shizett

Why do you like this character: Jaime

88 posts in this topic

This is my first post, so please let me know if I am not abiding by forum etiquette and I would adjust my post. Also, since I will be talking about Jaime's story arc, there will be SPOILERS from all books.

I am sure this has been talked about many times (and in many threads), but since I couldn't find it through searching, I am writing it again.

I have read the books and watched the TV series, and I do not care for Jaime Lannister. I find him extremely irresponsible and whiny in general, and I cannot find a way to like him. I obviously understand that people have different tastes and find different things to like in others, but I also see a lot of wishful thinking to see Jaime as a hero of some sort, and that just baffles me. Why? What has Jaime done so far that deserves so much forgiving or inspire such admiration?

In short I think Jaime is irresponsible, lazy, self-righteous, and betrays whoever who puts any sort of trust in him (Tywin, Tyrion, Cersei, Aerys, and maybe Catelyn).

In more details, I will tell you how I see the character that makes it so hard for me to like him and then maybe you would have some insight into how to change my point of view to see the hero in him.

- Jaime is obviously extremely privileged. He has the right sex, was born first, has the right family name, has a lot of natural talent (Ser Barristan says in TDWD about one of his knights in training "to have the most natural talent in sword fight since Jaime Lannister", I find that to be a high praise specially because it is a silent one). He was born with the (self-professed) love of his life (Cersei). He has never lacked for great mentors, be it his father, Ser Barristan, Ser Arthur Dayne, or others. But it just seems to me that whatever he wasn't born into, he never achieved. Of course swordsmanship requires lots of practice and discipline but it was required of him to be good at it, but nobody really required him to be honest, or brave, or honorable. He really has nothing to show for his life.

- The only real honorable act of his life is supposed to be his killing of King Aerys for which he has been most criticized. Multiple times, when confronted by Ned Stark, he makes a point of telling him that he was not the only Kingsguard and witnessing whatever atrocities done under Aerys was done by all, not just him. Now, I understand that Jaime was only 16 (The same age as Jon, Rob, and older than Dany) and a very young knight, and he could not do much about King Aerys, but he can feel some remorse NOW. We do experience being in his head and there is NO remorse or any sense of shame or responsibility.  

Compare it to Theon who feels so ashamed of what he has done that cannot ask for help even from gods.

- He mocks Knighthood and has little respect for the vow he made as a kingsguard or as a knight. I usually read that people say "oathbreaking" is a terrible crime before the eyes of God and he did betray the King, while being his body guard. But it is more than that. We can actually see the other surviving kingsguard's (Ser Barristan) reaction to the whole story of Robert's rebellion, and he does feel the responsibility, he does think about missing signs of King Aerys's madness and feels remorse for it. By making a vow about lifelong service to the King, they also shoulder some of the King's responsibility in actions. Jaime doesn't, and he feels so righteous about it too.

- He does whine A LOT about the Jaime Delimma (making many vows that do contradict each other) but never actually shows any sign of understanding that the difficulty is part of knighthood. No body made Jaime be a knight, he decided it on his own. No body made Jaime become a Kingsguard (King Aerys did manipulate him of sorts, but if he didn't want to, his father was more than capable of defending him). Why does he feel so entitled to be put off the hook?

- Again going back to King Aerys's killing, he never considers any other options he had about the king. He just killed him, it was easy, it was lazy, it had the least amount of risk, it did serve his own personal gain and his family's, and was done in the most convenient time. He never protested to his father about "sacking" of the city he so gallantly saved or killing of Rheagar's kids. He might have been gallant for a second, but it finished there and then. He is angry at Ned Stark for having judged him so harshly, but he felt so superior that never even explained to him of the reasons. Why does he feel so superior? He knew then (and probably now) that the reasons weren't enough, his act was without honor, and people would have still judged him. He could have grown out of it after some time, but he never did make the effort.

Ned Stark, one of the people who seems to be universally accepted as an honorable guy, does go above and beyond to stay honorable, he does pay the price in many ways. For Jon, he took the blame, suffered all the judgement of others (whose insults continue til his death) and pettiness of his wife and became the better man for it. Jon IS a great guy, to his parents (he is great to Catelyn too), his siblings, his friends, and whoever he serves. Regardless of who his parents are, Ned did add value to the world by taking Jon in. How did Jaime do so? Jaime does hide behind his age a lot, but Jon dies being 16 at the end of DWD because he was tactless and Rob died by Freys as a result of breaking some treaty. They are all 15-16. It seems to be an age that people are held responsible for their actions (even here and now in our forum).

- I will not talk about Bran's incident. I do find it cruel, but I also find it pragmatic at the moment. They could have probably silenced the boy, but he was a great danger to Jaime, Cersei, and all their kids. So, whatever.

- He attacks Ned Stark in the middle of the city in KL after Catelyn captures Tyrion. Again, with the same unnecessary aggression. He kills all the people with Ned, why? They could keep a captive or discuss terms with Ned, why act so aggressively for no apparent reason other than arrogance and feeling superior?

Compare this to Ned's action of warning Cersei to flee with her kids before he tells Robert. Ned might be all shades of stupid, but he definitely has learned his lesson from the previous war about kids. He and his family do pay the price for him being honorable, he probably is aware of it and does it anyways.

- He gets captured, and kills some kin and non-kin trying to escape. Catelyn gets possessed and frees him based on a promise (Har!). Shit happens, he loses his hand, keeps whining. Tells Brienne his story (gets all sort of compassion from her), saves her from the bear and finally makes it to Kingslanding. Almost rapes her sister (notice ALMOST) in front of the body of their son. Has a falling with his father, helps his brother escape. Now, his story with Tyrion is truely sad. The whole point about Tysha is so sad because Jaime betrayed Tyrion as much as Tyrion betrayed Tysha. Of course as a result, Tysha got raped multiple times, Tyrion raped the love of his life, did become a drunk and has basically lived in agony ever since, and Jaime... ofcourse he is golden and never gives a fuck. Again, he takes no responsibility, it was their father's fault. Tyrion lies to Jaime that he did indeed kill Joff and then goes on to kill their father. Jaime gets mad at Tyrion.

Now Tyrion, is one of the kindest characters in the book up to this point. He has many bad habits, but he does not lack humanity and he worships his older brother. The amount of trust Tyrion puts into Jaime is heartbreaking. Jaime of course never does anything meaningful to shield him from their sister or their father, but again, what could he do? We see Rob shielding his half brother(Jon) from his mother (and he is only 15, younger than when Jaime was breaking all sorts of oaths and killing all sorts of kings), but what could Jaime (a full grown man with all sorts of power) do?

- Goes to Riverlands, does some negotiation which ties all the loos ends in war, her sister (the love of his life, the girl who he pushed a 7yo kid out the window for) asks for his help, but he is heartbroken and now... he is even superior to his sister. He needs an honorable quest, and his sister is not honorable enough for him. Please bear in mind that if Cersei fails to prove her innocence its not only her who will be in danger, it is also both their kids and the peace of the realm too. By ignoring Cersei, he is also neglecting/ignoring his son too.

Agian, compare this to Ned Stark. Ned, one of the most aggression-averse characters in the book, loses almost all his family members, marries a woman he does not love, and fights a war for Lyana. Either Lyana was abducted or she did go with Rheagar of her own will, but Ned never judges her sister. He does his duty, makes it to her sister, fights some of his personal heroes (he never fails to mention how awesome Ser Arthur Dayne was) and finishes the story. He still shoulders all the cruelty and broken promises that happened as a result of war.

In the end, I want to make it clear again that I am not judging this character, I believe that Jaime is doing his best, he does believe he is redeeming himself, but is he? He has been extremely weak (but never powerless) throughout his life. Why do so many people root for him to do something heroic? He already did a heroic act but it didn't make him stronger, help him grow personally, or become the seed to grow a better man from. So what is so interesting about Jaime? Is it the excitement of change? Is it because he is beautiful and has the right physical characteristics for a hero? Is it because we want a hero who is not a commoner but is soiled somehow?

I want to stress that I am not judging those who like Jaime or are rooting for him, I am just hoping by reading about your points of view, I will be able to relate to this character more.

 

 

 

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I was going to refute everything line by line but you are never going to like Jaime. You see him in the worst possible light and nothing I say to  you is going to change  your mind.

 

 

 

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I was going to refute everything line by line but you are never going to like Jaime. You see him in the worst possible light and nothing I say to  you is going to change  your mind.

 

No, please do. I do see Jaime in a very negative way, and I might never actually like him, but I would really appreciate it if you would tell me why you like him. It might help me to understand him and his progress because I really am struggling.

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You won't like him just like I will never like Catelyn. Nothing anyone said could convince me of the good in her and nothing I say will ever let you see the good in Jaime.

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You won't like him just like I will never like Catelyn. Nothing anyone said could convince me of the good in her and nothing I say will ever let you see the good in Jaime.

I don't think you can say that about someone else just because it goes for you. I mean... not that there's anything wrong with that tbh. No matter what anyways says to me I will probably never like Ned, but I don't even think it should be about that. like, whether or not the OP is gonna like Jaime or not it would be nice to just give them a more objective light of the situation you know? and they're open for it. I'm sure you can be open for it with Cat too and still dislike her? Anyways, of course if you think it's pointless you shouldn't spent your time refuting every point, but I just wanted to say this and I will take the time to read her points and try to give another perspective on the matter :)

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No I would never be open to liking Catelyn and I wouldn't want anyone to convince me either. So you posted just to lecture me IncBlackbird.(and I don't appreciate being lectured) But since you think they actually are open to it:

The reason why I love Jaime is he loved Tyrion when no one else did. He sees past Brienne's ugliness to admire her strength and  her ability as a fighter. He also admires her intelligence. (for choosing the same path he would have when they were told to go the other way). He tries to help her by telling her to "go away inside" when he thinks it's likely she'll be gang raped and then actually does save her by yelling "Sapphires!" when there was no reason for him to and he payed dearly afterwords by being (kicked I think?) in his stump. He also risked his own life by jumping into a bear pit one handed and unarmed to try to help her. He is one of the few men in the series that actually likes and respects women and there are numerous times he either saves women from being harmed or revenges them for harm someone's done to them. He does regret what he did to Bran but doesn't regret Aerys because why should he? Aerys was going to torch King's Landing, killed Ned's brother and father right in front of Jaime and also raped his own sister in Jaime's hearing. Aerys was a mad dog that  needed to be put down.

Jaime is witty with a good  heart. He's trying to keep his ridiculous oath to Catelyn even though she's dead and he was under duress when he was (basically) forced to promise it.

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No I would never be open to liking Catelyn and I wouldn't want anyone to convince me either. So you posted just to lecture me IncBlackbird.(and I don't appreciate being lectured) But since you think they actually are open to it:

ok, can't quote--let's try again..

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I don't think you can say that about someone else just because it goes for you. I mean... not that there's anything wrong with that tbh. No matter what anyways says to me I will probably never like Ned, but I don't even think it should be about that. like, whether or not the OP is gonna like Jaime or not it would be nice to just give them a more objective light of the situation you know? and they're open for it. I'm sure you can be open for it with Cat too and still dislike her? Anyways, of course if you think it's pointless you shouldn't spent your time refuting every point, but I just wanted to say this and I will take the time to read her points and try to give another perspective on the matter :)

Thank you. I will appreciate it.

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No I would never be open to liking Catelyn and I wouldn't want anyone to convince me either. So you posted just to lecture me IncBlackbird.(and I don't appreciate being lectured) But since you think they actually are open to it:

The reason why I love Jaime is he loved Tyrion when no one else did. He sees past Brienne's ugliness to admire her strength and  her ability as a fighter. He also admires her intelligence. (for choosing the same path he would have when they were told to go the other way). He tries to help her by telling her to "go away inside" when he thinks it's likely she'll be gang raped and then actually does save her by yelling "Sapphires!" when there was no reason for him to and he payed dearly afterwords by being (kicked I think?) in his stump. He also risked his own life by jumping into a bear pit one handed and unarmed to try to help her. He is one of the few men in the series that actually likes and respects women and there are numerous times he either saves women from being harmed or revenges them for harm someone's done to them. He does regret what he did to Bran but doesn't regret Aerys because why should he? Aerys was going to torch King's Landing, killed Ned's brother and father right in front of Jaime and also raped his own sister in Jaime's hearing. Aerys was a mad dog that  needed to be put down.

Jaime is witty with a good  heart. He's trying to keep his ridiculous oath to Catelyn even though she's dead and he was under duress when he was (basically) forced to promise it.

You beat me to it. I'd also say he isn't superior to his sister, he is heartbroken after Tyrion tells him about how she has been screwing other people in King's Landing and his only way to get over her is to burn her letter and later go with Brienne. I do not see him as a hero, more as someone who is trying to regain any honor left to him. Also, why should he feel any remorse for killing Aerys?

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and betrays whoever who puts any sort of trust in him (Tywin, Tyrion, Cersei, Aerys, and maybe Catelyn).

His entire story is about conflicting loyalties though. No matter whose side he takes or the cause he champions, he's always betraying someone or something else. He saves the people of King's Landing and refuses to kill his father; he betrays Aerys. He stays faithful to his sister and acts as her lover/personal guard dog for about 20 years; he betrays Robert. He saves Tyrion from an execution; he betrays Cersei and Tywin. He tries to protect the remaining Stark kids; he betrays the entire Lannister regime. In some of these cases he's clearly the least moral party; in others, not so much.

I just think he's a very well written character. It's interesting to me that George took the classic evil prince bent (apparently, he was originally going to be the main antagonist and murder his way up to king) and made him an introspective, conflicted anti-villain with a warped, perhaps doomed desire to redeem a few decades of bad decisions and do some good. That speaks to me as a reader. I find him compelling.

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The reason why I love Jaime is he loved Tyrion when no one else did. He sees past Brienne's ugliness to admire her strength and  her ability as a fighter. He also admires her intelligence. (for choosing the same path he would have when they were told to go the other way). He tries to help her by telling her to "go away inside" when he thinks it's likely she'll be gang raped and then actually does save her by yelling "Sapphires!" when there was no reason for him to and he payed dearly afterwords by being (kicked I think?) in his stump. He also risked his own life by jumping into a bear pit one handed and unarmed to try to help her. He is one of the few men in the series that actually likes and respects women and there are numerous times he either saves women from being harmed or revenges them for harm someone's done to them. He does regret what he did to Bran but doesn't regret Aerys because why should he? Aerys was going to torch King's Landing, killed Ned's brother and father right in front of Jaime and also raped his own sister in Jaime's hearing. Aerys was a mad dog that  needed to be put down.

Jaime is witty with a good  heart. He's trying to keep his ridiculous oath to Catelyn even though she's dead and he was under duress when he was (basically) forced to promise it.

Thank you for the explanation.

I do agree he liked Tyrion, but he did lie to his brother on a very sensitive subject and stood by while his brother got tortured by it.

As for Brienne, I agree with you that he did develop a real relationship with her, but her gallantry, intelligence, and other positive traits has been discovered and admired by many (Catelyn included). So, basically I completely agree with you that he came to be a true friend to Brienne. He did save Brienne's life, but Brienne also did so many times. When did he ever do that to anyone else thoguh? Brienne seems to be an exception.

Also, I totally agree with you that he is witty and has good heart. But so many others are better with kinder hearts (Tyrion comes to mind), but he doesn't get as much applaud. People seem to like Tyrion, but do not find him Hero material. and that is my question. Why Jaime and not other good lads?

Edited by shizett

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His ego. It's magnificent. That's why I love him.

Cersei also has a huge ego, do you like her too though?

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Thank you for the explanation.

I do agree he liked Tyrion, but he did lie to his brother on a very sensitive subject and stood by while his brother got tortured by it.

As for Brienne, I agree with you that he did develop a real relationship with her, but her gallantry, intelligence, and other positive traits has been discovered and admired by many (Catelyn included). So, basically I completely agree with you that he came to be a true friend to Brienne. He did save Brienne's life, but Brienne also did so many times. When did he ever do that to anyone else thoguh? Brienne seems to be an exception.

Also, I totally agree with you that he is witty and has good heart. But so many others are better with kinder hearts (Tyrion comes to mind), but he doesn't get as much applaud. People seem to like Tyrion, but do not find him Hero material. and that is my question. Why Jaime and not other good lads?

And like I said...nothing I can say can convince you so it was all a waste of time.

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You beat me to it. I'd also say he isn't superior to his sister, he is heartbroken after Tyrion tells him about how she has been screwing other people in King's Landing and his only way to get over her is to burn her letter and later go with Brienne. I do not see him as a hero, more as someone who is trying to regain any honor left to him. Also, why should he feel any remorse for killing Aerys?

But what about his kids (Tommen and Myrcella)? Cersei's story is not just about Cersei, it is about their small forbidden family. He is not a kid, he cannot just leave or at least not as respectable character.

I think I should say that I find him interesting too, and if he is just him, a somewhat minor character redeeming himself, I am more than fine with it. But my point was about those who see a hero in him, while being extremely harsh to Arya or Bran. It just bugs me, especially because I cannot figure it out.

He was a kingsguard, he killed the king. Aerys was a monster, no doubt about it, but against Jaime, he was utterly defenseless.  He didn't silence him, capture him, or neutralize him. He outright killed him.

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This last update sucked.   That said, I read the topic wishing shizett would apply this critical eye to Cat, who I find absolutely nothing redeemable in either.   Well said Jamie4Brienne.   She's worthless.   As to Jamie, there are so many layers upon layers of struggle within this character's story.    And I don't see any valid reason for Jamie to push Bran out of a window.   That was my 1st taste of Jamie Lannister, diabolical, despicable, disgusting.  GRRM has allowed me to travel with this villain often in his head.   I get to see what motivates and terrorizes this privileged, manipulated and tortured soul.    He is no different than anyone who has to grow as a consequence of living among the players.    Curiously, Jamie never actually wants to be a player, which is fascinating given the scene with Ned where Jamie merely waits upon the IT for the conqueror to claim it.    He has killed the king for 2 very valid reasons, saving the city and freeing Tywin of his loyalty, face to face, as it were.   That was huge in my estimation.   Jamie would not allow his father's loyalties to fail because of Jamie's position as a virtual hostage.    So very clever and loyal of Jamie.   This guy can act on the fly.  And then he takes all the scorn and gossip in stride.   He never once feels he needs to explain himself to anyone.    This is brave in my estimation.   

In that I adore Tyrion and see a great deal redeemable in him Jamie gets points for being Tyrion's only champion.   Jamie's a very good older brother to a demon monkey who is otherwise defenseless.   Jamie shows no fear when aiding and defending or even just enjoying Tyrion.   No one else seems to be able to do this in the entire story. 

Brienne is what Jamie was meant to be.   Jamie appears to be the only person in the story who can see beyond her utter strangeness to the deep inner beauty and goodness she is.   

Watch Jamie's singular opinions to see his potential greatness.   And I don't find him whiny at all.   He has a lot on his shoulders for a good deal more than just the Lannisters.   

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And like I said...nothing I can say can convince you so it was all a waste of time.

No, not true. I think my post was harsh in the sense that maybe it came across that I find Jaime not worthy of any positive affect. That is not true, I agree with most of what you said. I just do not get the inflated applaud he gets, people envision him as a hero, or a very important in the plot. My question is to that. WHY?

I am sorry if you feel your time was wasted. I did read your answer and for what it is worth,I do appreciate that you took time to write it for me :)

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But what about his kids (Tommen and Myrcella)? Cersei's story is not just about Cersei, it is about their small forbidden family. He is not a kid, he cannot just leave or at least not as respectable character.

I think I should say that I find him interesting too, and if he is just him, a somewhat minor character redeeming himself, I am more than fine with it. But my point was about those who see a hero in him, while being extremely harsh to Arya or Bran. It just bugs me, especially because I cannot figure it out.

He was a kingsguard, he killed the king. Aerys was a monster, no doubt about it, but against Jaime, he was utterly defenseless.  He didn't silence him, capture him, or neutralize him. He outright killed him.

Jaime wants to run away with Cersei and their kids and be their father. Cersei won't allow that because she's too wrapped up in keeping her power as Queen Regent. He can't be part of kids lives other than as their uncle or he reveals to the entire realm that they are bastards of an incestuous relationship, that would make Stannis the rightful king. If he does reveal that he is their true father then he loses Cersei because she will never forgive him for her fall from power and would most likely take her kids across the Narrow Sea in exile and not let him be a part of their lives in any way. His only choice is to leave.

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His entire story is about conflicting loyalties though. No matter whose side he takes or the cause he champions, he's always betraying someone or something else. He saves the people of King's Landing and refuses to kill his father; he betrays Aerys. He stays faithful to his sister and acts as her lover/personal guard dog for about 20 years; he betrays Robert. He saves Tyrion from an execution; he betrays Cersei and Tywin. He tries to protect the remaining Stark kids; he betrays the entire Lannister regime. In some of these cases he's clearly the least moral party; in others, not so much.

I just think he's a very well written character. It's interesting to me that George took the classic evil prince bent (apparently, he was originally going to be the main antagonist and murder his way up to king) and made him an introspective, conflicted anti-villain with a warped, perhaps doomed desire to redeem a few decades of bad decisions and do some good. That speaks to me as a reader. I find him compelling.

Betraying or opposing? You can only betray those you've already sworn fealty to.

He was kingsguard to Robert but treated the new title just as badly as the previous one. Why did he do it again of he had found it empty?

 

I do agree with the second part of your comment though, I think as part of a story, he is really interesting. As a real character, wouldn't be so much.

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Jaime wants to run away with Cersei and their kids and be their father. Cersei won't allow that because she's too wrapped up in keeping her power as Queen Regent. He can't be part of kids lives other than as their uncle or he reveals to the entire realm that they are bastards of an incestuous relationship, that would make Stannis the rightful king. If he does reveal that he is their true father then he loses Cersei because she will never forgive him for her fall from power and would most likely take her kids across the Narrow Sea in exile and not let him be a part of their lives in any way. His only choice is to leave.

That is a bit extreme. He can go back and help/make Kevan help Cersei come out of this mess somehow. Don't you agree? Also, exiled kids are better than dead ones.

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