"There are roles on Game of Thrones that could in theory have been filled by many fine actors," says Alan Sepinwall of this week's episode. "And there are ones where the field was limited by a key physical detail. We’re lucky that Peter Dinklage had the charisma and verbal dexterity to bring George R.R. Martin’s beloved imp to life. And on the other end of the height spectrum, we’re luckier than we may sometimes realize that Gwendoline Christie (who had a far thinner resume than Dinklage when she joined the cast) has been able to do the same for Brienne. It’s a tricky part, because in spite of her impressive size and fighting acumen, Brienne is such an understated character. She’s a woman warrior in a culture that tends to laugh at such a concept. She can never entirely kick loose the idea that she should feel ashamed to be this homely, unconventional creature who doesn’t quite fit in anywhere. She works very hard to keep her feelings hidden, to conceal how much she might want certain things — or people — and just tries to live up to a code of honor that would make Ned Stark proud ... Yet despite Brienne’s intense, practiced level of reserve, Christie’s chemistry level with her scene partners is invariably off the charts. On a series that loves to separate its sprawling cast down to pairs, and to mix and match them whenever possible, Brienne and Jaime are easily the most memorable, most electric duo. And she’s nearly as good with others: all of the Stark women at various points, Podrick, the Hound, Margaery Tyrell, etc. Had Brienne and Bronn spent even slightly more time in one another’s company, it would be hard to care about anyone else on the show, so brightly would Jaime’s two favorite swordfighters shine together. It’s been a perfect marriage of actress and role, which in turn has led to so many perfect spiritual marriages between Brienne and the many people she’s fought for or against."