After suffering a crushing defeat against Daenerys Targaryen and almost being roasted alive by a dragon, Jaime Lannister the Kingslayer is still alive and playing the game. Some of us exhaled in horror as he was tackled off the horse by Bronn at the very last moment. Then, in Eastwatch, he manages to return to King's Landing (at lightspeed) and go back to do what he’s being doing lately: serve Cersei. Which makes me wonder: has Jaime Lannister become two-dimensional?
Jaime in the Show
Through the first four seasons, Jaime proved to be a character of many layers. He went from being the incestuous child-pusher to a man capable of being honorable and empathetic. Perhaps a perfect example, which exposed the complexity of his character, was in Kissed By Fire (Season 3, Episode 5) when he opens up to Brienne of Tarth about the night he murdered the Mad King and gained his infamous nickname. He was vulnerable and brutally honest in a way we have never seen him before. Unfortunately, we have seen very little of that morally gray character in the last few seasons.
Looking at other characters like Jon, Daenerys, Sansa and even Cersei, we can see stories that keep shifting. For them nothing is ever simple; there are goals to achieve, motivations, doubts and many obstacles. Jaime doesn’t have much of that; he’s character seems to be stuck in limbo.
With Tywin dead, Tyrion and Brienne fighting for other causes, Jaime has been left alone and inevitably drawn closer to his sister. In their relationship, Jaime is always being manipulated, following Cersei’s commands without question. He took the Lannisters army to Riverrun and went for Blackfish as a petition of Cersei, he invaded High Garden and killed Olenna Tyrell just as she commanded. He rarely agrees with Cersei, but all doubts and better judgment are forgotten as soon as she seduces him and whispers promises of a happy future together. This is a pattern that, in my opinion, has become repetitive and exhausting.
The Books Tell Another Story
Jaime being a repetitive and a two-dimensional character might be caused by David Benioff and D. B. Weiss's neglect as writers. They give Nikolaj Coster-Waldau enough screen time to shine, but we haven't got a true sense of his complex character for a long time.
It is hard to avoid comparing the show with the books. In them, Jaime and Cersei are not in speaking terms. The downfall of their relationship begins when, in A Storm Of Swords, Tyrion tells Jaime Cersei had sex with their cousin, Lancel, and Ser Osmund Kettleblack. Although reluctant to believe it, Tyrion’s words haunt Jaime inserting doubts into his already strained relationship with Cersei.
Everything spirals out of control when Jaime refuses Cersei's offer to become the Hand of the King in A Feast for Crows, much to her dismay. After that, the distance between them is so obvious that Jaime ignores Cersei's pleads for help when the new High Septon imprisons her.
Of course, none of this happened in the shows as Tyrion never spilled the truth about Cersei's multiple affairs, and Jaime continued to support her blindly. That is a huge problem, since omitting details from the show sends Jaime on a dull and less interesting path.
Jaime's Possible Turning Point
Nevertheless, hope is not lost as David Benioff and D. B. Weiss have created other moments that could cause Jaime’s turn point and make him relevant again. These pivotal moments could be the last conversation with Olenna Tyrell, the menace that represents Euron Greyjoy or Tyrion’s return.
What do you think will become of Jaime moving on from here? Let me know in the comments below.