Judging Jaime: Reconsidering the Kingslayer

Jaime Lannister Season 8 802

In Game of Thrones season eight’s fourth episode, “The Last of the Starks,” rakish cad Jaime Lannister broke more hearts than just Brienne of Tarth’s when he turned his back on a cozy life at Winterfell. A section of the fanbase had been very invested in Ser Jaime and Brienne forging a romantic relationship; but word from the south of Daenerys Targaryen’s vengeful intentions towards Jaime’s sister Cersei apparently prompted the Kingslayer into sneaking out of bed, saddling up his horse to head away from the North and his Night’s Watch vows. Luckily, Sam and his black brothers caught up to Ser Jaime and convinced him to stay. No wait. That was Jon Snow in season, when he had planned on heading south to join in on a fight with the Lannister regime, but had responded to the pleas from his fellows to remain where he was.

Ser Jaime is not like the heroic and selfless Jon Snow.

But we knew that already. Or had we forgotten?

Caught by Brienne before he could slink away into the night, Jaime cut short Brienne’s argument that he was a good man and could stay among decent folk by reciting his greatest hits:

Jaime Lannister: You think I’m a good man. I pushed a boy out a tower window. Crippled him for life, for Cersei. I strangled my cousin with my own hands, just to get back to Cersei. I would have murdered every man, woman, and child in Riverrun. For Cersei. She’s hateful. And so am I.

In a story filled with characters defined by their shades-of-gray morality and secrets, Jaime Lannister stood above the rest. Establishing himself as a villain in the first episode by defenestrating innocent Bran Stark, Ser Jaime did not shy away from talking to Bran’s mother about the attempted murder of her son.

Catelyn Stark: My son, Bran. How did he come to fall from the tower?
Jaime: I pushed him out the window.
Catelyn: Why?
Jaime: I – I hoped the fall would kill him.

With his carefree attitude towards the taking of life if it suited him, it was not a surprise when Ser Jaime killed his cousin Alton as a means to attempt an escape from the Stark camp.

Lady Catelyn eventually gave him his freedom. Or rather, unilaterally decided to exchange the hostage Jaime for the promise of the release of her captive daughters, Arya and Sansa (only one of them was actually captive, but hairs don’t need to be split here.) During his journey escorted by his future lover, Brienne of Tarth, they bonded over common cause against a mutual foe: the sadistic Boltons who threatened to rape Brienne and maimed Jaime while in their care.

During these events, Ser Jaime was also known to viewers by his nickname, the Kingslayer. Jaime had earned this sobriquet for murdering his king, the mad Aerys II. Although few shed a tear over Aerys’s death, regicide isn’t something taken lightly in Westeros, particularly when done by the sworn bodyguard of the king. That’s the opposite of the job description.

Jaime Brienne Season 3 305 Bath

The hidden truth behind the name came out in Harrenhal, when an exhausted Jaime revealed to Brienne that he’d killed Aerys to prevent the death of thousands and thousands by wildfire. Not that he had been thanked when Eddard Stark had arrived on the scene of the murder.

“Do you think the noble Lord of Winterfell wanted to hear my feeble explanations? Such an honorable man. He only had to look at me to judge me guilty.” Jaime lurched to his feet, the water running cold down his chest. “By what right does the wolf judge the lion? By what right?”
— A Storm of Swords, Jaime V

The scene in the books is powerful, and the presentation on the show equally so. Jaime had transitioned from a scoundrel and antagonist to someone who, while still a scoundrel and antagonistic, had been misjudged and had lived with unfair prejudice for years. Too proud and scornful to set the record straight, he’d kept that secret until caught up in a moment of naked (literally) vulnerability with the earnest and exemplary Brienne.

This seemed to usher in a turning point for Jaime’s character, as well as encouraging positive sentiment for him by fans. When leaving Brienne at Harrenhal, Jaime was charged by the Beauty of Tarth to remember his oaths to Lady Catelyn. He refused to let Brienne be executed, and once in the capital supplied Brienne with arms, armor, and a squire to seek out and find the missing Stark girls.

The prevailing thought among Jaime supporters was that once removed from Cersei’s toxic influences, Ser Jaime might be able to move past his shadowy villainous ways and redeem himself. The show could not provide literal insights into character thoughts the way the book can with its point-of-view structure, but the scene where Ser Jaime, as Lord Commander of the kingsguard, considered his few chivalric accomplishments tracks with the analogous scene from the books.

WhiteBook

Jaime sat alone at the table while the shadows crept across the room. As dusk began to settle, he lit a candle and opened the White Book to his own page. Quill and ink he found in a drawer. Beneath the last line Ser Barristan had entered, he wrote in an awkward hand that might have done credit to a six-year-old being taught his first letters by a maester:

Defeated in the Whispering Wood by the Young Wolf Robb Stark during the War of the Five Kings. Held captive at Riverrun and ransomed for a promise unfulfilled. Captured again by the Brave Companions, and maimed at the word of Vargo Hoat their captain, losing his sword hand to the blade of Zollo the Fat. Returned safely to King’s Landing by Brienne, the Maid of Tarth.

When he was done, more than three-quarters of his page still remained to be filled between the gold lion on the crimson shield on top and the blank white shield at the bottom. Ser Gerold Hightower had begun his history, and Ser Barristan Selmy had continued it, but the rest Jaime Lannister would need to write for himself. He could write whatever he chose, henceforth.

Whatever he chose . . .
— A Storm of Swords, Jaime IX

As presented on the show, Jaime’s redemption arc was, quite deliberately by the writers, not a straight course. He kept returning to Cersei. After the destruction of the Sept of Baelor, orchestrated by Cersei’s minions, the fans assumed that Jaime would now break from his sister, but he did not. The question was asked “since Jaime killed the Mad King for threatening to use wildfire on King’s Landing, why isn’t Jaime killing Cersei for actually doing it?”

The obvious answer would be that Jaime was not in love with Aerys. That we know of.

Jaime: We don’t get to choose who we love… but I don’t recall being in love with him.

Jaime finally broke ranks with Cersei and headed north to fulfill his promise to fight for the living, a promise made in bad faith by Cersei to the Starks and Targaryens who were trying to build a coalition to stop the existential and life-ending threat of the White Walkers. Brokering a pass for his various crimes against, well, everyone, Jaime knighted his former warden Brienne of Tarth, and after a grueling battle against the undead, the two knights consummated an attraction that had been growing for something like six seasons.

Brienne Jaime Knight of the Seven Kingdoms Season 8 802

The climax of this will-they-won’t-they was presented with Jaime behaving more awkwardly than romantically. And led to the heartbreaking scene of Jaime saddling up his horse, explaining to Brienne why she can’t have good things, and then riding south with Cersei on the horizon.

It’s understandable if fans of the Jaime/Brienne relationship feel upset or unsatisfied. They’ve had years to imagine a more romantic coming together of the pair. The interactions that Jaime and Brienne have had over the years have lent themselves to romantic embellishment. Jaime having custom armor made for Brienne, indicating that he had memorized her body, is prime boyfriend material. When Brienne tried to return the sword Oathkeeper to Jaime during their meeting at the siege of Riverrun and Jaime refused, insisting that it would always be hers, it wasn’t a stretch to imagine him referring to his heart when talking about the sword.

This sword and shield chivalric romanticism climaxed (non-sexually) in the episode before the battle of Winterfell, when Ser Jaime charged Brienne of Tarth with her knightly vows, with the same gravity of wedding vows.

Ser Jaime: In the name of the Warrior, I charge you to be brave. In the name of the Father, I charge you to be just. In the name of the Mother, I charge you to defend the innocent.

All of this felt like the earmarks of a Shakespearean drama, with two star-crossed lovers destined to be bound together, not so much with the power of love (although that seemed to be in evidence) but by the directed purpose of chaste and courtly chivalry.

So when the two finally did have sex, the awkward booty call nature of Jaime showing up, fumbling with his clothes, felt so wrong to some. Where was the shining knight from before?

But there is no contradiction. Jaime had never been what can be called good with the ladies, because his only sexual partner in his life had been the no-nonsense Cersei, where sex had been transactional and selfish. Jaime had been romantic and charming with Brienne in their knightly interactions because Jaime has all of that chivalric-ritual experience. It was more natural to him, and easier to infuse affection into those familiar interactions.

It’s not that Jaime’s love for Brienne might be false, it’s likely that he’s just bad at loving.

With Jaime abandoning Brienne and vocalizing his past misdeeds, framed as being done for Cersei, as a means to separate away from his lover, Jaime transitions from a more Shakespearean mold and becomes a character from a different genre. The anti-hero who has to make a choice, between a virtuous woman offering him salvation and a less-virtuous woman from his past, is a common Film Noir trope.

Jaime referenced his willingness to massacre people at Riverrun, which would have included Brienne, as she had joined with Brynden Tully and the castle’s defense. This echoed the conversation where Jaime extorted compliance from Edmure Tully, who agreed to surrender the castle against the wishes of his uncle the Blackfish.

Edmure Jaime Riverrun

Edmure Tully: You understand, don’t you? You understand on some level, that you’re an evil man?
Jaime: I’ll leave the judgment for the gods.

Jaime convinced Edmure Tully to surrender the castle to spare lives, with a statement that Jaime only cared about Cersei. He could return to Cersei once Riverrun had fallen, and it could either be surrendered without loss of life, or loss of all life. Jaime asserted that it was all the same to him.

But was Jaime being honest? In the books, we have insight into Jaime’s thought processes in regards to the siege. He’d sworn an oath to Catelyn Stark not to wage violence against the Tullys, and an assault on Riverrun would break that vow. In those latter books, Jaime was trying hard to keep to his vows. So he made threats that he hoped he’d not have to go through with, and it paid off.

The show can’t easily give us an insight into these unspoken motivations. Who would he talk to about this? To Bronn?

Bronn: Afraid to break a vow? I thought you were a hard man, Lannister. Har.

Instead, the show added Brienne to the siege to raise the stakes. Assaulting Riverrun would put Brienne at risk. Something Jaime wanted to avoid, and something he couldn’t reveal to Edmure Tully.

Jaime: Please surrender the castle. My non-sibling crush is in the castle, and if we attack, she might get hurt.
Edmure: Am I dreaming? This can’t be real.

So it might be worthwhile to view some of Ser Jaime’s words with skepticism, even though he’s occasionally brutally honest.

Jaime: I – I hoped the fall would kill him.

During the final conversation with Brienne, Jaime was cagey on what he was planning on doing, although she reasonably assumed he was leaving her because he was still in love with Cersei. Other fan interpretations included Jaime feeling that he was undeserving of happiness with Brienne. These might all be true, in part.

A common interpretation is that Jaime will be killing his sister in these final episodes. Although the show has not brought up the often-discussed valonqar prophecy from the books, where the “little brother” will end Cersei’s life, fans have long assumed that Jaime would eventually end his relationship with Cersei with fatal finality.

This doesn’t feel right in this instance, since the word from the Targaryen front indicated that no mercy was being planned for his sister, and she’d likely wind up dead. A reasonable assumption vocalized by practical pragmatist Ser Bronn of the Blackwater.

Bronn: I knew your sister was dead the second I saw those dragons.

Why leave Brienne to go do something that someone else will already be planning on doing? Is it that Jaime loves Cersei so much or hates Cersei so much that he has to be responsible for her death?

There’s another answer. Love. Not love for Cersei though. And not love for Brienne.

THE THINGS WE DO FOR LOVE

After Robert’s rebellion, Ned Stark, for love of his sister, accepted the dishonor and risked marital discord by taking his nephew Aegon Targaryen to Winterfell and declaring him his bastard, Jon Snow.

Years later, to spare the children of his enemy Cersei Lannister, he offered her a chance to flee the city with her children, and the doom that would come to then when her cuckolded husband Robert returned to the capital.

Jaime Lannister, for almost as long as Ned Stark kept the secret about Jon’s parentage, had been keeping the secret that all of Robert Baratheon’s children were his. To prevent suspicions, Jaime kept an emotional distance and maintained at most an unremarkable avuncular disposition with his secret offspring. He watched Joffrey die by poison, he held Myrcella in his arms as she died from poison. He was absent from the capital when his last child, Tommen, committed suicide as a result of Cersei’s scheming.

Myrcella and Jaime

In King’s Landing, Cersei awaits. But so does Jaime’s unborn child. He had failed to protect Joffrey, had possibly forced the murder of Myrcella by trying to save her, and had been unable to do anything about Tommen. Jaime has no loyaly that can be reasonably expected by Cersei. She’d sent Ser Bronn as an assassin to kill him. But their child represents something, a potential for the future.

Like the blank page in the White Book that waited for him to write what he chose, he could still have a future with this child.

As long as Cersei lives through the pregnancy.

Jaime often doesn’t explain himself. He didn’t explain why he had killed the Mad King. He seems to be happy for people to think the worst of him.

Although he might have been able to explain his situation to Brienne, it would have been against his nature to do so. By what right does the wolf judge the lion?

And until we get all the information, by what right do we?

38 responses

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    1. It’s understandable if fans of the Jaime/Brienne relationship feel upset or unsatisfied.

      Speak for yourself?

      Why leave Brienne to go do something that someone else will already be planning on doing? Is it that Jaime loves Cersei so much or hates Cersei so much that he has to be responsible for her death?

      Jaime only left when he heard Cersei might win. He was happy to stay as long as the alliance victory was assured.

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    2. Tonight’s episode is make or break for Jaime. He is probably dead either way so it doesn’t really matter.

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    3. QueenofThrones,

      Sorry was still editing. I enjoyed your essay by the way. Thanks for pointing out that Jaime is a liar when he needs to be.

      It’s understandable if fans of the Jaime/Brienne relationship feel upset or unsatisfied.

      Speak for yourself?

      Why leave Brienne to go do something that someone else will already be planning on doing? Is it that Jaime loves Cersei so much or hates Cersei so much that he has to be responsible for her death?

      Jaime only left when he heard Cersei might win. He was happy to stay as long as the alliance victory was assured.

      He is doing this for Love and for Duty.

      Love for Brienne, Tyrion, and everyone else that Cersei will surely kill if she manages to win. Duty because it’s his fault she’s in power. So his responsibility to ensure she dies.

      Love for an unborn fetus? I seriously doubt that. Protecting innocents like Myrcella and Tommen by trying to kill Bran… evil but understandable. Protecting Cersei so that she can give birth to an unborn child that he must doubt is even real (regardless what he tells Tyrion) in exchange for the lives of literally everyone he knows? Makes no sense.

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    4. As it is Mother’s Day, will we have an article reflecting on motherhood in the entire series?

      Cat’s impact on Sansa and Brienne?
      Cersei’s losses?
      Daenerys use of her children?
      Gilly’s pregnancy as a sign of hope after the war?
      Tyrion being blamed for his mother’s death and the impact on him?

      That would be nice.

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    5. Prepare the curtain call for Ser Jaime/Nikolaj. There’s no redemption here. He’ll be a tool for Arya to erase another name from her short list.

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    6. QueenofThrones:
      QueenofThrones,

      Sorry was still editing.I enjoyed your essay by the way.Thanks for pointing out that Jaime is a liar when he needs to be.

      Speak for yourself?

      Thanks for the follow up. People’s feelings for Jaime and his relationship for Brienne run a wide gamut, so I can’t represent them all, and just talking about how I feel is inadequate.

      We have different takeaways on this, which of course is great, because we can have good discussions and different reactions when the show lays it out.

      Thank you for reading and replying, your Grace.

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    7. Brandon:
      Tonight’s episode is make or break for Jaime. He is probably dead either way so it doesn’t really matter.

      Oh, it matters. It matters a lot.

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    8. I hate that the show seems to be implying that Jaime really would have killed everyone at Riverrun, unlike in the books.

      Even if Jaime does the right thing, they’ve damaged his character arc severely with all the back and forth nonsense since Season 4.

      It’s also annoying that the show can’t be bothered with continuity anymore. In Season 2 he beats his cousin to death before strangling the guard, Torrhen Karstark. He does not strangle his cousin.

      Yet in the last episode he tells Brienne that he strangled his cousin. It’s disappointing that the writers can’t even be trusted to get details right, even as they pertain to something that they invented themselves (Jaime’s murder of his cousin is not in the book).

      All I can say is that these last two episodes really need to stick the landing as far as Jaime is concerned.

      I want to believe that Jaime will kill Cersei, but I’m also struggling to figure out how he could do that while thinking she’s pregnant, with his kid no less.

      Book Jaime doesn’t care much about being a father, but show Jaime has been repeatedly portrayed as having fatherly love towards Myrcella and Tommen.

      They better know what they’re doing with his character motivations, because right now it’s looking messy.

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    9. Nick20:
      I hate that the show seems to be implying that Jaime really would have killed everyone at Riverrun, unlike in the books.

      Even if Jaime does the right thing, they’ve damaged his character arc severely with all the back and forth nonsense since Season 4.

      It’s also annoying that the show can’t be bothered with continuity anymore. In Season 2 he beats his cousin to death before strangling the guard, Torrhen Karstark. He does not strangle his cousin.

      Jaime has taken a few hits in the intervening years, and was a bit messed up being penned in for months. He’s just confusing his own details.

      Okay, kidding. Your comment is fair.

      But I don’t know if Jaime wouldn’t have gone through with his threats in the books. He just didn’t have to.

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    10. Nick20: All I can say is that these last two episodes really need to stick the landing as far as Jaime is concerned.

      There’s lots of ways it can go. But I’m convinced it will be satisfying and true to the character. Nikolaj seems in interviews to have been very happy about this season and him ending by him actually going back to Cersei (as opposed to that being a ruse) would not be consistent with that IMO.

      So, have faith.

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    11. Greatly enjoyed your essay, as Jaime has always had one of my favorite character arcs. I think he’s protecting Brienne and keeping her from following him back to Kings Landing. I liked the awkward scene. I thought it seemed very plausible. I do fear Jaime will perish before he kills Cersei, but I hope Brienne gets to write the rest of his history showing that he finally tried to do the right thing. GRRM created such genius characters. Long live GoT!

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    12. Jaime may not be an admirable character but he is probably my favorite character in this story (book and show). I love the complexities and contradictions in his nature. And, of course, Nikolaj has done a wonderful job in bringing Jaime to life.

      It’s understandable if fans of the Jaime/Brienne relationship feel upset or unsatisfied.

      The high point of their relationship came when he knighted Brienne. The looks exchanged between the two spoke of love and respect. It is one of my favorite scenes in the entire series. For me, that scene was much more important to their relationship than the “booty call” that followed.

      However, I am not upset by Jaime’s departure. Only in a fairy tale would Brienne and Jaime live in a cottage in the north. IMO, Jaime was always destined to leave and go back to Cersei…for whatever reason (love, death, honor). Jaime may not completely understand why he left Brienne and why he emphasized his “hatefulness.”

      I am prepared for Jaime to die tonight. While it will break my heart, I expect that Jaime will welcome death. He knows who he is. He understands the contractions in his life, the choices that he has made and makes no excuses for any of it. (I love his speech to Catelyn about oaths.) He is a fascinating character.

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    13. Mary,

      Thanks Mary. I have been a fan ever since I got so mad reading the books and he had his hand cut off, and I was SO MAD. Because I had hated Jaime and I was unexpectedly seduced by his POV chapters.

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    14. Cersei has hated Brienne of Tarth ever since the Purple wedding… I think Cersei has someone in the North spying for her and Cersei knows there is no army to protect the North. Maybe it’s Tyrion? and Bran knows it’s Tyrion? Cersei could send a small Lannister army to Winterfell via ship to White harbor, kidnap Sansa and Brienne of Tarth and hold them both hostage in Kings Landing.

      If Jaime finds out Brienne of Tarth is hostage, he will want to save her. I will be disappointed If Jaime dies while saving Brienne of Tarth life and does noting else worthy of being written in the White Book… the book of brothers.

      Cersie holding Sansa hostage would make Jon Snow want Deanerys to not attack Kings Landing with Drogon because this could mean sure death for Sansa…. (although I think the Hound will save Sansa’s life.)

      I think Daenerys and Greyworm etc… will attack Kings Landing which will make Jon have an impossible choice to make as foreshadowed by Maester Aemon @ Castle Black.

      That’s my best guess… I hope it’s a good episode that makes more sense than the Last of the Starks did.

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    15. This fine essay has a scary curtain call perfume. I have performed my little magic ritual to keep Jaime alive, as I have done lately: before a new GOT episode, I drink Lowenbrau beer, which has a lion on its label.
      Valar Morghulis.
      At least Jaime and Brienne had the knighting scene and the physical love. I’m positive it was love.

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    16. Shy Lady Dragon:
      This fine essay has a scary curtain call perfume. I have performed my little magic ritual to keep Jaime alive, as I have done lately: before a new GOT episode, I drink Lowenbrau beer, which has a lion on its label.
      Valar Morghulis.
      At least Jaime and Brienne had the knighting scene and the physical love. I’m positive it was love.

      I love this reference to curtain call perfume, m’lady.

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    17. firstone:
      I think Cersei has someone in the North spying for her and Cersei knows there is no army to protect the North. Maybe it’s Tyrion? and Bran knows it’s Tyrion?

      I cannot for the life of me understand why people keep suggesting that Tyrion would spy for Cersei. He has never done anything to suggest that he would do something so dishonorable. Just, no. This would be completely out of character for him, IMO.

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    18. Oh me too! GRRM is genius. Just wish he would write faster! I’m afraid either he or I will die before he finishes. 😓 The books are so good I wish everyone would read them.

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    19. Thanks, Patrick, I enjoyed reading your essay. Jamie’s arc has been an interesting one and your essay fills in a few gaps for me and adds even more interest! I have not read the books yet and love that scene you describe of him writing in the White Book. I’m looking forward to reading the books after the series is over and reading the interior dialog of these characters.

      The impact of not being able to openly love and claim your children was one I never gave much thought to until the Purple Wedding, then Marcella’s admission that she knew he was her father and loved him was heartbreaking. And then she died in his arms! I think it is very possible he is going back to KL for that child. But who knows, he does have a lot of mystery about him. I am holding my breath…and a box of tissue in preparation for tonight! Thanks again, Patrick.

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    20. Renly’s Peach: I cannot for the life of me understand why people keep suggesting that Tyrion would spy for Cersei. He has never done anything to suggest that he would do something so dishonorable. Just, no. This would be completely out of character for him, IMO.

      Yeah it’s weird. People seem determined to persistently misunderstand the characters of both Lannisbros.

      The idea that Tyrion already betrayed Dany, and offscreen no less was super popular over the season break. Never made any sense to me.

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    21. I loved the books, but I’ll admit Jaime is one of the reasons I became a little obsessed with them (along with R+L and all the prophecies etc). Taking a one dimensional villain and turning him into one of the richest, most interesting characters is a skill that deserves a heck of a lot of praise.
      And Brienne and Jaime together? Epic and unexpected. Book and show.
      That bath scene is hands down one of the best scenes on screen imo.

      Cersei was always power hungry and shallow
      Tyrion is TBD-but he started out rich and interesting so it’s hard to top that.
      But Jaime is a romantic that comes out at you from left field. Unapologetic and often grey, but always riveting.

      In the books he has dreams and visions that almost separate him from the other Lannisters. Dreams of ghost knights and his mother. He’s the protector of the people he loves, and Cersei has used that to manipulate him, while Tyrion has benefited from it multiple times.

      He’s finally where he’s supposed to be in the show-since in the books he came to certain realizations much earlier. So hopefully they’ll do his character justice, and not put him right back at square one for the end.

      I’m more concerned about how they handle his ending (and a few others) than I am about who sits the throne, which maybe makes me weird, but tells you how invested I am in the characters. 🙂

      *one last longing stare at Tarth before this episode*

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    22. RG: Taking a one dimensional villain and turning him into one of the richest, most interesting characters is a skill that deserves a heck of a lot of praise.

      100%. Jaime’s time as Cat’s captive was utterly brilliant – writing and acting. Watching him evolve from there has been one of the most rewarding aspects of the show.

      Whether he turns villain or hero (or villainous hero) at the end is beside the point to me. What GoT has done better than any other series is to show us that very few people are either good or bad, even as they do good and bad things.

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    23. QueenofThrones: Yeah it’s weird.People seem determined to persistently misunderstand the characters of both Lannisbros.

      The idea that Tyrion already betrayed Dany, and offscreen no less was super popular over the season break.Never made any sense to me.

      Okay I think I can understand why people might have put that out there, whether or not I totally agree.

      Tyrion is a genius. Tywin level and above as far as strategies and playing people go. He loves the game and he’s good at it, he said so and he proved that when he was the stand in Hand for Joffrey.
      Since he’s been with Dany, he has not been a genius. In fact, he has made a ridiculous amount of bad calls that have ended up costing them lives and allies, all while still trying to make a peaceful transition when:
      A) He knows Cersei will blow everyone to the seven hells before giving up that throne
      and
      B) His last words to the people of KL were literally that he wished he’d killed them all himself

      Do I love Tyrion? SO MUCH and I always have. Do I want him to just be really off his game since he killed his dad and gf? Of course I do.
      But the writing has left an opening for Tyrion to be playing his own game. As much as I love him and don’t want it to be true–since he helped Jon, Bran, Sansa and he’s been falsely accused and had more trials than anyone else on the show, there’s no denying that it’s out there.
      Maybe it’s an opening for him to be falsely accused again? Especially since all of the sudden Sansa and Varys have both pulled him into this-What about Jon-scenario?
      I guess we’ll see soon enough.

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    24. Thanks for another insightful essay, Patrick.

      Did you notice Bronn said of Brienne to Jaime: ‘It must be like looking in the mirror’?

      I thought that was more than a throw away insult, not from Bronn but thematically. Jaime then examines himself in this mirror, and feels unworthy…

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    25. Northstar:
      Thanks for another insightful essay, Patrick.

      Did you notice Bronn said of Brienne to Jaime: ‘It must be like looking in the mirror’?

      I thought that was more than a throw away insult, not from Bronn but thematically. Jaime then examines himself in this mirror, and feels unworthy…

      Thanks Northstar! And I agree, regardless of what Bronn might have intended, your read on that mirror line is a good one.

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    26. Nick20,

      “They better know what they’re doing with his character motivations, because right now it’s looking messy.”

      In real life, many people’s character motivations are messy.

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    27. I have also thought that Jaime’s real motivation for heading back to KL and leaving Brienne was more about his unborn child than anything else. But a recent interview with Nutter seems to throw cold water on that. He indicates that Jaime really is just giving in to the unhealthy but addictive relationship with Cersei. We’ll see!

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    28. I enjoyed your article Patrick. Well thought out and I appreciate all the call backs to the book scenes which must have taken some time on your part to locate them in those huge volumes. Haha.
      I was fearing seeing a Jaime/Brienne love scene just because I imagined it would be somewhat out of character for both.. but happy to say I was pleasantly surprised and didn’t mind at all. At least before the heart-breaking scene of him leaving.

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    29. I dunno, there are so many other ways this could have gone for Jaime in the end. I kinda feel like a noble death was taken from him in order to make Cersei a sympathetic character in the end.

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    30. What a rich and beautiful episode!, and such fabulous perfect music!

      If someone has a dragon, seems likely they’d do just what was done.

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    31. ShameShameShame:
      I dunno, there are so many other ways this could have gone for Jaime in the end.I kinda feel like a noble death was taken from him in order to make Cersei a sympathetic character in the end.

      I think once the numbness of Dany nuking the city wears off Jaime’s arc is what I will be discontent with. Even allowing for the differences between show and book Jaime, I do think the character had made enough progress not to end up back in Cersei’s arms. The scene was wonderfully acted though!

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    32. Great exit for Jaime and Cersei. Well played by the actors. She was reduced to being a confused child in need of comforting. Jaime provided that comforting. He’d always loved her. He was true to that.

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    33. I know I’m weeks late but thanks for a great essay on a tricky topic. For me, Jaime returning to “protect” Cersei seems very natural, that’s been his #1 life goal despite his recent redemption arc. Seems consistent with both Book and Show Jaime. The last line about being hateful realllly was weird though. That felt totally off. He’s leaving to protect her (or kill her? Many of us at the time including me thought that was very possible) despite knowing he’ll likely die, not for hate. That line seemed way off and left a sour taste for me. Jaime’s never been a saint and he’s complex so ditching Brienne for something he considers more important/primal doesn’t surprise me, although I am intensely sad for her :*(

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