Lady Brienne ‘s chapters are always filled with a high dose of pain and reality of what it means to be a woman in any universe. She is tough, she is skilled, she is honourable, but she is continuously seen as “just a woman” to the point that even lady Brienne isn’t easy on women herself. <<“If I fear the likes of these, I had as well swap my longsword for a pair of knitting needles.”>> On her search for lady Sansa, she meets two helpless looking hedge knights and the reader gets the most gorgeous foreshadows and flashbacks of the story. In fact, foreshadow and unintended flashbacks are lady Brienne’s main literary devices and they are fascinating. <<“I did no harm to him. I swear it by my sword." "A knight swears by his sword," Ser Creighton said.>> But how can lady Brienne not be a knight? Sure, she’s a woman, but she has proven her valour a thousand times over, and time and time again, the only thing seen is her gender. The issue is that it only takes a Knight to make a knight and as the main catalyst of Ser Jaime’s arc, it only makes sense that he rewards her by being the catalyst of hers. The insights of her true line and her link to mine are shown through messages disguised as simple conversations, but what might be the most revealing detail of her lineage comes back continuously through her chapters as a gift to those paying attention. <<“You bear a liar's shield, to which you have no right.” ... “A true knight is the only shield a maiden needs.”>> Such connection to my own story - Lady Brienne didn’t have the right to be a knight, to bear a shield, but she defended the maiden at whatever cost. <<“I am coming for you, Lady Sansa, she thought as she rode into the darkness. Be not afraid. I shall not rest until I've found you.”>> I crossed the Seven Kingdoms and fought one of the heirs to the throne to defend a maiden. Through my path, I had my own shield painted by my dear Tanselle Too-Tall. A tall Elm tree and shooting star. When lady Brienne decides upon her shield, she doesn’t pick the colours of her father’s house but rather the same device from an old shield that hung on her father’s armoury: <<“You did beautifully," she said, when the woman showed her the freshly painted shield. It was more a picture than a proper coat of arms, and the sight of it took her back through the long years, to the cool dark of her father's armory. She remembered how she'd run her fingertips across the cracked and fading paint, over the green leaves of the tree, and along the path of the falling star.>> And even when she wakes up unmolested, she thinks of the valour of hedge knights. <<Hedge knights, she thought, old and vain and plump and nearsighted, yet decent men for all that. It cheered her to know that there were still decent men in the world.>> There are many more insights to come, and her path will continuously connect the past and the present, showing the Blackfire rebellion to come, the false dragon disguised as real, and most importantly, how history repeats itself, bringing the human heart in conflict to the spotlight that allows us to know who, in the end, is a true knight and who isn’t.
Art by ApricotKnight