The importance of Jaime and Brienne
Usually I try not to get too caught up in shipping wars, but I just get so angry when people insist Jaime and Brienne don’t love each other.
There are so many romantic stories out there that feature a beautiful girl who learns to love an older, ugly, scarred or damaged man - but how many stories feature a beautiful man who learns to love an ugly woman?
How many of those heartwarming stories about ‘beauty being on the inside’ apply to women? How many stories tell women they’re worthy of love and romance no matter what they look like, that their beauty comes from inside them anyway? When you’ve got the gorgeous Gwendoline Christie playing her, it can be hard to remember Brienne really is ugly. It’s not that she’s just unconventionally attractive or pretty if you squint. Physically, she is ugly. She’s too tall, too big, too strong, too mannish, with missing teeth, disfiguring scars, blemishes, an ill-set face and drooping lips. People recoil when they see her. At first sight she is monstrous and she has been persecuted all her life for her appearance.
And yet, the most beautiful man in Westeros falls in love with her.
Because she is kind and strong and loyal past the point of sense. Because she is selfless and courageous and unwilling to compromise on her moral integrity. Because she is pure and innocent and naive and idealistic. Because she has endured immense pain and suffering and abuse and never once let it taint her. Because she represents everything he once wanted to be. Because she represents everything he could be. Because she sees him for who he really is. Because he would risk his life to save her. Because she would die to protect him. Because what she looks like doesn’t matter. Because in his eyes, she is beautiful.
This is the story of a handsome man who falls in love with an ugly
woman. This is the story of a woman whose worth and desirability comes from her personality, not from her appearance. This is the story of a woman whose beauty is found within. George RR Martin himself said that the story of Jaime and Brienne is like Beauty and the Beast with the genders reversed.
So no, I will not accept a platonic reading of their relationship because this particular love story and all the messages it endorses are simply too important. Jaime and Brienne are in love. End of discussion.