(SPOILERS FROM GAME OF THRONES SEASON 6 PREMIERE)
Gwendoline Christie’s Brienne was left mostly on the sidelines (literally watching a window for a candle) during the last half of Season 5. But last night’s Season 6 premiere “The Red Woman” featured, among many stand-out scenes, the epic rescue of Sansa Stark and Theon Greyjoy by Brienne and her young squire Podrick Payne from their Bolton pursuers, followed by the lady knight swearing her loyalty to the princess (for a second time!) and Sansa graciously accepting.
It was the moment when the premiere really rewarded audiences and fans for their year-long patience, as a certain dead person remained stubbornly dead the whole episode. Christie spoke to EW about how excited she was for Brienne the fighter to emerge again and for the character to live up to the name of her sword, Oathkeeper.
“After season 5 people would come up on the street moaning about why Brienne wasn’t doing more, and I’d say, ‘I’m terribly sorry I’m not really in charge of that. It was really exciting to see Brienne burst forth again. I loved seeing Brienne fighting again. There was so much action and it’s quite brutal and it’s very exciting to dedicate myself to that moment to overcome that obstacle and rescue Sansa.
When she pledges her oath to Sansa and lays her sword down for her, I found it very touching. I have so many fond memories of working with Michelle Fairley [Catelyn Stark]. This is a mirror of that oath and this time Sansa accepts it and she can see how dedicated Brienne is to her. It was really gratifying to carry on that oath for Catelyn Stark and finally to find one of the Stark daughters and so she can try to keep her safe.”
The episode’s director Jeremy Podeswa was also very proud of how the scene turned out and both he and Christie were vindicated at the Hollywood premiere earlier this month where it drew one of the biggest cheers.
“It’s great when you can marry something that has a lot of action with something that’s quite emotional. Theon shows his own agency and protects Sansa, you get to see Brienne throwing down a charging horse with her bare arms, and then there’s [the oath].”
As a viewer, I can attest Podeswa is right; this scene was a marriage made in heaven.