Brienne's 'Real' Age in Books Will Change How You See Game of Thrones Completely

Brienne's 'Real' Age in Books Will Change How You See Game of Thrones Completely
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If you're a fan of HBO's Game of Thrones, you probably hear the name "Brienne of Tarth" and think of Gwendoline Christie, the startlingly blond, majestically tall actress who makes Brienne somehow tough-as-nails and soft to the core at the same time.

Christie – who as a young actress was told she would "never make it" because of her 6'3" physique – was 34 when she was cast in the role of Brienne.

According to the producers, she got the role almost without competition, striding into the audition already dressed and made up as the warrior.

At 34, Christie's age puts her on-par with most of the other adult actors on screen.

But if the show were to mirror A Song of Ice and Fire Brienne of Tarth would be a little different. When she first appears in the book, she's only seventeen years old.

Of course, it's no secret that George R.R. Martin, the mastermind behind the Song of Ice and Fire saga, is a bit weird about his female characters.

He likes them young, and he likes them to suffer greatly. In the books, Daenerys Targaryen is only 13 when she's sold off to Khal Drogo, into a marriage bed where she frequently cries into her pillow after being raped.

Sansa is 11 when the books begin, and like Daenerys only grows into a "strong independent woman" after repeated trauma and rape.

Teenage girls getting assaulted by older men. It's… it's a weird "thing" to have as an author. (Think I'm exaggerating? One reader tallied up all the instances of rape in the books, and so far they add up to 214.)

Brienne of Tarth at least is spared the endless sexual abuse that the other Song of Ice and Fire teens go through – a group of men does attempt to rape her, but she's saved by Jaime Lannister – though she does enjoy near-constant verbal abuse at her lack of femininity.

If you've only seen the television show, watching a grown woman endure constant negging feels like one thing. Clearly, this is a person who's heard it all, survived it all, and came out still a champion of bad-assery.

Knowing this character is meant to be seventeen might change your point of view on the constant abuse, as well as her (in the series) affair with Jaime Lannister, who is in his thirties when they meet.

Of course, the same may be said about Dany being 13 on her wedding night, or really any of the "real" ages of the female characters.

Maybe it's best to stick with the aged-up tv versions. The things the women go through in the series are horrible enough without them being prepubescent. Ick.