To say I am angry about the final role of my hero, Ser Brienne of Tarth, is an understatement. Perhaps even the understatement of the century. Now, before I begin my verbal evisceration of this real tragedy, I want to make it very clear that the only thing that I am eviscerating is the writing of the last 2.5 episodes of Game of Thrones. The cast, the production values, the effects and CGI department all did their finest work this season and I commend them for it. They deserve it. However, there is absolutely no excuse for the shoddy work that was done in the writing room for this multi-million dollar show for these final episodes. I think it’s important to take a moment to acknowledge Bryan Cogman. My hat is off and my glass is lifted to Bryan, who wrote the best episode of the season, “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms,” and honestly, it might be the best episode of the entire series because of how deeply he understands and cares for the characters.
I care for these characters too, but I care the most about Brienne. Because of this, I wanted to do something that would honor her in a way that the show never did explicitly. What follows is Brienne of Tarth’s page in the White Book, based on show canon.
Ser Brienne of Tarth
Only living child of Lord Selwyn Tarth of Evenfall Hall. Named to the Kingsguard of Renly Baratheon as her prize for winning the tournament melee at Bitterbridge, where she defeated all opponents, finally besting Ser Loras Tyrell, the Knight of Flowers.
After Renly’s death by blood magic from the hands of his brother, Stannis Baratheon, she was sworn to Lady Catelyn Stark of Winterfell. At the command of Lady Catelyn, she escorted Ser Jaime Lannister to King’s Landing to exchange him for her Lady Catelyn’s daughters.
Taken captive by Locke, acting under order of Lord Roose Bolton. When Locke and his men attempted to force themselves on her, she was defended by Ser Jaime Lannister. She was spared, but Ser Jaime lost his hand.
Encouraged Ser Jaime Lannister to live, fight, and take revenge after the loss of his hand. And so he did.
Taken to Harrenhal, Brienne and Ser Jaime were held prisoner by Roose Bolton. Lord Bolton released Jaime to King’s Landing, but held Brienne captive. As there were no explicit orders from the King in the North concerning Brienne, her captors placed her in a pit with a bear, giving her only a wooden sword by means of defense. Rescued from the bear pit by Ser Jaime Lannister.
Returned Ser Jaime safely to King’s Landing. Ser Jaime armored and armed Brienne with her Valyrian steel sword, now known as Oathkeeper, in gratitude for returning him safely. Ser Jaime tasked her with finding the Stark girls and to keep them safe.
Brienne took on Podrick Payne to squire for her. She and Podrick traveled in search of Stark girls. Brienne found Arya Stark and bested Sandor Clegane, “The Hound” in single combat to protect her, but Arya refused her help, escaping to Braavos.
Shortly thereafter, she and Podrick discovered Sansa Stark, but she also refused Brienne’s help.
Undaunted, she sent Lady Sansa a message to signal for help, should she need it. Watched and waited for her signal until she heard word of Stannis Baratheon nearby. Remembering her original oath to Renly Baratheon, Brienne executed Stannis for Renly’s murder.
Hearing of Lady Sansa’s escape, Brienne and Podrick followed after Lady Sansa, and rescued her and Theon Greyjoy from the clutches of Ramsey Bolton and his men. Swore fealty to Lady Sansa Stark of Winterfell, as she swore to her mother. Returned Lady Sansa safely to the Wall and to her brother, Jon Snow.
On order of Lady Sansa, Brienne went to rally the Tully forces to the Northern cause at Riverrun, which was under siege by Lannister soldiers. Treated with Ser Jaime Lannister, and convinced him to take the castle without bloodshed. She treated with Ser Bryden Tully, “The Blackfish”, but he refused to abandon his ancestral home to aid Lady Sansa and Jon Snow.
Was sent by Lady Sansa to represent her interests at the Dragon Pit, where a truce was offered by the united Northern and Targaryen forces to Queen Cersei Lannister. When Queen Cersei denied the truce, Lady Brienne convinced Ser Jaime Lannister to treat with his sister. When Queen Cersei betrayed the Northern alliance, her argument persuaded Ser Jaime to join the fight for the living.
Oversaw the training of the Northern forces prior to the Battle of Winterfell. Knighted by Ser Jaime Lannister on the eve of battle for her diligence, courage, and honor, making her the first Lady Ser in all of Westeros.
Commanded the left flank during the Battle of Winterfell, and led her forces to victory against the army of the dead.
Named Lady Commander of the Kingsguard under his majesty, Bran the Broken, the first of his name.
Admired and respected by all who know her.
Uniter of peoples and defender of the innocent.
Loved by Ser Jaime Lannister.
Game of Thrones is streaming on HBO.