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[Book Spoilers] Is Brienne Ugly Enough? How was she?


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#41 Morrigan

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 02:38 AM

Brienne was never described as being hideous. She is supposed to be large and masculine with a slightly big mouth. It's supposed to be a subtle ugliness that you're supposed to be able to eventually find pretty in some context if you warm up to her. I swear, so many people that talk about this series don't seem to understand subtle appearances, as if attractiveness and ugliness was a binary issue.

...No. She IS supposed to be really homely. The only thing she has going for her are her big, bright blue eyes.
I swear, so many people that talk about this series don't seem to even remember what the books said:

Beauty, they called her . . . mocking. The hair beneath the visor was a squirrel’s nest of dirty straw, and her face . . . Brienne’s eyes were large and very blue, a young girl’s eyes, trusting and guileless, but the rest . . . her features were broad and coarse, her teeth prominent and crooked, her mouth too wide, her lips so plump they seemed swollen. A thousand freckles speckled her cheeks and brow, and her nose had been broken more than once. Pity filled Catelyn’s heart. Is there any creature on earth as unfortunate as an ugly woman?


And the rest of the series she's routinely mocked for her appearance. Anyway, I think the show did the character justice. She wasn't "TV ugly", but they gave the actress the Charlize Theron treatment, and it worked great.

#42 Currawong

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 02:38 AM

Brienne seemed a bit overdone to me, the scene where she's walking with Caitlyn you could tell they were using camera tricks with her standing in front of her by quite a bit to make her look taller and bigger. The cheap camera tricks took away a bit for me.


Suggest you go read the interviews with Gwenoline Christie to see how much she physically prepared for the part, including putting on a lot of the right sort of muscle, and the type of training she did so that she actually moved properly. They don't rely on fancy camera angles - believe it or not, the woman can ACT and has done the homework. And her comments about the role of Brienne shows that she 100% gets the character.

Edited by Currawong, 16 April 2012 - 02:39 AM.


#43 sennahoj

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 03:44 AM

It was as good an introduction of a new character as any in the series. Christie's portrayal was great, movement, presence and all. If I hadn't known the big knight was a woman, I wouldn't have guessed it from the choreography of the fight. And I suppose for many people who hadn't read the books beforehand, the reveal must have been as surprising as for Cately Stark.

#44 Thunderfist

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 03:49 AM

It´s one thing to write something in a book, it´s something entirely different when you do tv / movies and have to find an actor that suits the part

Is Brienne ugly enough - not really
Is the Mountain big enough - not really
Is Illyrio Mopatis fat enough - not really
Is Samwell Tarly fat enough - not really
Is Jaime Lannister hot enough - yes, yes he is

But OT: I think Brienne looked and acted great and I can´t wait to see more of here, especially with Jaime

"the wench does not like to be reminded that she is a wench" lol

#45 strifed169

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 04:06 AM

Shes too freakin big, seriously, like a giant, whats going to happen when she has her fight with Jaime? shes going to make him look like Tyrion

#46 Thunderfist

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 04:10 AM

Shes too freakin big, seriously, like a giant, whats going to happen when she has her fight with Jaime? shes going to make him look like Tyrion


IMDB lists "Brienne" as 6,3 and "Jaime" as 6,2½

#47 Raylan Stark

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 04:14 AM

Shes too freakin big, seriously, like a giant, whats going to happen when she has her fight with Jaime? shes going to make him look like Tyrion


I think GC is the same height as NCW (6'3'' give or take). It seemed to me that they may have even had her wearing boots to raise her height another inch or 2.

If she's a little taller than Jaime, that could be fun anyway.

I think she did a fantastic job as Brienne so far. does she completely look the part? Physically, yes. Very much. But I still see a pretty face beneath that sour puss, unwashed face, and short, stringy hair. But... that's just fine. She more than makes up for it with her demeanor, body language, movement, etc.

Contrast that to Yara who still can't pull off Asha. Forget appearance. She slouches. Her body language is submissive despite what her words are. She has none of Asha's playfulness, warmth, or even her arrogance and cockiness. She just reverts to sullen, somber, or angry. So far, this portrayal is not very compelling or accurate.

Brienne is spot on.

Edited by Raylan Stark, 16 April 2012 - 04:15 AM.


#48 strifed169

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 04:18 AM

I think GC is the same height as NCW (6'3'' give or take). It seemed to me that they may have even had her wearing boots to raise her height another inch or 2.

If she's a little taller than Jaime, that could be fun anyway.

I think she did a fantastic job as Brienne so far. does she completely look the part? Physically, yes. Very much. But I still see a pretty face beneath that sour puss, unwashed face, and short, stringy hair. But... that's just fine. She more than makes up for it with her demeanor, body language, movement, etc.

Contrast that to Yara who still can't pull off Asha. Forget appearance. She slouches. Her body language is submissive despite what her words are. She has none of Asha's playfulness, warmth, or even her arrogance and cockiness. She just reverst to sullen, somber, or angry. So far, this portrayal is not very compelling or accurate.

Brienne is spot on.


Couldn't agree more with Yara, it becomes even more glaring when you have the actor whos playing Theon act with such emotion. The best characters in the series for me taht have come to life are Theon, Yoren, Arya, Jaime and now Brieene.

#49 teemo

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 04:19 AM

She's going to be great...she is taking this role VERY seriously. She used to be very feminine, wore lots of make-up, blah, blah, and for this she went through an entire transformation. Started working out rigorously and read the books and actually studied Brienne so that she could truly understand her character. I love it when the actors read the books. Then she even cried when she cut off her hair - it was so hard for her! She deserves major props for this. She was great. And no, she's not absolutely hideous, but she wasn't a supermodel, thank R'hollor. My boyfriend, totally oblivious to most of the stuff in the show, I asked him "Just tell me your honest opinion, because this girl is supposed to be ugly. What do you think of her?" He said, "Well, she's not pretty at all, to be honest." I think she is just great, I LOVE HER! Two new main girls this season (her and Margaery) and I love them both.

#50 LAge dor

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 04:35 AM

Perfect cast, I had a plumper and shorter version on my mind when reading the books but I don't have any complaints. Good job.

#51 David Selig

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 04:54 AM

She was fantastic. The way she walked and carried herself was really spot on.

#52 Greywolf2375

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 06:01 AM

Thought GC was a perfect cast for the part. They didn't overdo her obsession with Renly, she moved, held herself and showed she understands how others view her. Only thing I didn't like had nothing to do with her - there were no comments from the crowd (that I heard) about "Brienne the Beauty" which would have just knocked the scene out of the park.

#53 Magjee

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 06:46 AM

I think it works well.

#54 boojam

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 07:35 AM

Gwendoline Christie is a beautiful girl, so I wondered what they'd do to try and "ugly her up" for the part of Brienne. She's got the physical presence, easily. She's said in interviews that she's read the books, loved the character, and was interested in the part before she was even considered for it, so her understanding of Brienne is going to add to her portrayal.

She's certainly not as ugly as Brienne is described in the books, but they still managed to make Gwen look mannish and unattractive. Her mannerisms were spot-on, and as long as she does justice to the role, I'm happy!


I think I will repeat this for the 10th time.
Geroge's physical portrait of Brienne in the books is inconsistent.
First it's a cartoony version that varies, then by ASoS .... Jamie is always calling her Homely.
People just don't seem to pay attention to the prose.
I think all they could do with Gwen was to make her homely.
But it was Brienne physicality and prowess that made men (I guess women too) deride her, she shoulders her psychological burden well. In fact it's heart breaking.

Edited by boojam, 16 April 2012 - 08:15 AM.


#55 Ferrum Aeternum

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 07:51 AM

Incredibly difficult casting job pulled off remarkably well. To be honest, i wasn't expecting anything close to what I'd envisioned in the books for Brienne, but Gwen Christie's look, demeanor and presence blew me away in this episode. A very pleasant surprise.

#56 Kaitscralt

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 07:58 AM

She's perfect.

#57 Katydid

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 07:58 AM

Shes too freakin big, seriously, like a giant, whats going to happen when she has her fight with Jaime? shes going to make him look like Tyrion


Her fight with Jaime is going to be perfect. In the books, she's described as the same height/shape as him, and during their fight in the creek, he realizes "she's stronger than I am." He's weakened from being held captive and is fighting in irons, but they still give it a good go!

/fencing.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':fencing:' />

I think all they could do with Gwen was to make her homely.
But it was Brienne physicality and prowess that made men (I guess women too) deride her, she shoulders her psychological burden well. In fact it's heart breaking.


Catlyn deliberately refers to her as "an ugly woman." I was thinking they'd at least put some false teeth in Gwen's mouth to make them more like Brienne's are described, but in the end, it won't matter. People who haven't read the books immediately got the point - Brienne is a freakishly large, powerful woman, and there will be plenty more scenes where we see characters reacting negatively to her.

I expect there will be some zingers from Jaime when he first sees her. Which we didn't get to hear in the book. /biggrin.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':D' />

#58 The GreatRon

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 08:03 AM

Thought she was perfect, When she takes off the helm I thought thats Brienne of Tarth. No complaints at all.

#59 Currawong

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 08:25 AM

In one of his interviews, GRRM describes Brienne as follows:-

"Brienne is well over six feet tall, but not close to seven, no. Just off the top of my head, I would say Brienne is taller than Renly and Jaime and significantly heavier than either, but nowhere near the size of Gregor Clegane, who is the true giant in the series. Shorter than Hodor and the Greatjon, maybe a bit shorter than the Hound, maybe roughly the same height as Robert. Brienne is a huge, homely woman, a freak of nature by the standards of her own world and times… they can't explain her, and neither should I."


So in reply to an earlier post complaining that she should be around 7 feet high - no, she isn't and she shouldn't be. And as GRRM said with respect to the auditions, GC came in and she wasn't just 'reading for the role' of Brienne, she came in and she WAS Brienne. Give me an actor who can act, and who totally gets a role, over one who merely gets the part on his/her appearance.

#60 boojam

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 08:26 AM

Her fight with Jaime is going to be perfect. In the books, she's described as the same height/shape as him, and during their fight in the creek, he realizes "she's stronger than I am." He's weakened from being held captive and is fighting in irons, but they still give it a good go!

I just read that scene again, and I don't remember George saying a thing about her being same height as Jamie.
Jamie is one of the greatest swordsmen in Westeros, and that scene plays out wonderfully as he begins to realize he is being bested by a woman. In fact that fight is what gets them caught by the Brave Companions.
Jamie , at one point, wish that both he and Brienne had swords, they could have taken out more than half of the Brave Companions, he now has so much respect for her that he would be proud to die at her side.

Jamie, as we know, becomes a very complex character, as poor Nikolaj Coster-Waldau keeps trying to point out.

Edited by boojam, 16 April 2012 - 08:27 AM.