Last Sunday, we watched Game of Thrones and we saw Tormund Giantsbane making serious sexy-eyes at Brienne, who basically glared back at him all like, “I WILL cut you, bear-fucker.” We thought it was hilarious, and earlier this week, director Daniel Sackheim shared his thoughts on the matter:
“Honestly, I’m surprised anyone even noticed,” he told Tech Insider. “I mean it was meant to be a little grace note, and the fact that it’s blown up with the buzz it has on the internet and on the blogosphere is kind of shocking to me.”
“A little grace note.” In musical terms, grace notes are these quick, whimsical little sounds that no one will miss if you skip over them. Not a big romantic storyline, in other words.
At FanSided, Leah Smith takes those remarks to mean Brienne and Tormund are True Love Forever. Wait, what?
But what makes this ship different from any other pair the fans think should get together on the show? The director of “Book of the Stranger” has confirmed that this ship is canon and could actually be happening soon.
Her source is this interview at TV Guide, and…the most he says in Tormund’s favor is “men love a challenge.”
That something is “canon” means there’s a thing you see happening, right now, and the people creating the content intend for you to see that. It doesn’t mean the thing is viable in the long term. It doesn’t mean the feelings are present on both sides. More from Mr. Sackheim, encouraging fans to get all excited:
Unfortunately, Sackheim says, Brienne isn’t quite smitten with the bearf–ker just yet, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t hope. “I think it was fairly one-sided, but that’s OK,” he reasons. “There’s nothing like a challenge. Men love a challenge.”
Yeah, I’d say “fairly one-sided” is a good way to describe Tarthbane. He’s sitting there staring at her like he’s thinking, “I’m gonna eat you like I’m eating his drumstick” (or whatever it is), while she’s just like, “Why is this wildling eye-fucking me? How do I make him stop?”
(Note from your friendly neighborhood feminist: “Men love a challenge” is a shitty basis for a viable romance. If he has to wear her down until she gives him a chance, he’s not respecting her right to consent and refuse. It’s better if he moves on to a woman who doesn’t need to be coerced.)
Then we have Richard Preston at Winter is Coming, also latching onto Brimund of Tarthbane as if it were a big enough ship to sail out of harbor:
Yes, yes, and infinite yes. Tormund’s meat-chomping ogle and Brienne’s disgusted/flattered/intrigued reaction were priceless. I’ll feel utterly robbed if this was just a funny one-off and the producers don’t find some way to fit this pairing into the story.
(*whispers* Dude: I’m pretty sure it’s just a funny one-off.)
And then later he acts like the Brienne/Jaime relationship is in deep trouble because of Tormund.
Their last scene together was memorable, though Tormund’s come-hither eyes may end up torpedoing any potential for romance.
That sound you hear is my eyes rolling out of my head.
Part of the synopsis for Episode 5 is “Brienne goes on a mission.” You don’t need to have followed the filming leaks (though everyone who writes for WiC should know this much) to have noticed those parts in the trailer where Brienne and Podrick show up in the Riverlands, which is far away from Castle Black. That’s the mission. We’ll find out tomorrow night what Sansa’s reasoning is for sending her new protector south, but she’s not staying at Castle Black for much longer. Tormund will not be joining her on that mission, and, based on the way she was looking back at him, I expect she’ll be relieved to get out of his sight.
Guess who else is going to the Riverlands?
I might feel a little cheated if Brienne never mentions the handsome red-bearded wildling ready to rock her world, but the fact remains that she’s getting far away from Tormund and much closer to Jaime. Will she return to the North? I expect she will, eventually, but she’ll go back for Sansa, I won’t rule out that she’ll have Jaime with her, and I’m not optimistic that Tormund will live long enough to see her again. He was on my Death List before the season began.
And for those who’re now acting like no man except Tormund has ever been interested in Brienne, a gentle reminder of that time when Jaime went all goo-goo-eyed over the mere mention of her house name: