Warning: This post contains spoilers for the sixth season of Game of Thrones.
The eighth episode of Game of Thrones‘ sixth season saw the emotional reunion of Jaime Lannister and Brienne of Tarth, a duo who quickly became a fan-favorite during their journey across Westeros. Although the two have been separated since early in season four, many viewers have long rooted for a romance between them, a story arc the show seems to purposely avoid directly addressing.
Luckily, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau — who plays Jaime in the HBO drama — has finally cleared up some of the confusion. In two post-episode interviews, the 45-year-old actor spoke about the true nature of his character’s relationship with Brienne. “It’s a great scene,” he told Entertainment Weekly of their reunion. “These characters are so much about holding their cards so close to their chest and they don’t want to reveal how they’re feeling. But we know there’s history between them, that this is more than two knights meeting. But they would never acknowledge that.”
Coster-Waldau went on to say that the romantic tension between the pair isn’t just wishful thinking by fans. “It’s that thing when two people are attracted to each other but they refuse to acknowledge that whole elephant in the room, and for everyone else around them it’s pretty obvious,” he told Vulture. “And then, of course, when we cut to Brienne and Jaime, it’s very formal. It’s very correct. [Director] Mark Mylod, the way he staged it was very clever. He kept having us separated by furniture. There’s always a table between us, until the very end of the scene, and when they finally get close, it’s this heartbreaking moment. Usually when you get this close to someone you care about, you say something like, ‘Please be safe. I can’t wait to see you again.’ And here it’s like, ‘If I see you again, we’re probably going to have to try to kill each other.’ I love doing those scenes with Gwendoline [Christie], because there’s so much subtext. They never really say how they feel. They kind of decided long ago never to go into that area. And they’re both in a very difficult position.”
Fans, unsurprisingly, seemed to relish the touching scene, taking to Twitter to express their support for the couple.
“Battle of the Bastards,” the ninth episode of Game of Thrones‘ sixth season airs Sunday at 9 p.m. ET on HBO.