Game of Thrones Director Calls Brienne of Tarth a Lesbian

Game of Thrones regular director Alex Graves has likened Brienne of Tarth to a lesbian in a recent interview with Hitfix.

“…the scene with Jaime and Brienne in the bathtub is like you’re shooting a film with a lesbian and a knight, she’s a knight, he’s a knight, they’re in love and don’t know they’re in love; where else would you get to film a scene like that?” gushed Graves.

We know how George would feel about one of his best characters being subjected to sweeping gender stereotypes.

George R.R. Martin being interviewed by George Strombolopolous
George R.R. Martin being interviewed by George Strombolopolous

I’d like to see Brienne of Tarth knock Alex Graves on the head.

Aside from his nonsensical and sexist comments Graves also seems to be missing a rather important point from the bath house scene. In this scene Brienne finally hears Jaime’s reason for killing the mad King Aerys. He felt he had to act after Aerys commanded Jaime bring him Tywin Lannister’s head, and slew Aerys before someone could carry his instructions to the pyromancers to burn the entire city.

“If this is true, how is it no one knows?” [Brienne asks him] “The knights of the Kingsguard are sworn to keep the king’s secrets. Would you have me break my oath?” Jaime laughed. “Do you think the noble Lord of Winterfell wanted to hear my feeble explanations? Such an honorable man. He only had to look at me to judge me guilty.” Jaime lurched to his feet, the water running cold down his chest. “By what right does the wolf judge the lion? By what right?” A violent shiver took him, and he smashed his stump against the rim of the tub as he tried to climb out.
Pain shuddered through him . . . and suddenly the bathhouse was spinning. Brienne caught him before he could fall….“Guards!” he heard the wench shout. “The Kingslayer!”
Jaime, he thought, my name is Jaime.”
A Storm of Swords p669

Graves seems clearly concerned that two exhausted and injured people, one who hovered close to death after having his hand lopped off, should be thinking about sex rather than concentrating on an incident which changed Jaime’s life and reputation forever simply because they are naked. Clearly another indication of the measure of his intellect. At least Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and Gwendoline Christie gave a compelling performance. It is a scene essential to Jaime and Brienne’s story, in both their personal development and their relationship.

As for them being in love, the subject is still up for debate. George isn’t telling, of course, and I have doubts Jaime has developed that much as a person to look past Brienne’s appearance. Gwendoline Christie may be beautiful but all of the real/book Brienne’s beauty is inner beauty. She is so conventionally unattractive that it is unlikely Jaime would forget Cersei long enough to look at her. And I would prefer that if Brienne, one of my favourite characters, were to fall in love with someone it would not be someone with a penchant for incest.

“What I love about the relationship is that it’s so rare to see a man and woman have a relationship that is born out of a begrudging respect for each other, and it’s about that respect for each other, and the bond and the friendship that they have; that it’s not sexually motivated,” Gwendoline Christie said in a recent interview “It’s just out of the companionship and their admiration for each other.”