Brienne Comes in Second to the Bear Tormund Slept With, Actor Says

Game of Thrones doesn’t feature a lot of healthy romances. Many of them are abusive, end in tragedy, or are super incestuous. Perhaps that’s why fans have latched onto Tormund’s big ol’ crush on Brienne of Tarth. Not only is it surprisingly progressive, it’s also sweet and funny. But, as the actor behind the Wildling, Kristofer Hivju, is quick to remind viewers, Brienne will always be second-best in his book.

First place goes to Sheila, the bear he says he fucked.

In a series of promotional videos posted to HBO Nordic’s Facebook page, Hivju talks about Tormund’s love life. “I think romanticism for him would be eating meat in a cold tent with a fire. I’m not sure if all women think that’s romantic. Probably the Free Folk think so.” Hivju goes on to explain that Tormund is a bachelor who “has women everywhere, but there is only one woman for Tormund. And that is Sheila. He really loves Sheila.”

“If you had to include humans, of course Brienne is the first choice,” he continued.

Sheila, in case you forgot, is an unseen character on the Game of Thrones television show. She’s the bear that Tormund bragged about having relations with while preparing for the assault on Castle Black with Ygritte and the Wildlings.

“Did I ever tell you about her? Sheila?” Tormund recalled. “Oh, that was a night to remember. Of course, I’d had a good bit to drink. Her fangs were sharp, but she knew how to use them. And she was nice and soft down below. No, she was no ordinary beast.”

A frustrated Yigrette didn’t buy it.

“I know you never fucked a bear,” she said. “You know you never fucked a bear. Right now, I don’t want to think about the bear you never fucked.”

If he did have sex with Sheila, though, it probably looked a little something like this. Hivju acted the scene out with action figures in another HBO Nordic video.

Jeremy Podeswa, the director of the Season 7 premiere, told Insider that Tormund was actually telling Brienne about Sheila when the pair met during the episode. We couldn’t hear what they were saying, but Podeswa said Hivju largely ad-libbed an… interesting flirting technique.

“There is one thing that they scripted and they riffed on that, which is Tormund says something about his relationship with Sheila the Bear,” Podeswa told Insider. “And nobody knows what that means or what that’s all about, so that’s meant to make Brienne look at him askance. He’s either trying to shock her or he’s just oblivious that he’s saying something that’s crazy.”

C’mon, Tormund. Everything knows the first rule of dating is not to talk about your exes.


Game of Thrones is currently airing on Sunday nights at 9 p.m. Eastern on HBO.

Media via HBO