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Gwendoline Christie almost lost it over Brienne’s big Game of Thrones first

By Benjamin Bullard
Gwendoline Christie as Brienne of Tarth on Game of Thrones

Even by Game of Thrones standards, it’s been an eventful couple of weeks for Brienne of Tarth. For the onetime protector of the Starks, this season has brought nothing but one workplace distraction after another — although in Brienne’s case, those distractions haven’t necessarily been all bad.

After becoming a knight in an emotional ceremony just before the Battle of Winterfell, Gwendoline Christie’s character took her blossoming and unlikely friendship with Jaime to the next level, fighting off the White Walker hordes back-to-back with her loyal Lannister. But bonding in the heat of battle only served as the prelude for an even bigger life-changing moment for Brienne this week — a moment Christie says she reacted to, initially, in hilariously un-Brienne-like fashion.

** WARNING: There are major (like, really major) spoilers ahead from this week’s “The Last of the Starks” episode of Game of Thrones. **

Christie told Entertainment Weekly that she had a hilarious real-world response when she found out Brienne would finally be losing her virginity to none other than Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau). Even though she was all for the scene, and for the milestone it represented in both Brienne’s development and her closeness with Jaime, the whole thing kind of made her feel, well...

“I received a text from [Coster-Waldau] just laughing. I sent back a being-sick emoji. How modern,” Christie joked, before explaining that Brienne’s big sex scene was more about rewarding the growth of one of Game of Thrones’ most uncompromising characters than showing skin.

“This is what makes a character three-dimensional, truly. It gives her the agency to explore all the different elements of her life," Christie said. "She’s not just a woman who can fight incredibly well and doesn’t have any need for anything else. She is a woman, she’s a human, she fights brilliantly, she also has some desire of companionship and sensual love.”

It also brought the pair closer than ever — only to rip the rug right out from under their happiness. Jaime says what feels like a permanent, heartbreaking goodbye to Brienne the very next day, riding off from Winterfell toward King’s Landing on what proves to be a disastrous push to unseat his estranged sister, Cersei, from the Iron Throne. But even though things go very bad, very quickly, Coster-Waldau told Vanity Fair, Jaime may still not be completely free of his devious sister’s emotional grip. 

“Most people have moments in their life where you go, ‘Can I really, fundamentally change?’... The core of him has always been Cersei... When that’s taken away, what are you then? What’s left? Is there anything left? When he leaves [King‘s Landing at the end of Season 7], obviously he has no idea. He doesn’t know the answer to that question,” he explained.

At least Brienne got some serious closure in ways she never expected — even though Christie herself was rooting for a very different hook-up, if she’d been in charge of Brienne’s romances. “Personally... I always wanted to see her get together with Dany,” she told EW.

Sunday’s episode definitely raised more questions than it answered all around, but it finally put to bed one of Brienne’s biggest personal mysteries. There are only two more episodes left, for both the season and the series. Season 8 of Game of Thrones continues this Sunday on HBO.