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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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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".
Jul. 9th, 2011 06:54 pm (UTC)
Was kinda hoping they'd cut the character completely.
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George R.R. Martin
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