Brienne of Tarth (played by Gwendoline Christie) is finally knighted after seven-long-seasons in the popular HBO show Game of Thrones. Many overjoyed GoT fans were in tears when Brienne was pronounced a Knight of the Seven Kingdoms — arguably the only Woman Knight in a land full of testosterone. In the episode titled “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms”, Brienne finally got her due. Which is why, this moment is undoubtedly the best one of the series’ season 8.
GoT has had its wholesome moments from time to time, with the lessons in feminism it taught us, all the while diminishing traditional masculinity. We all adore the undeniably cool, unapologetic badass women like Cersei blowing up thousands of her citizens without a second thought, or, Daenarys freeing whole cities, riding dragons, or even Arya skillfully avenging her family by murdering the entire Frey house in one sweep. GoT is powered with women in the lead, but Brienne exemplifies feminism in her own skilled way. She is an ordinary fighter, a side role, living off as a loyal soldier to Sansa.
When Brienne finally received her much-deserved knighthood at the night before the battle, it depicted a non-lead woman taking charge in Game of Thrones. We have witnessed a transformation on similar lines in Sansa (even she turned out to be a leader) being a non-fighter or not-so-clever young woman. Brienne would be fighting the Night King’s Army of the Dead from the front, so prudent a job that Jaime Lannister himself couldn’t wait anymore.
“I would be honored to serve under your command, if you’ll have me,” Jaime expressed, and my emotions were off the charts.
Interestingly, a woman (Brienne) feels obliged to be a knight, even though she knows she is the most deserving among the men in the room. While the woman herself declares that she is unworthy of the position saying she can’t be a knight (read my sarcasm here: coz tradition!), the men around her celebrate her. They show how in the world of ‘not all men’, reestablishing the faith in ‘feminist men’ is still a thing. Astonished to learn that Brienne is not a knight, Tormund says if he were a king he’d “knight her ten times over.” The statement was real, and the respect she received from the room full of men was empowering.
"Women can't be knights."
— Sayantan Ghosh (@sayantansunnyg) April 22, 2019
We cannot deny that sometimes men are the most fervent advocates of feminism when women themselves are hesitant to smash barriers.
“It’s a monumental thing. It’s a moment of grace and beauty in the middle of a nightmare.” Gwendoline Christie said it’s the scene she’s most proud of in the entire series, according to Entertainment Weekly.
Brienne always maintains sobriety when sitting in a room dominated by men. But when it’s needed, she alone poised the trait to win the great game and smash age-old stereotype of the “weaker sex”. Even though her character has less screen time, Brienne did a knight’s job even before being recognised as one. She took up the job to protect the Stark girls after the death of her lord Renly Baratheon. She fulfilled her role as a proper knight and returned Sansa to her family. She always stands besides the ones who are right and brings justice to those who have been wronged, serving the people of Westeros instead of serving a lord. However, when the situation is do or die, she has the guts to say “fuck loyalty” in front of a ranked audience.
— Game of Thrones Facts (@thronesfacts) April 22, 2019
The crux of the entire scene celebrates a woman knight. Westeros doesn’t allow a woman to be honoured with this high a military position. But Brienne is no less of a warrior than any of the knights in the show. In her truest sense, despite not being a traditionally beautiful Westeros lady, she proved to be equally cool or capable by slicing down Bolton soldiers and tossing Podrick around like a rag doll. She is so much fun to watch because we aren’t used to seeing a woman who can fight like a man on screen.
in the name of the warrior
i charge you to be brave.
in the name of the father
i charge you to be just.
in the name of the mother
i charge you to defend the innocent.
arise, brienne of tarth,
a knight of the seven kingdoms.#gameofthrones pic.twitter.com/BUFmOEwzUe
— nath (@rivendwll) April 22, 2019
And, that expression says it all!
— Jamie Jirak (@JamieCinematics) April 22, 2019
Clap, clap, clap!
To succeed in Westeros, women have to adapt to be brutal. Brienne’s overall journey was not adaptation of brutality (which she already was) but to shed much of her femininity in the process. She is a real “badass” GoT woman, who during the course of the series has fought off rapists, sexists, and the collective contempt of the half of Westeros, yet many see her gender before her honour. But not anymore! Hell, she even defeated the Hound, the most cruel man alive in the show.
Since the show doesn’t give out much on her character, earlier George R.R. Martin had confirmed Brienne’s lineage. She is the descendent of Ser Duncan the Tall (Dunk) – one of the most famous knights in all of Westeros, Martin revealed in a 2016 panel.
So Ser Duncan’s status as Brienne’s forefather is a fitting heritage for the knight of Tarth. Now, with her official knighthood, she’s just as much of a knight of the Seven Kingdoms as her ancestor, Ser Duncan, once was.
Brienne also gets the most dramatic scene in the teaser for next week’s episode. She shouts out loud, “Stand your ground!” to the army at Winterfell.
Hail “Ser Brienne” who is now knighted and proud!
Feature Image Credit: Twitter / Game of Thrones Facts
We request you to support our award-winning journalism by making a financial contribution towards our efforts. Your funds will ensure we can continue to bring you amazing stories of women, and the impact they are making and spotlight half the country's population because they deserve it.