Though rarely appreciated by her peers, fans of the show have rallied behind Brienne as they’ve watched her take on honorable mission after honorable mission without ever faltering.
What made Brienne’s knighting extra special was the long road it took to get there: escaping the clutches of a bear, defeating the Hound in combat, killing Stannis Baratheon and much, much more. Though GoT is fantasy, moments like this prove the show is grounded by human condition — women often have to work twice as hard as men to get recognized.
When we first meet Brienne in Season 2, Episode 2, she defeats the famed Knight of the Flowers, Loras Tyrell. She takes off her helmet and the crowd is stunned to see a woman defeated the skilled fighter, but Renly Baratheon is the first to accept Brienne on her merit:
“Rise, Brienne of the Kingsguard.”
Brienne quickly loses her dear king, but by following Catelyn Stark she meets someone who truly changes her life: Jaime Lannister.
Through their long, treacherous journey together, they gained mutual admiration and respect for one another. After finally reaching King’s Landing, Jaime grapples with his identity without his sword hand and gives his Valyrian steel sword to Brienne and tasks her to do what he can’t — protect the Stark sisters.
Before leaving on this epic journey, Brienne tells Cersei she’s not a lady and tells Podrick she’s not a knight. Despite being the daughter of a lord, she doesn’t consider herself a lady. Despite having a squire and serving two great houses of Westeros, she’s not yet a knight either. Brienne eventually accepts she won’t ever fit into either category, and settles on straddling the in-between.
Brienne saves Sansa. Both Bran and Arya return home. Brienne fulfilled her oath to Catelyn. She heads to King’s Landing in Sansa’s place to meet with the biggest players in the realm.
In “The Dragon and the Wolf” she pleads with Jaime to convince Cersei to join the fight for the living: “This goes beyond houses and honor and oaths.” Brienne’s words did not convince Cersei, but they did convince Jaime.
Queen Daenerys does not take well to Jaime’s arrival — the man who killed her father also arrived without the Lannister army. Jaime echoes Brienne’s words from Season 7: “This goes beyond loyalty.” The Oathbreaker then pledged to be at the Oathkeeper’s side when they face the Army of the Dead. The night before the epic battle, Jaime decided to right a wrong in the world and prove his acceptance of Brienne: “Arise Brienne of Tarth, a Knight of the Seven Kingdoms.”
New episodes of Game of Thrones premiere Sunday at 9 PM.
See more from “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms”: