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When we first meet Brienne of Tarth she's fighting in a tournament to impress Renly Baratheon, when she wins she requests the honour to serve him. There are several points where Brienne clearly shows she's devoted to him.

Why? From the viewer's perspective there are four kings at this point, why does she support Renly's claim and why does she show such devotion?

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2 Answers

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Simply because Brienne of Tarth is in love with Renly Baratheon. She is fully aware that she can never be with him as a wife so she contents herself with being close to him as his body guard. She confesses as much to Catelyn Stark, even though Cat had already deduced that.

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Do you have any sources? From the viewers perspective she'd just met him at the tournament? –  Liath Aug 7 '13 at 11:45
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@Liath - I'm not aware of any quotes or such from the TV series (I don't have season 2 handy ATM), but it's quite obvious in the books. –  System Down Aug 7 '13 at 13:07
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from a wiki of ice and fire Brienne of Tarth:

She yearns for respect and acceptance from others, and easily gives her love and loyalty to the few people who treat her with any degree of genuine courtesy.

Brienne's only positive encounter with a man occurred when the Tarths' liege lord, Renly Baratheon, visited their island during his coming of age tour. He crossed paths with Brienne and treated her courteously, so she fell in love with him.

Therefore the obsession with Renly. Further, in spite of being the daughter of a lord, Brienne knew she could never get together with Renly, hence she chose to fight in the tournament and be near her king Renly by being his Kingsguard.

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