A bit ironic given its medieval and courtly context, but Game of Thrones is surprisingly light on romance. The closest it’s ever come to a true love story involved one party shooting the other with arrows. Repeatedly. And yet, the fans continue to ship away with their favorite pairings, particularly when there is even the faintest hint of interest. Well, it’s safe to say that Tormund Giantsbane’s repeated and failed attempts to woo Brienne of Tarth has been more than hinted at. It’s about as blunt as everything else the wildling does, and for the most part, that’s swinging swords and axes into people’s skulls.
To date Brienne, as played by Gwendoline Christie, has been less than reciprocal of Tormund’s advances—going so far as to prefer running into battle than getting another of the creepy-comely grins Tormund shot Brienne’s way in the Game of Thrones season 7 premiere. Nevertheless, the admittedly comedic subplot received massive interest on the Hall H stage in San Diego Comic-Con when the Game of Thrones panel began. And Christie made an admission on her character’s behalf: Brienne does not find Tormund’s attention wholly unwanted.
Gone but not forgotten, Kristian Nairn (Hodor) hosted the Game of Thrones panel with grace and good cheer, and almost always by throwing the first question to Christie. This included the earliest query: What does Brienne make of Tormund.
At first, Christie very graciously and accurately pointed out that Brienne does not look at all for that kind of attention from men, particularly Tormund. She is a knight, dammit. And one who isn’t looking to be valued solely for her femininity.
With that said she then added, “But I mean, who doesn’t like being appreciated as both, really? I don’t think that’s really what she’s invested in at all. I think she’s finding it incredibly awkward. But underneath any awkwardness is always a potential secret enjoyment.” After leading the audience there, she playfully turned it to the audience. “What do you all think? Does she like it? Or does she like someone else?” And thus yet another war to come had begun, those who shouted Brienne liked Tormund and those chanting it’s all about Jaime “Kingslayer” Lannister.
Even in matters of love, everything appears destined to end in a battle where Game of Thrones is concerned.
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