How Jaime Lannister got on my good side

Before you read any further: spoiler alert. This text contains massive spoilers about the A Song of Ice and Fire books, and especially the events in A Clash of Kings and A Storm of Swords. If you still want to enjoy those books, better read something else on this blog. Please, stay on this blog. It will be worth your time.

With that out of the way, let me tell you something about Jaime Lannister. Ah, what hasn’t been said about this smug-faced sisterlover already. With his good looks and his charming ways, he conquers many Westerosi hearts, but his own only beats for his twin sister. While being the father of a bunch of incest children, he still does his best to be the awesome member of the Kingsguard everybody thinks he is, despite the fact that he already killed a King he had sworn to protect. He has so much to hate, and many viewers of the HBO show and readers of the first two books really hate this arrogant tool. Until a few days ago, I was one of them.

You see, if you make it to the third book of the A Song of Ice and Fire saga, you will discover an entirely new side of Jaime. While trying to make his way to King’s Landing with Brienne, the two get caught by the rather brutish and primitive Brave Companions, and in a sadistic turn of events, Jaime Lannister loses his sword-hand. That’s right: this great knight loses what makes him so feared and famous, and he sure has a serious internal crisis about it. However, instead of turning into a wimpy idiot who just complains about how cruel the world is, Jaime makes up plans to get the most out of the situation, and even starts to appreciate the companionship and bravery of the female knight Brienne. When he gets a safe escort back to King’s Landing without Brienne, he decides that he can’t just leave her behind, rides back to Harrenhal and saves her from a bear, which she had to fight with a blunt tournament sword. Of course, he keeps his cool through all of this, almost never complaining about his lost hand, while risking his life and safety for a woman he could just as easily hate.

Ladies and gentleman, Jaime Lannister is, officially, my new favourite character of the entire saga.

Seriously, it’s impressive how Jaime goes from charming jerk to handicapped good guy in just a few chapters. Even better, the entire transformation feels plausible and is well-written. It’s great to see a tough, badass character like Jaime developing soft spots, and that almost makes you forget that he is the father of several incestuous children and the member of the family responsible for Eddard Stark’s death (though you could write that one up to Joffrey’s sheer madness). It also makes him believable, and that was just the thing he needed after being my favourite character to hate (next to Joffrey. God, I hate that brat).

So, next time you meet a fictional character that seems to be a prick, don’t judge him too fast. Snape turned out okay, and Jaime Lannister seems to be a semi-good guy as well. Hate and despise them while you can, but respect them as soon as they find redemption for their douchery.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I got books to read.

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4 comments

  1. I so want him and Brienne to get together. >_>

    I think Jaime’s change is great in that he still retains a lot of his bad traits (not sure how far in you are, so I won’t ruin stuff) alongside his growing strength and maturity. He’s complex and (ha ha! Westerosi pun here!) multi-faceted.

    1. I’m almost done with Storm of Swords, but I really have to pick up my reading pace because my brother is having a hard time holding back spoilers 😛

      Well, Jaime is as good as he can be, considering the circumstances he grew up in and his recent experiences. He has this sick love for his twin sister (which Martin gives a really perverted, romantic touch), and wants nothing more but to be with her. He gets initiated into the Kingsguard as a teenager, which turns out to be both a blessing and a curse. Then, during the War of Five Kings, he becomes a prisoner, gets his hand chopped off, and when he FINALLY returns to King’s Landing to return to his duties as Lord Commander, his father asks him to forsake his post as a Kingsguard and mary the twice-widowed Maergary…which he denies to do, pissing off his father who tells him he is no longer his son.

      Can you spell “ouch”?

      Yes, Jaime isn’t a good guy, but considering all of these things, he’s still pretty okay, especially by Martin’s standards.

  2. I actually never hated jaime, even with the “sister thing.” I think the thing about Jamie is he’s misunderstood. For starters, The children are raised rather isolated. He is not only close to Cersei, but to Tyrion as well. While many fans find his romantic involvement with his sister tasteless, it does make sense that it happened, and it does start out of love, not a perversion. Secondly, Ned Stark misjudges him because Ned has a very black and white, old code way of judging right and wrong. Jaime killed a man who was not fit to rule, while Ned obeyed every stupid order made by his king whether he agreed or not. I say, good man jaime, for putting an end to a man who was burning people alive. I think that is the point though. He is accused of being dishonorable for the most honorable thing he’s ever done. He’s a man out to reclaim honor. Sadly, to protect his honor, he does some questionable things like throw a boy from a tower. I think he simply became what people told him he was–dishonorable. He’s clearly lost his way, until he meets the honorable Brienne of Tarth. It annoys me that people say they want flawed characters, but then an author makes one and they complain that they are flawed. This makes him a redemption story. Who doesn’t like to watch someone crawl out of a gutter.

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