Jaime Lannister is without a doubt the character with one of the most interesting arc in the entire “A Song Of Ice And Fire” series and its HBO Adaptation “Game Of Thrones”. When he is first introduced, he instantly presented as a character to loathe, along with the rest of the Lannisters, save for Tyrion.
His character development is unprecedented in this series: From a hated character that gets what’s coming to him once captured by the Starks, to one with more empathy and honor once he is set free and returns to Kings Landing. Here are 6 times we either loved or hated the Kingslayer.
6) When He Taunted And Attacked Ned Stark
There is history between these two. Ned was the one that found Jaime sitting on the Throne after he had broken his Kingsguard vows and killed the Mad King Aerys Targaryen at the end of Robert’s Rebellion. He believed the Kingslayer should have been stripped of his duties and sent to the Wall, rather than being pardoned as the new King Robert Baratheon did. Fast Forward 17 years later, Ned is the Hand of the King, and his wife has captured Tyrion Lannister on suspicions he tried to have their son Bran killed. Jaime loves his brother and doesn’t budge at confronting Ned in front of Littlefinger’s brothel to fight him for his family’s honor.
5) When He Killed His Own Cousin To Escape
For a family whose patriarch cares about its name and legacy the most, the opposite can be said about his son Jaime. Captured by the Starks, he draws his own cousin Lancel, messenger to his sister Cersei in Kings Landing, and kills him in cold blood to facilitate an escape. “A Man Without Honor” is what Catelyn Stark would call him to his face after his second capture.
4) When He Mocked Jon Snow And The Nights Watch
While Jon is looking at the last touches on Needle before he offers it to his sister Arya, he gets Taunted by Jaime. Jaime doesn’t hesitate to mock him and his decision to join the Nights Watch. The order, currently filled with thieves, rapists and other undesirables from across the realm, is a relic of its former self, and has lost most of its glory. Jaime doesn’t hold any punches when he verbally taunts Jon about it.
3) When He Taunted Catelyn Stark Throughout His Capture
New of Ned Stark’s execution has reached the battlement, and captured Jaime doesn’t hesitate to taunt his widow while in chains. The second time he’s captured, and after Catelyn refers to him as “A Man Without Honor”, he then taunts her about Jon Snow, and how he reminds her of her late husband’s infidelity during the war. Jaime sure knows how to push buttons.
2) When He Raped Cersei Next To Joffrey’s Corpse
The controversial scene from Season 4, in part because of a considerable difference from the books. In the books, Cersei willingfully gives herself to Jaime who has just returned to Kings Landing (After the Purple Wedding where Joffrey died). The show had him return home first, and have him violently force himself on his sister while the corpse of their son laid in the sept.
1) When He Pushed Bran Off The Tower
What pretty much starts the chain of events in the series. Bran, instructed by his mother to not climb, chooses to climb instead while his father and the King are out hunting. He stumbles upon the queen and her twin brother getting it on, and gets caught by her. We all know what happens next…
6) When He Went To Rescue Myrcella From Dorne
Knowing that his family is in danger now that Tywin is dead, Jaime decides to head to Dorne in a covert ops type mission to rescue his niece/daughter Myrcella. She had been betrothed to Trystane Martell, the heir to the throne in Dorne, back when Tyrion was acting hand, and could now be in danger from the Sand Snakes, the bastard daughters of Oberyn Martell, out to avenge their father’s death.
5) When He Saved Brienne From Being Raped
After having his hand cut off by Locke, and eventually set free by Roose Bolton, Jaime heads home with Qyburn to look after his wound. Knowing how brutal the Boltons can get, he chooses to return for her, and saves her from a fighting pit where she is paired up against a pair for the troops’ entertainment. It is one of the first selfless act that Jaime is seen doing in the show.
4) When He Confessed Why He Broke His Oath
Up until this point, Jaime had been referred to as the Kingslayer, a man without honor, and oathbreaker. After having been prisoner for almost the entirety of the War of Five Kings, and finally set free by Catelyn Stark in exchange for her daughters in Kings Landing, Jaime finds a moment of relaxation in a steam bath with Brienne. It is there that he reveals why he killed Aerys. The Mad King was obsessed with Wildfire and was about to burn the entire city of Kings Landing, and its people, to the ground. He had also ordered Jaime to bring him back his father’s head. It is then that we realize that Jaime was necessary evil for the realm that day.
3) When He Kept His Word To Catelyn Stark
Catlyn Stark sets Jaime free with Brienne in exchange for Sansa and Arya, which creates discord in Robb’s camp. The Starks meet their doom at the Red Wedding, yet Jaime chooses to honor his word to her. He offers Oathkeeper to Brienne, a Valyrian Steel sword forged from Ned Stark’s Ice, along with a brand new armor to aid her in her quest to find the Stark girls.
2) When He Helped Tyrion During His Trial
Jaime loves his brother Tyrion. He is probably the only Lannister that does. Tyrion’s trial for regicide isn’t working in his favor, and so Jaime does the most selfless act in order to save his brother’s life: he agrees to leave the Kingsguard, take the reign of Casterly Rock, and father children named Lannister, if Tywin spares him. Tywin unequivocally agrees to send Tyrion to the Nights Watch should he plead for mercy.
1) When He Saved Tyrion After His Trial
The trial didn’t go well for Tyrion, neither did his trial by combat. Awaiting execution, he is rescued by Jaime aided by Varys. The show decided to have the two brothers leave in good terms, and left out Tysha, Tyrion’s wife from the equation. This disputed omission from the source material did make Jaime’s gesture out of love for his brother, stand out more.