Gwendoline Christie

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Gwendoline Christie
Gwendoline Christie at the London Palladium, 15 November 2009
Gwendoline Christie in a performance with Patrick Wolf, 2009
Nationality British
Known for Brienne of Tarth in Game of Thrones (2011–present)
Lexi in Wizards vs Aliens (2012-present)
Height 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)

Gwendoline Christie is an English actress, known for her role as the warrior Brienne of Tarth in the television series Game of Thrones.


Christie grew up in a hamlet near the South Downs in southern England.[1] She trained as a semi-professional gymnast as a child, but after a spine injury forced her to abandon that career, she took up acting.[2] She graduated from Drama Centre London in 2005[1] and lives in London. In an interview with the Radio Times, she stated that she's "lost track" of her age. [3]

Her striking height, 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m), makes her feel "pretty genderless" at times, Christie said in 2013.[4] Intrigued by her stature, photographer Polly Borland made Christie the subject of a noted series of photographs, Bunny, between 2002 and 2008.[5] According to Christie, she felt then that the photographs, in which she appears mostly naked, could help her come to terms with her body, and challenge notions of femininity. But in retrospect, she said, she was shocked that she had agreed to them.[4]


Christie's mentor since drama school was actor and author Simon Callow.[1] Her theatrical career includes a performance as the Queen in Shakespeare's Cymbeline[6] and "standing out" as Lucifer in Marlowe's Doctor Faustus (2010).[7] On screen, Christie played supporting roles in Terry Gilliam's 2009 and 2013 films The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus and The Zero Theorem, the BBC TV production The Seven Ages of Britain and the 2012 TV series Wizards vs Aliens, among others.

Game of Thrones[edit]

In July 2011, Christie was cast as the warrior Brienne of Tarth in the second season of HBO's fantasy TV series Game of Thrones.[8] Her character, an unusually tall, muscular and plain-looking woman, is a favourite among many readers of the novels, and Christie had been proposed for the role on fan websites long before auditions took place.[1]

Christie said that she could draw on her own experiences of having been bullied for her height and androgynous looks to play the part of Brienne, a role that she was passionate to obtain after reading the A Song of Ice and Fire novels which the show adapts.[2] To prepare even for the auditions, she started wearing unisex clothing to help her get into her character's more masculine mindset, and took up an intensive training regime, gaining over a stone (6.4 kg, 14 lb) of muscle mass.[1] According to series co-writer and -producer George R.R. Martin, she obtained the role practically without debate after an arresting audition at which she appeared already made up and costumed as Brienne.[9] After being cast in the role, she prepared for it by taking horsemanship, sword-fighting and stagefighting lessons.[1]

Her debut in the second season's third episode on 15 April 2012[10] was well received by critics. Nina Shen Rastogi praised her "eloquent and economical physical performance", noting that her walk, stance and mien effectively conveyed Brienne's single-minded devotion to her self-given quest to become a knight and to her king Renly.[11][12]

For her role as Brienne, Christie was nominated for the 2013 Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress.



Year Title Role Notes
2007 The Time Surgeon The Tape
2009 The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus Classy Shopper 2
2014 The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 Commander Lyme Filming
2015 The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 Commander Lyme Filming


Year Title Role Notes
2012– Game of Thrones Brienne of Tarth 15 episodes
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series
Pending—Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress on Television
2012–2013 Wizards vs Aliens Lexi 26 episodes


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Game Of Thrones: Gwendoline Christie Interview". SFX. 11 April 2012. Retrieved 12 April 2012. 
  2. ^ a b Lash, Jolie (17 April 2012). "‘Game Of Thrones’ — Gwendoline Christie Talks Digging Deep To Play Brienne". Access Hollywood. Retrieved 17 April 2012. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b McQuoid, Debbie (27 March 2013). "Gwendoline Christie: Natural Born Warrior". Stylist. Retrieved 29 March 2013. 
  5. ^ Walker, Esther (29 June 2008). "How We Met: Gwendoline Christie & Polly Borland". The Independent. Retrieved 8 July 2011. 
  6. ^ Best, Jason (30 May 2007). "Cymbeline". The Stage. Retrieved 8 July 2011. 
  7. ^ Walker, Lynne (16 September 2010). "Doctor Faustus, Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester". The Independent. Retrieved 8 July 2011. 
  8. ^ Hibberd, James (8 July 2011). "'Game of Thrones' casts fan favorite Brienne". Retrieved 8 July 2011. 
  9. ^ Martin, George R.R. (7 July 2011). "The Maid of Tarth". Retrieved 12 April 2012. 
  10. ^ Jeffery, Morgan (12 April 2012). "'Game of Thrones' Gwendoline Christie: 'I'm similar to Brienne'". Digital Spy. Retrieved 12 April 2012. 
  11. ^ Shen Rastogi, Nina (16 April 2012). "Game of Thrones Recap: How Do You Sleep?". Retrieved 17 April 2012. 
  12. ^ Shen Rastogi, Nina (8 April 2012). "TV’s best show about women". Retrieved 17 April 2012. 

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