Game of Thrones: Jaime was on a road to redemption and the show ruined it


Jaime Lannister entered Game of Thrones a villain and led a redemption story until his weakness for Cersei destroyed him.

On Game of Thrones, Jaime Lannister was once the equivalent of the attractive and arrogant bully that would mock the uncool kids and wouldn’t let them sit at his table. His abilities with the sword supported his confidence, and the Lannister name that protected him made him feel invincible. The only thing he truly wished to discard was the Kingslayer label that he earned after killing King Aerys II. Jaime was never able to explain why he killed the king to the realm, but with an attitude like his, who would have believed him anyway?

Jaime also had his minor good qualities in his villainous heyday. He’s fiercely loyal to his sister — especially because she’s also his lover. He remains faithful to the Lannister family despite his criticisms. But his only recognizable redeeming quality is that he’s the only Lannister who loves his brother Tyrion. All in all, when this story began, Jaime was not a favorite.

Jaime lost even more points because he’s willing to push Bran Stark off of a tower because he had discovered Jaime and Cersei’s incestuous secret. If pushing a kid out of a window wasn’t enough to convince viewers that Jaime was vermin, his continued hope that Bran would die from his injuries cemented the fact that he was a complete dirtbag. From that moment forward, he was as hateful and repulsive as his twin sister.

Jaime wastes all of his efforts in supporting Cersei’s every whim and making sure that they’re together. This is even true of his journey after being captured by Robb Stark’s army. The only thing on Jaime’s mind as he sits in a cell is that he has to get back to Cersei as if nothing else exists in the world. But things change for Jaime when Catelyn Stark tasks Brienne of Tarth with guiding Jaime safely back to King’s Landing to negotiate for the Stark sisters.

At first, Jaime sees Brienne as a punchline and bugs her to no end. But the tables turn when he loses his sword hand, and he finds himself vulnerable and at a loss. It is Brienne who encourages him to live and move forward. She even cuts his meat at Roose Bolton’s dinner table to spare him embarrassment as he struggles to do it on his own. Jaime’s vulnerable, and not once does Brienne mock him or take advantage of him, and their relationship changes him.

Jaime willingly opens up about the night that he killed King Aerys II while soaking in the tub with Brienne. Since the Kingslayer thing has always been a sensitive subject for Jaime, their conversation about it could only mean that he had a soft spot for Brienne. Therefore, it doesn’t come as a surprise when he returns to save Brienne from the bear pit and takes her with him to Kings Landing. But once Jaime returns, Cersei has her hold on him again, and she’s up to her old ways.

She tries to get Jaime to kill Sansa, because she believes Sansa killed Joffrey. However, he doesn’t intend to follow those orders; instead, he keeps his word and gives Brienne a sword, squire, and armor to help her search for Sansa. It’s his breakthrough moment, showing that there’s a different Jaime at the helm even as he carries out his Lannister duties.

He helps Tyrion escape after his younger brother has been condemned him to death for Joffrey’s murder. Later, Jaime’s disgusted with the Freys even after helping them take Riverrun. When he returns to witness Cersei being crowned queen, after Tommen’s death, he’s less than thrilled about that too. The final straw on the camel’s back comes when Cersei reneges on her agreement with Daenerys Targaryen and Jon Snow to fight the undead.

Jaime leaves Cersei in the dust to join the North in the war against the Night King and his White Walkers. It was a death sentence to walk into a war against undead beings that could not be easily killed. That final night before the battle, Jaime knights Brienne in a selfless act that both shows respect and unveils a man whose world has come full circle. They then hook up, and it seems like their future together is bright.

And that’s when the whole thing goes sideways.

Jaime picks up and leaves Brienne standing in the cold in her housecoat because the Battle of King’s Landing is upon Cersei. After accomplishing a solid redemption arc, he returns to save Cersei and abandon everything he had learned about himself.

Then after being mortally wounded by Euron, Jaime settles with dying with Cersei because he seems to think that his sins outweigh all the good he has done and he’s as worthless as she is. They die together in the crypts of the Red Keep as the walls cave in on them. It’s disappointing, to say the least, to see a dark character humbled and finally find a new healthy life in his future only to crawl back to the gutters from where he came.

At the risk of sounding like a broken record about the characters on Game of Thrones, Jaime deserved better.  He didn’t deserve to die with Cersei, who had evolved into something worse. He deserved to be the second Lannister with any sense of humility. Jaime deserved to settle down into a charming castle with his wife/fellow knight to live out the rest of his days as a hero that finally found his way. At the very least, he deserved a legacy that would remove his Kingslayer name and crown him a hero.

Next. Game of Thrones: Did Daenerys become the Mad Queen?. dark

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