Game of Frustration: Did I embarrass myself?

It seems that I’ll have to wait until late April to find out.

By way of Winter, Gwendoline Christie did an interview with, in which she brings up playing Brienne but doesn’t give us much:

“I absolutely adore and love playing [Brienne of Tarth],” she told in a one-on-one interview.

But the character’s next step, now that she’s fulfilled what’s been her purpose for the last several seasons, is a mystery – and one she’s not ready to let slip.

“To be horribly disappointing, if I were to venture into that territory, it would be a plot spoiler,” she said with a laugh. The actress, with franchises like Star Wars and Thrones, clearly is now well-practiced at keeping her mouth shut when it comes to upcoming plots. She was, however, willing to give one small tease. She’s very excited about season six of the series, and praised the writing she’s seen so far.

“I think the scripts for the new season of Game of Thrones are really, truly brilliant, and it is my absolute pleasure to be a part of it,” Christie said with a knowing smile.

This is about as much as any other cast member has given us about what happens in S6, so okay. She also insists that she doesn’t know about Jon Snow because she only reads her parts of the scripts. I’ll go ahead and assume that’s an evasion on her part. But going by her logic, that means she’s really, really pleased with the part she plays in S6.

And I like the sound of that!

Here’s where I get annoyed: I do not agree that she has fulfilled “what’s been her purpose for the last several seasons.” Her purpose has been to protect Lady Catelyn’s daughters, and on that front, let no one suggest she didn’t apply herself. It may be said that any other protector would not have walked away from Candle Watch to go after Stannis, but that’s because any other protector would have abandoned Candle Watch long before Stannis and his army showed up. Anyone else would say: Fuck the North, fuck this winter, fuck the Starks, she’s taking her loyal squire south before they freeze to death. Going after Stannis was a detour from her purpose, and when she walks out of that forest, she’ll know it.

The question here is whether it was a mission-destroying detour, and as far as that goes, I have no more useful information than when I wrote my big prediction post for Brienne several months ago. I seem to have done really well in my predictions for Jaime, but I’m still sitting here twiddling my thumbs over Brienne’s part in the first half of the season. It’s sort of a tautology for Gwen to say that revealing the character’s next step would be a plot spoiler. She can’t tell us what happens next because that would be telling us something about what happens. Whether that reveals just a teensy bit of character development, or whether it spills over into other, more pivotal characters’ arcs, isn’t clear from her answers. The entire cast has been deliberately tight-lipped on specifics for their characters.

All that said, however, this isn’t the first time Gwen has told us how awesome the next season is, and she does sound genuinely enthused. (I also like how she plays ignorant about Jon Snow, rather than acting like we’d believe he’s not coming back.) She gave us what may have been an oblique suggestion, earlier this year, that she wasn’t real happy with her role in S5, whereas now she sounds like she’s having a much better time in S6. I think that’s good news, but now she’s all finished with Game of Thrones for the season, and the rest of the cast will be finished within the next couple of weeks, so I’m left here to wait for the new season to broadcast before I find out whether I’ve embarrassed myself.


6 thoughts on “Game of Frustration: Did I embarrass myself?

  1. I’ll have to respectfully disagree with you in regards to Brienne and her purpose. When she accepted service to Lady Catelyn, Cat specifically said that she would never ask Brienne to do anything that would interfere with her getting justice for Renly.

    So I give Brienne a pass on watching the window when she had a chance to finish Stannis.

    I’m also not so sure what Brienne would have been able to do anyway. Good luck storming the castle, indeed.

    Brienne: Open that gate. I have business inside.

    Bolton Goon #1: Oi! It’s that cow that didn’t get eaten by the bear. I was really looking forward to that.

    Bolton Goon #2: We don’t have any bears. We do have some hungry hounds though.

    Bolton Goon #3: Maybe we can still get some sapphires for her!

    Bolton Goon #4: Master Ramsay’ll flay her before that happens.

    Brienne: Hmmm. I’ve made a terrible mistake.

    • I agree that the Candle Watch was a seriously half-baked plan, and I remember her conversation with Cat in S2, but ever since late S2, she’s been focused on this idea of getting the Stark girls under her protection. She didn’t take Jaime’s sword and Tyrion’s squire and go north because she thought that was how to find Stannis; she went north for the girls. When she finds out Sansa had to jump off the wall, she’s going to feel like shit. That storming the castle wouldn’t have worked? Doesn’t matter; she shouldn’t gone after Stannis. That Cat promised not to hold her back? Doesn’t matter; Cat’s dead, Sansa’s alive, and she shouldn’t have gone after Stannis.

        • I get how it works in terms of the Westerosi concept of honor and vows and shit like that. My position is a matter of how Brienne will feel about her decisions when she stumbles out of that forest and finds out her lady’s daughter had to jump off a high wall to escape her abuser. What exactly does a vow to avenge someone’s death really mean, compared to a vow to save a girl’s life? Serve the living or serve the dead? Show up for a girl who’s alive and vulnerable, or go kill a guy who isn’t threatening anyone except for the family holding the girl captive? What’s really important, when you strip away the kneeling over swords and saying fancy words? The king who needs to die or the girl who needs to escape?

          And what kind of example is she showing Podrick? What is he learning from her in all this? Protect the weak and innocent, or go spend valuable energy on killing someone as punishment for killing someone else?

          I think she’ll see the truth in Jaime’s old spiel about “so many vows, they make you swear and swear,” but more importantly, she will not feel good about going after Stannis. That “justice for Renly” won’t make her feel any better.

        • Oh, I think you’re probably right about how she’ll feel. Please don’t think I’m telling you that you’re wrong. I’m just giving her a pass, I think that she can still do right by Sansa. But her chance to save Sansa was practically nil, but has greatly improved now that they’re both on the same side of the castle walls.

          I’m very much invested in everything you write about the show, so if I’m wrong (I can’t possibly be wrong all the time, but I can be wrong now) nothing will be more agreeable to me than to acknowledge that to you, once Season Six rolls in.

        • I’m sure she can still do right by Sansa, and I still think she probably WILL do right by Sansa, now that everyone’s outside of Winterfell and all out of murders to avenge. And I’m all frustrated and annoyed that I won’t find out whether they make it work until the new season airs! Booooo!

          I’m just annoyed at this idea of Brienne having gotten what she came for, as if the past two seasons of searching/fighting/waiting/freezing for a certain Stark girl never happened.

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