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Game Of Thrones Theory Shakes Up Brienne Of Tarth's Origins With A Huge Twist

In a bleak world populated by scheming cutthroats, psychopathic kings, and knights who prefer torture over honor, Brienne of Tarth (Gwendoline Christie) provides an admirable bit of heroism in "Game of Thrones." A huge, muscled woman who is often mistaken for a man, Brienne is a powerful warrior who can stand against the greatest fighters in Westeros. Though she is unable to be knighted as a woman, Brienne's blind reverence for knighthood and honor makes her one of the most heroic and just characters in the entire show.

While some fans might think this means Brienne has an equally heroic lineage, Reddit user u/juvegirlbe suggests that she actually belongs to a family of vicious killers, claiming that Brienne is the long-lost sister to Sandor and Gregor Clegane (Rory McCann and Hafþór Björnsson, respectively).

This sister is mentioned only briefly in the book "A Game of Thrones," with Eddard Stark musing on all the horrible atrocities Gregor has committed and recalling that "there had been a sister who had died young under queer circumstances" (Eddard VII). U/juvengirlbe theorizes that Brienne is actually this younger sister and that the lord of House Clegane shipped her off to Tarth to protect her from being brutalized by Gregor. This would not only explain why Brienne grows up so massive and strong, but also why her "father," Lord Selwyn Tarth, is not shocked when she grows up with a taste for battle — even training her to be a warrior despite the rampant sexism in Westeros.

Are all of the Cleganes related to Ser Duncan the Tall?

While there isn't any confirmation within the book series about Brienne's Clegane heritage (and in fact she actually duels Sandor Clegane in the "Game of Thrones" show), George R.R. Martin himself has already revealed that Brienne is related to another famous warrior.

At Balticon in 2016, Martin revealed that Brienne of Tarth is a descendant of the legendary Kingsguard knight Duncan the Tall, something that is hinted at in "A Feast For Crows." Duncan the Tall is one of the most accomplished knights in Westerosi history and serves as one of the titular characters in Martin's prequel series "Tales of Dunk and Egg." Brienne's true heritage is hinted at when she recalls finding Dunk's old shield in "A Feast for Crows," bearing his shooting star and elm tree insignia, which she then has painted on her own shield.

According to u/juvegirlbe's theory, this means that both Sandor and Gregor Clegane are also related to the legendary Ser Duncan the Tall, which perhaps accounts for Gregor's ludicrous height of eight feet. Though Martin has yet to confirm whether or not the Cleganes are also related to Dunk, this entire theory upends practically everything we know about Brienne's history — connecting her to one of the most evil characters in the series and implying that Duncan the Tall is responsible for Gregor Clegane's reign of terror.