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The One Line That Erased Jaime Lannister’s Core Motivation

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The Great Decision

I used to despise Jaime Lannister. The second he pushed Bran from that window I vowed never to like this pompous prick. I feel right into the trap. Now, I have regarded Jaime Lannister as one of if not the greatest character in television history, but after this week’s episode of Game of Thrones “The Bells”, I don’t know if I can hold up that argument anymore.

*WARNING: Game Of Thrones Spoilers Ahead*

The Great Contradiction

Now, this isn’t about how Jaime died, nor am I talking about how Jaime went back to Cersei. I’m not even talking about any specific actions that Jaime took. I’m talking about one single line that ruined the core of his character. That’s right. One line somehow crumbled eight seasons of worth of character motivation, beliefs, progression, or just any word I can think of.

The line came between the heartfelt moment between Jaime and Tyrion (that I couldn’t even enjoy while throwing up my arms at my TV). The line in question comes after Tyrion is attempting to persuade Jaime of the danger looming over the people of King’s Landing, to which Jaime responds:

“To be honest, I never really cared for them. Innocent or otherwise.”

Queue the blood rushing to my ears. This is a complete violation of the core beliefs of Jaime Lannister, Kingslayer; Oath Breaker; Man Without Honor. But we all know there’s more to the story, as we find out in the fantastic bathtub scene between Jaime and Brienne. Jaime confesses the truth behind the story of the King Slayer. He says to Brienne:

“Tell me, if your previous Renly commanded you to kill your own father and stand by while thousands of men, women and children were burned alive, would you have done it? Would you have kept your oath then?”

Facepalm. I can’t even fathom that these two lines came from the same character.

The Story Behind The King Slayer

The entire point behind the Kingslayer act is erased at this moment. Jaime knew the horror that was about to come down upon King’s Landing. King Aerys was yelling “Burn them all!”, and so he sacrificed his honor in order to save thousands of innocent lives. He understood he would not receive credit or be praised as a hero, but he made the decision to stab Aerys anyway and then slit his throat to ensure the people were safe.

The Bathtub Confession also proved (Well, I guess disproved now) as a turning point for the character. Jaime had become hateful and self-loathing due to the lasting mockery of being named King Slayer. After his confession, along with the help of Brienne’s inspiring virtue, he found a new sense of hope to become a better person. This is shown in the scene between Jaime and Jeoffrey discussing Jaime’s empty good deeds. The two lines are in complete contradiction with one another. Now, because of it, this amazingly built up complexity behind the character of Jaime Lannister wound up being pushed out the window.

The only explanation I have for this line is that it was an incredibly insensitive piece of sarcasm on Jaime’s end, but either way, it’s not good. It’s bad, inconsistent writing. Rest In Peace Jaime Lannister. There are no men like you. Only you.

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