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Jaime Lannister: condemned for the wrong reason


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#1 Berelyn

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Posted 10 October 2013 - 07:40 AM

This is not going to end well, but I had to share this thought of mine somewhere. 

I have seen many people applaud GRRM for Jaime's character arc, making a guy they despised when he shoved Bran out of the window into the guy they cheered for. Alternatively, people say "yeah, Jaime is pretty cool now, but he shoved a kid out of the window, nothing could redeem him after THAT"

Let me preface this by saying that I adore children and that Bran is my second favorite character of asoiaf. However, I have never found that particular act villainous (in comparison for, say, Jaime's willingness to harm Arya just because Cersei asked him to)

At the start of GoT, many people hate Jaime. The hate is unjust even from their limited knowledge (that king seriously deserved to burn). It's VERY unjust when you take into account the fact that Jaime killed him to save King's Landing. The Starks are the heart of this hate, Ned the first person to judge Jaime.

The realm insults him, the king mocks him, literally the only people who stand by Jaime are his family. As he says himself, he is a warrior, Cersei's lover and nothing else. 

Cersei is a light of his life, his sun, stars and moon all together. Bran is a kid of man he hates. 

Bran spilling the beans about the incest would mean: 

- the end of Jaime

- the end of Cersei

- the end of their children (although at that point he cares about them more as extension of his love's happiness)

- the end of Lannister family (Robert's pretty non-discriminative in his wrath)

Bran's death means... Bran's death. 

Now could there be other means of securing Bran's silence? Probably, but neither of those would be sure. What's even more important, Jaime is not really a thinker until his hand gets chopped off. When threatened, he acts entirely under the flight-or-fight response, which is geared towards fight in his case (see: aerys)

So he kills a kid of a man he hates to save his love, to save their children, to save his family. Even Ned Stark, in fact, thinks he might have done the same. Hell, he thinks Catelyn might have done the same (and Catelyn would - see: Jinglebell). Is that a perfect hero? No. Is that a grey act but not black? I don't think how that could be debated. In fact, regarding the act himself, I would take Jaime over person who let their family die because he just couldn't harm an innocent kid.

Of course, there is a fact Jaime doesn't show remorse for Bran's fate for a looong time. That is, I believe, a bit more like a "villain". But we should note that Jaime was, at that point, dead inside, a deeply bitter man who only lived for short interactions with his family, bursts of adrenaline during the fights, and most of all Cersei. When he comes alive again, he starts thinking back

 

The point of this post was: life in Westeros is cruel, and sometimes you have to choose. Dismissing Jaime just like that with quick emotional judging because of an act which wasn't even the worst thing he has done is, I feel, unfair to Martin's world's greys. 


Edited by Berelyn, 10 October 2013 - 08:08 AM.


#2 Minsc

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Posted 10 October 2013 - 07:46 AM

At the start of GoT, many people hate Jaime. The hate is unjust even from their limited knowledge (that king seriously deserved to burn). It's VERY unjust when you take into account the fact that Jaime killed him to save King's Landing. The Starks are the heart of this hate, Ned the first person to judge Jaime.

 

Their hate is absolutely justified as Jaime betrayed his duty simply to save his life and continued to do so as he sat around and did nothing to attempt to protect Elia, Rhaenys, and Aegon from his father's men.  Moreover, it was his own stupid pride that made it so no one knew that he did it to save KL thus I don't feel sympathy for them judging him.

 

Also, boo hoo he got a mocking nickname that truly justifies his repeat treason and attempted murder of a child...oh wait.


Edited by Minsc, 10 October 2013 - 07:59 AM.


#3 Mladen

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Posted 10 October 2013 - 07:46 AM

I thought this is going to be about how he saved entire population of KL, but no... It is actually about pushing 7 year old child off the window...

 

Well, this is a definition of act of heroism I have never heard before.

 

And, OP, you are right about one thing and one thing only - this won't end well...



#4 David Selig

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Posted 10 October 2013 - 07:53 AM

 I just wonder what would philosophers say about this.



#5 Berelyn

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Posted 10 October 2013 - 07:55 AM

I don't really have time to debate some of the raised claims right this now, but I am just sayin' - if the life of enormously loved family depends on me killing a random kid, I hope to hell I have enough strenght to do it



#6 outofthecage

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Posted 10 October 2013 - 07:56 AM

I consider myself a Jaime fangirl but this is... kind of a stretch.  I agree that he's a hero for killing Aerys (especially after I read about the wildfire plot and how horrible he was to his wife) so I do think it's a tiny bit unfair that he gets mocked and called the Kingslayer.  But as Minsc pointed out, Jaime did nothing to protect Elia, Rhaenys, and Aegon, and he wasn't exactly doing it for the right reasons.  He deserves to be criticized for that. 



#7 The Doctor's Consort

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Posted 10 October 2013 - 07:57 AM

As much I love Jaime, I don't think that his attempted murder of Bran (especially during peacetime) is something that can be justified. That said, I think that Jaime has moved from this point and is in his way to become the man he supposed to be.


Edited by Jon's Queen Consort, 10 October 2013 - 07:59 AM.


#8 Minsc

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Posted 10 October 2013 - 07:58 AM

I don't really have time to debate some of the raised claims right this now, but I am just sayin' - if the life of enormously loved family depends on me killing a random kid, I hope to hell I have enough strenght to do it

 

I would hope to hell that I wouldn't be idiotic and selfish enough to commit an action that could possibly get them all killed in the first place.



#9 Red.Queen

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Posted 10 October 2013 - 08:02 AM

For me it's very simple: heroes don't push children of a window. That's it. If I see someone killing someone and the killer kills me because I saw him, do you think that he is entitled to kill me? If Jaime didn't want to be in danger, he shouldn't have sex with his sister. Period.

 

I do agree that he is redeamable, and I find his arc very interesting, but he is no hero.



#10 Consigliere

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Posted 10 October 2013 - 08:05 AM

Ned only thought about what he would do but never actually concluded that he would do the same as Jaime. Whether Ned would have actually murdered an innocent child to save his own children we will never truly know. This does not change the fact, however, that Jaime did push an innocent child from a tower without even a second thought. I agree that Jaime is not evil but he is most certainly not "a hero from the start".

 

Why was Joffery, Myrcella and Tommens life endangered in the first place? Because Jaime chose to bang his sister and get her pregnant. Not only incest but an act of treason as well.



#11 Welease Woger

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Posted 10 October 2013 - 08:06 AM

Couldn't Jaime and Cersei simply have said that Bran was lying? It's not like he had took pictures...


Edited by Welease Woger, 10 October 2013 - 08:07 AM.


#12 Berelyn

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Posted 10 October 2013 - 08:06 AM

All I am saying is every character in this series has their own perspective. Much thought had been given to Dany being a hero in her own eyes but no doubt a monster in G-masters'. If we are awarding Green Grace an honor of considering her perspective, why shouldn't we treat Jaime the same? Because he touched a Stark?



#13 danm_999

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Posted 10 October 2013 - 08:07 AM

Jaime was rotten from the beginning.

 

He found himself in that situation with Bran not through some quirk of fate, or impossible situation of conflicting loyalties. He found himself in that situation because he felt like fucking his sister and not really giving a damn about the consequences. He found himself in that situation because his confessed contigency plan was to kill anybody who stumbled across their badly concealed affair.

 

So yeah, when you conduct yourself like that for over a decade, you really have no leg to stand on when you need to start killing children to cover it all up. You are a villain. You are killing children to cover up your crimes.

 

Also, I'm tickled people continue to use the "he kills a kid of a man he hates to save his love, to save their children, to save his family. Even Ned Stark, in fact, thinks he might have done the same." defence when the events of ASoS and AFFC show Jaime didn't actually give two shits about his children, or his love Cersei if that love began to inconvience him personally.

 

He felt nothing when Joffrey died. He felt nothing when Tywin died (save for some anger at Tyrion). He threw Cersei's desperate plea for deliverance in the fire at Riverrun.

 

That you'd even compare him favourably to Ned, who was willing to risk all to save his nephew, who was willing to perjure himself to protect his wife, who was willing to sacrifice his honour and his status at the chance of saving his two daughters, is ridiculous.


Edited by danm_999, 10 October 2013 - 08:08 AM.


#14 Berelyn

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Posted 10 October 2013 - 08:07 AM

The name of the topic is misleading, I think. I should change it since I am not arguing that Jaime is A+ hero. Just that that particular act isn't "black"



#15 danm_999

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Posted 10 October 2013 - 08:10 AM

The name of the topic is misleading, I think. I should change it since I am not arguing that Jaime is A+ hero. Just that that particular act isn't "black"

 

Trying to kill an innocent child to cover up your decade plus of malfeasance isn't "black"?



#16 David Selig

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Posted 10 October 2013 - 08:10 AM

 Jaime was in this position because he had been committing a capital crime for 15 years and putting the whole realm at risk of war just so he could bang his sister. I have no sympathy for the selfish scumbag.


Edited by David Selig, 10 October 2013 - 08:11 AM.


#17 Seņor de la Tormenta

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Posted 10 October 2013 - 08:11 AM

All I am saying is every character in this series has their own perspective. Much thought had been given to Dany being a hero in her own eyes but no doubt a monster in G-masters'. If we are awarding Green Grace an honor of considering her perspective, why shouldn't we treat Jaime the same? Because he touched a Stark?

Have you read AFOC ? Do you know he hunted and tryed to kill / chop an arm from Arya Stark just to please Cersei, and that it was only luck that Jory Cassel found her before him?

#18 Mladen

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Posted 10 October 2013 - 08:12 AM

The name of the topic is misleading, I think. I should change it since I am not arguing that Jaime is A+ hero. Just that that particular act isn't "black"

 

So we have condemned him for wrong reason? And by your OP, that wrong reason would be pushing the kid off the window?

 

Ladies and gentlemen, classic example of "out of frying pan into a fire"



#19 m00mba

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Posted 10 October 2013 - 08:13 AM

This reminds me of Nephenee's topics in the summer.



#20 danm_999

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Posted 10 October 2013 - 08:15 AM

This reminds me of Nephenee's topics in the summer.

Pretty sure that's the jab David Selig is making in post #4.