Rally the realm and rejoice! It turns out that Game of Thrones fans weren't just imagining the sparks of a new romance when Brienne of Tarth helped to escort Sansa Stark to Castle Black to reunite with her brother, Jon Snow.
Ever since the episode, “Book of the Stranger” aired, 'shippers have been touting a new romance on the show between Brienne and the Wildling Tormund Giantsbane as “Tarthbane.”
They may have only shared a few glances on screen, but according to Dan Sackheim, who directed the episode, the seeds of the romance were planted on purpose.
In an interview with TVGuide.com, Sackheim said he was unsure if fans would pick up on the subtle hints he put on the show, but was happy that the fans have embraced the idea of the soon-to-be couple.
"I wasn't even sure that when I delivered the episode it was really clear. It was like a fun little bit, but I wasn't sure it was really clear that he had these amorous feelings for Brienne. I'm always amazed what fans pick up," he said.
Much must be said for the performance of both Gwendoline Christie and Kristofer Hivju for being able to ignite such a passion for the fans without their characters even uttering one word to each other during their first encounter.
But, according to the director, fans will still have to wait a few more episodes to see the romance come to fruition. At the moment, it seems like it's just Tormund who is smitten with Brienne and it will take a bit longer for the woman knight to reciprocate any feelings.
Brienne is certainly a handful of a woman who can defend herself against any man in battle, just like the wildling women that Tormund is used to. It will be a challenging relationship to pursue, but as Sackheim shared, men like Tormund love a challenge.
Tarthbane may now be canon but it is still unknown if the same relationship will be explored in the source material for the HBO show.
The show has already passed the events in the novels of George R.R. Martin's “A Song of Ice and Fire” book series. However, as has been discussed in the past, the producers have been given the exclusive scoop to what Martin has planned for the story. Though they may have deviated from the books in some regards, they are still pretty much staying true to what the original story will be.
In the meantime, we can't wait to see more of Tarthbane when the next Game of Thrones episode airs this Sunday on HBO.