On a different note for my fellow Game of Thrones obsessives and Brienne fanatics…
Contrary to the impression I gave last weekend, there was lots of stuff happening in the premiere of Season 6 than just Brienne meeting up with Sansa, and I watched all of those things. I was just super, super excited for them to get together and for the protection assignment to become a real thing.
Part of the reason why I’m so incredibly excited about the protection assignment working out on the show is that it supports the likelihood of Brienne becoming Sansa’s protector in the books. By itself, the protector relationship on the show is not conclusive, but it helps.
I haven’t really had a chance to get my thoughts together regarding the possibility of Brienne meeting up with Sansa in the books, and that was partly because I was waiting to see if it worked out on the show. Now I see it’s happening on the show!
Using only book-based evidence, I think I can make a squishy case for the protection assignment working out. That squishy case partly depends on establishing that Brienne is not going to die in Winds, and that takes a while, mostly hinging on the success of my case for a lasting J/B relationship in Unintended Consequences, but ultimately I do think she’ll survive the series. If we can get past the hurdle of thinking Brienne will die in the Lady Stroneheart struggle, then we can see how her establishing a protector relationship with Sansa will be important to the endgame.
If the show avoided the protector relationship, then that would be a problem for my squishy case, but the show is making Team Sansa happen, and almost everyone I’ve seen recap the first episode seems to think the Brienne & Sansa scene was the best part.
(Almost. I’m most tickled to see people say things like, “Brienne is a totally overrated character but okay, that scene was perfect in every way,” or admit that they didn’t want the protection assignment to work out because Sansa should be left to fend for herself so Brienne can be punished for going after Stannis*, but they’re warming up to it now that it’s happening on screen.)
Either way, I do not think the protector relationship would be in competition with the J/B relationship. It’s not a case of Brienne having to choose between Sansa and Jaime. She cares so much about showing up for Sansa partly because it means so much to Jaime. The protection assignment is about Brienne being the link between the Starks and Lannisters. Eventually, of course Sansa would release Brienne from her service, but that’s more a matter of Brienne being uncomfortable in the North rather than Jaime pulling her away.
*This is my language, not theirs.