Much of the Game of Thrones finale revolves around the importance of stories and who gets to tell them. “There’s nothing in the world more powerful than a good story,” Tyrion says while advocating for Bran to become king.
Brienne of Tarth writes one of those stories near the end of the episode: that of Jaime Lannister, her enemy, road companion, protector and eventual lover. She pens the story of his recent life–his capture, his military victories against Daenerys Targaryen, his bravery at the Battle of Winterfell—in a giant tome, ending it simply: “Died protecting his Queen.” The scene is not only a fitting tribute to an enduring and complex relationship, but also closes the loop on a promise that Jaime himself makes in Season 4.
The book that Brienne writes in is called The Book of Brothers, also known as the White Book. Kept in the Red Keep, the book contains the deeds of every member of the Kingsguard over 300 years. We first see it in the hands of King Joffrey Baratheon, who uses it to humiliate his uncle—who was then the Lord Commander of the Kingsguard.
Joffrey rifles through the entries about the extensive exploits of Arthur Dane and Ser Duncan the Tall—and then mocks the brevity of Jaime’s page, noting, “someone forgot to write down all your great deeds.” Jaime responds: “there’s still time.”
Later on, Jaime shows the book to Brienne and explains its importance: “It’s the duty of the Lord Commander to fill those pages. And there’s still room left on mine.” He then gives her a Valeryian sword, which she christens Oathkeeper, and sends her off to protect the Stark girls, further cementing the unlikely bond between them.
When Jaime knighted Brienne on the night before the White Walkers’ siege of Winterfell, many predicted that she wouldn’t survive to see the morning. But not only did she survive, she also later was anointed the new Lord Commander of the King’s Guard under King Bran Stark’s regime.
And in the series finale, Brienne makes it clear that she listened to Jaime’s advice about the role, taking the time to fill out his entry in full. Her writing serves not only as a rejoinder to Joffrey’s biting words, but also fulfills Jaime’s wish to be known for more than being the Kingslayer.
The moment quickly became a meme online.
We didn’t see Brienne writing her own name in the book—but with any luck, her story will be captured with as much detail and reverence.
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