Brienne Tarth

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Brienne of Tarth
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Brienne by quickreaver.jpg
Brienne depiction by quickreaver, FFG©

Alias The Maid of Tarth
Brienne the Beauty
Brienne the Blue
Allegiance House Tarth
Catelyn Tully
Rainbow Guard
Book(s) A Clash of Kings
A Storm of Swords
A Feast for Crows
A Dance with Dragons

TV series Season 2

Brienne, also called Brienne of Tarth, the Maid of Tarth or, mockingly, Brienne the Beauty, is the only child and heir of Lord Selwyn Tarth of Evenfall Hall.

Character and Appearance

Brienne depiction by Amoka©
Gwendoline Christie as Brienne (TV show)

Brienne is simple, loyal, and determined, but also headstrong and judgmental. She is immensely skilled at combat. She has an awkward personality, but is also honest and stubborn. She holds a naïvely idealized notion of knighthood, despite the insults she receives from many knights, who call her "Brienne the Beauty" to mock her ugliness. She yearns for respect, acceptance and a chance to prove her valor in a worthy cause.

Brienne is considered ugly and ungainly. She has large, very blue eyes that appear trusting and guileless, but they are her only attractive feature. She is taller and stronger than many men and is extremely broad-shouldered, but has virtually no bust. Her face is broad and coarse, with a nose that has been broken several times. Her mouth is too wide, with prominent and crooked teeth and lips so plump they seem swollen. Her hair is the color of dirty straw and her face is mottled with freckles.[1]

When asked about her height Martin commented:

Brienne is well over six feet tall, but not close to seven, no. Just off the top of my head, I would say Brienne is taller than Renly and Jaime and significantly heavier than either, but nowhere near the size of Gregor Clegane, who is the true giant in the series. Shorter than Hodor and the Greatjon, maybe a bit shorter than the Hound, maybe roughly the same height as Robert.[2]

History

Brienne was born the eldest daughter of Lord Selwyn Tarth. She had a single older brother, Galladon, who drowned when she was eight, and two younger sisters, both of whom died in the cradle. This makes her the only offspring of Lord Selwyn, a fact that naturally encouraged him to find a suitable match for her. Given her ugly and ungainly appearance and attitude, however, the task was a difficult one.

Her father successfully found three men willing to betroth her, for her father's wealthy lands, though the first two fell through. The last, Ser Humfrey Wagstaff, warned her he would insist she act womanly once they were wed. Though only sixteen, Brienne replied she would only accept such a demand from a man who could beat her in combat. In the effort, Ser Humfrey ended up with three broken bones and a broken betrothal. Her father never tried again.[3]

When Renly Baratheon visited Tarth during his coming of age tour, he crossed path with Brienne and treated her courteously, making Brienne fall in love with him.

A Clash of Kings

When Renly Baratheon, with whom she is infatuated, declared himself king, Brienne joined him for his march on King's Landing. She won a great melee at Bitterbridge and asked to join the Rainbow Guard as her prize, becoming Brienne the Blue.[4] In Renly's camp, Brienne is continuously mocked. Some of the young knights wager on who will be the first to get her maidenhead, until Lord Randyll Tarly puts an end to it and warns Brienne of their cruel teasing.[5]

She is present when Renly is murdered, and is falsely accused of the crime.[6][1][5] She flees with and enters the service of Catelyn Stark. At the Tully castle of Riverrun, Catelyn decided to free Jaime Lannister in return for Tyrion Lannister freeing her daughters Sansa and Arya. To make sure Jaime kept his end of the bargain, she entrusted Brienne with the duty of escorting the imprisoned Jaime Lannister to King's Landing.[7]

A Storm of Swords

She and Jaime are captured by the Brave Companions. During their captivity, the two develop a grudging respect for each other.[8] After Catelyn's death, Jaime entrusts Brienne with the Valyrian steel longsword given to him by his father, Tywin, naming it Oathkeeper. He sends her out to seek the vanished Sansa Stark.[9]

A Feast for Crows

Brienne searched fruitlessly for Lady Sansa throughout Crackclaw Point and some of the Riverlands, where she crosses paths with members of the disbanded Brave Companions. Using Oathkeeper, Brienne manages to kill Pyg, Shagwell and Timeon at the Whispers.[10] At a crossroads near the Trident, Brienne fights another group of Brave Companions led by Rorge, who has been masquerading as Sandor Clegane while raping and murdering in the Riverlands. Brienne kills Rorge, but is grievously wounded by Biter.[11] After Gendry rescues her from Biter, he and the remaining members of the Brotherhood Without Banners take her captive. The undead Catelyn Stark, now leading the Brotherhood as Lady Stoneheart, does not believe Brienne's tale of her search for Sansa and judges her to be a traitor who is serving the Lannisters. Brienne was given the choice of killing Jaime Lannister to prove her loyalty, or to hang. Brienne refuses to choose and is sentenced to hang. After seeing Podrick Payne hanging near her, she shouts a single unknown word as they are about to do the same to her[12]

A Dance with Dragons

Brienne appears briefly at Pennytree when Jaime camps there, whatever word she shouted apparently making the Brotherhood spare her. She asks Jaime to help her save Sansa Stark from the Hound, claiming they are a day's ride away. She tells Jaime, however, that he must go with her alone, or the Hound will kill Sansa.[13] The scenario she describes, however, seems unlikely to be real, as Sansa was last seen by readers in the Vale and the Hound is apparently dead.[12]

Family tree

 
 
 
 
Selwyn
 
Unknown
wife
 
 
 
 
 
Endrew
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Galladon
 
Arianne
 
Alysanne
 
Brienne
 


There is widespread speculation that Brienne descends from Ser Duncan the Tall. A shield bearing his personal arms was in the armory at Evenfall Hall, and Brienne later used these arms when she was traveling in the Riverlands.[14] Though Martin confirmed that a descendant of Dunk appeared in the books he did not give a name.[15][16] See Brienne of Tarth/Theories

References and Notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 A Feast for Crows, Chapter 4, Brienne I.
  2. The Citadel. "Brienne of Tarth." (January 31, 2001) So Spake Martin
  3. A Song of Ice and Fire Campaign Guide
  4. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 22, Catelyn II.
  5. 5.0 5.1 A Feast for Crows, Chapter 14, Brienne III.
  6. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 33, Catelyn IV.
  7. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 2, Catelyn I.
  8. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 21, Jaime III.
  9. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 72, Jaime IX.
  10. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 19, The Drowned Man.
  11. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 36, Cersei VIII.
  12. 12.0 12.1 A Feast for Crows, Chapter 41, Alayne II.
  13. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 48, Jaime I.
  14. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 9, Brienne II.
  15. Summary of the Dayton signing tour with question and answers on the So Spoke Martin section of Website Westeros.
  16. Summary of the Mysterious Galaxy Signing in San Diego, California on the So Spake Martin section of website Westeros.

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See Also