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Posted at: Apr 15, 2019, 8:40 AM; last updated: Apr 15, 2019, 8:40 AM (IST)

The game at its best

Excitement is high for the premiere of Game of Thrones Season 8. We catch up with Gwendoline Christie, who plays Brienne of Tarth on the show

How does the final season of Game of Thrones begin for your character?

My character is at Winterfell with Podrick. She is extremely protective of Sansa. She’s heard of Daenerys, but doesn’t have any experience of her. Her oath is to protect the Stark girls, so that is where her attention is.

What’s her perspective on the upcoming battle?

I think that she is rightfully taking on board the possibility that she might die in that. Brienne has always been in service of a greater good and I think that she sees this as the zenith of her life. This is everything that she’s strived for. Although she’s happy to sacrifice herself in service of others, there creeps a human emotion now, which is fear. 

How did you feel the last time you took off the armour and said goodbye to the character?

I’m very attached to this character. She has meant a great deal to me in my life, not just in terms of my work but personally too; in terms of stripping away all of the vanities that we all hang about ourselves. It has given me a lot of confidence to accept who I am and to accept things that we have no control over. It has really made me explore the idea of women in society. That is something that will never leave me. 

Looking back, was there a moment where you realised the show had gone from popular to something bigger than that?

Yes, series three. I knew the books and the third book is sensational. It’s a fascinating, gripping, exciting, action-filled book and structurally it’s really surprising as well. 

What have you taken from Game of Thrones in terms of practical skills?

It’s been a physically demanding role. So, I’ve actually incorporated boxing into my routine. I work with a trainer five times a week and am now exploring other kinds of physical disciplines. Martial arts I think might be the next step.

Across the seasons, what were the funniest moments? 

You see I’m quite boring because I’m quite serious on set. But that’s because I had an incredibly strict training at Drama Centre London, where it was very old school. Otherwise, the cast is truly hilarious. I have absolutely just been in gut-twisting convulsions of laughter with a lot of them. Working with Nikolaj has been frankly insane, but also people like Liam Cunningham, Kit Harington, Alfie Allen… all were great fun to work with. I’ll never forget them.


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