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Gwendoline Christie, Sophie Turner bid farewell to their 'Game of Thrones' characters

** SPOILERS FOR THE SEASON FINALE INSIDE **

MANILA, Philippines – Game of Thrones is now over, and as that fact slowly sinks in to the show's loyal fans, two of its stars posted tributes to the characters they have played for years.

On her Instagram, Gwendoline Christie, who took on the role of the loyal knight Ser Brienne of Tarth, said that playing the character "has redefined the way I look at the world, women, and particularly myself."

"I have never felt so exposed by a character, but happy knowing that those feelings of discomfort were about shaking off convention and embracing strength and authenticity," she said, in the caption of a photograph of her on her last day of filming, giving a goodbye hug to the show's assistant director Ciaran Colton.

She thanked him especially, saying "he treated me with respect, kindness and great humour every single day," and then went on to thank the show's cast and crew.

"I shall miss everyone that gave so much of themselves helping to create Game of Thrones; it was a privilege to work with such talented creatives, cast and crew," she wrote.

She ended her post by stressing just how thankful she is.

"I am just so very grateful for this phenomenal opportunity and the incredible support that you’ve all given me, all your kind words and cheer - it truly means a great deal to have been part of something so many of us have loved. My heart aches with how much I will miss Ser Brienne of Tarth. But what she has inspired I will take with me," she said.

View this post on Instagram THANK YOU. There is no other way to start this. @gameofthrones has changed my life beyond anything I could have comprehended. Playing Brienne of Tarth has redefined the way I look at the world, women and particularly myself. I have never felt so exposed by a character, but happy knowing that those feelings of discomfort were about shaking off convention and embracing strength and authenticity. This photograph was taken on my very last day saying goodbye to my friend Ciaran, he worked on the show from the beginning as an AD and was the first person I met on ‘Game of Thrones’ - he treated me with respect, kindness and great humour every single day. I shall miss seeing his smiling face in the misty dawn mornings, warmly welcoming me to set. I shall miss everyone that gave so much of themselves helping to create ‘Game of Thrones’; it was a privilege to work with such talented creatives, cast and crew. I am just so very grateful for this phenomenal opportunity and the incredible support that you’ve all given me, all your kind words and cheer - it truly means a great deal to have been part of something so many of us have loved. My heart aches with how much I will miss Ser Brienne of Tarth. But what she has inspired I will take with me. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. A post shared by Gwendoline Christie (@gwendolineuniverse) on May 21, 2019 at 1:38am PDT

Like Gwendoline, Sophie Turner, who played little bird-turned-Queen in the North Sansa Stark.

Sophie thanked her character for teaching her (and really, everyone else who watched the show) "resilience, bravery and what true strength really us."

"Thank you [for] teaching me to be kind and patient and to lead with love," she said. "I grew up with you. I fell in love with you at 13 and now 10 years on.. at 23 I leave you behind, but I will never leave behind what you’ve taught me."

She went on to express her gratitude for the people behind the show.

"Thank you for giving me the best life and drama lessons I could have ever asked for. Without you I wouldn’t be the person I am today. Thank you for giving me this chance all those years ago," she said.

She ended her post with a shout out the show's fans.

"Thank you for falling in love with these characters and supporting this show right through till the end," she said. "I’ll miss this more than anything."

View this post on Instagram Sansa, Thank you for teaching me resilience, bravery and what true strength really is. Thank you teaching me to be kind and patient and to lead with love. I grew up with you. I fell in love with you at 13 and now 10 years on.. at 23 I leave you behind, but I will never leave behind what you’ve taught me. To the show and the incredible people who make it, thank you for giving me the best life and drama lessons I could have ever asked for. Without you I wouldn’t be the person I am today. Thank you for giving me this chance all those years ago. And finally to the fans. Thank you for falling in love with these characters and supporting this show right through till the end. I’ll miss this more than anything. A post shared by Sophie Turner (@sophiet) on May 19, 2019 at 1:12pm PDT

Sophie and Gwendoline's characters are two of the show's most compelling.

Brienne first appeared in the second season, as a knight who pledged her sword for Renly Baratheon, an early contender for the Iron Throne.

Tall, strong, and fearless, Brienne was a powerful warrior who beat men in countless duels and survived endless battles and raids while fulfilling her oath to protect the Stark daughters. She was a true knight before she had the title, which was denied to her throughout several seasons – until Jamie Lannister finally knights her on the eve of the Battle of Winterfell.

By the end of the show, she is Brienne is, rightfully so, the Lord Commander of the Kingsguard.

Sansa Stark has been in the show from episode 1 as the second child and first daughter of Ned and Catelyn Stark.

Traditionally feminine and ladylike, Sansa's big dream at the start of the show was to marry a prince and live happily ever after – but her dreams were crushed soon after she arrived at King's Landing with her father and her younger sister, Arya.

Throughout the series, Sansa went through unimaginable abuse and torture at the hands of the show's most vile characters: Joffrey Baratheon, Cersei Lannister, Ramsay Bolton, even Petyr Baelish, but she managed to survived through sheer inner strength and calculated decisions (which is something her older bastard brother Jon Snow never learned to do).

In what may be one of the most satisfying moments of the finale, Sansa took her place as the Queen of the North, after demanding its independence from the new king, her brother Bran.

The show's finale aired on May 20 (May 19, US Time). – Rappler.com