Tag Archives: jaime and brienne

100 Days of Fan Favorites: Day Six

It is a tale as old as time. Two people, who meet under less than ideal circumstances and each with misconceptions about the other, embark on a journey together that reveals their truest selves. This journey changes them and forces them to reevaluate what they once believed about the world. It takes them from antagonists to allies to friendship and love that is based on mutual respect and trust.

It’s a ship type that I will never get enough of and for me, there is not a better example than Jaime and Brienne. Where there was once contempt and insults, there is now the highest regard and belief in the other’s honor. They have come a long way from their initial meeting and the early part of the journey to King’s Landing and each of their reunions has only served to reinforce their bond. 

Just as a side note, while I have loved these two since I read the books, it’s also been a very long time since I have read them and as they’ve taken rather different paths, I largely opted to stick with the show for this piece. 

Throughout the Seven Kingdoms, Jaime Lannister’s name was synonymous with betrayal. He was the Kingslayer – the member of the Kingsguard who murdered Aerys Targaryen. It’s an identity he took on as a shield, turning himself into the cruel, honorless person everyone assumed him to be. He openly scoffed at the idea that vows could mean anything, after all, they would only inevitably conflict with each other. Keeping them was impossible, so why bother trying. He was cynical and fatalistic in his beliefs and no longer believed in idealistic notions like honor and loyalty.

Brienne is looked upon with similar disregard and distrust. Women in Westeros, especially the daughter of a Lord, weren’t supposed to be fighters. They weren’t supposed to feel more comfortable in armor than in dresses and more at ease with a sword in their hand instead of a polite smile on their face. They were supposed to grow up wanting to be princesses and ladies, not knights. Brienne’s physical appearance and interests made her an outcast, someone to be mocked and sneered at. She dedicated her service to Renly Baratheon, becoming a member of his Rainbow Guard. He was kind to her and she loved him for it. When he was murdered, she was the one blamed as she had been the one with him. She failed at her oath. But it didn’t stop her from believing in their power and worthiness. She didn’t stop believing in honor. Even as she pledged her loyalty to Catelyn Stark, it was on the condition that she could one day avenge Renly. She meant to keep her word, even though he was no longer there to hold her to it.

Even if we disregard the fact that Brienne is working with Jaime’s captors, it is natural to see why the two clashed when they met. Jaime stood against everything Brienne believed in. The idea of betraying your king to his death was unfathomable to her, as was the notion of conflicting vows. Brienne was a shining example of everything Jaime had turned his back on. She was true to her sense of self and the values of a knight, despite the mockery of everyone around her. It made her an easy target for him to provoke and for a time, he was more than happy to be the arrogant lion he was raised to be.

Continue reading 100 Days of Fan Favorites: Day Six

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Best of 2016: Moments

This is my fourth list of the year and the first one I’ve really had a difficult time ranking. Even more so than favorite characters or relationships, this list feels like a reflection of who I am and what I love about television. The specific moments and events that resonate with people are so individual and don’t always have the same effect out of context. Some stand on their own, but others are only pieces (often culminations) of a character’s journey over seasons or entire series. No matter how many of these moments you are familiar with, I hope you enjoy reading my thoughts about them and share some of your own favorites in the comments below.

1. Lorelai’s best memory of Richard (Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life) I’m not sure that Lauren Graham has ever been better than she was in this scene. Though time has passed since his death, Lorelai still hadn’t managed to fully process the realities of her father’s death. There was a loss in the general sense but the full force of her emotions had yet to hit her until she stood and looked at the wilderness. While Lorelai had a complicated relationship with her parents, she loved Richard. He was distant and not as involved as she might have needed, but he loved her and tried to show it as best he could. Teenage heartbreak is kind of the worst. Without any perspective, all you have is the fact that it hurts and is humiliating and makes you question everything. Richard knew where to find Lorelai and knew what would help ease the pain. He knew she wanted the pretzel and knew what kind of movie she would want to see. He knew she didn’t need a lecture, just some love and compassion. He knew she needed this to be a secret from Emily, who wouldn’t have understood either of their actions at the time. On that day, Richard gave Lorelai exactly what she needed. She needed to feel as though someone saw her and understood her just as she was. It wasn’t a feeling she got often in her childhood. Richard never intended to hurt his daughter or push her away. He loved her deeply even if he couldn’t always demonstrate it in a way Lorelai needed. But he left her with this memory, this secret between just the two of them. And by letting Emily in on the secret, by showing her that Lorelai was missing her father just as much as Emily was missing her husband, he helped repair the rift between them just enough to keep a relationship possible.

2. I’m gonna miss her (The Americans) For a scene with so few words, so much is said and expressed. For the first time in Elizabeth’s adult life, she had a friend. Though it started as an assignment and though Elizabeth could never be fully honest with her, she genuinely enjoyed Young Hee’s company. The laughter and friendship was real, even if it’s origins weren’t. I wish that there could have been another way, that Elizabeth could have kept this. The fact that she even tried speaks volumes about what this relationship meant to her. But there wasn’t, so after doing her duty for her country, she came home and let herself be vulnerable and comforted by her husband. She’s honest here, in a way she can only be with Philip. He’s the only one who gets to see this side of her, the fragile side. He can’t make it better but he can sit there with her so she doesn’t have to be any more alone than she already feels like she is.

3. It’ll always be yours (Game of Thrones) I stopped watching this show last season but this relationship is something that they are getting exactly right and that is all thanks to Gwendoline Christie and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau. They love these characters and their dynamic so much and it shines through in every scene they share. Every interaction is so layered and full of unspoken truths each are unable to give voice to. By allegiance, they are on opposing sides of this war. Jaime is loyal to his family and Brienne continues to honor her oath pledged to Catelyn and now Sansa Stark. That fact hangs heavy over their reunion. They recognize that there may come a day when they are asked to fight against each other and Jaime is doing is best not to think about that fact. Brienne tries to deal with it head on and essentially tells him that despite her love for him, her pledge comes first. It’s always the things that are unsaid that are most important with these two, especially when it comes to Oathkeeper. We know it symbolizes their relationship. It’s their unwavering faith in each other’s word and honor. They know it too and you see that in the scene where Brienne tries to return it. She’s terrified of what loving this man might mean and how she can reconcile that with her duties. She’s afraid to lose him but also afraid to have him. Jaime on the other hand, is more sure of his love, but not ready to face the consequences that love will bring. There is a tenderness in the way he says “it’ll always be yours” that leaves little doubt as to what he is actually talking about, a fact not missed by Brienne judging by her face. Every time Coster-Waldau and Christie share a scene together, I’m left in awe of their ability to convey so much in a look or change of tone. I may not care about much else on the show, but these two will always bring me back.

Continue reading Best of 2016: Moments

Best of 2013: Compelling Relationships

There is nothing I love to watch more on TV than the relationships that form between characters. I don’t care whether that relationship is romantic, platonic, or familial – I love them all. Our relationships make us who we are and show us things about characters that can’t be seem on their own. This was a hard group to narrow down. I watch a lot of TV and all of my shows feature strong relationships between characters. I’ve highlighted 10 of them and included several more on the honorable mentions section below.

Jaime/Brienne (Game of Thrones) David Sims said it best in this review on The A.V. Club. Jaime and Brienne are basically soulmates at this point. Throughout the course of the season, their relationship went from contempt to respect. The bath scene was a big turning point for them. Jaime is genuinely apologetic for insulting Brienne and says that he trusts her and demonstrates that trust by telling her the story of how he became the Kingslayer. Brienne holds the values of a knight so highly and so to her, Jaime breaking those vows was the worst thing he could have done. In that moment, Brienne saw that it wasn’t a matter of “good” or “evil” but of trying to make the best choice possible even when there isn’t a right answer. In that moment, Brienne saw the man Jaime used to be. In “Bear and the Maiden Fair”, she shows that she trusts him by turning over her duty of returning the Stark girls to him then calling him “Ser Jaime” – a title he never thought he’d get back. In those two moments, their bond was cemented. It is a bond built on mutual respect and trust and viewers know how rare that is in Westeros.

Will/Alicia (The Good Wife) This year and especially this season of The Good Wife was a perfect demonstration of the brilliant chemistry between Josh Charles and Julianna Margulies. Their sex scenes have always been hot and while the passion they ignite in the other is no longer romantic, it is equally as compelling. This has never been more evident than in the 100th episode of the show. Will’s fantasy interrogation was some of their finest acting and the tension between them was palpable and electrifying. I always want more scenes with them together and I can’t wait to see what the new year and the new firm brings.

Abbie/Ichabod (Sleepy Hollow) These two. They are partners and there is nothing that I like seeing more on TV than that. They have each others backs and refuse to leave. Ichabod traveled into dangerous dreams with Abbie and Abbie stayed by his side as he entered Purgatory. They make each other laugh and smile. They are each other’s family. It’s remarkable that this relationship has come so far in just 10 episodes and it’s a testament to the great work that Nicole Beharie and Tom Mison are doing. Whatever the future holds for these two, they are a team and nothing can change that.

Joan/Sherlock (Elementary) I love what Elementary has done with these two. It is one of the strongest platonic partnerships on TV right now. They have changed each others lives for the better and they both recognize that. With Sherlock’s help, Joan has become a great detective and she’s happy and fulfilled by the work she is doing. With Joan’s help, Sherlock is becoming a better person. He’s formed attachments that have made him feel happy and more fulfilled. They have different yet complementary strengths and that’s why they work so well together.

Severide/Shay (Chicago Fire) This is such a cute friendship. They clearly adore each other and would do anything for the other. When something is wrong with one of them, it’s the other that is asked how to fix it. They would have made a beautiful, unconventional family together because of their love for each other. Shay has been a little segmented from the group because of her personal problems in the first half of season 2, but I’m hoping that changes and we get to see more of her and Sev being the team they should be in the seond half.

Continue reading Best of 2013: Compelling Relationships