Brienne Tarth, commonly known as Brienne of Tarth, is the eldest surviving child and heir of Lord Selwyn Tarth. She serves as a member of the Rainbow Guard under King Renly Baratheon. After his death, she comes into the service of Catelyn Stark.
Appearance and Character
Brienne is unfeminine and unattractive. She is over six feet tall and muscular, with long straw-colored hair. Her face is covered in freckles, and her teeth are uneven and crooked. She has a flat chest and is mocked as Brienne the Beauty. She has big lips, and a frequently broken nose. Her eyes, however, are beautiful and blue, her loveliest feature. She wears a cobalt suit of armour in battle, and is exceptionally skilled in the use of blade, axe and morningstar. She is also rather skilled in the use of a dagger. In extreme situations, even, Brienne is an unpredictable and very dangerous unarmed brawler, purely due to her physical might.
On account of her status as a woman, her unattractiveness and ungainly nature, Brienne is awkward and shy. She has suffered scorn, condescension, mockery and cruelty her entire life from all but a few people - these people include her own father, the master-at-arms Ser Goodwin, and Renly Baratheon. Brienne has a deep capacity for loyalty, love and adoration, and craves for such adoration from those to whom she provides it. Brienne has proven true to her word on many an occasion, and aspires to keep her promises and uphold chivalry despite all of the monstrous ways she has been treated for her gender - Jaime expresses amazement that Brienne actually intends to keep her word, while most knights in Westeros don't do anything of the sort. Even Renly, who considered Brienne rather ridiculous behind closed doors, admired her because, while other knights wanted lands or titles or personal wealth from Renly when he vied for the Iron Throne, Brienne only wanted to fight for him and die for him if she had to.
Brienne's loyalty and yearning for love can make her judgemental and naive, and she is originally a little blind to the unevenness of the world - however, not as much as the likes of Sansa Stark, as Brienne is already deeply familiar with how unfair one's situation can become. Brienne's aspirations to be a true knight can get in the way of her pragmatism, but that doesn't keep her from continuing to follow them.
Brienne is extremely brave, and surprisingly resourceful. She does not shy from combat - though she does not seek it out as much as others do - and she even shows herself to be quite cunning in combat situations. Similarly to Ser Duncan the Tall, Brienne will often resort to improvisation when swordplay doesn't quite favour her in the situation; she is also similar in that she is so tenacious and determined enough to withstand enough damage or terror in combat that she can outlast an opponent. When riled, Brienne is an almost terrifying warrior, and has notably beaten people older, more experienced and more respected than her, including Ronnet Connington, Ser Loras Tyrell and most notably Ser Jaime Lannister, one of the best warriors in Westeros.
A Clash of Kings
When Renly Baratheon declares himself king at Highgarden, Brienne joins him in his march to King's Landing. She also attends his marriage to Margaery Tyrell, which causes great sadness to her due to her infatuation with the Lord of Storm's End. In Renly's camp, Brienne is continuously belittled by other men, some of whom take a wager on who will be the first to get her maidenhead. This goes on until Lord Randyll Tarly thwarts it, warning Brienne that her presence is the cause of the problem as opposed to the knights' arrogance.
Brienne of Tarth joins Renly Baratheon during the War of the Five Kings. During the tourney at Bitterbridge, Brienne wreaks utter havoc among the other contestants, notably knocking Ronnet Connington into the dirt. She ends up in a duel with Loras Tyrell at the climax of the fight, and though he manages to gain the upper hand she uses brute force to defeat him. For this, 'King' Renly offers her any boon she may have of him. She asks for a place in his Rainbow Guard, and he obliges, much to the shock and awe of onlookers who despise Brienne.
Shortly after her installation into the Rainbow Guard, she serves as his standard-bearer during a parley at Storm's End, and when this proves to be a disaster for both sides, Renly assigns her to that same position during the battle that will come. The next day, while Brienne is armouring Renly for battle, a shadow cuts him down right in front her. A despairing Brienne is blamed by Emmon Cuy and Robar Royce, the former of whom attacks her. While Emmon trades blows with Brienne, Catelyn convinces Robar that she is innocent and he allows them to escape. Brienne pledges her sword to Catelyn Stark later on. However, Brienne swears vengeance against Stannis Baratheon.
A Clash of Kings
A Feast for Crows
Brienne embarks on her quest to find Sansa. She leaves King's Landing and travels along the Rosby Road, asking anyone she sees if they have seen her. She stops off at Rosby, and eventually meets Ser Illifer and Ser Creighton Longbough. She realizes, after a conversation with Ser Shadrich, that she is not the only one hunting for Sansa.
Brienne arrives at Duskendale, having abandoned her travelling companions at the Old Stone Bridge inn. she talks with Ser Rufus Leek and the Maester of the Dun Fort, asking about Ser Dontos Hollard. She later encounters Podrick Payne on the road to Maidenpool, initially mistaking him for Shadrich. Whilst in Duskendale she has a woman paint over the shield of House Lothston, replacing it with a sigil she remembers from the armory of Evenfall Hall. The new sigil appears to be that of Ser Duncan the Tall.