- "To be involved in something that is genuinely challenging gender stereotyping is what I’ve always wanted. I don’t have to worry about whether I look attractive. Brienne looks like a bag of dung – that’s the character and that’s fine – so I can focus on other things."
- ―Gwendoline Christie on playing Brienne of Tarth
Born in October 28 1979, Christie grew up in the village of Small Dole within England's South Downs. As an adult, Christie is 6'3" in height (192 cm). She almost reached her full adult height by the time she was only 14 years old, but rejected the growth inhibitors offered by her doctor. She attended Henfield Primary School, then Warden Park Secondary School, and has said her height made it difficult to fit in. With her real life "very quiet, sedate, and bookish", she saw film as an exciting view of a wider world, and eventually moved to London to attend drama school.
Christie had several minor roles in films such as The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, before being cast as Brienne in Game of Thrones, her first major role.
Christie has since been cast in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 (alongside fellow Game of Thrones actress Natalie Dormer), and on June 2 2014 it was announced that she would appear in Star Wars Episode VII (alongside Max von Sydow). Later reports revealed that she would play Captain Phasma, a high-ranking Imperial Stormtrooper.
Game of Thrones
On Thrones she plays the character of Brienne of Tarth, who debuted in Season 2. She was announced in the role by George R.R. Martin on 8 July 2011. She joined the cast as a guest star in the second season.
Christie first heard about the role of Brienne of Tarth when a friend notified her that there was internet speculation that she was going to be cast in an HBO series (there are only so many 6'3" tall actresses, thus Christie was on the short list of fansite speculation). In fact, Christie had never heard about it before, but this speculation led her to look up fansites and find out what Game of Thrones was, and about Brienne of Tarth. Christie fell in love with Brienne, read the books and everything about them, and subsequently sought out the role.
Christie attended the audition in character and wearing armor. According to George R.R. Martin, they decided on casting her quickly, noting: "we looked at a dozen actresses who were reading for Brienne, and one actress who WAS Brienne." For her role as Brienne, Christie trained extensively to get into the right physical condition, as well as cutting off her long hair and reading all of the available novels to study her character's development in detail. HBO also had Christie take horseriding lessons, and she was trained in swordfighting by C.C. Smith. She also took up kickboxing, kundalini yoga, and running, and also drastically changed her diet. According to Christie during Season 2, as a result of her extensive training for the role she gained a stone and a half (about 20 pounds) in pure muscle weight.
Writers Benioff and Weiss played a prank on Christie in Season 4: they presented her with a realistic but fake New York Times article calling her stuck-up and spoiled because she refused to sign a fan's autograph (neither the fan nor the autograph ever actually existed).
During Season 5, Christie said of Brienne overall:
- "Women are all brought up with a series of conventional expectations, so one cannot help but want recognition or affirmation in those areas. I think what’s so beautiful and interesting about the character of Brienne of Tarth is yes, she’s strong; she’s a badass; she has vulnerability. But in all of her lack of convention and her uniqueness, all women can identify with her because she wants to be loved in the way that as human beings – male or female – we all want to be loved. We see the pureness of her humanity, and that she’s something that isn’t so far away from all of us."
|Season Two credits|
|The North Remembers||The Night Lands||What Is Dead May Never Die||Garden of Bones||The Ghost of Harrenhal|
|The Old Gods and the New||A Man Without Honor||The Prince of Winterfell||Blackwater||Valar Morghulis|
|Season Three credits|
|Valar Dohaeris||Dark Wings, Dark Words||Walk of Punishment||And Now His Watch Is Ended||Kissed by Fire|
|The Climb||The Bear and the Maiden Fair||Second Sons||The Rains of Castamere||Mhysa|
|Season Four credits|
|Two Swords||The Lion and the Rose||Breaker of Chains||Oathkeeper||First of His Name|
|The Laws of Gods and Men||Mockingbird||The Mountain and the Viper||The Watchers on the Wall||The Children|
|Season Five credits|
|The Wars To Come||The House of Black and White||High Sparrow||Sons of the Harpy||Kill the Boy|
|Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken||The Gift||Hardhome||The Dance of Dragons||Mother’s Mercy|
|Season Six credits|
|The Red Woman||Home||Oathbreaker||Book of the Stranger||The Door|
|Blood of My Blood||The Broken Man||No One||Battle of the Bastards||The Winds of Winter|
|Season Seven credits|
|Dragonstone||Stormborn||The Queen's Justice||The Spoils of War||Eastwatch||Beyond the Wall||The Dragon and the Wolf|
- Gwendoline Christie on Wikipedia
- Gwendoline Christie on IMDb
- Gwendoline Christie on Twitter
- Interview with Gwendoline Christie in the Independent (UK), June 2008