probably should have blown on that ink before she closed the book.

Looking back on the series as a whole, Christie was naturally full of praise for costar Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed every moment of working with him, even when it has been spitting frustration over how impossible he could be.”), but mostly she’s just thankful to have part of the Game of Thrones phenomena. “I stand in awe and gratitude of everything that the show has given me,” she said. “I thought it was an astounding experience to be a part of. I really enjoyed the final episode. I can’t quite believe I have dedicated eight years of my life to something that has been so loved and people have been so passionate about. I feel a great sense of loss now that it is over, but an immense sense of gratitude that any of it happened in the first place.”

She even gave a big picture view of what the series is trying to say, although it’s pretty vague:

The show is based on this 1400’s view of the world and is loosely based on the War of the Roses, and it has held up a mirror to humanity and has done some interesting things along the way. What I think we see in the culmination of the series and the final episode is that it’s been about examining humanity and all of its flaws. It’s about the fact that people don’t always win and things don’t always turn out well. That is the mystery and complexity of life. Life is very inconsistent and all we can do is learn from the stories of the past and correct our future.

The Kingsguard is in good hands.

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