After spending most of season five looking at Winterfell intently, Brienne got quite a few superb moments in season six, first saving and pledging fealty to Sansa and then acting as her envoy in Riverrun with Jaime and the Blackfish. Sadly, season seven mostly sidelined Gwendoline Christie‘s character again, at least until the season finale. If you were one of the many worried that Brienne of Fucking Tarth wouldn’t get her due in the final season, Christie’s here to set us straight in a new Entertainment Weekly interview!
“Every couple of pages I thought I was dead,” she tells EW of her experience first reading the final scripts. “If you’re lucky enough to get to season 8, you expect to die on the first page. That’s the worst case scenario. The very worst case scenario is dying off screen. At one point while reading I said to my partner, ‘I think I died and nobody said anything.'”
As for her initial reactions, she admits she was left with “lots of questions. If there’s a character you care about and you feel like they go through some sort of hell you feel protective toward them.” Nevertheless, in the end Christie found the season eight scripts “hugely satisfying”, though she believes people will want the story to continue: “There’s something about this story that’s compulsive and essential. What [showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss] have done in terms of this being the final season is masterful. I don’t think there’s any way people aren’t going to want more.”
“I put my heart and soul into this project and thrown myself into it physically as well, which has been incredibly challenging this year,” she says, alluding to the gigantic Battle of Winterfell in which she—as well most of the cast—was involved for two months. “We get to see Brienne going full throttle doing what we all love to watch her do. It’s the crew I feel for. They’re the ones who are truly the face of brutal suffering when it comes to the relentlessness of the schedule and I deeply admire them for that. But the storyline is so great. I have the skills now where when I’m told there’s going to be a fight and it’s nine moves with 30 men running at you that I can do it. And the Winterfell set is huge, it’s enormous. I’ve worked on big things and this is enormous.”
If you fear we’ll only get to see Brienne swinging the sword and nothing else, do not worry, as Gwendoline Christie is here to assuage your doubts: “This season we see more of Brienne than ever before. I’m more involved this season and I’m delighted the character has been learning from everyone she’s been around. There’s been a timidness and a tense vulnerability that was the opposite of her physical strength,” she observes. “It’s been interesting to watch her embrace her intellect and humor and step forward in life and make decisions. I think this is a season where Brienne’s gender is really no longer an issue. She’s treated as an equal by all and that’s very pleasing.”
For more about when and how Christie first got to read the scripts and whether Brienne would like to ride a dragon, read the entire interview at Entertainment Weekly.