Game of Thrones has become known for its exploration of incredibly complex characters. While these events of self-discovery have brought out the darkest side of characters like Cersei Lannister, it has also motivated virtuous characters like Jon Snow to accept his efficiency as a leader. However, it's the emotional journey of morally grey characters like Jaime Lannister that the show should really be praised for. Initially, Jaime was considered to be cold and dishonorable, even going as far as to try and kill a young Bran Stark. So, it was surprising to see the true complexities of his character when the Kingslayer went on an unplanned road-trip with Brienne.
The two opposing sides of Jaime's character have been brought out by two very different women in his life. While Cersei has projected her contemptuous nature on Jaime and brought out the worst in him, Brienne brought his redeemable qualities to light. Unfortunately for Jaime, it looks as though he will have to face this inner conflict during the Season 7 finale, as Brienne of Tarth finally makes her way to King's Landing.
Kingslayer: Cersei Is Still Jaime's Greatest Weakness
Due to Cersei's lack of friends during her childhood days at Casterly Rock, she and Jaime became every close to each other, eventually leading to the incestuous relationship that we see in the series. While Cersei's motives can always be questioned, Jaime genuinely loves Cersei and avoids going to bed with anyone other than his sister. As a result of this devotion, Cersei utilized her brother's affections to her benefit, inadvertently fostering a relationship that has poisoned Jaime's personality for years.
When Jaime returned to King's Landing after being imprisoned by the Starks, he was scorned by Cersei for his prolonged absence. Even during torment such as this, Jaime remained obedient to his lover. However, after witnessing Cersei's wildfire-laden activities in Season 6 (which resulted in the death of their last child, Tommen), Jaime has seemingly started questioning his role in Queen Cersei's rein. However, will his conscience allow him to continue this compliance when the honorable Brienne of Tarth arrives in King's Landing?
Brienne Of Tarth: A Beacon Of Optimism For Jaime
While serving Catelyn Stark, Brienne of Tarth had her first encounter with an imprisoned Jaime Lannister. She was eventually tasked with transporting him to King's Landing in exchange for the Stark girls, who were imprisoned by Joffrey at the time. This led to one of the most unexpected relationships in Game of Thrones history and provided a fascinating insight into Jaime's psyche.
Despite hailing from opposite sides of the moral spectrum, Jaime and Brienne found common ground due to their talent with the sword. Although Jaime constantly poked fun at Brienne's physical appearance, he began to respect her when he found out that she shared his distaste for politics. While these traits brought the two of them closer, Jaime and Brienne's camaraderie was finally cemented once they were captured by Locke.
Locke was given orders by Roose Bolton to capture Jaime Lannister, but there were no such directives regarding Brienne. While he was more than happy to use her to pleasure the Bolton troops, Jaime uncharacteristically lied to Locke about Brienne's family wealth in order to save her from being raped.
As fans will surely remember, he paid a gruesome price for his lies, as Locke cut off his hand. Jaime used to ignore his past and mask it with his dismissive attitude, but accepting his history in one brutal confession to Brienne allowed him to shed his "Kingslayer" persona and truly become Jaime Lannister.
"We opened the gates and my father sacked the city. Once again, I came to the king, begging him to surrender. He told me to... bring him my father's head. Then he... turned to his pyromancer. "Burn them all," he said. "Burn them in their homes. Burn them in their beds." Tell me, if your precious Renly commanded you to kill your own father and stand by while thousands of men, women, and children burned alive, would you have done it? Would you have kept your oath then?
First, I killed the pyromancer. And then when the king turned to flee, I drove my sword into his back. "Burn them all," he kept saying. "Burn them all." I don't think he expected to die. He meant to burn with the rest of us and rise again, reborn as a dragon and turn his enemies to ash. I slit his throat to make sure that didn't happen."
Jaime went on to save Brienne again when she was forced to fight a bear, eventually, taking her to King's Landing to ensure her safety. As Jaime was never known for caring for anyone other than his family, these selfless actions were a sign of genuine change. He used to associate himself with his sword hand, but it was Brienne's belief in Jaime that taught him to become something more.
However, since Brienne's departure from King's Landing, Jaime has kept these conflicting personas separated. He continues to obey Cersei's orders and has stood by her vengeful executions. Although he did manage to provide honorable deaths to his enemies, he's clearly still subservient to his sister.
As Season 7 comes to a close, this dual personality won't last long. Brienne's arrival at King's Landing will inevitably force Jaime to address both sides of his psyche and reflect upon the choices he's made, whether he likes it or not.
Although Jaime has previously been able to overlook his family's heinous nature, his unique bond with Brienne has made him realize that his honor can still be salvaged. As Jaime's joint confrontation with Brienne and Cersei forces him to face his conflicting personas, it'll be up to him to decide which man he's going to be: Cersei's subservient lover, or the honorable knight Brienne knows he can become.
What do you expect from Brienne and Jaime's reunion? Let me know in the comments.