I’ve had things to say about Game of Thrones. Good or bad, it’s because the narrative and the characters are so engaging. While a lot of people are going to sing the praises of the male characters, I’m going to share a few thoughts on a character I’m enjoying more and more, Brienne of Tarth.
The strong women of Westros are often attractive and seductive, though lacking in martial ability. Arya is still a kid and very much an exception to prove that rule.
Then Season 2/A Clash of Kings starts up and there’s a tall, muscular knight fighting in a tournament held by a king. This victorious knight turns out to be a woman, one who asks to become part of the king’s personal security as her prize. Brienne of Tarth always stand out in a crowd. Taller than most men, almost never wears a dress, stays away from makeup even though she could use it more than most women.
What makes Brienne different is that she lives in a corrupt world of deceit even though she aspires to live by noble virtues. She’s honest, trustworthy, and upholds her oaths. Except she fails. A lot.
That honesty? Brienne has to lie about her identity so she can do her duty. Trustworthy? Maybe, but she holds herself back, denying the relationships she desires (she has a thing for her king). Oaths? She keeps making promises to people who die, promises to perform acts that are close to impossible.
I like Brienne because she tries. It’s not easy for her. When she has a victory, it’s profound. Brienne’s struggle is the struggle of every person who aspires to be more than what they are. Her challenges are the challenges of someone who doesn’t fit into the social mold but still decides to make something of herself.
Brienne is just the sort of person who’s story I enjoy seeing, hearing, and reading.