Curtain Call: Nikolaj Coster-Waldau


I’m here to tell you all a beautiful tale—the story of a wonderful man.

It’s about a man we all know, a man we admire and respect. This one’s not so much about the legendary Kingslayer, Ser Jaime Lannister, as it is the man who inhabited him.

This one’s for Nik.

First and foremost: Nikolaj Coster-Waldau isn’t just a great actor, he’s a great human being. He is kind, generous, and patient to a fault, especially when dealing with overzealous fanbois (trust me). He uses his influence to champion a number of great causes, including being a goodwill ambassador for the UNDP (United Nations Development Programme), spearheading action towards combating climate change, and is rigorously active in many other charities, particularly ones located in his native Denmark and his wife’s native Greenland, though recently he traveled to Rwanda, assisting the U.N. there, and lending a hand with the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund.


He is a vocal and demonstrative supporter of that aforementioned wife, the gorgeous and talented Sascha Nukâka Motzfeldt, and is an encouraging and empowering father to two energetic and lovely teenage daughters.

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He is the sort of person we should all aspire to be. And that comes first, before I even attempt to encompass what he means to the Game of Thrones fandom.

When Nikolaj’s casting news broke, a flurry of investigation ensued. Who was this Danish actor? Was he good with a sword? Could he play someone with an English accent? Our second “gate” (following the infamous “Chairgate”) was “Nosegate,” in which various dubious fans declared that Nikolaj’s nose was either “too big” or “too broken” to ever play the dashing Ser Jaime. It seems absolutely insane now, right?


We scoured the internet for clips of Nik in other roles. We needed to know! Some people knew about him following his short-lived role in Blackhawk Down, but we also found some early stuff, like his role as Martin in Nightwatch, and his role as Martin (always Martin!) in Shadow of the Sword (The Headsman). We were quickly impressed.

Here, enjoy a Hallelujah/Headsman fan video:

Once the show began, any doubting fans quickly came around. As Ser Jaime Lannister, Nikolaj was absolutely singular, arguably the best person cast in one of the show’s most pivotal and controversial roles. Nikolaj inhabited the Kingslayer like a second skin, often wearing Jaime on his sleeve in interviews. He cared about this character, and it was obvious. As a self-described “romantic,” Nikolaj was of course conflicted by Jaime’s end. He wanted Jaime to be with Brienne as much as any fan, if not more.

But… we’ll get to that later. First, let me tell you about the times I got to interview him.

You see, as part of the team that brought you the first Game of Thrones fansite, founded by Phil “Winter” Bicking (Oz and Sue begat this site once its predecessor was sold away), I remember back when this fandom were the only people who believed this thing could last longer than a season, so we were given access and interviews that, these days, are only really gifted to the likes of Entertainment Weekly or Hollywood Reporter.

One of the very first interviews I conducted was an e-mail interview with Nikolaj. He was engaging, witty, and enthusiastically answered follow-up questions. Then, just before season three, I got to do a large-scale interview with the cast, of which Nik was the stand-out. Paired with Gwendoline, his on-and-off screen foil, the interview became a saucy game of cat-and-mouse, where myself and other ASoIaF fan-journalists (ASoIaFanalists?) attempted to try and discern whether or not Jaime loses a hand, and whether or not Jaime and Brienne share their notorious bathing scene onscreen.


Nik and Gwen played us like fiddles, giving just enough to make us hopeful but always stopping short of actually confirming anything. I can still remember Nikolaj leaning back in his chair, that Jaime Lannister half-smile playing at the edge of his lips, eyes twinkling with barely-suppressed mirth, while Gwendoline roared her Gwendoline laugh. They enjoyed the questions as much as we enjoyed being in the same room with them. Myself and IGN’s Terri Schwartz (a dyed-in-the-wool Braime) were writhing in our seats in overt displays of nerd agony, so purposefully torturous were the hints.

Later, as most of the journalists filtered out and the cast were treated to a catered lunch, I hung around, quite unwilling to leave short of them dragging me out bodily. Nik came up to me, wholly unprovoked, and engaged me in further conversation. He wanted to know how the book fans were receiving the series in contrast to non-book fans. I told him the truth: Non-book fans loved Game of Thrones for its own merits; book fans, however, could have varied responses, depending on what they felt was important… but most still loved it. He seemed quietly enthused by the reaction of the “Braime” factions, and I reiterated to him that I loved Jaime and Brienne’s complicated relationship, and (lowkey) pressed him for any small hint as to how that might play out.

He just smiled that smile.

Of course, onscreen he gave us everything we wanted. From “The things we do for love” to “Nothing else matters, only us.” His wrenching speech to Brienne in that stone bath is now the stuff of legend. “By what right does the wolf judge the lion?” And many, and more. His knighting of Brienne might have been his crowning achievement; leaving her likely his greatest shame. Her heartbroken cry ripped my soul.

Jaime Lannister dying The Bells

And then came Jaime’s end—as controversial as anything he’d ever done. Did returning to Cersei’s side lessen his story? Had Jaime been cheated of a redemptive arc that both character and actor had earned? If you believe so, I urge you to reconsider, as I did.

Watch it again, and understand: Jaime Lannister was already redeemed. He did what he did to Brienne to protect her, else she might have followed him to King’s Landing. And he still loved her, you can’t tell me he didn’t; Jaime embraced Cersei with his arms, but Brienne was the last woman he kissed. When he returned to Cersei’s side, there in her moment of need, he returned as her protector—her brother, her twin. Jaime and Cersei went out of this world as they came into it: together. He did it knowing how the rest of the world might view him, because even he knew how it would appear. I can live with that. Westeros won’t likely know Jaime’s heroism. But we will.

And we will never see his like again.

Jaime Cersei 806 Season 8

Jaime’s road was long; Nikolaj was involved in this project for nearly ten years, and it will likely impact his career (and complicate his ability to have privacy outside his home) for a long time to come.

But what a ride, eh? And that’s the best anyone can ask of a television show. Jaime’s end was as controversial as his sister-screwing or Bran-shoving beginning, but would we have it any other way? If you’re sad, don’t be! This was a legendary character arc. I think it ended well.

Here, enjoy Nikolaj teaching us Danish slang!

If you must cry, cry for Jaime, not for his actor. Nik will be fine. Wonderful man, wonderful family, wonderful life!

The Kingslayer’s days may be ended (at least in television form), but Nikolaj is still busy. He’ll be starring in Domino with (of all people!) Carice van Houten, Suicide Tourist with Robert Aramayo, the Danish film Notat, and The Silencing with Annabelle Wallis. Not only that, but he’ll be starring in that Scottish play here in Los Angeles over the summer. Busy guy. Hear Him Roar!


This man is fedt. Thank you for everything, Nik!

You have our thanks—and our love. And I can’t wait to see you again in July at Con of Thrones!

(Not to turn this into an ad at the last second, but tickets for that event are HERE! I recommend the Kingslayer Pass.)

Show the man your love, Watchers!



  1. Jaime’s end was very difficult for me. I don’t care how much people go on about toxic relationships being addictive (which I understand), it will still never sit right with me. Even if GRRM does the exact same thing, and builds it up perfectly, I will always be heartbroken that Jaime went back to Cersei.

    He’s one of my favorite characters, and I think book Jaime is one of the best written characters in all of fiction.

    Despite what is in my opinion extremely disappointing writing, Nikolaj was always excellent.

    Don’t think we could have hoped for a better Jaime Lannister. Masterful performance from his very first appearance to his last moments.

    His presence will be missed, even if just for the last episode.

    I wonder if Tyrion will know Jaime died. After all, he and Cersei are buried beneath the Red Keep’s ruins.

    For all Tyrion knows, they could have escaped. I wonder if/how the finale will address this.

  2. Thank you, Nik.

    Jaime Lannister was an astounding character. For me, he was the core of hope and emotion to this story. I do not watch much television but this character and this actor held me transfixed for season after season. Although I braced for his death, I hoped he would make it. And more than just make it – find love, respect and happiness.

    To me, Jaime represented hope – hope that even as adults we can find our better selves. Hope that we can put messy mistakes behind us and find a better path. Hope that by leading with love can make a difference. Hope that the misunderstood will find acceptance. Hope that we can escape the burdens of family and find our own path. His relationship with Brienne offered hope that people that are unconventional can find love and that we can escape a toxic relationship and find new love.

    All this ended, crushed under brick. Damn. And after he was forced to fight (with one hand) the most pathetic villain in the story. I would have preferred a death on the battlefield with Brienne beside him. The knighting scene was a glorious tribute to Jaime and Brienne.

    I know many found him evil for the entire story. However, I am heartened by the percentage that changed their minds about him and was surprised to love him and root for him by the end. Nik played a big part in this evolution.

    I suppose Nik enjoyed the big dramatic notes at the end with Lena, Pilou his friend and Peter. Good for him! I hope to see him in other work.

    I find the nihilism and dark tone at GOT’s end to disappointing. I enjoy my share of darkness in drama (I see a lot in film and at the opera) but the end of GOT just seemed contrived and shabby. I will be reluctant to start another long TV series – I think it many ways, GOT broke faith with its audience. Not only about Jaime, but about the story making sense and about existentialist nihilism as entertainment to mass audiences.

    Jaime, your name is Jaime. You were loved and your passing hurt.

    Nikolaj, it was a pleasure.

  3. Wow. This is great. I run a NCW fanpage on Facebook and will share it there for the members to read.

  4. What is dead may never die! Wonderful and amazing actor!
    I think until I see in episode 6 the body of Jaime, I will choose to believe he is not dead! So far I don’t like the script storyline they gave Jamie the last two episodes. They showed us Jamie happy to be in Brienne’s arms and happy to remain a guest of Lady Sansa. So suddenly he decide to go back to King Landing once he hear about Missendai execution. I would have accept (as character arc) that he go back to Cercei to be the one to give her a quick and painless death, as a way to spare her a dragon fire and because he knows she is ‘evil’ since talking with Olenna. That would be something honourable which we have seen the Starks doing (Ned, Jon etc ‘a man should pass the sentence’) that is why I don’t understand the script decision. So I am hoping that what we have seen was just Bran’s vision of a possible future and that it will not be the final way of Jamie’s character… A girl can dream… I am hoping that episode 6, will let us know where is Jamie’s ‘stark’ sword, meaning if it stay with Brienne that could be a symbol of him showing that he wanted to remain with her or that he knew his last action would not be honorable but that he feel bound to his twin? Still two very long day to see the next episode. Or maybe the Lord of Light got plan for Jaime and he is miraculously alive from stabbing wounds and ceiling collapsing 😉

  5. Nick20,

    I don’t quite understand this. Jaime’s redemption is in tact, and he loved Brienne. That’s clear. It’s only when he learned of Cersei’s imminent death, alone, that he decided to be by her side at the end. As her brother and only friend in the world. He didn’t go back to support her evil schemes or her desire to rule the seven kingdoms by brute force. He simply went back to be by her side as she likely died. Because he had empathy for her. His action at the end doesn’t negate his redemption. In some ways, it reinforces it. It was a very selfless act. He could’ve stayed with his new lover and lived a relatively happy life, or go and die with his sister. Brienne has taught him how to be selfless. And I think that’s how he goes out.

  6. I was a book reader first before show watcher and TBH I never had my own picture of what Jaime looked like. I’d never heard of NCW at all, and on first sighting I thought he looked too Prince Charming, but that was soon dispelled and the moment we see “Things we do for love” and later his taunting of Ned I knew this casting was perfect.

    All through the the time of his capture and the brilliant partnership with Gwendoline his portrayal hit the mark all the time. He gradually reveals the charm of Jaime leading up to that revelation in the bath and we can start to believe he can be redeemed, only to keep going back to the perfidious Cersei. I’m sure it can’t always have been easy to be convincing that Jaime only had the one hand but he did a great job of showing the anguish and loss as he struggled to regain his pride.

    I already mentioned in Lena’s CC that she and Nikolaj made their intense and sometimes troubled relationship seem very natural, and his bond with Charles Dance and Peter was crucial too in showing us this strong yet dysfunctional family. In addition creating a fun partnership with Jerome Flynn made the stories that “didn’t quite work out in the show” enjoyable in their own way

    Very best thanks to Nikolaj, best wishes and never “have røven i vandskorpen”

  7. What an amazing actor Nikolaj coster Waldau. He made Jaime one of the most interesting characters of the show. His arrogant side, that shifted into the man that though about others first, his opening up with Brienne. His torture to himself in season 7 when he knew Cersei was wrong but he went to far already.

    I hope we see nicolaj very soon in other shows and movies.

  8. Nothing about his ending makes even a lick of sense. He knew Cersei was going to be defeated and killed the second Daenerys and Jon left. Her killing a dragon made it less likely, not more. But they needed that melodramatic courtyard moment with him reversing his decision. There was no reason for him to believe he’d even be able to get close to Cersei, who had just sent an assassin to kill him, let alone that if he did he’d be any better able to protect her than the Mountain. But luckily for him, the castle collapsed and Cersei ended up alone. Tyrion’s escape plan was hare-brained nonsense. You can’t take a two-person rowboat across the narrow sea. Setting out in that thing is already assuring your certain death. And then Euron somehow managing to be the sole survivor of the Iron Fleet and washing to shore at exactly the right time and place? Did it have to be this ridiculous?

    But it’s fine, I guess. He got one last beautiful moment, though it isn’t close to his knighting of Brienne. That will be the pinnacle for both characters and that completes his “arc.” The rest is just what the hell do we do with this guy we no longer have a use for.

    Nik himself gave a performance for the ages. I don’t pay enough attention to awards shows to know if he ever won any, but it seems a crime if he didn’t. The three Lannister siblings all stood out for their performances in a show filled with great acting, but he stood out more than anyone thanks to the complexity of the character and the tremendous range he was asked to play through.

  9. As for Jaime’s ending, I think his ending was perfect and made a lot of sense, and it even made his redemption better.

    Jaime begin the story as a arrogant man who had his moral compass all wrong. He justified every bad thing he did. He did them for his sister and his brother. He went along with the bad name Ned gave him. He didn’t care, or at least that is what he let others think, about what people though of him.

    Brienne broke that wall and we saw the real Jaime emerge, he started to redeem himself for his misdeeds, saving people, saving innocence again. His moral compass changed from no moral to one in the show with one of the best moral compass.

    Now it’s the end, he did his job, helping saving westeros from the WW. People like Bran, the Starks, Brienne etc forgave him for what he had done, they saw this side of Jaime, the one that we can call a good man. A man with Honor.

    The only problem is, his moral compass shifting so far to the good side, that the things he had done when his moral compass was the other way, started to bother him and dislike himself. He could never forgive himself. He hated himself for what he had done in the past for Cersei, and he can never forgive himself, he could only do that if his moral compass shifted again to a not so good place.

    He could never be with Brienne because Brienne deserves better. As do all the people that finally forgive him. He needed to go back to Cersei, not only because Cersei is his poison, but more that Cersei is his punishment. He doesn’t deserve a woman like Brienne, kind and lovely, with a good heart. The only thing he deserved is Cersei, the one he thinks shared the same horrible personality that he has.

    So for me it’s not like he is addicted to Cersei. It’s that he thinks he doesn’t deserve better.

    And for me that make his redemption better, because his moral compass was in such a right place, he could never forgive his wrongdoings.

  10. Nikolaj, my heart. Such a beautiful man, inside and out. I can’t wait to meet him this summer. I won’t dwell on the ending, when the journey was the point, and pretty incredible. Thank you thank you thank you!

  11. Bor Mullet,

    This is not a question to me. But some of my initial thoughts…

    One thing that will always bother me is that he surrendered his honor at 17 to save Kingslanding from being burnt by Aerys. He suffered shame and social rejection for his entire life because of it. Then he died in KL as it is being burnt by Aerys’ daughter.

    Another is – D&D in their episode commentary declared that he went back because he is addicted to Cersei. Yes, it could be true, sure. But this assertion at this stage of the story was unnecessary and did not serve the character well. (It did not serve the viewers well either.) He had left Cersei to fight the ATOD and was presented as in a loving, sexual relationship with a good person with whom the story had been building a connection for 6 seasons.

    The framing provided by Axelchucker that – he went to aid his sister and twin with the mess she was in – is a much more dignified way to say it. Jaime is a big brother in his family – he protects and forgives both Tyrion and Cersei their multitude of sins. This comment by D&D suggested that all we saw for eight seasons was a failure as we cannot/rarely escape our addictions. Jaime failed in his lifetime of effort. He earned and earned and it was for naught.

    Then as a sensible story – why did he declare that he does not care for innocents when his major act is protecting KL? What did Bran mean when he indicated he needed Jaime for some purpose? Why would Tyrion encourage his one-handed brother to go into a building that was most likely to be firebombed in minutes to rescue a sister Tyrion hated? Yes, this is sensitive as their sister was pregnant but both men are still able to have children and he knows Jaime is in a relationship? (They both know Cersei is fully able to walk out and protect her child. If Cersei needed help to walk, then maybe.) Who was going to row the stupid boat? Why did Euron end up beside him? Why was he forced to fight one of Cersei’s lovers as his final battle? Why give Cersei a good death for all she has done? Yet Brienne will be in grief and feel rejected? Why give Jaime and Cersei the same death even after Jaime has grown so much as a person? Nothing matters, right?

    This is a character followed for 8 years by many. He traveled across the country to fight AOTD as a matter of honor – Is this the best GOT could do? Not only for the character but for the viewers that liked him. Damn. Were we to find him going out with his pathetic twin to be romantic and a matter of fate. Hard pass.

    Ok, let me get on with my real life. This is only a stupid story, after all.

  12. Nikolaj have been really great all these years, although season 3 stands out. His story with Brienne was portrayed beautifully on screen.

    About the ending, there was one thing in 8×05 that was even more detrimental to Jaime’s character than his return to Cersei, which, for itself, is controversial. In his last scene with Tyrion, he says: “To be honest, I’ve never really cared much for them, innocent or otherwise”. WTF? One more reason to think that Game of Thrones will present a cynic, nihilistic, hollow message in the end.

    Rather than enriching the characters journey, season 8 is crippling them. This is notorious with Jaime, but also with Jon, Daenerys and Tyrion, arguably three of the four most important characters. If I watch again Brienne and Jaime scene in Harrenhal bath (3×05), I can say “Jaime, you troll”, instead of being moved by the story and Nikolaj’s incredible acting. I fear this season will lesson the rewatch value of the show as a whole.

  13. Great curtain call!

    Loved to read your insights into Jaime’s journey. I agree with you that Jaime’s end didn’t ruin his redemption, and neither made him a less compelling character.

    And NCW was indeed the perfect casting choice. He perfectly captured Jaime’s nuances and conflicts. It is impossible to imagine any other actor playing this role.

  14. I really did not like this character in the books at first, then by the ‘end’ (they aren’t finished yet) I warmed up to him and saw his charm. Wasn’t till the show that I saw his different sides, and realized what a wonderful actor Nik was to show those sides so well.

    What I have never gotten was during his ‘trial’ why didn’t Brienne stand up and tell his story? Or why didn’t he speak up prior, esp when Ned was judging him? But aside from that, I was eager to see his arc. After he knights Brienne I thought that was the top. For me he didn’t need to bed her and then hurt her so badly (and oh why couldn’t he have told her why?)I did expect many different things at the end; not sure how I liked this one, but I certainly appreciated Nik’s acting. RIP jaime, good luck Nik in everything you do next!

  15. Nik has done an excellent job with the character. I’d like to write more, but don’t have time right now and will stick with agreeing with the article writer as far as his portrayal of Jaime.

    Unfortunately, I can’t get past the lack of sense in Jaime’s abrupt decision to leave Brienne and go back to Cersei–right after Bronn showed up and explained what he was there for.

    I’m not a Brienne and Jaime shipper who is not satisfied with anything that doesn’t involve Jaime ending up with Brienne. I have never complained about a single aspect of the show before. I’m someone with a deep appreciation of such a complex, well-written character, his evolution over many seasons, and Nik’s very nuanced acting. I just doesn’t understand why Jaime’s ending was so incredibly badly done.

    From the time he upped and left Brienne, there hasn’t even been a facial expression to convey what on Earth has been going on. There has been a tiny amount of screen time showing Jaime mechanically trying to reach Cersei with no explanation, no nuance, no nothing. It makes no sense and is really such a shame. I’ll never understand Jaime’s end. Such a disappointment for one of the best characters in literature/TV.

  16. And as I was just thinking about Jaime and Nik, I suddenly remembered Lannister on the banister 🙂

  17. Great character and amazing actor!

    Having had close to a week to let it sink in, I am for the most part pleased with his ending. We could have done without that Jaime/Euron fight, but other than that I appreciate the ending he got. There is a sort of humanity in him that he returned to his sister to be with her and comfort her as they died, as horrible as she was. If you really think about it and dig deep, it reveals additional layers of complexity for both characters that makes it work for me.

    The things we do for love, indeed.

  18. Nikolaj is another one where I don’t even know where to begin. He was simply fantastic in portraying all aspects of Jaime Lannister. Through the first couple seasons, I hated Jaime. Aside from Joffrey, he was probably the character I most wanted dead. Nikolaj played his smug arrogance to perfection – an arrogance he could back up with his swordsmanship. However, he was also great in his quieter moments, like his submissiveness in the scene with Tywin, his annoyance when one of his soldiers speared Ned in the leg, his quietly devious conversation with his cousin Alton, and of course, I’ll never forget the way he repeated the Mad King’s last words to Robert – “Burn them all.”

    Over the next couple seasons, the layers of Jaime’s character began to be peeled back, and against all odds, I actually found myself rooting for, and even… LIKING Jaime. Between saving Brienne’s life twice in season 3, to several of his actions in season 4, such as fulfilling his oath to Catelyn by sending Brienne to find Sansa and of course, saving Tyrion from his captivity at the end, Jaime quickly climbed the ranks as one of my favourite characters. And yet… despite his turn to the light, I never once doubted that this was the same character we had been watching through the first two seasons. Nikolaj portrayed the more humanized Jaime perfectly, while also keeping some shades of his darker former self.

    Nikolaj’s facial acting is some of the best I’ve ever seen. Whether it’s smug confidence while fighting an opponent, his broken acting after losing his hand, his frustrations with Cersei, his brotherly love for Tyrion, or his confused affection for Brienne, Nikolaj was able to express it all perfectly, without any dialogue. In my opinion though, his best facial acting is in his scene with Myrcella at the end of season 5, when she accepts him as her father. You can see that it means the world to him to finally be able to acknowledge and love one of his children, and it’s all conveyed without dialogue – only Nikolaj’s face.

    Seeing Jaime finally break away from Cersei to do the right thing by helping the North fight the White Walkers was one of my favourite scenes. Once again, Nikolaj killed it with his facial acting – his disgust for Cersei’s decision could not have been more clear – and his delivery of the line “I don’t believe you.”
    Another favourite scene of mine was his knighting of Brienne. Their relationship is one of my favourites in the series, and that scene legitimately made me tear up. Both Nikolaj and Gwendoline did great. It was also awesome seeing them fight alongside each other during the Battle of Winterfell.

    While I had hoped Jaime would stay with Brienne, him returning to Cersei after he had fulfilled his promise probably makes more sense for his character. And Nikolaj’s acting in his final episode was, once again, on point, both in his final farewell to his Tyrion (another scene I teared up during), and his final moment with Cersei, where he calms her down, allowing her to feel at peace before death. Lena was amazing there too, but I already said that under her Curtain Call.

    Thank you, Nikolaj, for your incredible portrayal of this wonderfully complex and layered character. I hope to see you in more in the future.

  19. 1. The Jaime & Brienne Road Show was second only to the Sandor & Arya Road Show.

    2. It should be against the law for a man to be as good looking as NCW.

  20. I am quite a bit dismayed by the seeming inability of so many posters to understand that Jaime did not regress in the end nor did the show wipe out all the years of his character development.

    Brienne did change him. In her Jaime saw the best a knight can strive for. Jaime of Season 8 is a far cry from Jaime of Season 1. He does love Brienne and left her the way he did because he knew it’s most likely a one-way trip and didn’t want to risk her life in the process. Note how he and Cersei didn’t share a kiss in their last scene. Jaime didn’t return to King’s Landing to help Cersei win the war or aid in some other crazy scheme of hers, he went back to try and save his sister, a person he never truly broke away from. Just because it didn’t end with him and Brienne living happily ever after doesn’t mean it’s not thematically appropriate and a fine end for a beloved character.

    Nikolaj, you are Prince Charming after all.

  21. BigMac,

    Nice job.

    Especially that Jaime always had a duality in him – light and dark. As the series evolved he just used the “light” parts more often. This is what made him such a wonderful character. Even the arrogant, cynical guy we met did have the “light” parts in hidden deep inside. Maybe as a kid, he had believed in honor and knighthood but had become so embittered he forgot how. When he lost his hand and was forced to reconstruct himself, he evolved to using more of the better parts of himself. Of course, he was lucky to have lost his hand when he was with the story’s symbol of goodness and honor and nobility.

    As for GOT, I wonder if next episode we will see Brienne steal and run off the silver and jewelry at Winterfell? It is this kind of story, you know! Nothing matters.

  22. Ten Bears:
    1. The Jaime & Brienne Road Show was second only to the Sandor & Arya Road Show.

    2. It should be against the law for a man to be as good looking as NCW.

    This high praise indeed, to be mentioned in the same breath as Arya.

    NCW is OK….his eyes are a bit squinty for the size of his head. Hahaha!

  23. Also, Westeros MAY know of Jaime’s heroism after all. Don’t forget, Bran knows everything that happened.

  24. This curtain call breaks my heart. I suspected that his death was coming but I still held out hope. I cry every time I watch the scene where he knights Brienne. And the bath scene…such raw emotion.

    I hate saying goodbye to Jaime. At least we aren’t saying goodbye to Nikolaj…a brilliant actor and a good man.

    (Axey: thanks for this beautiful tribute.)

  25. Enjoyed reading the Curtain Call, Axey! I’m glad you highlighted his charitable efforts as well. He is an interesting man. On some late night talk show in the US a few years ago, the conversation turned to the differences between the US and Danish governments, specifically the tax system. I was enjoying it but the host seemed to “not want to go there” and steered the conversation away. But it really showed a different side of him.

    He was also in Kingdom of Heaven, in the early part of it, he was the town sheriff. In the Director’s Cut version there is an additional scene with him not in the theatrical release version.

    I like the end of his story on GOT. People are messy, they can believe one thing and act contrary to that believe to satisfy another motive/s. Others have done a better job than I could do of explaining it here in the article and posts, so I will only say that in their final scene, holding each other, in that enclosed space, it made me think of them in the womb, ending how they began.

  26. Reminder that Curtain Calls are for saluting the actor, only. Keep it respectful. Complaining and/or trolling will be deleted. Thanks!

  27. Great Curtain call and NCW is wonderful and was clearly as all in with Jaime as we were. Kissed by Fire will always have one of my favorite scenes, because of that bath monologue. And what came after with Brienne.
    (Deleted my big sad essay on why I disagree with his character ending, because I’ve said it all before and that has nothing to do with me loving the actor)
    Thank you thank you NCW.

  28. RG:
    Great Curtain call and NCW is wonderful and was clearly as all in with Jaime as we were. Kissed by Fire will always have one of my favorite scenes, because of that bath monologue. And what came after with Brienne.
    (Deleted my big sad essay on why I disagree with his character ending, because I’ve said it all before and that has nothing to do with me loving the actor)
    Thank you thank you NCW.

    If you still have the essay, maybe you could post it on another suitable page. I would like to see it. I am off to the theatre in an hour or so. But will happily exchange thoughts tonight and tomorrow on my favorite fictional person.

    And yea, there is no way F**&%$#@! ded is a good ending. Life is full of possibilities. Death sucks.

  29. Well my post was deleted even though i didn’t complain or said anything controversial, lame ! Having said that, thank you Nikolaj for your wonderful performance across all 8 seasons !

  30. Very fond of Nic, but not enamored of Jamie as seems to be the consensus. The actor is fabulous. The character, not so much. He often took the wrong approach to his position in life. He didn’t marry to continue the family’s lineage, he wasn’t able to protect his children, he didn’t stop Cersei, he had tried to murder a boy and Ned, did murder a cousin, would easily wipe out all of Stark’s army, knowing his son’s claim to the throne was illegitimate.

    Brienne was the best of him and he knew he didn’t deserve it. I was very fine with his going out with Cersei, both having failed to live up the life Tywin imagined for them. They were quite entitled characters. Jamie was more worldly and realistic, but still didn’t manage to control his family. He remained a knight, soldier following orders, and never stepped into his preordained role as a lord of the realm.

    I’m more impressed with the journey of Jon, Gendry, Sam, Tormund, Davos, and Jamie’s more accomplished brother, Tyrion.

  31. Bor Mullet,

    Thank you. This is how I see it. He’s been Cersei’s brother, twin brother at that for life. She was also the love of his life for better or worse and the only woman IMO he ever really truly loved. I think he loved Brienne on a different level, as someone who he admired and wished he could be like. But ultimately, he knew he wasn’t good enough for her. He did terrible things in the name of love for Cersei. Even if he wanted to finally move on and be with someone better, she was still a very big part of his life and knowing she was about to die, he did what many would do in the situation. Try to make peace with that person somehow, even if it meant they would leave the world the same way they came. Together. It was very poetic. She was family!! At one point and for a long time, the closet family member.

    As much as I love Jaime, the things he, Theon and even Hound (the butchers boy) did were things that no matter how much good they did, they needed to eventually pay for. Poor Theon paid for it tenfold.

    I didn’t have a problem with Jamie’s arc. I felt it was complete. Had he killed his sister especially when she was looking for comfort in her last moments, I think that would have ruined his arc.

  32. Another actor who gave a faultless performance for me. I never had an issue with Jaime returning to Cersei. It made sense to me. He wasn’t going to leave her to die alone, he loved her too much for that, so he gave up his own life to be with her at the end. Tragic but very Jaime.
    The Disney side of me would like him to have left a little Lannister behind with Brienne as I think she’d be an amazing mum lol. No doubt that won’t happen though.

    I hadn’t heard of Nikolaj before GOT. I hope to see more of him from now on. Sounds like a lovely guy and he’s a very talented actor.

  33. onefromaway,

    two cents more…When I first started watching GOT I did not care much about Jamie but through the story and NCW’s acting, I did. Because I can be set in my ways, when an actor does that, it always impresses me. Great work and thank you Nikolaj Coster Waldau and RIP Jamie.

  34. After Jaime and Cersei had their talk about a dynasty and heir to the throne in S7 E1. Cercei thought of her final con that she was pregnant so Tyrion and Jaime would do everything they could do to keep Cersei alive and in power.

    Cersei knew she couldn’t get pregnant again and she also knew if she died that either Tyrion or Jaime would be King of the Seven Kingdoms and she didn’t want that to happen. So Cersei (inspired by Tywin love of family and dynasty) said she was pregnant. After their talk in S7 E7 Tyrion believed Cersei’s con and did everything he could to keep Cersei alive. Cersie didn’t kill Tyrion in S7 E7 because Daenerys had her whole army outside Kings Landing and would have attacked and Cersei knew Tyrion would do everything he could to keep her alive. Cersei is pure Evil!!!!!!!!

    When Bronn told Tyrion and Jaime Cersei paid him to kill them, they should have realized Cersei was lying about being pregnant. S8 E2 Tyrion told Jaime you always knew what Cersei was and Jaime just accepted it so I don’t see how they didn’t figure it out by S8 E2. Tyrion had to know Cersei was not pregnant after the Mountain killed Missandai.

    In Jaime and Cersei’s final scene… Cersei is still trying to con Jaime one more time, Cersie mentions their baby trying to get Jaime to do everything possible to save her, Cersei realizes she is going to die and repeats “I don’t want to die”. Jaime knows Cersei is not pregnant and forgives her anyway when he says… “look me in my eyes – All that matter is us”

    I think Jaime is crazy for dying with Cersei but obviously Jaime was as sick and twisted as Cersei –

    Cersei Lannister played the Game of Thrones until the very last seconds of her life… when Cersei lost playing the Game of Thrones … Cersei died

  35. If Daemon Targaryen was the Rogue Prince, Ser Jaime Lannister was the Rogue Knight. Nikolaj made Jaime capable of anything – cruel, chivalrous, self-centered, generous, thoughtful, amoral. . .a bad boy with a romantic streak. My reaction the first two seasons was “I can’t stand this guy, although he is hot-looking”. After S3 I was totally gone for him. 😍😂

    Besides Brienne, Ned, Cersei and Tywin, my other favorite Jaime scenes were with Tyrion and Catelyn. Nik’s chemistry with Peter and Michelle Fairley was terrific. You could see and feel how much Jaime and Tyrion loved each other and would do anything for the other. What I found interesting with Jaime and Catelyn was despite the hurtful conversations between the two, there was the sense Jaime actually admired Catelyn deep down. . .maybe had a crush on her even. (Check out Nik’s and Michelle’s hilarious commentary on the S3 DVDs and you’ll know what I mean.)

    I knew of Nikolaj before GoT from a 2008 Fox TV show called “New Amsterdam,” where he played a man who couldn’t get old until he found his true love. Michael Fassbender was my first choice for Jaime, but there is no doubt now Nik was born for this role. As with Lena and Cersei, Nik and Jaime deserved a better end, but I’m glad I had the opportunity to witness such a great character on screen.

    And I do hope Nikolaj and Gwen Christie work together again on something. Badass action thriller or sexy rom-com, doesn’t matter. Can’t let all that great chemistry go to waste. 😏

  36. I’m late to the Curtain Call and, once again, cannot write anything that others have not already written far better than I could manage right now.

    Thank you, Axechucker, for this truly stellar tribute to Nikolaj. He made me give a damn about a character I would have gladly killed at the end of S1 Ep1. As with so many other performers on GoT, his brilliance in the role will encourage me to seek out his other work.

    Of all the scenes in which NCW burned bright, and there are many, among my favorites are two brief, wordless ones. My favorite moment in all of S7 is Jaime leaving KL on the black horse, looking up at the sky as snow begins to fall on the golden hand he has just covered. And the final moments of S8 Ep1, when he registers that the person in the wheelchair is Bran and they lock eyes, is an absolute stunner. I jumped off the couch and screamed. I’d been waiting for that reunion for years, and NCW delivered, in just a few seconds’ time, a subtle, quiet, multilayered performance that in a lesser actor’s face would have been either wooden or hammy.

    Thank you, Nikolaj, for everything—for both your incredible work on GoT and, more important, your incredible work irl.

  37. Upon slow-motion 4K rewatch of S1Ep1, I can clearly tell that Jaime was distracted by Cersei as he tried to pull Bran inside the tower. Bran’s fall was entirely an accident, and Jaime blamed himself for it. From the very beginning of the show, Jaime has had to hide so much within. It tore him up inside and the pressure built up until the moment he visited his dead nephew, Joffrey, in the sept. His grief and fatigue became too much and he collapsed on his sister and she screamed “No! No! No!”

    Simply an amazing portrayal of a tragic, misunderstood character. Bravo, Nikolaj! And just when he and Cersei were going to tell Arya the truth about how they hurt Bran, the castle collapses on them! Ugh! His story ended so soon, so tragic, without any redemption. Why? Why? It’s a gut-wrenching end to such a fascinating character!

    Even when Jaime feigned interest in a crazed Renly Baratheon supporter to gain the favor of Starks and Targaryens alike, Nikolaj could do no wrong. He was a true mummer when necessary, as well as a lover and a fighter! I will miss his charisma and charm until the end of this series.

    🙂 Thanks, Nikolaj. You had us all fooled.

  38. Nikolai from day one WAS Jaime Lannister. Incredible job. Bravo.

    also, captain of our ship, HMS #braime

  39. No, no, no, no. Didn’t happen, didn’t happen, didn’t happen… he’s perfectly fine under the rubble despite his stab wounds.

  40. firstone,

    I think Jaime is crazy for dying with Cersei but obviously Jaime was as sick and twisted as Cersei –

    Were you paying attention to the arc of the character? Was he cruel at time (threatening to Edmure that he’d kill his son) yes. But scheming, paranoid power hungry Cersei. No,not even close)

  41. Outstanding tribute to one of the best characters in both books and show. I will forever side-eye certain decisions made about his direction on the show, but given what he had to work with, Nikolaj fuckin’ killed this role. It’s really testament to how good he was that I still loved his portrayal even when the writing, like Jonaerys, was a mistake.

    Let it be known that I was always in favor of the nose, by the way. PROUD NOSES RULE.

  42. If I could go back and tell my Season 1, Ep 1 self that I would grow to love the arrogant, privileged sister effer, I’d call me delusional. And yet, NCW’s portrayal made me do just that, so bravo!

  43. Great one, Axey, thank you!

    I am still mourning, but I accept the way Jaime’s death came to happen – fight with Euron excluded: that one will never seem right to me. Agreeing that the end did justice to the character is a different matter, but so be it. We don’t get to choose who we love, nor how our favourite characters end… 😉
    I am grateful to the Thrones people for the amount of oh so many talented artists they have gathered and brought to us watchers over these many years. Nikolaj Coster-Waldau quickly became one of my favourites, second only to Peter Dinklage.
    Someone mentioned non-verbal acting. The way Nikolaj keeps “being” Jaime and portraying Jaime’s feelings, thoughts, reactions, with a move of the head, or a side look, or a silence always amazes me.
    So, thank you mr. Coster-Waldau, this one wishes you good fortune in the movies to come.

  44. 6thofhisname:
    Bor Mullet,

    Had he killed his sister especially when she was looking for comfort in her last moments, I think that would have ruined his arc.

    I’m in complete agreement on this point. As much as I thought Jaime would be the one to kill Cersei I would never have believed that would be the way.

    For me, Jaime and Theon were, by several orders of magnitude, the most complicated and difficult characters to bring to life. I’m so grateful for the sensitivity and nuance that Nikolai breathed into Jaime.

    Many of the most affecting scenes of the series for me centre around Jaime and Nikolai’s magical portrayal of him. The realist in me never honestly believed he would survive the series, but I’ll be damned if my heart didn’t hold out some level of hoping nevertheless.

    Thank you, Axechucker, for the gorgeous portrait of someone who is clearly a beautiful human being through and through.

    Thank you Nikolai for pouring your heart and soul into Jaime <3

    P.S. Nose too big?? Good gods internet; this is why we can't have nice things.

  45. I hate all those curtain calls. Don’t want all those interesting characters to die! Love Jaime, love Varys, love Sandor….
    You’ve been wonderful Nikolaj. Really nice to see Jaime’s evolution. Very well done!

  46. I. Can’t. Even.

    I’ve been depressed all week about Jaime’s unsatisfying ending.

    And I thought for certain that the Golden Hand meant something important. Turns out, it was just a bloody golden hand, nothing more, LOL.

    Still, I am forever grateful to Nik for making the complex Jaime Lannister into my favorite character, surpassing Tyrion in that role previously.

    I only wish fictional Jaime could have loved himself just half as much as we viewers loved him. I will always wear my Lannister t-shirt proudly, for you Nik, and for the marvelous Jaime you gifted us with.

  47. I love a man who loves his wife with abandon and shows it.
    Nik was an incredible Jaime. How we loved to hate him at first, then just love love love him.
    Axey you are 100% right (after being 100% wrong lol) – while we would have loved the happy ending for Jaime and Brienne – the ending we got was a real GoT ending. Of all the moments that can be called bitter sweet – this is the bitterest sweetest. And of all the actors that could have brought Jaime Lannister alive – Nik was the man.
    Thank you for a beautiful tribute to a much loved character.
    Ps I prefer him scruffy looking 😉
    Pss I invested in Braime pretty confidently and got a Bear and The Maiden Fair tattoo very early on. I love those two together so much!

  48. That unforgettable scene: Tywin trying to school Jamie by word and deed, skinning and cleaning the deer himself, rather than having someone do it for him, calling on Jamie to be the man he was meant to be, and we catch a glimpse of the real Jamie for the first time. That gap between how he is perceived and what he really wants to be. IMHO, he was that man in the end. Thank you NCW.

  49. Nikolaj is an absolute joy to follow on social media. He always comes across as someone with a goofy sense of humour and a bit of a trickster, who loves his life and his family.

    I didn’t know there was an ‘issue’ with his nose, ffs. But then, it was the first thing that attracted me to him physically. I like quirks. 😉

    It’s not that I didn’t like Jaime at first, I simply didn’t really register him as particularly noteworthy. Just an arse who shoved Bran out the window, had a creepy relationship with his sister, and was that guy everyone knew in university that tried a bit too hard to give off a rakish persona.

    Then he killed my Jory. Oh, the rage. It was my first true “I hate you” feeling in the series!

    Shortly after that episode, I was in Costco and bought the boxed set of the book series, read them all, and Jaime became a favourite. His relationship with Brienne, his much more obvious break with Cersei (“and Moonboy for all I know”, yes, we get it!), everything. And boy did Nikolaj do Jaime justice. What is called his “redemption arc” was wonderful to see played out through the seasons. We all saw it, there are too many scenes to count. My personal favourites are with Brienne, when he gives her the armour and the sword, when he says it “will always be yours”, the little wave after defeating the Blackfish, staring at Tarth from the ship, “fuck loyalty”, etc. And my favourite love scene in the show is when he knights Brienne. Chills.

    “I don’t believe you” to Cersei, his aiding Tyrion’s escape (and vice versa in the most recent episode), and his scene with Myrcella accepting him and then abruptly dying in his arms.

    I was surprised to find out how much I cared about Jaime, somewhere along the way. He snuck up on me. But I still loathe him for murdering his cousin.

    I just freakin love Nikolaj. My favourite interviews include him and Gwen bantering.

    Watch “Mama”. Watch “Shot Caller”. Follow him on Instagram. Nik is a lovely guy, period, and a fantastic actor.

  50. Rest in Power, Ser Jaime Lannister. My favorite character in the books, brought to the screen by a man seemingly born to portray him.
    NCW. So much respect. Thank you, and good luck. Thanks Axe, for a wonderful tribute.

  51. Nikolaj was truly the perfect Jamie. He simply nailed the arrogance and superficiality of the character that later evolved into something more complex.

    I was never a Jamie admirer, either in the books or the show. While I could see the charm in the character, it was never enough to offset my first impression of his pushing a child so nonchalantly to his death. Brienne and Tyrion made him more sympathetic but in my eyes his arrogant demeanor was a facade to hide a man who had no idea who he was and only a flitting memory of who he once wanted to be. Cersei was his center, his compass, she moved the needle and he followed. Jamie, unlike his twin sister, was capable of empathy but simply lack the fortitude of character to ever truly break away from his father and his sister, though he made a few attempts in his life. But in a world of Tywins, Cerseis, Rooses, Ramsays, Eurons and daresay Daenerys, Jamie was not an evil or cruel man. He was simply a man who loved the wrong person deeply and truly and it took him to his grave. In the past, I entertained the idea that Jamie could indeed be the Valonqar but what I never doubted was that his destiny was to die along with Cersei. I didn’t find Jamie’s ending dark at all, I found it realistic. Actions have consequences, Jamie blindly supported Cersei for much of his life, Cersei was too ambitious and was eventually going to fall, it only follows that Jamie would fall with her.

    Anyway, thanks to Nikolaj for playing the character as brilliantly as he did. Every facet of the character as described by GRRM was fully displayed by this talented actor.

  52. Mango:
    To me, Jaime represented hope – hope that even as adults we can find our better selves. Hope that we can put messy mistakes behind us and find a better path. Hope that by leading with love can make a difference. Hope that the misunderstood will find acceptance. Hope that we can escape the burdens of family and find our own path. His relationship with Brienne offered hope that people that are unconventional can find love and that we can escape a toxic relationship and find new love.

    All this ended, crushed under brick. Damn. I would have preferred a death on the battlefield with Brienne beside him. The knighting scene was a glorious tribute to Jaime and Brienne.

    I fully agree with you. I was sure Jaime was meant to die in Brienne’s arms. But Axechucker‘s analysis gave me confort.

  53. “Family, Duty, Honor.”
    “In this order?”.
    Jaime was such a Tully, at heart. Maybe that’s why I loved his scenes with Catelyn so much. Struggling with the right order for these words. Till the end.
    NCW indeed made him unique.

  54. I had feared the moment of this curtain call, because it seemed like a curtain call for both Braime and redemption. I was feeling like shouting: “What if this is as good as it gets?” (Jack Nicholson in one of my favourite films)
    But then I read one of the most beautiful tributes ever. Thank you, Axechucker, for blending video, music, language learning, humour and an original point of view, which I need to adopt in order to be at peace with Jaime’s demise. I know that wanting to overcome your limitations doesn’t equal managing to do it, but still. Brienne could think, Casablanca style: “We’ll always have Winterfell.”
    I remember Mango writing “NCW will be fine” and luckily that’s damn true. I am very glad that Nikolaj, wonderful person, brilliant actor and handsome man (fine nose, btw), has a beautiful family and a story of success to tell. After small parts (I was surprised to discover him in Oblivion and re-watched Black Hawk Down looking for him) and films which I had re-watched only for his sake, he got the lead parts in Small Crimes and Shot Caller, playing complex characters. I’m tempted to elaborate more about these two films, but I haven’t used the spoiler code for years, so I won’t say more for fear I might spoil something.
    After the penultimate episode I promised to give up drinking Lowenbrau beer (my personal superstition for keeping Jaime alive by the magical power 🙂 of the lion on the label), but somehow I find myself drinking Carlsberg beer, which happens to be Danish.
    Cheers, Nikolaj, be part of lots of good films!

  55. Oh my, so much to say, and my laptop keyboard broke so I have to type on my tablet – a real pain.

    First of all, thank you, Nikolaj, for being the perfect Jaime!

    NCW could do the sword fights – even left-handed when he wasn’t all that good – and his nose is just fine, giving his face character. He could portray Jaime’s arrogance and menace – just go watch that Riverrun scene with Edmure (Tobias Menzies). Btw, I love how that scene was lit, Jaime’s face half in light, half in darkness.

    But NCW could do so much more. Jaime’s frustration and disappointment when he was trying to be a better man and few apart from Brienne believed him because of his reputation. Another Riverrun scene, the one with Blackfish, is an example. Blckfish (a boyhood idol of Jaime) was disappointed, but so was Jaime, and NCW portrayed it so well.

    I never quite bought the Jaime + Cersei = greatest (if toxic) love story of all time, but maybe that’s a function of how I came to GoT in the first place. I binge watched S3 first (yes, really. And it was a bit confusing! 😂) so my first introduction to Jaime was this lady knight dragging this ragged man throuh a hedge. His banter that suddendly turns quite philosophical, back to banter, then serious, more equal. NCW’s and Gwendoline Christie’s chemistry was palpable, and I decided I wanted to see more of this series, so binge watched S1 and S2 and then from S4 onwards live. NCW’s portrayal of Jaime Lannister is one of the original reasons why I became a fan of this show. So, well done, Nikolaj!

    My favourite scenes will always be the Jaime and Brienne scenes, too numerous to mention. Him knighting her was the culmination, the spiritual consummation. I think it was in some of the interviews or bts featurettes that Nik was so in the moment that for a while he thought he’d actually knighted Gwen. Those two obviously loved working together and their great chemistry comes through on screen and in their joint interviews. I think it was the S6 red carpet premiere, Gwen couldn’t be there because she was filming something else, and Nik leaned right into an interviewer’s camera with a happy smile and a hand wave, “Hi Gwen! I wish you were here!”

    Nikolaj also had great chemistry with Peter Dinklage. Their portrayal of brotherly love rings true. It’s touching, at times even humorous, but never sickly sweet.

    NCW and Jerome Flynn had good rapport as well, but by that time I was a bit tired of the Bronn character… and much of it took place in the infamous Dorne… 🤐

    NCW’s scenes with Charles Dance (Tywin) are suberb, displaying yet another side to Jaime’s character. First in S1 the truculent teenager being berated by his father, then standing up to this overbearing parent, only to be outwitted by him. NCW brought it all to life so well.

    OK, got to stop for a while now, but will be back with more…

  56. Shy Lady Dragon: “We’ll always have Winterfell.”

    Thanks for this great reference!

    And thanks to Axechucker for a beautifully written curtain call. I agree fully that this was a meaningful ending for Jaime. He did not die in the arms of the of the woman he loved, he died supporting and comforting his sister. True knights don’t live happily ever after

  57. OK, I’m back now, with more NCW/Jaime stuff. (Seriously, I could write pages and pages, but I’ll try to be as brief and to the point as I can.)

    Several posters above have commented on NCW’s incredible face acting. I wholeheartedly agree. The best recent example is in 801 when Jaime arrives in Winterfell, looks around, sees Bran. NCW infused those few seconds with such a range of thoughts and emotions. “Well, here I am at last, who would’ve thunk after so many years… That kid, alive and well… No, not well, he’s a cripple… I’m screwed… I did that.” From a kind of self-satisfaction and half-amused wonder to surprise, shock, fear to remorse. Bravo, Nikolaj!

    I have to bring up three scenes from all the way back in S1 that show early signs of a different facet to Jaime’s character, all suberbly played by NCW. First there’s that strange, mocking handshake between Jaime and Jon Snow. “It’s only for life.” But it seems to me Jaime was mocking himself. He was once a young and idealistic knight, joining a knightly order for life, and it turned sour, serving the Mad King, watching him commit atrocities, powerless, bound by oaths, until he did the right thing and destroyed his reputation forever (and then proceeded to live up to that reputation because what did it matter anymore?) It’s a show-only scene, and many book readers thought it was put there to establish a connection between Jaime and Jon Snow. In the books Jaime feels guilt for failing to protect Rhaegar’s children. He couldn’t have, the Mountain and Amory Lorch were killing them even as Jaime killed the Mad King, but the point is that Jaime feels guilt about it. So lots of book readers thought there’d be a connection between Jaime and Rheagar’s last remaining child, Jon Snow. In the end, the show never explored this. Ho-hum.

    Anyway, the two other scenes from S1 are more important, and display NCW’s acting skill in subtly displaying that there’s more to Jaime Lannister than that arrogant, child-defenestrating arsehole. I dunno, it could be easy to miss on a first watch, but I watched S3 first, then S1 and S2, and it’s even more obvious on rewatches.

    First there’s the scene of drunken Robert and Barristan Selmy swapping war stories. Jaime is outside, guarding the door, but Bobby B invites him in, asks about his first kill (some outlaw when Jaime was 15). Bobby B asks, any last words? Jaime, arrogant and suave as ever, “No. I cut his head off.” Bobby B then goes on to taunt Jaime, the king you killed, did he have any last words? And here NCW subtly changes from arrogance to traumatised youth, “Only what he’d been saying all day. Burn them all.” Camera focuses on NCW’s/Jaime’s face. Brilliant acting on NCW’s part!

    Then there’s that scene where Jaime guards the door to Bobby B’s apartment, all kinds of whoring is going on, and Jory comes with a message from Ned. NCW was brilliant in that scene. From bitterness at guarding Bobby B’s door while he dishonoured his sister, to a momentary rapport with Jory, remembering the Greyjoy rebellion and shared experiences, to Jaime snapping back to his arrogant and rude persona. NCW played the discomfort Jaime was feeling about multiple things so well. Plus this brief moment of shared experiences of course made it all the more horrible when Jaime killed Jory. 😭 I really, really liked Jory.😢

    Even more about the brilliant NCW and the wonderfully complex Jaime in a bit – I’m trying to cook dinner here 😀

  58. NCW is such a skilled actor! He took the role of Jaime and believably made a man who would attempt to murder a child into a beloved and vulnerable character.

    If you have not see NCW in other roles, at least check out the movie, Headhunters. It is so fabulous; everyone in it is fabulous.

  59. Jamie was such a complex ,at times tortured, individual played to perfection by NCW.
    Many thanks Nik for making me love and hate the Golden Knight at the same moments in time. There are too many wonderful or awful scenes to count that showcased your immense talent.

  60. NCW has always been so enthusiastic about the character he got to play on GoT. Not a straight up hero or villain but somebody vacillating in between. It must be every serious actor’s dream job.

    That said, Nikolaj was one of the biggest “Braime” shippers. I remember an interview after S6, which ended up with Cersei blowing up the Sept and Jaime returning to see her crown herself as the Queen, Jaime’s ambiguous, not happy look. In interviews he initially said, how does Jaime come back from this? He seemed genuinely delighted, thinking Braime.

    But once he read the scripts for S7 (and S8), he became professional again. NCW did a great, professional job with what he was given. His scene with Diana Rigg (Olenna Tyrell) was stellar. Sure, Diana carried it but Nikolaj held up his end well enough. Didn’t Olenna say Cersei would be the death of him?

    Book readers, even “Braimes” such as myself, know “Braime” is just but a dream and Cersei will the death of him. Jaime will die with Cersei in the books (if they ever get written/published). Jaime died with Cersei in the show. Everything Tywin and Cersei (and even Tyrion) had tried to build, the might of the Lannisters, the Red Keep a symbol of it, came crashing down over their heads. Perfect.

    And what was Jaime’s end? He never wanted power, never wanted to rule (hello! Jon Snow!) He went along because of love and family loyalty. Kind of like the Starks are supposedly so great for being family loyal.

    Nikolaj played the Brienne knighting scene to perfection. That was peak Braime. Later, their wonderfully awkward seduction scene was so true to character, perfectly played by Nik and Gwen. Hilarious, touching. “Uh, it’s so hot in here!” Sure, Jaime, lol. The lamest pick up line ever! 😂 But Brienne, Gwen, took charge. Lovely, empowering. Jaime, NCW with the perfect delivery, “I’ve never slept with a knight before.” (Sounds seven hells better than “I’ve never slept with anybody but my sister before.” lol!)

    And as soon as they kissed (and I’m glad we didn’t get anything more explicit), you knew it was doomed. Confirmed by the afterwards scene, Brienne sleeping happily, Jaime looking at her, then at the ceiling. NCW once again nailing it with no words, just some body language and facial expressions.

    Now, I have a real problem with rabid fans hating on this because Jaime had a one-night stand with Brienne and then skedaddled it back to Cersei. Like… Maybe it’s because the scenes were so close together so you might be confused. But it’s clear Jaime and Brienne have been living their dream for at least two, three, four weeks. First got it on on the day of the funeral/victory celebration.

    That didn’t happen the next day after the battle! It would’ve taken days to clean up, clear up the castle itself, then build all those funeral pyres. Fans complaining the funeral was the next day really don’t understand how time is depicted in a visual medium. Scenes of clearing up the dead, building the pyres aren’t really interesting. Seeing the funeral ceremony IS interesting.

    Anyway, Jaime and Brienne get it on on the night of the funeral/victory celebration. The minimum time that passes is the next day, the war council, and the next day when troops leave. Then Jaime, who has chosen to remain in WF, stays put. All loved up with Brienne. Until Dany and her forces reach Dragonstone (a week riding to White Harbour, a week sailing to Dragonstone at the least) and news of the ambush reach Winterfell by raven (a day or two more), only then Jaime decides to go south, and he and Brienne both know it’s probably to his death.

    It was such a heart-breaking scene. I felt for both Jaime and Brienne, and Nikolaj and Gwen, who shot it out of the park.

    As to Jaime’s end, I’ve made my peace with it, I can see why it was good, even necessary. (Still don’t like the gratuotuos Jaime & Euron fight, but the Danes Nik and Pilou are old friends – Pilou apparently was even hired by Nik to be a nanny to his two young girls when Pilou was a young, struggling actor – so they enjoyed “Danebowl”.

    Only one thing remains to discuss. NCW’s/Jaime’s last scene. NCW has in interviews stated that his last scene was “beautiful”. And it was. Jaime spent his last moments in life to quite literally see his relationship with Cersei, his life, had come to a dead end. But what he chose to do was selfless. He comforted the breaking, freaking Cersei. The things I do for love, eh. Jaime’s story has always been about love, however misguided. He went out true to his character (in the show), and Nikolaj showed it to us.

    Lots of fans, myself included, thought Jaime was going back to take out Cersei. But, really, would we have liked Jame more if his last act had been killing his sister, his twin sister? To be a kinslayer? (he isn’t in the books, though the show made him worse, Cersei more sympathetic for understandable reasons.) Would Jaime killing Cersei really have been a good thing for his character arc?

    No. I don’t think so. D&D shied away from it, GRRM might yet go down that road.

    Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and Lena Heady made Jaime’s and Cersei’s last moments so beautiful, so human. Huge kudos to both actors.

    And a huge thank you to Nikolaj Coster-Waldau for bringing Jaime to life for us. All the best in all your future endeavours!

    And I like the nose.

  61. I have one more thing to add about this character and performance.

    One of the reasons that Jaime loved Brienne is because she is one of the very few people who sees him as a person – not a monster, not a symbol, but a person.

    I think in the dark hours of the night in Winterfell, Jaime realized something – that he is quite possibly the only person in the world that still sees Cersei as a person in that way. Has she done monstrous things? Yes. But like him there is a person beneath that.

    Jaime wanted to give to Cersei what Brienne gave to him. Acknowledgement that he is loved and seen by another. Whether he deserves it or not.

  62. QueenofThrones,

    Very nice insight, food for thought. Jaime is such a complex character (especially books) that new ways of looking at him and his actions are always interesting.

    Nikolaj Coster-Waldau was apparently over the moon to get such a juicy, meaty, complex role, every serious actor’s dream. And given the chance, he shot it out of the park.

  63. talvikorppi,

    Nice series. I enjoyed all!

    NCW still has not said his social media formal goodbye to his Jaime fans, I suppose over the next few days. NCW is still liking tweets from Jaime/Brienne fans. Gwen has also not said goodbye to NCW & Jaime in her social media. EW still has not published NCW”s standard final interview for dead characters. Today, Emilia has issued a goodbye note for Daenerys and she is not even dead yet but I suppose HBO pr is trying to prepare her irate fans.

    I suppose over the next few days, we will get something from NCW. I am sure he will be upbeat and I am sure he enjoyed playing Jaime. Besides the financial windfall, it must have been a joy to play such a complex character.

  64. Mango,

    Ah, Mango, I remember how convinced you were that Jaime would live. I didn’t have the heart to tell you Jaime is doomed, book and show, 99% sure. I don’t have the heart to tell you “I told you so” – except I just did. 🙁

    Take heart in one of my fan fic fantasies. Jaime wakes up next to Brienne. “Whoa, I just had this really bad dream!” 😉

    I’m sure Nik and Gwen could pull off such an implausible scene, great actors that they are.

  65. Such a fantastic actor playing a polarising character whom I thought was no more than an arrogant villain in S1!

  66. talvikorppi:

    Ah, Mango, I remember how convinced you were that Jaime would live. I didn’t have the heart to tell you Jaime is doomed, book and show, 99% sure. I don’t have the heart to tell you “I told you so” – except I just did.

    Take heart in one of my fan fic fantasies. Jaime wakes up next to Brienne. “Whoa, I just had this really bad dream!”

    I’m sure Nik and Gwen could pull off such an implausible scene, great actors that they are.

    Yes, you just did! Hahahaha!

    Yes, I did really hope that he would make it! I always, however, said that I was willing to be the crackpot to do so as I could until the events proved otherwise. Why make myself miserable beforehand – especially about a fictional event. The books are unfinished so why assume what where the writer is going?

    The Jaime character as he appears in the GOT series has big “nuance” and arc, and I think that a character that carried so much work by the creators was less disposable. Also, Jaime and Brienne seemed to be the major healthy love story of the series, leading me to bet that this would be carried to the end. Every long series deserves a good love story. I was surprised when that romance lasted about 20 mins of screen time.

    Alas, I enjoyed cheering for his survival…I do not regret it at all!

  67. Mango,

    Especially because Jaime and Brienne were portrayed so wonderfully by Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and Gwendoline Christie. Two such great actors with such amazing chemistry.

  68. talvikorppi:

    Especially because Jaime and Brienne were portrayed so wonderfully by Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and Gwendoline Christie. Two such great actors with such amazing chemistry.

    Yes! Exactly.

    They really embodied a couple that one would want to see end the series together – a just man and an honorable woman in love. Instead a romantic connection slowly built from S2 just went up in a puff of smoke. Sigh.

    Gwen kept saying that GRRM told her they were playing Beauty and the Beast – and those two in most versions end up together. But this is GOT.

  69. Mango,

    As far as I know, Martin’s take on Beauty and the Beast is “SanSan”. I’ve never heard him mention Jaime and Brienne in that sense.

  70. Mr Fixit:

    As far as I know, Martin’s take on Beauty and the Beast is “SanSan”. I’ve never heard him mention Jaime and Brienne in that sense.

    Gwen Christie said it in a print interview. I read it (I think!) and the Gwen comment is often discussed on sites interested mainly in this relationship. I have no idea why she would say so if GRRM did not say so. GRRM was fairly involved in a few of the Jaime/Brienne scenes when in S1-S4 when he was more active on the writing/production of the series.

  71. Mr Fixit:

    As far as I know, Martin’s take on Beauty and the Beast is “SanSan”. I’ve never heard him mention Jaime and Brienne in that sense.

    From her interview :

    In Christie’s words, Brienne of Tarth is “a noble misfit.” When she sat down with George R.R. Martin after getting cast, he told her the story arc Jaime Lannister “was conceived as Beauty and the Beast with gender roles reversed.” Christie said “we talked for a long time about Brienne because he had, as he put it, ‘the advantage of being able to shine a torch around her mind’.”

  72. In much the same way that I was at a loss for words at how to pay appropriate tribute to Lena and Cersei Lannister, the same is true for Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and Jaime Lannister, which is only fitting, given how closely the two have been and always will be aligned.

    Jaime has always been my favorite character in this story, and Nikolaj played him to perfection for all eight seasons on Game of Thrones. What he accomplished with this incredibly complicated, brilliantly written character was extraordinary, and I’ll always be grateful for everything that he gave to this once-in-a-lifetime role. There has been no greater gift than watching him bring this character to rich and vivid life onscreen, and to leave the show with an ending as perfect as any I could have ever imagined.

    Jaime died protecting his Queen, but Nikolaj will carry on and continue to do outstanding work. They will both have a special place in my heart forever.

  73. Thanks for doing him justice Axey! See you all (including Nik!!!) at Con of Thrones to continue 😉

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