Brienne was in the Kingsguard of Renly, and she always wanted to avenge his murder, and she was successful. But when she was talking about the childhood memories to Pod, she said Renly danced with her in an event while other people mocked her before. The expression on her face portrayed that she was in love with him. Am I over speculating? Or does this sound correct?

Note: I don't remember the episode number for this scene, but I think it was Season 6.

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    Unfortunately while I don't think is a bad question it is a bit broad and pretty opinion based. I'm not sure if there is a way you can reword the question to be less opinion based, otherwise I would provide advice for how you could reword it... As for my take on the question; I do think she Brienne loved him, but not in a romantic way; I think she more admired him and looked up to him... But again that's only my take on it. It's pretty hard to define 'love' in this context. – onewho Oct 18 '18 at 18:11
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    If you'll accept book answers this becomes a lot less opinion based. – Paul Oct 18 '18 at 19:27
  • Very related: I don’t think it is a duplicate though. – TheLethalCarrot Oct 18 '18 at 19:50
  • I havent read the books so i have no idea. But the show has a hint about this,hence i wanted to know what other people think about it. – Sharon Oct 18 '18 at 20:24
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    @Aryana: StackExchange isn't really a typical discussion forum; it's a Q&A site. So it's not really ideal for speculation about things that aren't shown in the show based only on the show itself. As Paul said, at least parts of the book stick fairly close to the show and could be used as evidence to make an argument about whether the same holds true in the show. – V2Blast Oct 18 '18 at 23:34

She loved him

Before we get down to the details of it, it is worth noting that it may not have been a romantic love, especially considering she was aware of Renly's... orientation.

In this conversation with Podrick she shows a great deal of admiration for the man and at the emphasised bit at the end even admits to loving him.

PODRICK: You weren't a knight, but you were a Kingsguard to Renly Baratheon, weren't you?


PODRICK: Lord Tyrion said he was a good man.

BRIENNE: He was.

PODRICK: But how did you end up serving Renly?

BRIENNE: (After a few moments). When I was a girl, my father held a ball. I'm his only living child, so he wants to make a good match for me. He invited dozens of young lords to Tarth. I didn't want to go, but he dragged me to the ballroom. (Pauses). And it was wonderful. None of the boys noticed how mulish and tall I was. The shoved each other, and threatened to duel if they thought it was their turn to dance. And whispered in my ear how they wanted to marry me and take me back to their castles. (Smiles). My father smiled at me and I smiled at him. I'd never been so happy. (Her smile drops). Till I saw a few of the boys sniggering. And then they all started to laugh, they couldn't keep the game going any longer. They were toying with me. ‘Brienne the Beauty’, they called me. Great joke. And I realized I was the ugliest girl alive. A great lumbering beast. I tried to run away, but Renly Baratheon took me in his arms. “Don't let them see your tears,” he told me. “They’re nasty little shits. The nasty little shits aren't worth crying over.” He danced with me and none of the other boys could say a word. And he was the king's brother after all.

PODRICK: But wasn't he... Lord Tyrion said he was...

BRIENNE: Yes, Pod, he liked men, I'm not an idiot. He didn't love me, he didn't want me, he danced with me because he was kind and he wouldn't see me hurt. He saved me from being a joke. From that day until his last day. And I couldn't save him in return. Nothing's more hateful than failing to protect the one you love. One day, I will avenge King Renly.

Game of Thrones, Season 5 Episode 3, “High Sparrow”

However, in the books it is certainly a lot more explicit and she certainly loved him. Considering, as far as I’m aware, Brienne and Renly’s relationship is pretty much the same between the two canons I’d say it’s worth mentioning.

"That is a lie." Renly Baratheon had been more than a king to her. She had loved him since first he came to Tarth on his leisurely lord's progress, to mark his coming of age. Her father welcomed him with a feast and commanded her to attend; elsewise she would have hidden in her room like some wounded beast. She had been no older than Sansa, more afraid of sniggers than of swords. They will know about the rose, she told Lord Selwyn, they will laugh at me. But the Evenstar would not relent.

A Feast for Crows, Brienne I

Lord Renly was ahead of her, her sweet smiling king. He was leading her horse through the trees. Brienne called out to tell him how much she loved him, but when he turned to scowl at her, she saw that he was not Renly after all. Renly never scowled. He always had a smile for me, she thought... except...

A Feast for Crows, Brienne VIII

  • Great answer ! I remember the conversation between Brienne and Pod. – Sharon Oct 18 '18 at 20:25
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    It’s probably worth noting (at least, if I remember correctly) that Brienne never told anyone she loved Renly; we only get that in the books because we get to see her point of view and hear her thoughts. The show, for fairly obvious reasons, doesn’t really have an opportunity to show us her thoughts. – KRyan Oct 19 '18 at 2:30
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    Nothing's more hateful than failing to protect the one you love. seems pretty explicit for me. – Shan-x Oct 19 '18 at 8:00
  • @Shan-x Thanks for pointing that out, I was on my phone yesterday so was a bit difficult to read the full quote. I am currently in the middle of improving this. – TheLethalCarrot Oct 19 '18 at 8:01
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    @Shan-x Welp, egg on my face since it was right there, buuut while I’m here: please don’t use code markup for non-code. Quotation marks, bold or italics if you really insist, but not code markup. It can make alternative browsing technology (e.g. screenreaders for the blind) interpret it as code which can be hard to understand as text. That hurts the site’s accessibility. – KRyan Oct 19 '18 at 13:02

I haven't seen the adaptation, but in the actual text, which, in my opinion, always trumps secondary renditions, it is made extremely clear that Brienne loves Renly, although she is far too proud (and has concurrently far too low a self-image of herself as a woman) to be explicit about it outside her own head.

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    The books and show are two different canons, though in this case similar, so when a question is tagged show only answers should ideally be focused on the show. – TheLethalCarrot Oct 19 '18 at 16:43

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