Brienne of Tarth has become one of the best characters on Game of Thrones, and that is saying something considering that Game of Thrones is filled with awesome characters. In a world where men typically fight with steel and women are forced to fight with more subtle forms of manipulation, Brienne stands out and not just because she physically towers over anyone she meets, but because she is a brilliant (and noble!) warrior who can beat even the Kingslayer when it comes to dueling.
Gwedoline Christie, who plays Brienne, recently spoke to TV Guide about her character, specifically in regards to her striking appearance, strength and how it relates to gender.
"I struggled for a long time with [cutting] my hair, but then I’m grateful for the opportunity to realize that femininity doesn’t have to come from hair or any of those traditional female archetypes of appearance, So, that’s been exciting actually. I can’t speak with any kind of authority whatsoever because I’m just an actor and I only have my opinions, but I do think it’s really refreshing to have a woman depicted on a mainstream TV show that doesn’t obey typical aesthetics of females and the way they have been portrayed in the past. And I’m really excited to be portraying one of those women. And I hope that her popularity signals a greater expansion of people’s views about men and women and that gender types can be more flexible."
Brienne/Christie are like the opposite of Samson!
She also discussed gender within the fictional world of Game of Thrones as and how even Brienne's conception of what it means to be a man or a woman (or something in between) is changing all of the time, thanks largely to her introduction to Catelyn Stark.
“Brienne has seen this woman exhibiting strength in an intellectual manner with Renly, and also exhibiting strength of love and motherhood that I think she sees as equal to her own physical strength and perhaps it’s the first time we see Brienne consider something beyond the strength of the physical in a woman as a means to be equal to a man.”
I want to add something thoughtful to this conversation, but all I've got is I love her I love her I love her.