5 best (and 4 worst) Brienne of Tarth moments in Game of Thrones

Brienne of Tarth was a key part of HBO's Game of Thrones, but even she made mistakes. Here are her best and worst moments throughout the series.
Season 8: Gwendoline Christie.
photo: Helen Sloane/HBO
Season 8: Gwendoline Christie. photo: Helen Sloane/HBO /

Game of Thrones had more interesting characters than most shows, some of them virtuous and some unfailingly wicked. Brienne of Tarth is among the most virtuous. There was never a point where she did something without honor. She took her job and oaths seriously and never quit. It’s the reason she’s a fan favorite.

But Brienne wasn’t without her faults. In seven seasons (she debuted in season 2), she’s made some mistakes. This list will highlight the best and the worst of Brienne of Tarth, starting with one that's a little bit of both:

Best: Beating the Hound

Season 4, episode 10

The Hound is among the toughest characters in Game of Thrones. For defeating him in a swordfight, Brienne gets applauded. However, it’s more than that. Brienne is a person of her word. She said she'd bring Arya back to her mother. Despite Catelyn Stark being dead by the point this fight happens, Brienne was honor-bound to protect Arya, who was traveling with the Hound at the time. That's why this moment makes the list. Brienne refuses to let someone down even after their death.

Worst: Letting Arya escape

Season 4, Episode 10

After defeating the Hound, Arya was supposed to join Brienne. Instead, she escapes. This was one of Brienne’s biggest failures and a blow to her ego. Thankfully, something good came out of this. Arya went to the city of Braavos and learned skills later needed to kill the Night King.

Best: Saving Sansa Stark

Season 6, Episode 1

Brienne failed to protect Catelyn Stark and look after Arya, but she succeeded in keeping Catelyn's daughter Sansa safe. Brienne rode in as a literal knight in shining armor and defeated Ramsay Bolton's men after Sansa escaped Winterfell, where Ramsey had been abusing her for months. Brienne was brutal and smooth. It was a much-needed win for her.

Best: Rejecting Tormund

Seasons 6-8

As much as I love the wilding leader Tormund Giantsbane, he wasn’t right for Brienne, who seemed disgusted with his advances from the start. She shouldn't settle for anything less than what she wanted. Nevertheless, their interactions were always funny and he was a better romantic option than Jaime Lannister.

Worst: Fighting Arya

Season 7 Episode 4

When Arya and Brienne meet again, Arya says she wants to train with Brienne. This leads to one of the best moments for Arya as their bout ends in a standstill, but Brienne’s ego takes another hit.

Brienne sees Arya’s sword Needle and assumes it won't be sufficient for their fight. She’s beaten people with “real” swords so this shouldn’t be difficult. Brienne quickly found out that in Arya's hands, Needle was more than enough.

This was technically a draw, but Brienne probably considered it a loss.

Best: Knight of the Seven Kingdoms

Season 8, Episode 2

This moment represented all Brienne's hard work paying off. She was beaten down, failed to uphold her oaths, and was embarrassed, but she never gave up because that's what warriors do. In the world of Game of Thrones, a lot of people don't have honor, but Brienne of Tarth does. She's a key reason the White Walkers didn't win.

This scene was special for two reasons. First, Jaime knights her. Her love and respect for him made her feel even wonderful about this moment. Second, the White Walkers were on their way. If she’s going to die in battle, at least she can go out as a knight.

Worst/Best: Red Flag Jaime

Season 8, Episode 4

Sometimes you can’t help who you love. You see all the red flags and avoid them like an obstacle course. That’s Brienne’s love for Jaime Lannister. He’s a walking, talking red flag that she saw and ignored. It’s good that she eventually got to be intimate with him. It stinks that she had her heart broken when he left soon after that.

Worst: Book of Brothers

At the very end of the series, Brienne becomes Lord Commander of the Kingsguard, which means she gets to record the deeds of other members in the Book of Brothers. On one hand, you understand why Brienne added Jaime's entry in the Book, writing, “Died protecting his Queen.” It's true and adds honor to his story. Jaime is also a knight and should go in the book. That being said, Jaime Lannister is the worst.

Jaime Lannister would sell out anyone out for his sister Cersei. Sure, we’d all do the same for the people we love, but Jaime's different. He's shown a lack of empathy towards others throughout the series. A redemption tour won't make up for the things he's done.

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What are your favorite moments from Brienne of Tarth? Would you have taken some off this list?