You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Game of Thrones’ Star Gwendoline Christie: Brienne ‘Let Her Armor Down’ With Jaime

SPOILER ALERT: Do not keep reading unless you’ve seen “Game of Thrones” Season 8 Episode 4, titled “The Last of the Starks.” 

For Gwendoline Christie, one of the most enjoyable parts of being on “Game of Thrones” has been “kicking ass.”

Certainly Brienne of Tarth has kicked her fair share over the last eight years, and when it comes to her character’s journey for the final two episodes, Christie tells Variety that Brienne “looks forward to doing more of it in the future.”

When asked if the newly anointed Knight of the Seven Kingdoms will ride South after Jaime, Christie simply says, “It’s just such an exciting show to watch, isn’t it?” before cackling manically.

Over last three episodes, audiences have been treated to an entirely different side to the usually stiff, fearsome Brienne.

On the tender sequence with Jaime, in which Brienne lost her virginity and delighted fans who have long been rooting for her character and the Lannister knight, Christie says she “loved that it was Brienne’s choice,” that her character had finally committed to being happy.

“She has let her armor down,” she says. “It was essential for the character to evolve beyond what we’d seen so far, which was her strength and ability at fighting and physical combat. We get to see something else of this woman’s emotional world and how she’s developed over the years.”

Christie recalls shooting the emotional moment in which Jaime leaves Brienne and rides South to deal with the Cersei situation (how he’ll deal with that, we don’t know), which happened to be her final scene shooting in Belfast on the Winterfell set, the place where it all began for her.

“I remember I went to do my stunt training and horse-riding training and that’s where the character was first born. It’s where the relationship with Nikolaj Coster-Waldau first developed. That day it meant such a great deal because I’m looking around at the crew — some of whom I will not work with again on ‘Game of Thrones’ — I’m looking at that set which I will not film on again, and it’s been an experience that has changed my life beyond all comprehension and afforded me an acting career,” Christie says.

She adds that it was a relief to finally shoot a scene in which she wasn’t wearing “beautifully designed but excruciating armor.” Brienne’s sleeker house coat will be on sale online soon, Christie jokes.

At the end of her final day on set, Christie says showrunners David Benioff and D. B. Weiss gave a speech and paid her a compliment which made her “cry for two hours.” She says the end of Brienne’s story on the show feels like a “natural conclusion.”

“Brienne really made me examine the parts of myself that I thought needed to be concealed, that I felt that society was telling me weren’t good enough,” Christie says. “I was embarrassed to confront my androgyny, or my strength, or my masculinity, and what I felt about female empowerment and gender politics and the inconsistencies in my body and face. I was forced to confront all of those things to get into the character and that has been a great gift.”

More TV

  • THE BLACKLIST -- "Katarina Rostova (#3)"

    ‘The Blacklist’ Bosses on Delivering the 'Really Intense Family Drama That We've Been Promising for Seven Years'

    SPOILER ALERT: Do not read if you have not yet watched “Katarina Rostova,” the midseason seventh season finale of “The Blacklist.” Since “The Blacklist” began it has been building towards a confrontation between Agent Elizabeth Keen (Megan Boone) and her biological mother, Katarina Rostova (Laila Robbins). That promised confrontation was front-and-center in the seventh season [...]

  • REEF BREAK - "Pilot" - When

    'Reef Break' Canceled After One Season at ABC

    “Reef Break” will not be back for a second season at ABC. The series debuted back in June on the broadcaster and aired 13 episodes, with the finale airing on Sept. 13. It starred Poppy Montgomery as Cat Chambers, Ray Stevenson as Jake Elliot, Desmond Chiam as Wyatt Cole, Melissa Bonne as Ana Dumont and [...]

  • Jeff Shell

    Jeff Shell: Who Is the NBCUniversal Heir Apparent?

    Analytical, decisive, loyal, fair, empowering. Those are just a few of the choice words industry insiders who have worked with incoming NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell — set to succeed current chief exec Steve Burke, as Variety exclusively reported — use to describe the longtime media exec.  On Universal’s North Hollywood lot, many insiders who work [...]

  • Reese Witherspoon Kerry Washington Little Fires

    TV News Roundup: Hulu Reveals 'Little Fires Everywhere' Premiere Date

    In today’s TV news roundup, Hulu announces a premiere date for “Little Fires Everywhere” and Variety exclusively obtains a first look at this year’s Christmas episode of “The Simpsons.” DATES “Little Fires Everywhere” will debut March 18, Hulu announced. Produced by Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine, Kerry Washington’s Simpson Street, and ABC Signature Studios, the show [...]

  • Watchmen Regina King Tim Blake Nelson

    How 'Watchmen' Pulled Off One of the Best TV Seasons of the Decade

    The first time Damon Lindelof realized that “Watchmen” — his adaptation/remix/continuation of the groundbreaking 1986 graphic novel by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons — might actually be a hit was after the pilot debuted at New York Comic Con in October. In the following panel, the 46-year-old writer-producer could tell the audience was connecting with [...]

  • 9-1-1: Angela Bassett in the “Christmas

    Live+3 Ratings for Week of Dec. 2: 'The Good Doctor,' '9-1-1' Top Gainers

    “The Good Doctor” on ABC and “9-1-1” on Fox were the two biggest gainers in the Live+3 TV ratings for the week of Dec. 2. The pair benefited from the absence of NBC’s “This Is Us,” which to date has shown the largest gains across all scripted shows after three days of delayed viewing. “Good [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content