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Jaime Lannister: Now We Hate Him, Now We Don't

Jaime Lannister: Now We Hate Him, Now We Don't

Redemption is a sweet drug and in the case of Jaime Lannister, we are high on it

Of all the characters in the Games of Thrones, if there is one person whose middle name could be ‘torn’, it is Jaime Lannister. The twin brother of the former queen, Cersei, known infamously for slaying the king he served, started off as a repulsive character in the show – he threw a tiny Bran Stark off a tower for having seen him and Cersei have sex.

Even his good looks didn’t help – the tall, handsome, golden haired Lannister man who was Lord Commander of the Kingsguard till one episode ago, was secretly loathed by most of Westeros as well as the audience. It was basically because of two reasons; Jaime was openly hated for running his sword through the Mad King and secretly despised for having an incestuous relationship with his own sister. The latter reason being behind many of the young man’s wrong decisions, like slaying all of Eddard Stark’s men who had come to King’s Landing with their lord, or trying to murder little Bran Stark twice.

However gradual the process, the Lannister heir to Casterly Rock seemed to be on the road to redemption when he chanced upon an unexpected journey with the fabulously honest and rigid Brienne of Tarth. Audience will remember his hand getting slashed by Rory as one of the first few shocking reveals of the show. From being one of the greatest swordsman of Westeros to becoming dependent on just one limb, Jaime begun to score with us as he started losing in life.

While he made his journey back to the love of his life, Cersei drank and slept with a few other men in his absence. We began to feel just a little more for the person who was not really turning out to be the worse twin. Jaime’s efforts at learning to sword fight with just one hand, rescuing his brother Tyrion going against the wishes of his father and sister, his difficult dialogue with Myrcella (his daughter with Cersei) right before her death and to some extent, his glorious relationship with Brienne made us see him in a new light – as someone wanting to be one person but forced to live out a completely different person’s life.

In the latest season of Game of Thrones, Jaime has been put his place repeatedly. The Blackfish called their meeting disappointing and Edmure Tully, the heir of Riverrun and a hostage of the ugly Freys, minced no words in telling Jaime what a waste of a human he thought he was. “How do you sleep at night?” Tully asked, making Jaime look tired, unhappy and aware of his unfortunate legacy. Of course, the Lannister spoke loud and clear about how all he did was for his sister and love, Cersei and how he wouldn’t bat an eyelid before destroying Tully or his entire family for her.

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If the audience that has now grown fond of the broken man, think that in the eighth episode of the sixth season, Jaime shows traces of the ruthless man he once was, it may just be a cover. We feel so because in the same episode, we have scene where he and Brienne discuss the fate of Riverrun and the upcoming battle for Winterfell and Brienne, who is sworn to Sansa Stark, announces she may have to fight him if it finally comes to that. Right at that moment, we see the Jaime we have come to love – the vulnerable, soft and just man who knows how true her words are. When he tells Brienne, “Lets hope it doesn’t come to that,” we can almost feel the emotion in his voice and the earnest in his eyes. Of course, it will come to that – the Lannisters do take the castle at Riverrun by the end of the episode and Brienne leaves to inform Sansa. If the Stark girl wants her mother’s house rallying behind her, there will be a battle and Jaime must face his truest friend Brienne.

Jaime’s is one of the finest character arcs in Game of Thrones and it sparkles further with great storytelling. Jaime is a swordsman, a brother, a lover, a father, a friend, and yet, he is torn in each of his roles. We are not vouching for a happily ever after for him, we know better. But redemption is a sweet drug and in the case of Jaime Lannister, we are high on it.

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first published:June 14, 2016, 17:09 IST