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The Maid of Tarth

I see you guys are just as sharp as ever. The long layoff between first and second season casting hasn't made you rusty. Once again, you nailed my obscure hints within minutes.

Well, okay, I did fool a few of you. For a couple minutes, anyway. But others correctly puzzled out the casting. The part of Brienne, Maid of Tarth, will be played by British actress GWENDOLINE CHRISTIE.

This was another one of those cases where there was hardly any debate. The day the first batch of auditions went up for the role, we looked at a dozen actresses who were reading for Brienne and one actress who WAS Brienne. Gwendoline gave a great reading, and her look was just perfect. No, when she auditioned, she did not look she does in the photo above. She came in looking... well, like Brienne.

As for my clues... Christie played in a music video called DAMARIS, which includes a song about Isabelle, the She-Wolf of France (wife of King Edward II, for the history nerds out there), and played in Shakespeare's CYMBELINE at the Barbican theatre. She also posed for Australian photographed Polly Borland for a show called "Bunny."

She also appears in the recent IMAGINARIUM OF DOCTOR PARNASSAS, though I did not use that one in my clues.

Gwendoline will be a great Brienne. It's a thrill to have her join the cast.

Congratulations to everyone who figured it out... and for those who guessed wrong, well, better luck next time.


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Jul. 8th, 2011 04:27 pm (UTC)
Wow she is so incredibly tall o.o

And very pretty, I will trust in HBO and Mr Martin however that Brienne will be everything she should be :)
Jul. 8th, 2011 04:41 pm (UTC)
GRRM, you're a great describer. Maybe too good.
Every time you've described a character as unspeakably beautiful or unspeakably ugly, fans decide to take that description at face value, never thinking that the descriptions are filtered through the perceptions of the character whose POV we're reading, and their standards might very well be different.

Tyrion is hideous to them because he's a dwarf, and dwarves often have slightly mis-shapen faces.

Brienne is hideous to them because she's freakishly tall and muscular, and has that wide mouth and huge eyes. Put it all together and she's a freakshow in an age where all high-born women had to look classically beautiful.
Jul. 15th, 2011 07:34 pm (UTC)
Re: GRRM, you're a great describer. Maybe too good.
This is what I think as well. Just like I thought I looked ugly growing up, doesn't mean I actually was... same thing with our POV characters. When everyone has issues with you because you are not normal, it's easy to internalize those things.

Can't wait for season 2.
Jul. 8th, 2011 04:54 pm (UTC)
ADWD sell before date of release
I'm sorry to comment here but i can't on the amazon.de post.

So also in Italy there are some bookstore that are selling the book.
i'm sure for "La Feltrinelli"...
If you or any other wants the evidence i have a video from youtube:
2 books sold to him.
Stephanie Russell-Potter
Jul. 8th, 2011 05:05 pm (UTC)
*-* Awesome!!!
Firstly, I'd like to thank Mr. Martin for writing the best set of books that I have read in a very long time.

Secondly, I would like to disclose my utmost joy over the casting of my favorite character in the series!!!

I cannot -WAIT- for the second season of your books to air!!!!
I also can't wait for Dance of Dragons!!!!! I'll be up all night on the 12th reading!
Maja Diaz
Jul. 8th, 2011 05:08 pm (UTC)
Who is Brienne,
Who is Brienne???
Jul. 8th, 2011 05:09 pm (UTC)
Love Brienne...Question!
GRRM, Will you be at Comic Con in San Diego this month?
Jul. 8th, 2011 10:34 pm (UTC)
Re: Love Brienne...Question!
Jul. 8th, 2011 05:14 pm (UTC)
The real question is: can she kick serious butt? I wanna see her martial arts training history!

Jul. 8th, 2011 05:29 pm (UTC)
never mind...
3:00-4:00 Game of Thrones Panel and Q&A session— Based on the bestselling fantasy book series A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin, HBO's Game of Thrones concluded its 10-episode debut season on June 19. The series, executive produced and written by David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, follows kings and queens, knights and renegades, liars and noblemen as they vie for power in a land where summers span decades and winters can last a lifetime. Some of the cast featured in the first season and appearing on this panel are (in alphabetical order) Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as Ser Jaime Lannister, Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister, Kit Harington as Jon Snow, and Jason Momoa as Khal Drogo. Moderated by George R. R. Martin, who also serves as a co-executive producer and writer on the series. Ballroom 20
Jul. 8th, 2011 05:58 pm (UTC)
the perfect brienne!
Fantastic :)

I wish I could have seen what she looked like when she auditioned!
Jul. 8th, 2011 06:14 pm (UTC)
Wow, she is really tall, and as others have mentioned, truly striking and beautiful. Anyways, I'm sure they will manage to get her looking as she is supposed to for the part. I am not familiar with the character so to me she will appear the first time and create the template of what the character looks. So far I have not been disappointed by the cast of the show in any way. She will be a great addition, so let's all extend a warm welcome to Gwendoline into the "Game Of Thrones" family and the world of "A Song Of Ice And Fire". Good luck to her!
Jul. 8th, 2011 06:16 pm (UTC)
I'm amused at the "boo, this actress is too attractive, boo!" That's not a response one hears frequently.

I imagine it'll be much like Tyrion was: you've hired somebody who is less grotesque than the part calls for, but who can act the hell out of it, and once we see them on the screen, we'll be all "oh, of course, they couldn't possibly have picked anybody else."
Jul. 9th, 2011 03:15 am (UTC)
For me, it's not a question of attractive vs. not attractive (Though Ms. Christie is quite attractive)... I find her much too delicate looking.

But I will defer to casting and makeup and wait and see... No doubt, as you say, she will inhabit the role. :)
Gérald Audoucet
Jul. 8th, 2011 07:00 pm (UTC)
Miranda Hart
I think Miranda Hart would have been a great choice too !
Justin Bryant
Jul. 8th, 2011 07:33 pm (UTC)
I think she will be a hood fit. I just hope she is prepared enough for the role. The acting can be great but I've seen many female characters deliver lines amazingly, but when it comes time to sell the "hardened bad ass" (for lack if a better word) they fall flat. They don't convince me that they are actually tough, and it kind of spoils the role for me. Lots of sword training and perhaps adding on a slight bit of muscle would help out.
Jul. 8th, 2011 07:55 pm (UTC)
Looking forward to seeing Gwendoline's performance. Of course, my first thought was that she's so pretty--the makeup folks are going to have to work hard on this one!
Jul. 8th, 2011 08:03 pm (UTC)
I'm happy with this casting choice and if Mr. Martin says she looked like Brienne in the audition then that is more than good enough for me :)

I'll also echo the earlier comment from someone about Mads Mikkelson...I think he'd be amazing as Stannis.

And I'd also be ecstatic if the next casting clue is nearly/exactly the same except with the title "I am Red" ;)
Jul. 8th, 2011 08:11 pm (UTC)
She looks amazing for the part! And it's crazy how long I've been hearing people say she should play the role. Seems like everything fell in place perfectly. =)

Beyond excited for season 2 now!
Jul. 8th, 2011 08:16 pm (UTC)
I can see it actually. She's tall and very beautiful but the makeup guys can do it. I also assume she won't be as ugly in the show as she is said to be in the books. Some false teeth, limp hair, freckles and pale make-up will ugly her right up. Looking forward to the bath scene in book 3. :)

Is it wrong that I keep thinking of the Seinfeld episode where George says "I always wanted to have sex with a giant woman, Jerry."
Jul. 8th, 2011 09:21 pm (UTC)
I love that this show is populated by normal yet unrepresented types of people, such as blind people, burn victims, dwarfs, 6'3" women, whereas the rest of scripted television pretends anyone outside of the "TV norm" doesn't exist. Ironic in a way that it takes a fantasy show to portray this truth. Sometimes fantasy is more real than the so-called reality shows.
Jul. 9th, 2011 12:33 am (UTC)
Beyond echoing the "she's too pretty" comments, she's also not nearly as big or broad as I had pictured Brienne. Not sure if I invented that interpretation or if it's in the text, but I picture her broad-shouldered and fairly heavy, certainly not tall and lean.

Probably my only "complaint" with the casting so far (and I put that in quotes because it's truly not a complaint - the actors have been uniformly great), it's that the women have either been homelier tahn I would have imagined, or not as pretty as I would have imagined.

Arya - way too pretty for a horseface. When the guards call her "boy" I almost wondered who they were talking about.

Sansa - not quite as pretty as I pictured.

Cersei - ditto. Actress is beautiful, but still not as drop dead gorgeous as I had pictured her.

Catelyn - not quite as attractive as I imagined.

And now this Brienne is going to need to be uglified big time.

Again, completely nitpicking. They're all fine actors and that, obviously, is the most important thing.
Jul. 9th, 2011 12:36 am (UTC)
Pretty much all I can say:
Jul. 9th, 2011 12:42 am (UTC)
I always pictured the woman who played Calamity Jane in deadwood would play Brienne. But this seems to be a good match too.
Jul. 9th, 2011 01:15 am (UTC)
Wow she's way too pretty in that photo. I imagined more like Princess Anne of Great Britain!
Jul. 9th, 2011 02:32 am (UTC)
Jul. 9th, 2011 05:57 am (UTC)
I really look forward to see Gwendoline play Brienne she isn't quite what I pictured but I bet she'll do an amazing job!
Sarah Cushaway
Jul. 9th, 2011 10:28 am (UTC)
She's stick thin and way too pretty?


I think I'll just stick to the books after all. I consider it a bit insulting when they pick a gorgeous model-thin woman to play an ugly warrior gal. All women on TV must be gorgeous I guess, or given a bad haircut and called "ugly enough".
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