How Game Of Thrones Destroyed Jaime Lannister
No one’s a fan of how Game of Thrones eventually ended and handled its finale. But, the rot is far deeper than that. The HBO Original also managed to destroy a lot of characters and their arcs. It hurts even more when you realize that the A Song of Ice and Fire series treated these characters right, and their arcs were there, but the showrunners turned a blind eye towards it. One of them started off as a real monster, who slept with his sister and pushed a child off of a tower window as he caught him doing the deed. But, George R.R. Martin managed to make him one of the most likable characters in the series, with an exceptional redemption arc. That character is, as most of you must have guessed by now, Jaime Lannister.
Jaime Lannister did not care about honor, but about lives
Jaime had a genuine regard for human life and would go out of his way to sacrifice his honor in trying to save as many people as possible. He did it first by killing the Mad King, Aerys Targaryen II, which prevented the city of King’s Landing from being burnt by Pyromancers. But, that wasn’t the only time when Jaime painted himself a monster to protect people.
In the books, he did it again by ending the siege of Riverrun bloodlessly. He did so by telling Edmure Tully that he would storm Riverrun and decimate it. He scared Edmure into believing that Jaime would let Tully Bannermen, Frey Bannermen, and his own die if that’s what it took to take over the castle. On the contrary, Jaime’s own track record in battle suggests otherwise. And if that wasn’t enough, Jaime Lannister was in some ways the only “woke” boy in Westeros!
Jaime Lannister is the only “woke” person in Westeros
Yeah, it might seem strange but it is true that Jaime Lannister was the only “woke” man in the 7 kingdoms. For example, he was the only man who understood the concept of marital rape in a feudalistic society. Jaime understood that the screams of horror that came out of the Mad King’s bed chambers were wrong. He knew Aerys was raping his wife Rhaella Targaryen, at the age of 15! He was in ways more sympathetic to women in all of Westeros than any other character!
And if that wasn’t enough, Jaime was also not homophobic. He rebuked Cersei’s claims immediately when she said that being gay made Loras Tyrell any less of a man. Moreover, he genuinely tried to be a good father to Tommen, unlike Joffrey, who he believed was a lost cause. Jaime told Tommen to look up to Loras Tyrell, a gay and less of a man in the eyes of many, as a role model. How is that not woke?
How Jaime raping Cersei made no sense whatsoever and never happened in the books
This is the one plot element that the showrunners decided to put by themselves, which made no sense whatsoever. Jaime was the only man in the entire Game of Thrones and A Song of Ice and Fire universe who saw rape as a crime at the age of 15, even if the two people involved are married. Yet, they went with Jaime raping Cersei in the great sept of Baelor right next to their first born’s dead body? In the books, it was not a rape. Cersei consented to Jaime in the sept clearly.
This is so out of place for Jaime, because he was willing to protect Queen Rhaella from the Mad King himself! 15-year-old Jaime was willing to go protect the queen against the king because he was raping her. He protected Brienna of Tarth from the Bloody Mummers who wanted to rape her. How could a man, who understood the concept of rape better than anyone, would rape Cersei himself? What was even the point of using rape as a failed plot device yet again and making Jaime less of a man?
He got over Cersei too in the books
Unlike Game of Thrones, in A Song of Ice and Fire, Jaime Lannister actually got over his Cersei addiction. In the show, David Benioff and D.B. Weiss tried to portray Jaime and Cersei as some sort of tragic love story. However, the reality was that it was a toxic relationship, and it wasn’t just because it was an incestuous relationship.
Cersei had manipulated Jaime throughout their relationship. From becoming a member of Aerys’s Kingsguard to pushing a young boy from a tower, Jaime did all that at Cersei’s will. However, unlike the show, Jaime saw through eventually what Cersei put her through. It first happened when Jaime refused to take the seat of Hand of the King for Cersei. At the time, he started to see the paranoia and dysfunctional human being through her beauty.
But, the final nail in the coffin for Jaime was when he learned that Cersei had cheated on him. That happened when his cousin, Lancel Lannister confessed to sleeping with Cersei. Upon learning that, Jaime truly burned all bridges with Cersei. Even when Cersei wrote Jaime a letter, letting him know that the High Sparrow had imprisoned her, Jaime simply burned the letter, not caring at all for the one woman he loved all his life. Loyalty was that important for Jaime, and unlike the show, Jaime got over her in A Song of Ice and Fire. He realized how she used him, and eventually broke away for good. But, the showrunners did Jaime Lannister dirty again by not letting him become the infamous Valonqor.
Jaime was supposed to be the Valonqor
Valonqor is a word from Classic High Valyrian, and it means “little brother”. Maggy the Frog, a maegi (a prophet), prophesized Cersei’s life, saying:
And when your tears have drowned you, the Valonqar shall wrap his hands about your pale white throat and choke the life from you.
For years, fans speculated that Tyrion Lannister would be the Valonqor. But, by all means, it was more befitting for Jaime to kill Cersei and end up becoming the Valonqor. He was younger than Cersei by a matter of seconds, and she betrayed and manipulated him all his life for her twisted schemes. But, the showrunners instead threw Jaime back into Cersei’s arms without any respect for Jaime’s redemption arc.
Twitter user @bluemagicboxes even theorized that the final scene between Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen was actually supposed to be the scene where Jaime kills Cersei. And it’s heartbreaking, knowing how Game of Thrones deprived Jaime Lannister of having the perfect end to his arc.
You know how bad this writing got, that you can almost be certain that the Jon and Dany scene was the Volanquar scene in the first edit. MINOR tweaks in the dialogues, and this could have been the conclusion of the Jaime and Cersei arc.
— Aimun (@bluemagicboxes) May 20, 2019
How the show destroyed Jaime and Brienne’s relationship
Arguably the biggest crime David Benioff and D.B. Weiss committed was screwing up the relationship between Jaime Lannister and Brienne of Tarth. Trying to generalize their relationship as that of a not a f*ckboi and a good girl love story is a crime against humanity. Again, Twitter user @bluemagicboxes wrote an incredible and extremely detailed Twitter thread on it.
GoT has repeatedly destroyed characters and story arcs that I have held too close to my heart. But I am seeing faaaar too many Nice Guy Tormund tweets on my timeline and as someone who has cherished Jaime and Brienne for far too long, I am outraged enough to… thread.
— Aimun (@bluemagicboxes) May 6, 2019
However, for those who could not read it, let me summarize it for you. Jaime and Brienne’s relationship was far deeper than what D&D gave us in Game of Thrones.
Brienne – The Knight
Brienne is everything that Jaime Lannister wanted to become. When Jaime was young, he loved Arthur Dayne for being a brave and honorable knight, who protected the weak and guarded their honor. However, Jaime became a child-killing Kingslayer who fell in love with his sister. He almost believed those ideals were a farce, that could never be achieved. And then he met Brienne, an honorable knight who actually did follow the ideals Jaime had abandoned.
While looking at Brienne, Jaime faces his own failures. He spites her at first, ridiculing her and calling her a “wench”, all in the hope that Brienne’s code of honor is nothing but a farce. But, when Jaime loses his hand while saving Brienne from being raped, he loses the one thing about himself he was most proud of. That’s when he faced Brienne and told her about the killing of Aerys, in hope that in Brienne, her ideals would comfort him and tell him that it’s okay. But, Brienne did no such thing, and just heard him as she stayed silent.
That’s when Jaime began to change. Even after returning to King’s Landing, he was no longer submissive to Cersei and took a stand against her. And then, Jaime gave the Valyrian Steel Sword “Oathkeeper” to Brienne. All that, to honor a promise Jaime made to a dead woman (Catelyn Stark) to protect the Stark girls (Sansa and Arya). And the only knight Jaime could trust for his honor was Brienne. And to top it off, Jaime further honored Brienne by putting her name as his protector in the White Book of the King’s Guard. He put her name alongside the noblest and most honorable knights of the Seven Kingdom, like Ser Arthur Dayne and Ser Aemon the Dragonknight.
Brienne – The Woman
And then, Jaime Lannister recognized Brienne of Tarth, the woman. Brienne is attracted to Jaime. That’s not surprising, since all of Westeros was attracted to him, even when covered in dirt and filth, he looked “half corpse, half-god”. And Jaime recognizes that Brienne is a woman too. An ugly one (by contemporary Westerosi standards), but a woman, with deep blue eyes that he believes, are beautiful. He is attracted to her in moments, often dreaming about her. He does not think Brienne is a sexless and celibate knight like Joan of Arc. In fact, he realizes that Brienne of Tarth is a noble Knight and a woman.
But, he also tears Brienne down continuously by calling her a wench. That was until he heard the exact same insults from the mouth of Ronnet Connington (Red Ronnet), who was betrothed to Brienne at one point. When he heard the same words come out of Red Ronnet’s mouth, Jaime felt disgusted and hit him, sending him down a flight of stairs. And as that happened, Jaime said:
“You are speaking of a highborn lady, ser. Call her by her name. Call her Brienne.”
And that is the whole point. Jaime sees Brienne as a knight who is better than him, more honorable than him, while also realizing that she is a woman, with a woman’s touch and deep blue eyes. And what did we get on the show? We got stereotypical f*ckboi and good girl relationship. And if that wasn’t enough, we also got a cringe love triangle between them and Tormund. Game of Thrones portrayed Tormund as the good guy who “gets” Brienne, as he was as dirty and smelly as she was. That is the biggest disrespect that Jaime Lannister and Brienne of Tarth’s incredibly multi-faceted relationship.
He was the only person in the entire series who was not power-hungry
And finally, this is one aspect of Jaime’s personality that the show did not focus on. Jaime Lannister was the one character who was not power-hungry at all. In fact, he couldn’t care less about it. You have to remember that Jaime Lannister waved his right to be the Warden of the West and heir to House Lannister and Casterly Rock just so he could just be close to Cersei.
And if that wasn’t enough, he turned down the chance to become the Hand of the King on multiple occasions. For Jaime, power and authority just didn’t mean anything. It was always loyalty and love that he craved and his ideals, which were taken away from him thanks to his forbidden love for Cersei. Had it not been for her, Jaime Lannister would have turned out a completely different man.
Despite Nikolaj Coster-Waldau’s incredible performance as Jaime Lannister, the show just criminally wasted his entire character arc from the Game of Thrones books. Book readers cried with tears of blood when they saw Jaime go back to Cersei. They also saw his character being butchered and dumbed down into a f*ckboi and his relationship to Brienne of Tarth completely destroyed. It’s not the CGI or props that made Game of Thrones great. It was always the plot and the characters that made that world look and feel real. And when the showrunners decided to throw that hard work down the drain, that’s when things changed for the show, and it never was the same again.
Tell us, what do you think about Jaime Lannister from Game of Thrones? After reading this, do you believe D&D did him any justice? Let us know in the comments below.