Eric King
July 15, 2017 AT 10:30 AM EDT

When Gwendoline Christie first saw the scripts for Game of Thrones, she knew it was a game-changer because of the way it treated its female characters.

“This was a television show that would put women at the forefront,” the actress, who plays Brienne of Tarth on the HBO series, says in The Top 10 Game-Changing Game of Thrones Moments, a special on the PEOPLE/Entertainment Weekly Network (PEN). “We were going to explore female characters in a way that conventionally doesn’t happen.”

With characters like Sansa and Arya Stark, Daenerys Targaryen, Cersei Lannister, and Brienne, she says the show’s women are as independent and complex as they are powerful. “They wouldn’t simply exist as the mother role, the girlfriend role, the wife role, or the sister,” Christie explains. “They would be people in their own right.”

“I think putting women to the fore is what has changed the platform for television now,” she adds.

Watch the clip above and see what made The Top 10 Game-Changing Game of Thrones Moments in the full special, available here, or download the free PEN app on your favorite device.

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