In this series…
- Before season 8 starts, read our guide to where every character left off.
- The most beautiful shots of Game of Thrones, curated by One Perfect Shot.
- Every episode of Game of Thrones, ranked by our own resident Maester.
- Read our in-depth breakdown of the Game of Thrones season 8 trailer.
With the impending final season of HBO’s landmark series Game of Thrones, accounting for core characters and their fates has been on the mind of many loyal fans. Interpreting theories, revisiting the original text, going to extremes to map out the possibilities; it is all happening. As many look forward, some are reveling the time looking back.
Of the characters still standing, fighting their way to the end, Brienne of Tarth has been a fan favorite since Gwendoline Christie appeared on screen, the victor of a deservedly won battle. Brienne’s arc on Game of Thrones has left an indelible imprint on various characters’ narratives and has made a pop culture impact for women standing their ground in their own battles. Like her sword’s namesake, she is the truest, trusted Oathkeeper of the series.
Brienne of Tarth’s rise to prominence in the series began as a loyal guard to Renly Baratheon. Following his murder, Brienne became more an outcast than she already was. Challenging the feminine norms of the series, her character became a loyal companion and fighter whose convictions held steadfastly and whose bravery extended far beyond the length of her sword. For much of the series, Brienne has felt like a kind of guide, a moral compass in the ethically ambiguous world of Game of Thrones. It’s rarely if ever felt that her staunch mindset is placed in alignment with the throne, and instead to someone who has earned its power.
Upon their parting, Jaime Lannister bequeathed to Brienne of Tarth a sword made of Valaryian Steel. “Oathkeeper,” she names it. Re-forged from Ned Stark’s sword in the hope of keeping her promise to Lady Catelyn Stark and ensuring Sansa’s safety, Brienne encompasses a redemptive spirit that leaves Jaime changed. Her influence, like her stature and skill, is hearty. Since parting, the change in Jaime’s own character has become more apparent since Brienne’s departure from their intersecting storyline. It’s a testament to the power and influence she wields, making her own succession come into question. With the relationships Brienne has forged, much like the precision of sword-making, and her consistent convictions of ethics and tame morality, who is to say she could not be on the Iron Throne? One such theory believes even Brienne has a claim.
In a lengthy theory, it is posited through the information of Ice and Fire and what we know of Brienne, that her line may suggest her rise to the throne. The theory is detailed and complicated; the furthest thing from simplicity. But through lines of ancestry, Brienne could rightly have a claim to the Iron Throne. Perhaps it is too intense to parse-out the possibility. Still, the nobility in character and line could suggest the slim possibility. And in the Game of Thrones, anything could happen.
In the spirit of promoting caution, however, it may be far more likely to say Brienne’s loyalties now lie with those she serves. Sansa and the Stark clan have given her skill a home. She has fulfilled that which she set out to do under the service of Catelyn Stark; she has saved her daughter and though was not able to return her to her mother, was able to return her to her home and her rightful place. Podrick even remarks to Brienne how proud Lady Catelyn would be to see her surviving children together in their home. In humble repose, Brienne doesn’t see her actions or heroics as a point of praise for their reunion; she does not believe to have done anything to bring them together. When Podrick corrects her, she simply thanks him.
From there, Brienne becomes a vital player in the political arena. Asking Jaime to sway Cersai’s ignorance to acceptance of the impending war, it is once again a testament to her use of communication on emotional principle and her own courageousness. Her loyalty to the North will soon see Brienne on the battlefield for likely some of the greatest battle scenes in Game of Thrones history. With information tightly wrapped, Brienne’s own loyal subjects await the conclusion for one of the series’ quietly captivating figures.
In this final season of Game of Thrones, every last person standing has a chance for glory or redemption. The spectrum of figures is strong, and the battlefield will bring the best of the ranks to the forefront. For Brienne, she has proven a survivor and a fighter. Captivating audiences with her skills, and her loyalty to her word. A compass for the series, Brienne of Tarth rules supremely as a fascinating character study, one who has found purpose beyond the oaths she makes to be the keeper of her word, carrying out justice on a moral code rarely found in the illusive, cold world of the HBO series. In a realm of deception, Brienne reigns with mercy. A true Oathkeeper if there ever was one.
Related Topics: Game of Thrones