The red-haired wildling's unrequited crush on Brienne has provided comic relief for fans since he first laid eyes on her in season 6.
In episode 2, "A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms", as several key characters gather to drink and tell stories in front of a roaring fire, Tormund decides to tell the biggest (literally) tale of all: the story of how he got his nickname, "Giantsbane".
"They call me Giantsbane," he announces, glaring at his rival Jaime. "Want to know why? I killed a giant when I was 10. Then I climbed right into bed with his wife. When she woke up, you know what she did? Suckled me at her teat for three months. Thought I was her baby. That’s how I got so strong: giant’s milk.”
He proceeds to down his drink, which spills all over his beard and clothes, prompting looks of consternation between Brienne, Tyrion, Jaime and the others.
Tormund's claim is similar to the one cited in George RR Martin's A Storm of Swords, which is told to Jon Snow during their travels.
In that version, Tormund says he was “half a boy and stupid the way boys are”, when he sought refuge from a winter storm by cutting open the belly of a sleeping giant and crawling "right up inside her".
"Kept me warm enough, she did, but the stink near did for me," he says in the book. "The worst thing was, she woke up when the spring come and took me for her babe. Suckled me for three whole moons before I could get away. Har! There’s times I miss the taste o’ giant’s milk, though."
Jon points out that Tormund couldn't have killed the giant if she'd remained alive and taken care of him, to which he responds: “Tormund Giantsbane has a better ring to it than Tormund Giantsbabe, and that’s the honest truth o’ it."
Game of Thrones season 8 episode 2 is available on Sky Atlantic and NowTV in the UK.
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