EW – The seventh season of Game of Thrones may see Brienne of Tarth’s loyalty shift — to herself.
During an interview at EW’s video lounge at Comic-Con International in San Diego on Friday, actress Gwendoline Christie teased what’s ahead for her character now that Brienne has fulfilled her oath to rescue Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner).
“As we see Brienne back at Winterfell, we see that she’s with Sansa, she’s there in place, and it feels like she’s going towards consolidating her oath,” Christie said. “What I think we’ll see throughout the season is actually Brienne starting to question what received authority is and take on more of an independent decision-making process.”
That might mean that she starts to question her allegiances. “I think we’ve seen Brienne being an incredibly honorable character, but one who has operated from a received sense of what honor is,” Christie added. “And now in the world, it’s not at all as she expected, and no one’s clear as to whether they’re good or evil. And that gray area means that there’s an increased decision-making process that happens moment to moment.”
It was a big Friday for Christie and the Thrones cast, as they also participated in a packed panel in Hall H of the San Diego Convention Center. There, the Brienne actress discussed her character’s reaction to the flirtatious Tormund.
“I don’t think at the foremost of her consciousness is a value system based on how men appreciate her,” she said of Tormund’s advances. “But who doesn’t like being appreciated as both, really? But I don’t think that’s what she’s invested in. She’s finding it awkward. But underneath any awkwardness is potential secret enjoyment.” But, she added, “I think to win Brienne’s heart is about mutual respect about your skill and your ideals, not about overpowering of sexual advance.”
Christie was joined in EW’s suite by her Thrones costars Isaac Hempstead Wright (Bran Stark), Liam Cunningham (Davos Seaworth), and John Bradley (Sam Tarley), the latter of whom broke down his character’s gag-inducing montage in Sunday’s season premiere. Watch the full interview in the video above, and click here to hear Sophie Turner’s take on the Sansa Stark-Jon Snow rivalry.
Game of Thrones airs Sundays on HBO.
NEWSWEEK – “I’m Gwen,” she says, as if she could be anyone else. Gwendoline Christie is tall. This won’t come as a surprise to fans of Game of Thrones, the show that features the 38-year-old actor as the dutiful and fearless warrior Brienne of Tarth. And yet, when meeting Christie on a Friday morning in the rooftop bar of a London music venue, the full 6 foot 3 inches of her can still take you aback, even without her character’s coat of armor.
For the uninitiated, Game of Thrones is based on George R.R. Martin’s wildly popular fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire, of which there are five novels, with two more planned. The books are set in a vaguely medieval world on fictional continents where the leaders of seven kingdoms battle the undead, dragons and one another for the exceedingly uncomfortable-looking Iron Throne. Since the show’s premiere in 2011, it has won more Emmy Awards than any other scripted series in history (38 to date), kept Reddit and social media ticking with memes and theories, and inspired all manner of online debate—over excessive violence (heads chopped off, girls burned alive, men castrated) and gratuitous sex (the rape of one character in particular).
But the 23 million viewers (on average) who watch each episode come for the unusually large number of indelible characters—like Lena Headey’s power-mad Queen Cersei; the brooding, putative hero, Jon Snow (Kit Harington); and Brienne.