Director Daniel Sackheim discusses Brienne & Tormund, and Jon & Sansa’s reunion

Tormund

In new interviews, Game of Thrones director Daniel Sackheim discusses the possible spark between Brienne and Tormund and the emotional impact of Jon and Sansa’s reunion.

During a dinner scene at the Wall in last week’s episode, “Book of the Stranger,” Tormund and Brienne exchanged some meaningful glances –
Tarthbane

Source: Dorkly

Source: Dorkly

-and the internet exploded in Brienne/Tormund fan videos, photoshop projects and ship names. Sackheim, director of the episode, spoke to Tech Insider about the fan reaction.

“Honestly, I’m surprised anyone even noticed,” he said. “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.”

He discussed the contrast between Brienne and Tormund that makes the prospect of their pairing so unexpected and appealing.

“It’s cool because they’re two characters who are sort of expressly cut off from emotions. Certainly [Brienne] is. She’s not particularly forthcoming or feminine. She’s all about her charge, her duty, her responsibility, and you hardly ever get to see her as person … Tormund, you know, he’s a f—ing wildling!” Sackheim said. “The notion of these two unlikely people coming together, I think it’s very cool.”

Of course, Tarthbane did take a backseat in the episode to Jon and Sansa’s reunion – a much anticipated moment that many viewers never thought they’d get. Sackheim admitted to The Hollywood Reporter that it wasn’t until he saw crew members crying on set that he realized the impact the scene was going to have.

Sometimes as a director, you’re just looking at what’s in front of you, and not taking into account the bigger picture and the epic nature of two siblings who have been separated for six seasons — and have never had scenes together, and were both really looking forward to it — reuniting. The only note I gave them during the scene was, “Hold yourself back. As much as it’s joyous to see each other, you’re equally as scared. You don’t know what to expect.” The operative word was fear. Fear of the unknown. In a way, it added to the emotional resonance of the scene.

91 responses

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    1. To be honest, I’m kinda sad that the director didn’t think much of the Tormund/Brienne scene. If it was just a gag, that means their “romance” won’t be featured that much in future episodes. I was actually looking forward to seeing how those two interact. Yeah, I ship it!

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    2. It was a brilliant, seemingly small addition to the scene when shooting to show that sort of reaction from Tormund. Yeah, we noticed. 🙂

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    3. It´s a bit sad that they most likely won´t be building a relationship out of this material as Brienne will surely wander off in the next couple episodes, but for however shortlived it was, both the subtlety and the charm of their “scenes” was really refreshing. Since the beginning, GoT has been dark so it´s nice to see some flat-out comic-relief or humour once in a while.

      In the end, I now really hope that both Brienne and Tormund make it through the series and get a second chance of knowing each other. It could be the most cheesy character-ending of all time, it wouldn´t bother me…

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    4. I really appreciated how the show didn’t ignore the fact that Jon and Sansa weren’t especially close growing up. Also “Jonsa” and “Jansa” seem odd to me, don’t those name things usually apply a ship? Please don’t make them a ship.

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    5. It’s a tribute to the extreme acting skills of both halves of Torienne that they can convey so much without exchanging a single word. Nina Gold is a genius.

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    6. The little moments are sometimes the biggest gems. Definitely true of Tormund/Brienne. And Edd’s response was gold.

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    7. As I read that Sackheim never meant for Brienne & Tormund to actually be a thing, I’m queuing up Roxette’s, “It Must Have Been Love” for their parting. #Tormienneforever

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    8. I shipped them before it was cool. I remember saying that if they’ll get together their sex would be wild and amazing. I said it here on WOTW.

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    9. Lyanna_Targaryen:
      As I read that Sackheim never meant for Brienne & Tormund to actually be a thing, I’m queuing up Roxette’s, “It Must Have Been Love” for their parting. #Tormienneforever

      Very good. I was thinking that “Angel of the Morning” would be appropriate but yours is a better choice.

      Pigeon,

      Yes. All of it is genius, in part because it was so unexpected.

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    10. Pigeon,

      Exactly! I rewatched that scene a few times for the hilarity but also to appreciate each character’s entirely silent yet really expressive (eve if in Brienne’s case it was fairly minute, it said a lot) reaction.
      And from the moment I saw that advance photo of Tormund gaping at something I suspected it was Brienne and got all in a tizzy over how awesome they’d be. First time ever “shipping” something, and boy I hope it is good.

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    11. The tiniest of these exchanges turn out to be absolute goldust each season. Last year it was “Fewer” by Stannis…This year is gonna be Torriene’s interaction

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    12. I’ve seen vids using Dreamweaver, Hungry Eyes, I’m Never Gonna Dance Again, and a couple other songs. They all work 🙂

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    13. Blackfish´s Ally,

      Totally agree though I thought she looked quite shocked rather than turned on. I loved the way he was looking at her. So sad it wasn’t meant to be a ‘thing’. It would have been the highlight of the series.

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    14. I think it’s just me…I couldnt care less for this “shipping” stuff…nothing was obviously gonna come out of it so I wouldve preferred a little convo in those seconds…Jon/Sansa catching up with things…Brienne mentiong Arya to Jon…Jon asking wth Brienne was doing with THAT SWORD!! Jon asking Pod how he ended up there…Sansa and co being educated on the WW etc etc Wouldve helped the story

      The crew members were crying at Stark reunion too… hmmm.

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    15. Aw, the fact that Sackheim wasn’t even trying to make the Brienne/Tormund scene ‘shippy’ means we probably won’t get any more adorable scenes between them this season. I’m surprised he was shocked that fans noticed the sparks and the subsequent response. Dude, do you know this fanbase??

      As for his direction to Kit and Sophie on how to play the reunion, I love that they perfectly conveyed his vision of Jon & Sansa being both overjoyed and scared at seeing each other again. I can’t imagine that scene played any other way, it was absolutely perfect the way they played it. Kudos to all 3.

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    16. n. I’m surprised he was shocked that fans noticed the sparks and the subsequent response. Dude, do you know this fanbase??

      Its likely that he doesn’t care. I didn’t notice the gazes the first time I saw it and was amused by the reaction. I rewatched it and yeah, I could see it, but its nothing that a director is going to use unless it adds to the story. Tho I admit it is fun to think about since they both have bears in common…

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    17. I would just love it if Tormund & Brienne could have some hard, hot sex before both of them leave The Wall. I mean, come on. They both could use a little tension relief, couldn’t they?

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    18. This Tormand/Brienne ‘romance’ thing is just typical of the crap people pick up on? The same thing applied to when the first photos were shown from S6 of Sansa which caused a torrent of posts saying that she was pregnant due to the way her dress fitted which showed a small budge… Complete and utter shite what some fans believe they see or imagine in some scenes or photos.

      Tormand may have generated that idea judging from the way he’s looking at Brienne, but its pretty obviously, the looks she’s giving him show no interest whatsoever. The thought going through her mind is probably: ‘What a fucking crude animal this Wildling is – He has no table manners !!’

      It just creases me up when fans of the show study everything in minute detail and come up with these crazy theories 😀

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    19. Ok, maybe I’m the only one but I felt a little upset about all this Brienne/Tormund shipping… I mean, remember that time in the show when Brienne had those deep, emotional and intense scenes with Jaime? That was the “real” Brienne, still close to the book version; throughout the confrontation with him, an exact opposite to her, we can actually see her as “person” with a lot of frailties.

      I’m kind of glad that this Tormund thing was only meant to be a little comic relief because, as much as I liked it (and I did) I really do think there’s something totally different in her path than becoming a Spearwife 😉

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    20. Black Raven,

      Brienne has never had a man show genuine interest in her. I don’t think she is looking at him like he’s some sort of savage who is beneath her.

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    21. Black Raven,

      You don’t know women very well. If a man’s making eyes at us across the table, there are three reactions:

      Demurely looking away = keep it up mister
      Pointedly looking away = ew, go away
      Grimacing and looking away in confusion (a la Brienne) = I don’t have much experience with men and instinctively I think he’s weird but I’m intrigued and someday he’s going to jump me and what the hell will I do. AHHHHH.

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    22. A Man Grown,

      Also “Jonsa” and “Jansa” seem odd to me, don’t those name things usually apply a ship? Please don’t make them a ship.

      Especially since Jon and Sansa are, at best, first cousins, and at worst, half brother and sister. I know the Targaryens (and a couple Lannisters) went in for such things, but I think the GOT audience would feel the awkwardness of it with these two more just a little. As would pretty much all the inhabitants of the North, where sibling incest wasn’t exactly smiled upon.

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    23. Hi,

      First time here. Great community!

      Did I remember right that LF said to somebody that he had a great gift- could it be Ricon? we don’t know how he got in hands of Umbers?
      The Great Sparrow possibly knows already from Lanister-Sparrow that Cersei killed her husband- maybe this is what he told T?
      I think that only maybe LF is equal to the Great Sparrow in pulling all strings behind the sceene and in skills in manipulating people- why he released Cersei? does GS has friends in small council?
      and what possibly can stop Sansa from exposing LF and telling Robin he killed her mother?

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    24. The chance glances that Tormund and Brienne exchange, makes me think, they will go into battle together with Jon Snow and Sansa, to overthrow Ramsay at Winterfell. During this exchange, Tormund will save Brienne from death, and her esteem for men will be enhanced for this. Brienne has not been defeated by a man yet, Jaime at the Bridge, was an equal but not better rival, and the Hound, who she eventually defeated, whilst trying to find Arya. I don’t think Tormund and Brienne will ever be a couple in the biblical sense, but they will certainly be a force to be reckoned with when together.

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    25. Prior to this episode I didn’t know how they would easily convince the Wildings to agree to join with the Northern lords in fighting the Boltons, if it came down to that. I figured that a lot of the Wildings would be disinclined to join the battle. The writers handled it beautifully, both with the “thing” between Tormund and Brienne, and the Pink Letter.

      Tormund is the leader chosen by the other Wilding leaders, ala poor departed Karsi : “if you say this is the way, Tormund, we’re with you.” So, if he’s feeling a wild attraction toward Brienne, he’s more likely to want to go where she goes, if he can. The Pink Letter sealed it by threatening the safety of all the Wildings. He’s in it more than one way now, and the matter of the Wildings fighting Ramsay is neatly settled. BTW I, too, am sad that the exchange of looks between the two was mostly a side giggle by the writers. Obviously, a ton of viewers loved the idea.

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    26. Black Raven,

      Yes well it’s not a crazy theory this time. I hope they take it on board and run with it. It totally works. Where’s your sense of romance gone? There is precious little of it in GOT. It would be nice to see no?

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    27. Athelstane,

      I think because unexpectedly Kit and Sophie have AMAZING chemistry on screen. I think that’s been universally acknowledged. And these two don’t have the ‘benefit’ of scenes that establish their sibling bond at all. They’ve never interacted. So the first we see of them together is this intense reunion, then this kind of awkward but bashful and playful conversation, then teaming up together. Because people have never SEEN them as siblings, it almost feels like two (gorgeous) people that have this intense connection that you have no other context for.

      Now, I think there’s zero chance in hell this is a romantic relationship. But people WILL still ship it because of all that.

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    28. Black Raven:
      This Tormand/Brienne ‘romance’ thing is just typical of the crap people pick up on? The same thing applied to when the first photos were shown from S6 of Sansa which caused a torrent of posts saying that she was pregnant due to the way her dress fitted which showed a small budge… Complete and utter shite what some fans believe they see or imagine in some scenes or photos.

      Tormand may have generated that idea judging from the way he’s looking at Brienne, but its pretty obviously, the looks she’s giving him show no interest whatsoever. The thought going through her mind is probably: ‘What a fucking crude animal this Wildling is – He has no table manners !!’

      It just creases me up when fans of the show study everything in minute detail and come up with these crazy theories ?

      That’s your take on her reaction. It’s not mine. I’ve seen many crazy fan theories. This one seems to have a lot of people on board whether it’s going somewhere in the future or not. Kinda fun though 🙂

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    29. Have to say, I’m happy to be done with Sackheim and Podeswa. I think they’re fine directors, but not as good as some of the other GoT directors (high bar). They both have scenes that wow me, and then do things that leave me scratching my head.

      Looking forward to seeing what Jack Bender brings to the table. Never seen Lost but I know he comes with high acclaim.

      Mark Mylod after him is severely underrated because he did two episodes last season that kind of went under the radar (5.3 and 5.4) . There was some really great cinematography in those. Mylod might have actually been my favorite director from last season after Nutter. I’m happy to see him getting more meaningful episodes this season.

      And then of course, Miguel Sapochnik who knocked it out of the park in 5.8 and 5.9.

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    30. Wow, the crew was crying during the stark reunion. My heart meltssssssss

      I thought it was perfect ❤️ I watch it over and over

      Please don’t take it away from me

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    31. Halfman: Yes well it’s not a crazy theory this time. I hope they take it on board and run with it. It totally works. Where’s your sense of romance gone? There is precious little of it in GOT. It would be nice to see no?

      Nicely put. It would be lovely to see, lovely for Brienne to be appreciated for the woman she is by a man who loves her size as well.

      Sometimes as a director, you’re just looking at what’s in front of you, and not taking into account the bigger picture and the epic nature of two siblings who have been separated for six seasons

      Kinda not cool for Sackheim to say he was mostly clueless about where this scene fits into the context of the whole series. This can’t have been just another job to him, it’s Game of Thrones. It means a lot to a wild number of people across the GLOBE. Luckily, it was perfect. Which means extra kudos to Kit and Sophie, because THEY knew what it meant and got to the absolute essence of that scene. Sansa, standing in the court yard, a bit disoriented, turning slowly, going wide-eyed as she sees Jon gaping at her, dumbfounded himself (and sweet dear Edd with that WTF? look on his face.) That hug, that HUG. I could watch it dozens of times and never tire of it.

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    32. Yeah i don’t think it’s going anywhere considering i onew Brienne would be RL probably with Jaimie again

      It would be weird and even annoying in a Greyworm/Missandei kind of way if they tried – though in a weird way it could be used for Thenns/Alys Karstark stand-in but anyway…

      It was good for a laugh, and would make some sense for Tormund to be endeared towards a large martial woman while for Brienne who is used to being derided it would be peculiar to be receiving attention etc

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    33. Halfman: That’s your take on her reaction. It’s not mine.I’ve seen many crazy fan theories. This one seems to have a lot of people on board whether it’s going somewhere in the future or not. Kinda fun though

      To this post and others who replied to my post… It just ain’t going to happen. As the director Daniel Sackheim stated:

      “Honestly, I’m surprised anyone even noticed,” he said. “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.”

      Ok, he then says “The notion of these two unlikely people coming together, I think it’s very cool.” but no way will anything change. As the Three Eyed Raven said “The past is already written. The ink is dry.” and the same applies to the future as far as the show runners B&W are concerned.

      Season 6 is written and from the trailers its pretty much conclusive that Tormand will go to Winterfell with Jon with their armies to oust the Boltons. The so called ‘Battle of the Bastards’ and Brienne goes to the Riverlands where she may well meet up again with Jaime who she does have affection for.

      So forget all this crap about a possible romance between Brienne and Tormund. It was just a gratuitous scene that was incorporated and nothing more.

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    34. April May:
      Black Raven,

      Brienne has never had a man show genuine interest in her. I don’t think she is looking at him like he’s some sort of savage who is beneath her.

      Well, what I see from Brienne is a look of distaste from the glances Tormond is giving her. She’s just too polite (being of noble birth) to come out with something like – “WTF are you looking at!” I could be wrong as I have known many women who fall for a ‘bit of rough’ but invariably those relationships never last long 😉

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    35. A “little grace note”? There was a fair bit of work involved to get something minor: a long shot on Tormund, reaction from Brienne, Edd noticing at the meal, Tormund and Brienne shots again. We have to hope they both make it through and the writers can do more next season.

      Black Raven
      I think it is more she’s not used to it and doesn’t know how to react. She’ll be wondering if he’s just laughing at her.

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    36. LordDavos: I think it is more she’s not used to it and doesn’t know how to react. She’ll be wondering if he’s just laughing at her.

      I agree. The only time men have appeared to be attracted to her in the past was that time in Renly’s camp (backstory, not onscreen) when a bunch of guys started wagering on which one could claim her maidenhead, and all started competing for her attention. It was terribly humiliating for her when she discovered what was actually going on. She will naturally be highly suspicious anytime a man flirts with her after that experience.

      But it makes total sense that Tormund would be impressed by a woman who’s as big as he is and could match him in a fight! She doesn’t know that, though…yet. Her heart may belong to Jaime at present, but he’s probably doomed to die with Cersei; so maybe sometime way down the road in Season 8, if Brienne and Tormund both survive….

      Tormienne 4 Ever!

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    37. LordDavos:
      A “little grace note”? There was a fair bit of work involved to get something minor: a long shot on Tormund, reaction from Brienne, Edd noticing at the meal, Tormund and Brienne shots again. We have to hope they both make it through and the writers can do more next season.

      Black Raven
      I think it is more she’s not used to it and doesn’t know how to react. She’ll be wondering if he’s just laughing at her.

      Exactly. All of the above.

      Honestly, the director sounds he’s playing a bit obtuse. They clearly shot for that Tormund/Brienne “gag”. I’m sure he was in on the editing sessions. I imagine them all sitting around cracking up because the footage is so fricking funny and perfect.

      I loved it! And wish it were real. Brienne deserves a man who sees how magnificent and beautiful she is.

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    38. Athelstane:
      A Man Grown,

      Especially since Jon and Sansa are, at best, first cousins, and at worst, half brother and sister. I know the Targaryens (and a couple Lannisters) went in for such things, but I think the GOT audience would feel the awkwardness of it with these two more just a little. As would pretty much all the inhabitants of the North, where sibling incest wasn’t exactly smiled upon.

      Cousins marrying is considered normal in Westeros, just as it was considered normal in the medieval times IRL. Tywin married his cousin Joanna, and if I am not mistaken, Rickard Stark, Ned Stark’s father also married his cousin.
      I don’t think Jon and Sansa are going down that route though, lol. People came up with these names ,Jonsa/ Jansa etc mainly because they were excited at the prospect of these two characters meeting.

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    39. Black Raven,

      Where the hell have you been? Did you read the same books and watch the same show that the rest of us did? I agree with the others that Gwen’s uncertain reaction to that kind of attention makes perfect sense to me, as a female. She’s NEVER had that kind of attention, and doesn’t immediately trust this total stranger (in both the personal and wider cultural sense) giving her THAT kind of attention. Tormund, of course, is all about the naked lust/obvious signals that is “normal” among the Wildlings (remember Ygritte’s story about agreeing to be “taken” by a man? He’s got to get her attention/acquiescence before he can “take” her) to get Brienne’s attention. I loved it; and even if it goes nowhere in show or books, it will be in my head for my own romantic fan-fic. Both actors did a great job, and kudos to those who have the imagination and the optimism to see the potential. Shame on you for your jaded ways! Bah humbug to you! Long live the possibility of romance among the ruins! 😉

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    40. Because no one involved with the production of Game of Thrones has ever employed misdirection in promotional interviews…

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    41. Brienne and Tormund was a nice touch – and provided much needed light to the scene before the shadow of Ramsay’s letter.

      The ‘shipping’ stuff kind of goes over my head, I’m not sure I get all that.

      That said, I think no series is greater than GoT/ASOIAF at putting pairs of characters together in scenes that contrast in the most revealing ways. I feel like we saw new possibilities for Brienne and Tormund’s characters in that fleeting exchange, and the flesh it gave them is crucial to a show like this, with so many characters.

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    42. Noirgirl:
      I loved it! And wish it were real. Brienne deserves a man who sees how magnificent and beautiful she is.

      I agree a man who wants to sleep with you> a man who risk his life for you.
      Brienne is so desperate she has to take anything given to her, despite being a highborn lady.
      Deep inside i feel that all the Brienne-Tormund shippers feel that Brienne can’t get anyone better than someone who is used to participate in sack of villages and has a bunch of children (uglier than Jon Snow as he claims) he never cares about.
      As for never having any attention,in the very same scene she hold a sword and wears an armour some other man gave to her as a present.

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    43. Ok guys Tormienne is quite fun to watch and I would love to see one or two more teasing scenes but some of you are taking this WAY too seriously. There is exactly a 0% chance that Brienne would go for such a thing – she is a LADY damnit! She loves chivalry, honor, and other knightly virtues. Shacking up with a wildling cuz he’s the first guy who is obviously in lust with her does not compute!

      This will be useful character development for Brienne though. I think Tormund will help her to see for the first time that she is entirely desirable and anyone that thinks otherwise can rightly be called an idiot. With her new confidence perhaps we have the set up for a ship much dearer to my heart… 🙂

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    44. Yeah right, anyone who loves Tormund knew that he’d be keen to check out Brienne. I have to say though, that little raised eyebrow while slobbering on a mutton bone, Mr. Hivju knocked that one right out of the park. Exceeded our expectations for a little flirting.

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    45. The direction of the Jon and Sansa reunion was as close to perfection as could be expected. It’s really cool to read about Sackheim’s direction.

      The thing that got me on my first re-watch of it is the way Jon reacts when he sees Sansa. The way he was standing on the landing above the courtyard with his hands on the railing, then he sees it’s Sansa and he takes a whole step back, obviously thinking “How can she be here?” So great. Wonderful acting by Kit and Sophie and masterful direction by Sackheim.

      As for Brienne and Tormund, I’ve never been one for the “shipping” thing, but they do seem like a match made in heaven. It’s clearly a passing fancy, but it’s one of those little moments that elevate this show from ‘really good’ to ‘fantastic.’

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    46. LordDavos,

      I agree. She has never had a man take interest in her and feels insecure and confused. If it were middle school she would have taken Sansa to the ladies room and said “did you see that look?? Omg! Like does he like like me? No way. ” Sansa: I think he might. I mean, Brienne, you have to get over what happened before. You really ARE cool you know? I think he is the kind of guy who sees it. I’ll ask Jon. Brienne: really? Thanks.

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    47. HousePotterz,

      It was interesting to read Sackheim mention fear as the underlying feeling he wanted to portray in that scene, because it was palpable throughout and it translates to the viewer too.

      There is obviously a sense of trepidation when people reunite after a long time apart. You only have to watch one of those TV shows where they reunite long lost relatives and you’ll hear people expressing fear as one of their primary emotions.

      I’m sure we’ve all experienced that fear at some point or another.

      And the viewer certainly felt it too during the scene. All the way up to the actual embrace, there remained this fear that something might still go wrong, or that they wouldn’t react to one another the way we all hoped.

      As you mention, there’s the moment where Jon first recognises her and instinctively takes a step back, almost as if he’d seen a ghost. And before that, as Sansa scans the ramparts and surroundings of Castle Black, seeing all these strangers gawking at her, her sense of unease and desperation to finally see a familiar face is obvious.

      It all conveys this sense of fear, which plays on the viewers’ own emotions towards the two characters and towards the Stark family too. It was very well done.

      I think the fact that it came so early in the episode as well, so it was almost like it was sprung on the viewer, added to the emotion. There was no series of preceding scenes to distract us or detract from the moment.

      They even ramped up the fear by depicting Jon’s preparations to leave Castle Black, even though we viewers knew that Sansa is on her way there, teasing the possibility that they might not cross paths after all. Only for the horn to thankfully blow and provoke a sudden swell of emotion.

      On a separate note, this scene is actually a good example of why I don’t watch the trailers. Looking at it now, the Episode 4 trailer clearly showed Sansa arriving at Castle Black. Whereas I began Episode 4 not unaware that Sansa would make it to the Wall that episode. So when that horn blew and it cut to the sight of the gates opening to Brienne and Sansa none of the impact was diluted by having seen it in the trailer.

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    48. QueenOfThrones:
      Ok guys Tormienne is quite fun to watch and I would love to see one or two more teasing scenes but some of you are taking this WAY too seriously.There is exactly a 0% chance that Brienne would go for such a thing – she is a LADY damnit!She loves chivalry, honor, and other knightly virtues.Shacking up with a wildling cuz he’s the first guy who is obviously in lust with her does not compute!

      This will be useful character development for Brienne though.I think Tormund will help her to see for the first time that she is entirely desirable and anyone that thinks otherwise can rightly be called an idiot.With her new confidence perhaps we have the set up for a ship much dearer to my heart…

      I agree with your comments. Its good see that some of the posters on this thread view that Tormund/Brienne ‘staring across the table’ scene for what it was. A bit of light entertainment before Jon receives the threatening letter from Ramsey.

      As Sackheim stated: “Honestly, I’m surprised anyone even noticed,” he said. “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.”

      I’m not saying that some sort of relationship between Tormund and Brienne would be a bad thing, but too many in the fandom are speculating on scenes and photos that will have no significance in the overall story.

      So just enjoy Season 6 and take it as it comes 🙂

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    49. Coming late to the comments here. I guess that there are only a small few who just know that the Brienne/Tormund thing was not meant to cause what it did on the webz. I am one in agreement that long term Brienne would see this guy as a totally foul uncouth idiot. She IS a highborn lady and I also think her heart was taken by Jaime. For someone who I assume is a virgin, like Brienne, that sort of first love doesn’t just die because someone who brags of fooking a bear is interested in you.

      I DO agree that it is lovely for Brienne to see that she can be attractive for what she is, she is perfect. Beautiful. To me that is the message.

      I also get that for the fans it is “fun” to mentally go there. Odds are exceedingly good that Tormund is going with Jon and Sansa sends Brienne off to the RL’s. If one goes by the books….we know that Brienne has a story yet to tell there. So enjoy it. I have a feeling there will be other new things coming up to get all gushy over….or not, this is actually Game of Thrones.

      As to Jon and Sansa “shippers”. I get really creeped out by this. As far as any of them know and THEY know, they are half brother and sister and even though they weren’t close, it is clear by this scene that seeing another family member was over the top awesome and tear worthy moments are justified. Written beautifully and acted perfectly. I think this sort of thing should be left to the Lannisters, where creepy seems to rule. The Starks are better than that in my eyes.

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    50. Really now, the Tormund/Brienne “shipping” is just us having a bit of fun. It was a great bit of lightness in an otherwise, pretty dreary landscape.

      Other than the awkward Dany setting fire/ending scene, I thought the directing was amazing. Loved hearing his directing notes for Jon and Sansa. And the Theon Yara reunion was amazing to watch. I don’t hear enough praise for that scene. Those two actors are brilliant together.

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    51. JCDavis,

      I don’t think it’s worth getting creeped out by the Jon/Sansa thing. I think most people aren’t even remarking on it as a romantic thing; but those who are aren’t even thinking about the sibling/cousin issue. For them it’s just a bit of fanciful wishful thinking about two favourite characters, without any regard to their actual relationship to one another. I think the number of people genuinely holding out hope that Jon and Sansa will end up together on the show is very small indeed.

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    52. Halfman:
      Black Raven,

      Yes well it’s not a crazy theory this time. I hope they take it on board and run with it. It totally works. Where’s your sense of romance gone? There is precious little of it in GOT. It would be nice to see no?

      Well, it is a crazy theory and doesn’t work. Those two characters are miles apart in their personalities. Tormand may have a desire for Brienne, but from the expression on Brienne’s face, its not reciprocated.

      If you think the show runners will pick up on this and change the story just for the benefit of the fandom, you are badly mistaken. GoT is what it is and sadly there is little romance between the key players.

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    53. JCDavis:

      I DO agree that it is lovely for Brienne to see that she can be attractive for what she is, she is perfect. Beautiful. To me that is the message.

      Exactly.
      And I really don’t think anyone (for the most part) is taking it seriously. It’s just lovely seeing this unbridled lust and appreciation being directed towards a character who’s been mocked by her peers and desexualized by the standards of her own “polite” society.

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    54. JCDavis,

      I agree 100% with your comments. It beats me how a gratuitous scene can cause so much commotion and discussion on the web? I like both Tormand and Brienne and their character arcs, but as for a relationship between them… No way 😉

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    55. That was just a funny scene to bring some levity to the show and nothing more. Come on guys, let us be serious. After all, Brienne was infatuated with … Renly!
      As far as the Jon/Sansa ship goes, I wouldn’t go as far as to think that the GOT viewers are incestuous pervs. I am pretty sure that by now at least 70% of the viewers figured out that Jon was not really Ned Stark’s son. And the two actors did have excellent chemistry. This having been said, it is not a plausible ship. Not only because it would look bad, even if the two of them are just cousins (I know, not a problem up until a couple of centuries ago) but also because those two grew up together. Even unrelated people that grow up together from their early years tend not to get emotionally involved.

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    56. Black Raven: If you think the show runners will pick up on this and change the story just for the benefit of the fandom, you are badly mistaken.

      I certainly don’t think that’s going to happen, but it’ll be amusing if they play with the idea a bit further – like a scene in the next episode where Tormund takes Jon aside and says, “Why didn’t you tell me you kneelers had warrior women like that?” and Jon responds, ” News to me too, bro!”

      As if being murdered and “reborn” and Ramsay holding Rickon captive weren’t enough for him to deal with all at one time, Jon still has to wrap his own head around the formidable existence of Brienne of Tarth! (Though I suppose he was at least somewhat aware of the battling babes of Bear Island.)

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    57. Sou: As far as the Jon/Sansa ship goes, I wouldn’t go as far as to think that the GOT viewers are incestuous pervs.

      I suspect that whatever momentum there is for a Jonsa ship comes mainly from the knowledge among book-readers that GRRM’s first outline for ASoIaF (when it was going to be a single volume) had

      Jon and Arya becoming a couple by the end. So we know that the author wasn’t ruling out a marriage between first cousins in House Stark.

      What he’s thinking now is anybody’s guess; I’m sure he gets new ideas all the time, and I doubt that even D & D know much more than the broad strokes of the windup of the tale.

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    58. Firannion: I doubt that even D & D know much more than the broad strokes of the windup of the tale.

      That had better not be true. GRRM himself should have been writing all of the books with specific end-goals in mind. “Making it up as you go along” just leads to lots and lots of plot holes and other lapses.

      JCDavis: Odds are exceedingly good that Tormund is going with Jon and Sansa sends Brienne off to the RL’s.

      Well, Jon is going to need to get the Wildlings away from Castle Black in order to prevent the Boltons’ slaughtering them. Sansa needs to stir up allies. However, she probably cannot take Jon with her for that because he will be an awol Crow in their eyes, and a host of Wildlings is not exactly ideal for winning allies in Westeros.

      I think that the show provided us with a reason to send Brienne away last week: keeping her with Davos and Melisandre is just asking for trouble. So, I expect Sansa & Davos to seek allies while Jon, Mel & the Wildlings do something else.

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    59. Maid

      Agree. It’s interesting how some people read her reaction as simple disinterest. Especially in the books how Brienne feels about herself and how she feels about people reacting to her is pretty complex. She’s one character where being able to get into her mind through her point of view chapters helps to understand her better,

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    60. Thronetender:
      Prior to this episode I didn’t know how they would easily convince the Wildings to agree to join with the Northern lords in fighting the Boltons, if it came down to that. I figured that a lot of the Wildings would be disinclined to join the battle. The writers handled it beautifully, both with the “thing” between Tormund and Brienne, and the Pink Letter.

      Tormund is the leader chosen by the other Wilding leaders, ala poor departed Karsi : “if you say this is the way, Tormund, we’re with you.”So, if he’s feeling a wild attraction toward Brienne, he’s more likely to want to go where she goes, if he can. The Pink Letter sealed it by threatening the safety of all the Wildings. He’s in it more than one way now, and the matter of the Wildings fighting Ramsay is neatly settled.BTW I, too, am sad that the exchange of looks between the two was mostly a side giggle by the writers. Obviously, a ton of viewers loved the idea.

      I fully agree with you. Even if I have always been a Brienne-Jaime shipper (see the bath scene), I loved the Brienne-Tormund potentiality both for the sake of these great characters and for the freshness of the idea.
      I also liked how they integrated the PL under these circumstance.

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    61. I really enjoyed the scenes with Jon and Sansa, they have great chemistry, but I want them to be family

      brother and sister until they find out they are cousins

      not a couple.

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    62. Maid:
      LordDavos,

      I agree. She has never had a man take interest in her and feels insecure and confused. If it were middle school she would have taken Sansa to the ladies room and said “did you see that look?? Omg! Like does he like like me? No way. ” Sansa: I think he might. I mean, Brienne, you have to get over what happened before. You really ARE cool you know? I think he is the kind of guy who sees it.I’ll ask Jon. Brienne: really? Thanks.

      You made me laugh. Yeah, that’s exactly how it would have been 🙂

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    63. I think the fans caught on to the flirting because, well, we all love Brienne. She is the best underdog we could hope for. She is female in a world where men make all the decisions. She loved a man who appreciated her, but he was gay. She keeps her vows. She managed to bring out the good in a man who thought he himself was damned. She has never veered from the path she set out for herself. If anyone in the story deserves to get her freak on, it’s our Brienne.

      Now just allow Sansa to be captured, have to choose a warrior to fight her cause, let that happen to be the Hound, who we all know is recuperating at the monastery, let him have to fight what his brother has become, who will be fighting for Cersei, let the Hound win, and let Sansa and the Hound be happy together. … Yes, I know, a lot to ask…

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    64. LordDavos,

      She is one of my favorite characters, because she knew from Day One that she was at a disadvantage. Her own father doesn’t like her. Yet she always moved forward.

      This strikes a chord with me because our daughter is not straight, and for a long time she was afraid her dad would not accept her. He does, of course. But just knowing what my kid worried about makes me love Brienne so much. I do love the square pegs of this world…

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