Brienne of Tarth: Celebrating This Most Excellent & Noble Knight

Brienne of Tarth
It’s Brienne. Oh… she’s of Tarth.

Call us slow, or something… uh? But we got into Game of Thrones in March and have watched right up until season 8, episode 5, of the series. No, there won’t be any spoilers here (well… there are hints about the entire series).

One of the highlights for us is Brienne of Tarth, played by actor Gwendoline Christie of England.

Her character is very noble and lives to serve others, but she’s unconventional looking and unusually tall. That’s the source of much mockery in the series, where “conventional babes” like Daenerys Targaryen (Khaleesi) rule all.

Another highlight for us were the high production values, great acting, and big name talent… along with the (admittedly confusing) relentless Northern English accents in that wild fantasy setting. Is this Monty Python or a serious TV show?

“Why is Jon Snow talking like he’s from Bolton?” asked our esteemed editor. “Why does everyone sound like they’re from Lancashire!?” he added after the first series.

Anyway, we’re here today to celebrate someone other than that annoying dragon Queen woman. We’re here to make it clear Brienne is the woman of the show.

Brienne of Tarth

At six foot three, Christie was bullied as a child due to her height. We’ve not read George R. R. Martin’s books so aren’t sure if Brienne is the same, but her appearance is played upon in the series.

The character has short blonde hair and boasts unconventional looks. Many of the male peripheral characters refer to her as barely female – “Brienne the Beauty”, they mock her with.

You have to presume part of that is due to fear and jealousy. Brienne is as strong as most men, a better warrior than them, and she’s taller, too. Short man syndrome leads to puerile insults and defensive behaviour, non?

Initially, one of the individuals to mock her is the anti-hero Jamie Lannister (Danish actor Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), a conventionally handsome hunk of a man with nice hair.

Although he is her captor at the time, so it’s more casual jibes.

His character arc, however, means he and Brienne sort of hit it off and share a mutual respect for each other—both impressed by the other’s combat abilities, plus their capacity to adapt as people.

Jamie is spoiled, rich, but charismatic when we first meet him in season 1. Over the course of the series he comes to embrace humility and address some of his faults, particularly when he suffers personal losses.

Brienne, meanwhile, learns to express herself more thoroughly and realise she has leadership qualities.

Whereas at first it seems insecurities push her towards serving others, rather than utilising her imposing height, intelligence, fighting abilities, and nobility to lead the way.

On various occasions – despite parting ways – the two end up bumping into each other again. And they do form quite a touching relationship, but one that seems destined to end in tragedy.

Christie describes her as an outsider:

“[She has] outer strength that often matches or supersedes that of any man in order to be treated with equality. She doesn't want to get married, yet she's internally romantic. She has an overriding sense of honour and what is right, and that's what makes her such a brilliant character to play: that her outer is so stable and masculine, but inside she's so fragile.”

Meanwhile, the show’s lead female character is Daenerys Targaryen/ Khaleesi (played by Emilia Clarke).

Much attention in the press has been placed on Clarke’s conventional good looks—she even won Hottest Woman in the World, or whatever (why has Professional Moron not received a nomination for that?! Aren’t we moronic enough!?).

Khaleesi has become something of a feminist symbol. Although we find her brattish, spoiled, and irritating most of the time – even if she does have decent intentions as a ruler (*ahem*).

It turns out, a lot of new parents have named their kids after Khaleesi and her various names.

And whilst the show’s other lead female, Cersei (Lena Heady) is a spoiled, narcissistic, and hateful psychopath, why doesn’t Brienne get more love? Eh?

As such, we’re demanding you all name your next child (or pet – that might be easier) Brienne of Tarth. It’s good to spread the message.

The Actors

Brienne of Tarth and Jamie Lannister, from season 2 onwards, have a close relationship. Although it appears largely plutonic, there’s definitely a fire burning away there between the two.

As they’re so prevalent in the series – and often together – we thought we’d include the above clip of them talking away.

Gwendoline Christie (as with Sigourney Weaver in the 1970s) was told to get out of acting due to her unconventional looks and unusual height.

Ignoring that nonsense, she’s since become a singer, actor, and model. Along with Game of Thrones, which is the biggest show on Earth, she’s also starred in the two recent Star Wars films. So, yeah, great advice from her acting instructor, there.

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, meanwhile, looks like he should spend all his time showing off about his looks.

But he’s been happily married since the mid-1990s, has two kids, two dogs, and supports anti-sexism initiatives and HIV charities. There are decent sorts out there, eh?


  1. Though I am a hit or miss watcher (?) of GoT, I really love Brienne of Tarth. Such an outstanding character and she so perfect for the role. I am fascinated by her appearance, I do think she is beautiful. thank you for the run down on GoT!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Brienne the Badass more like it! I have no plans to watch the show but I’m making my way through the books now. I haven’t run into her character yet. Hopefully she’s well represented in the book world as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think you’d enjoy the series, despite the gratuitous nudity and violence. There’s some clever writing in there and excellent acting. I just find it good fun, there’s not need to take it as seriously as some fans do.

      Give it a go, watch the first few episodes. Series one is more political in structure, with a lot of Machiavellian scheming – and it has a Shakespearian quality to it.

      I’ve not read the books at all, though. Fantasy isn’t usually my thing.


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