One of the big questions surrounding the second season of HBO’s Game of Thrones — who will play the fan-favorite Brienne, the Maid of Tarth? — has been answered by author George R.R. Martin himself: relatively unknown British actress Gwendoline Christie.
“This was another one of those cases where there was hardly any debate,” Martin wrote last night on his blog. “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.”
Brienne, who plays a pivotal role in the fantasy series, is abnormally tall and strong, a homely woman mocked as “Brienne the Beauty.” But she’s a skilled warrior with an idealized notion of knighthood who, in A Clash of Kings, serves in Renly Baratheon’s Rainbow Guard (his answer to the Kingsguard).
The 6-foot-3 Christie, who appeared in The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, joins The Tudors star Natalie Dormer, who was added last month to the drama’s ensemble cast.
In other Season 2 news, Martin told The Wall Street Journal that he’s finished the draft for the ninth episode, which centers on the Battle of the Blackwater, one of the final conflicts of the war that had barely begun in the first season. So as not to spoil anything for those who haven’t read the second novel, I’ll skimp on the details. I will, however, say it’s an epic land-and-water battle that gives Tyrion Lannister some great moments.
“It’s going to be enormously expensive,” Martin said. “There’s always the problem — when you write books, you can have everything be as big as you want, you can have all special effects budget in the world and you can have thousands of fighters and all that. But then when you actually put it on screen, it’s a little more challenging. So if anyone has an extra couple of million dollars they could give us, we could make the battle even bigger.”
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