It’s well-known that seductively eating chicken is the number one way to seduce your crush in Westeros. At least, it is if you’re Tormund Giantsbane. The internet had a hell of a time when Tormund of the Free Folk tried his hardest to get Brienne of Tarth’s attention in Season 6 of Game of Thrones. And it turns out the accidental chemistry and eye-rolling weren’t written into the script at all, according to showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Benioff said: “That scene last season when Tormund was eating and lasciviously staring at Brienne was one of our favorites. Usually, when we really love something there are a few other people who like it as well. It’s great because there was no dialogue written for that, or major stage direction, there was just a line like, ‘He stares at Brienne because he’s never seen a woman like that before.’ And then we let the actors do what they do.”
There was no direction from the powers that be for Tormund actor Kristofer Hivju to look absolutely fuckstruck as he stared at Brienne actor Gwendoline Christie as she rode by on her horse. He was meant to be amazed, or perhaps even confused — but Hivju took it to the next level.
“There was the episode where they’re all leaving Castle Black together and there’s a shot — it wasn’t scripted at all — of two of them on horseback and she looks at him and he smiles at her,” Weiss said. “It’s not something you could ever write. It’s just this moment where this guy is creeping out on her and he smiles in a way that makes her very uncomfortable and she just looks away. I saw it 150 times and every time it made me laugh; it’s purely the two of them.”
Unfortunately for Brienne and Tormund shippers everywhere, Benioff immediately started “joking” that the fans’ love for the ship means one of the characters will have to die “because there can’t be a happy ending or any romantic connection on the show. But we’re not going to tell you which one.”
Now the only question that remains is: Which one will make it out alive?
Game of Thrones Season 7 premieres on HBO on July 16.