Brienne from A Song of Ice and Fire


Brienne is the daughter of Lord Selwyn the Evenstar. They usually call her ‘Beauty,’ but only to mock her. Her features are broad and course. She has prominent and crooked teeth and her mouth is too wide. Her lips are so plump that they seem to be swollen. She also has a lot of freckles aroud her cheeks and brow and her nose looks like it had been broken more than once. She has broad shoulders and hips, and she has always been mistaken for a man. Others see her as unfortunate but she has a different perspective. Though she has ugly features, she still finds life amusing. She never thinks of her ugliness as a reason for others to pity her. When she removed her helm in front of Catelyn, Catelyn pitied her. She, on the other hand, just smiled. Her voice was strong and proud as she said, “My life for yours, Your Grace. From this day on, I am your shield. I swear it by the old gods and the new.”

Brienne is also a devoted knight. Instead of marrying, she devotes her time and interests in improving her skills and on thinking how she could be of help to others. Her father tried to arrange marriages for her. Men wanted to marry her because of the inheritance she will receive from her family. All these arranged marriages were unsuccessful because she cannot compromise with the men whom her father arranged her marriage with. One of those was of Illumfrey Wagstaff. On the day they were betrothed, he warned her that she must act as a lady and be more feminine after they’re wed. He said, “I will not have my lady wife cavorting about in man’s mail. On this you shall obey me lest I be forced to chastise you.” Even she was still very young at that time, she managed to tell him that she would accept chastisement only from a man who could oufight her. Though embarrassed, he agreed to her challenge for he assumed that he would win the fight, thus, give her a lesson afterwards where she should place herself as a woman. Unexpectedly, she broke his collarbone and his two ribs, and released herself from their betrothal.

Though manly, Brienne falls in love with Renly Baratheon. She first met him when he was on his leisurely visit to Tarth. Her father welcomed him with a feast and commanded her to attend. In the feast, he treated him courteously and made her feel as if she was pretty. He also danced with her and in his arms she felt graceful. From that day onwards, she wanted to be close to Lord Renly, to serve him and protect him. She believes that he was the only man who treated her and respected her as a woman. As Ser Cortney said, “She loved Renly Baratheon from the first moment she laid eyes on him…”