THE PERFORMER | Gwendoline Christie
THE SHOW | Game of Thrones
THE EPISODE | “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms” (April 21, 2019)
THE PERFORMANCE | Yes, Game of Thrones‘ white walkers are on the attack, and sure, everyone’s probably going to die in the next several episodes. But for a shining moment in Sunday’s hour, none of that mattered… because Brienne finally got the recognition she’d secretly yearned for for years. How fitting that the knighting scene also gave portrayer Christie a (final?) chance to showcase her considerable talents as she moved the warrior from scoffing disbelief to teary-eyed joy in just a few minutes’ time.
When the eve-of-battle conversation turned to why Brienne wasn’t formally a knight, Christie put up the character’s usual defenses. With a sneer, she stated that she’d never wanted admittance into the traditionally male order — then nervously averted her eyes after Pod’s knowing look laid bare her true feelings. And when Jaime ordered her to kneel so he could start the proceedings, she huffed a humorless laugh: Brienne is a character who has been mocked her entire life, and Christie’s body language suggested that the Kingslayer’s gesture was just more of the same.
But when it became clear that the offer was a serious one, Christie filled Brienne’s every movement with a wary hope. Her eyes were wet even before she knelt before her former adversary; when he bid her rise as an official knight, how the heck did she kept those brimming tears in check so long? Our favorite moment came at the end, when Brienne heard herself announced as “Ser Brienne” for the first time and burst into a smile that could light up all seven of the kingdoms. If the men watching hadn’t started the applause, we would have: To Ser Brienne, and the amazingly talented woman who plays her!
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Which performance(s) knocked your socks off this week? Tell us in Comments!