Game of Thrones Respect Threads #3: Brienne of Tarth

After quite a long break from these, here's the 3rd respect thread in my series of blogs. This time get ready to respect a very skilled fighter - Brienne.

Brienne of Tarth:

Brienne Tarth (often called Brienne of Tarth, after her home island), is the sole surviving child of Lord Selwyn Tarth, and heir to the Island of Tarth.

She is very large, tall and strong for a woman, and has taken interest in fighting since she was very young. She was taught how to fight by her father, after he gave up on making a proper lady out of her.

In childhood, she was mocked by boys for her ugliness and unusual size. The only one who was genuinely kind to her was Lord Renly Baratheon, with whom Brienne was in love since they first met. After King Robert's death, when Renly made a claim for the throne, Brienne was one of the first to rally under his banner and swear fealty to him, even earning a spot at his personal Kingsguard. After Renly was assassinated, and Brienne became a prime suspect in the act, she ran away with Lady Catelyn Stark and swore fealty to her instead. Lady Catelyn entrusted Brienne with the crucial task of delivering Jaime Lannister to King's Landing, in exchange for her daughters - Sansa and Arya.

Even though her gender keeps her from being officially anointed as a knight, Brienne has all it takes to become one. She is honorable, chivalrous, loyal, brave and of course - a very gifted warrior.

In the series, Brienne is portrayed by the actress Gwendoline Christie.

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Skill:

Brienne is a very skilled and resourceful fighter. She is one of the characters who have the most fight scenes in the show, so this will be an interesting segment to read.

Brienne can fight with a flail, which is a very tricky weapon to master. Here, she uses it to fight Ser Loras Tyrell, for the championship of a tourney held by Renly Baratheon:

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When Loras disarms her of her weapon, Brienne shows some resourcefulness and unarmed skill (as well as strength) by bullrushing Loras, dropping him on his back and pulling her knife at his face. Loras yielded then:

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Renly is very impressed with Brienne after that:

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When Renly is assassinated by Stannis's Shadow Assassin, Brienne is found holding his corpse in her hands by 2 knights of Renly's Kingsguard, who charge at her and attack her. Brienne faces 2 of the most elite knights in Renly's service by herself, with her back to the wall, yet she still kills them both in a few seconds:

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When Brienne was tasked with escorting Jaime to King's Landing, they come across 3 girls hanging from a tree. They are then approached by the three soldiers who committed the murder. When the three soldiers threaten to expose Jaime's true identity, Brienne attacks and kills them with ease in a matter of seconds. She even pulls the knife of one of her foes out of its scabbard and uses it herself:

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Jaime makes a comment on Brienne's skill:

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And again:

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Brienne fights The Hound, one of the most dangerous warriors in Westeros, and defeats him:

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Then, with her sword at The Hound's throat, Brienne tells him that she does not wish to kill him. He saves himself with an unexpected move and disarms her. After a very bloody and brutal back and forth, Brienne finally overwhelms Sandor by repeatedly punching his face until he falls off the cliff:

It is important to note, however, that Sandor was suffering from a festering wound which slowed him down a little.
It is important to note, however, that Sandor was suffering from a festering wound which slowed him down a little.

Brienne saves Podrick Payne by killing 2 soldiers of the Vale that were about to attack him, in just a few seconds:

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Podrick's thoughts on Brienne's skill:

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Brienne and Podrick rescue Sansa Stark and Theon Greyjoy from some of Ramsay's men who were sent after them. In this scene, Brienne kills 3 of the men herself. Here's part of the fight, in which you can see Brienne finishing off one of the soldiers, and when another charges at her on horseback, she dodges and kills the horse:

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Strength:

While Brienne is undoubtedly strong, she doesn't showcase that too often. Her few showings, though, are enough to prove that she's well above the average man in terms of strength, let alone the average woman.

Again I will put in the move she used to beat Loras. While it fits perfectly under skill, I can't ignore the fact that she managed to lift a fully armored man up in the air (while heavily armored herself), and drop him on his back:

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Knocks a man out with an elbow:

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Breaks a thick wooden beam in half:

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When she fought the 2 soldiers of The Vale, she actually cut through the second one's sword. It's partially thanks to her Valyrian Steel blade, Oathkeeper, but even Valyrian Steel blades are never shown to cut through normal swords. Brienne's strength compensated for that:

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Personality:

In addition to skill at arms, Brienne has all the traits that a knight should have: she is honorable, she is courageous, she is chivalrous, she is loyal and she always protects the weak. While she is a great character, her personality is very strict and not complex.

When Brienne beats Loras at the finals of Renly's tourney, Renly grants her one request of him as a reward. Brienne's request is joining Renly's Kingsguard:

In the book, Renly's Kingsguard was called
In the book, Renly's Kingsguard was called "The Rainbow Guard", and each knight in it wore a cloak and armor of one of the colors of the rainbow. When Brienne was accepted into the Rainbow Guard, she became "Brienne the Blue".

After killing the soldiers who murdered the 3 innocent girls, Brienne slowly, painfully executes one of them as payback for their crime:

Look at the face Jaime makes... LOOK AT EM!!
Look at the face Jaime makes... LOOK AT EM!!

Locke and his goons put Brienne inside a pit, facing a huge bear, wearing a dress and holding only a wooden sword. Instead of crying and begging for mercy, Brienne stands up fiercely and bravely to this impossible challenge:

She would have died horribly, but Jaime saved her.
She would have died horribly, but Jaime saved her.

Brienne is a fierce warrior, and will kill all who deserve it without mercy. However, she would rather not kill if she doesn't have to. In her fight against The Hound, she had him at her mercy, and gave him a chance to yield:

Sandor, being himself, seized the opportunity, disarmed Brienne and nearly killed her, but she bested him all the same.
Sandor, being himself, seized the opportunity, disarmed Brienne and nearly killed her, but she bested him all the same.

Brienne remains loyal even long after Renly's death, and finally executes Stannis Baratheon, the man who killed him:

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Not long after, Brienne fulfills the oath she gave Catelyn Stark, and brings Sansa safely to Jon Snow at the Wall:

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Ser Brynden "Blackfish" Tully, Sansa's uncle, is very impressed with Brienne:

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Epic quotes by Brienne:

To Stannis:

"In the name of Renly of the House Baratheon, First of His Name, Rightful King of the Andals and the First Men, Lord of the Seven Kingdoms, and Protector of the Realm, I, Brienne of Tarth, sentence you to die. Do you have any last words?"

To Catelyn:

"I'm no Lady."

To Jaime (regarding the loss of his hand):

"You have a taste...one taste of the real world, where people have important things taken from them, and you whine and cry and quit. You sound like a bloody woman!"

To The Blackfish:

"Ser Jaime kept his word to your niece Catelyn Stark. He sent me to find Sansa, to help her as Catelyn wanted. He gave me this sword to protect her. That is what I have done and I will continue to do until the day I die."

Fights:

Brienne is a great character, and undoubtedly an amazing warrior, who has appeared in many fight scenes, making her a great source for feats. However, she isn't as complex as The Hound, and didn't go through any major, interesting change like Jaime.

Hope you enjoyed the read!

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