(Warning: This post contains spoilers for the series finale of “Game of Thrones,” titled “The Iron Throne.”)
Tyrion Lannister told Jon Snow in the “Game of Thrones” finale to wait 10 years to see if everything turns out well in Westeros — and Gwendoline Christie, who played fan favorite Ser Brienne of Tarth, thinks that’s a fine idea.
Christie told TheWrap she’d be very open to a 10-year-reunion of her (now the commander of the Kingsguard for Bran the Borken) and the handful of other surviving lead characters.
“I very much hope that might be the case,” she volunteered.
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TheWrap spoke with Christie on Tuesday about all the twists and turns in the finale, which elicited both very strong positive and negative reactions from fans who had their own ideas about how the story of the Seven — er, Six Kingdoms, should have come to an end. She also talked about why she thinks Jaime returned to Cersei, why Brienne wrote such a sweet entry about him in the Book of Brothers, and who she would want to write Brienne’s entry.
TheWrap: Why do you think Jaime went back to Cersei after deciding to finally consummate his relationship with Brienne? Was that how it had to be?
Gwendoline Christie: What I loved about the show and the relationship between Jaime and Brienne is that it’s been such an unconventional one. And I don’t think anyone has been really aware, particularly either of them, of precisely what it is that’s been going on between them. Whether it’s something that has existed within respect or friendship or attraction or sexual attraction, no one’s really been able to define it. And I think that’s what’s made it such a powerful relationship, particularly in terms of a mainstream TV show. So it was interesting to me that they have been apart for a long time and just had these occasional meetings and the strength of the bond that has grown since Season 3, when they had all that time on the road together and they went through so much and Jaime sacrificed his hand to try to prevent Brienne from being assaulted. It’s such an extraordinary story, and I don’t think anybody could ever predict where it would end up.
So when he comes back to see her at Winterfell, I don’t think it’s clear how things are going to play out, and I don’t think Brienne is necessarily entirely clear or comfortable about it either. Jaime knights her, which means that Brienne achieves her dream, and that’s the night before they go to war, the biggest war that that world has ever known. And it is a brutal, brutal war — super important, it was 55-night-shoots long. But they then survive that and I think it’s the euphoria of surviving the impossible and surviving a near-death experience and seeing so much brutality and so much death — but also things that are beyond the usual realms of consciousness — that when they are together and everybody is celebrating, it feels like a celebration of life.
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And certainly there is a lot of joy when they are drinking together and then they jump in Brienne’s bedroom and Brienne chooses that experience, it is her choice. And I think that what we’ve learned is Brienne is an intelligent woman. She may be naive and may be idealistic, but she is aware of who Jaime is and what he’s been through. And I don’t think that she is naively hoping for them to be married and together for the rest of their lives. I think it’s something she chooses to have happen.
I also think that the bond between Jaime and Cersei has been one that started in the womb and is indeed a very complicated relationship. And it is unsurprising to me that someone would be drawn back to the essence of what they know when they are in such compromising circumstances. And I don’t think that stops an outpouring of pain from Brienne, and I don’t think it means that she loses any kind of strength. I think if anything, we see a character expressing pain, a character who finds it very difficult to express their emotions and there is a great strength in that, particularly since she chooses to go back to work afterwards. It certainly doesn’t break her.
Why does Brienne choose to pen Jaime’s entry in the book in such a detailed and kind way, having been abandoned by him?
I think the reason why I love the character so much is that she elects in that moment, in that position as the commander of the Kingsguard, to do the decent thing. She chooses to honor someone that she deeply respected and probably loved in a way that no one else would do. And that she saw a different side of Jaime and she knew the sacrifices he was prepared to make in order to do the decent thing, and how incredibly difficult that was for him, and how he had to bear the consequences. And so she chooses to use her power in a very pure way to honor someone who gave a lot to her. And she overlooks that pain.
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A lot of fans thought she might have been about to write her own entry in the book. Who would you want to write Brienne’s entry in the future?
Yay, Podrick Payne! That’s another brilliant and unlikely relationship. … She thought he was hopeless and then realized that he was actually incredibly dependable and… she had looked at him with the same eyes with which people had looked at her. She had judged him. And you see that there is a very powerful relationship that grows between the two of them and how supportive they are of each other and, as a consequence, I think it’s only fitting that Podrick should write Brienne’s entry.
Can we fairly assume that Ser Brienne was the one to knight Ser Podrick — as we learn he has been knighted in the series finale and is charged with transporting King Bran?
Yes, Brienne was definitely the one! Yes, she was definitely the one to knight Podrick. Yes, 100 percent. And that she also needed him to be in charge of transporting Bran. (laughs)
What did you think of the two biggest twists in the finale: Bran becoming king and and Jon Snow killing Daenerys?
I was so delighted when I learned that Bran was going to rule Westeros, because I just love that someone who is not at all interested in ambition and power is placed in a position of power. Someone who is almost entirely egoless is the one that will be ruling. And I also love that it was the most unlikely candidate and that’s been one of my favorite themes in the show, when the most unlikely people triumph. In regards to Jon and Daenerys, I knew it was going to happen, I had read it in the script, but still I gasped when I watched it on screen, because it’s so painful to watch that incredible character, played by the wonderful Emilia Clarke, it’s very difficult to see that. And it’s very difficult to see that moment of love turned into the act of killing. But the show has been all about power corrupting and it was a very exciting and transformative piece of television in that moment.
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What has been your reaction to the fans’ overwhelmingly positive and negative reaction to the finale, including the petition to remake the final season?
That’s what’s so absolutely incredible about the show: There are so many strong feelings. And it goes back to that beautiful quote from the finale when Tyrion says, there is nothing as powerful as a good story. And that’s what this has been. It has caused people to react and it’s caused people to feel outraged and to feel that they deserve justice or they deserve the story they imagined to be told. And I think that’s wonderful. It’s so rare that entertainment comes along and propels us into action in that way.
I’m so sad the show is finished and I have loved every single moment of playing this character. I couldn’t have been luckier to play the character of Brienne of Tarth. And it was never going to end in a way that absolutely everybody would be satisfied, because everybody had such a different idea of what they want. And that’s what’s so brilliant about it. There’s also another quote from the show where Tyrion and Jon Snow were talking and they say, see you in 10 years time — and I very much hope that might be the case. So maybe people who signed the petition might get something of what they want.
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You mean a possible “Game of Thrones” reunion in 10 years?
Who knows, you never know what’s around the corner.
What would be your idea of a Brienne spinoff series?
I think — well there is two answers there. What I would like to see, oh it’s so difficult! What I love about the character of Brienne of Tarth is that she’s so outside of the conventions of what female characters have been. And I would love to see that character grow and develop and how she deals with different situations. Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and I have always said there should be a Brienne and Jaime spinoff show called the “Braime Bunch.” And I think that that would leave room for plenty of hysterical and frustrating histrionics. But I would definitely love to see the continued subversion of the female stereotype and that’s what I’m very much hoping for in the future.