“After season 5, people would come up on the street moaning about why wasn’t Brienne wasn’t doing more,” Christie told EW of her character, who spent the back half of last year patiently watching for a distress signal from Sansa (Sophie Turner). “I’d say, ‘I’m terribly sorry, I’m not really in charge of that.’ I got the scripts for season 6 and I thought the story was so fantastic. It’s really exciting to see Brienne burst forth again.”
Of course, more screen time on Thrones also typically means a character faces more dire peril. Up until now, Brienne’s ferocious combat skills have kept her alive despite being saddled with traits that usually prove quickly fatal in Westeros (you know, like being a decent person). This time, she won’t be able to rely just on her brawn to survive, an evolution that Christie embraces. “Brienne is so unique and unconventional and so strong, and I love the writing hasn’t allowed her to just rest there,” Christie says. “[Showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss] are so terrific about how they develop characters. We see her develop like the way a human being might through life.”
And once again, Brienne will be encountering characters she has never met before. “So many characters for so long had their isolated storylines and as a fan of this show as well, I’ve been wanting and dreaming — ‘I wonder what it would be like to see this person interact with this other person?’ And that’s what starts to unfold.”
And while she’s keeping busy with other roles, Christie says she has zero interest in exiting Thrones to work on movies — if she can help it. “I really am in a position now where I’m very lucky to do other things,” she says, “But I don’t ever want to stop playing this part.”
Thrones returns to HBO on April 24.