By Rachel Yang
September 22, 2019 at 08:19 PM EDT

Gwendoline Christie, nominated for her first Emmy for playing Brienne of Tarth on Game of Thrones, gave an emotional ode the fan-favorite character on the award show’s red carpet Sunday.

“I really have fallen in love with the character Brienne of Tarth,” Christie told Lola Ogunnaike and Jeremy Parsons during the PEOPLE and Entertainment Weekly Red Carpet Live show. “I’ve fallen in love with what she represents, a woman on the margins who fights hard to overcome the obstalce of the prejudice that is exacted toward her because of the way she looks. She has a strong moral compass and I just felt she was a special and rare type of character.

“For everything she represents in terms of women, I wanted for there to be the possibility of the opportunity and for me to feel like that’s how I was honoring, saying goodbye to this character,” she continued. “I truly never, never thought it would result in a nomination, and the last two months of my life have been truly wonderful because it’s a feeling of hope. To have gotten this far, I’ve won because I’ve never received anything like this in my work before.”

Christie nominated herself for Outstanding Supporting Actress as a way to celebrate the character. Game of Thrones wrapped up in May after eight seasons on HBO.

She’s nominated alongside five other actresses in her category, including her Game of Thrones costars Lena Headey, Sophie Turner, and Maisie Williams. Carice van Houten and Alfie Allen also earned their first Emmy nods after submitting themselves.

Winners will be announced during the Emmys ceremony tonight at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.

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Game of Thrones

HBO's epic fantasy drama based on George R.R. Martin's novel series 'A Song of Ice and Fire.'

  • TV Show
  • 8
  • 73
  • TV-MA
  • David Benioff
  • D.B. Weiss
  • HBO
stream service