King Ned Stark

Jaime Lannister, a hypocrite and criminal?

117 posts in this topic

2 minutes ago, BalerionTheCat said:

Yes, he had a choice, but it was before he knew the consequences. OK, one day or another it would have gone to hell. But Jaime is always taking risks and not measuring the consequences. The abandoned tower seemed a safe enough place. They probably had not much opportunity in the way in. And will have no more in the way out. And this travel was taking ages. I'm not sure I want to judge him for more than his intend. Not when I see the other monsters.

For Robert, I don't care. He was a fucking drunkard himself. And there was some justice in his lack of paternity.

But Jaime and Cersei continue their relationship post-Bran, making the bolded ultimately irrelevant. Because after Bran, Jaime did know the consequences and was still unwilling to forgo sex with Cersei. So he chose to continue putting his family in danger, all to settle his own carnal desires.

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I don't 'forgive' or particularly like Jaime. But his arc isn't over yet. Excited to see what he has left.

He is meant to have done enough bad things for people to dislike him, and he's meant to have been not quite as wholly evil as some of his bad acts might make you think. He's a Lannister shade of grey.

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56 minutes ago, WSmith84 said:

But Jaime and Cersei continue their relationship post-Bran, making the bolded ultimately irrelevant. Because after Bran, Jaime did know the consequences and was still unwilling to forgo sex with Cersei. So he chose to continue putting his family in danger, all to settle his own carnal desires.

Agreed. This changed nothing apparently. The evil was done, leaving Cersei would not have helped Bran. But what followed made changes, little by little. What I said before, I feel Jaime was under the domination of Cersei. Her willing slave. It took much of her wrong doings and infidelity, the loss of his hand, the war, Brienne, whatever, for him to see things differently. He is a slow learner, another of his faults.

ETA:
He never loved, desired, any other woman that his sister. Is there not some corruption, submission there? It is not sex, carnal pleasure. It is specifically his sister.

Edited by BalerionTheCat

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5 minutes ago, BalerionTheCat said:

Yes, he had a choice, but it was before he knew the consequences. OK, one day or another it would have gone to hell. 1. But Jaime is always taking risks and not measuring the consequences. 2. The abandoned tower seemed a safe enough place. They probably had not much opportunity in the way in. And will have no more in the way out. And this travel was taking ages. I'm not sure I want to judge him for more than his intend. 3.Not when I see the other monsters.

For Robert, I don't care. He was a fucking drunkard himself. And there was some justice in his lack of paternity.

1. He doesn't measure the consequences when he wants to have sex but he suddenly realizes that they are in danger when he sees Bran. Come one, Jaime is over thirty, he should feel some responsibility at least for the children he fathered and he should be able to foresee some very obvious (and dangerous) consequences of his actions. Not doing so is very (criminally?) irresponsible behaviour. People who drink and drive and cause accidents do not measure the consequences either. That doesn't make them less guilty. 

2. Not safe enough because he doesn't know the place. There are hundreds of people in Winterfell, anyone could go anywhere at any moment. What does Jaime know?

I don't care how long the travelling takes. If he is willing to kill a child for his own children's safety, then he should be willing to abstain from sex for months if necessary for  his children's safety as well. Otherwise he is horribly selfish. It is not impossible to deny yourself some pleasure for a truly worthy goal. If he had been able to do that, he wouldn't have "had to" try to kill a child. 

3. Sure, there are much worse monsters in ASOIAF than Jaime, that's absolutely true. As I said above, I don't see him in such a bad light as the OP, and I'm all for his redemption arc. But he is not simply and always the unwitting victim of circumstances. He has done - willingly - immoral things and he has done brave things as well. He is responsible for tragedies but he is capable of doing good as well. 

Regarding Robert, whatever he was, it doesn't absolve Jaime or Cersei. Besides, Robert wasn't the only one Jaime and Cersei deceived: they deceived their own children, and the realm as well.  

53 minutes ago, WSmith84 said:

But Jaime and Cersei continue their relationship post-Bran, making the bolded ultimately irrelevant. Because after Bran, Jaime did know the consequences and was still unwilling to forgo sex with Cersei. So he chose to continue putting his family in danger, all to settle his own carnal desires.

That's a good point, too.

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23 minutes ago, Julia H. said:

Regarding Robert, whatever he was, it doesn't absolve Jaime or Cersei. Besides, Robert wasn't the only one Jaime and Cersei deceived: they deceived their own children, and the realm as well. 

I didn't say I absolve him. I said I didn't care and was seeing some justice in it.

I don't absolve him of anything either. I just say he had a very bad problem with his sister. And I'm reluctant to judge him harshly. He has been in bad spots, sometimes by stupidity or arrogance. But he has been improving rather than degrading. That's all. I don't give more meaning to my words. I hated the guy in the beginning, but when I saw from where he was coming, I have more compassion than hatred for him. That is all.

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25 minutes ago, BalerionTheCat said:

I didn't say I absolve him. I said I didn't care and was seeing some justice in it.

I don't absolve him of anything either. I just say he had a very bad problem with his sister. And I'm reluctant to judge him harshly. He has been in bad spots, sometimes by stupidity or arrogance. But he has been improving rather than degrading. That's all. I don't give more meaning to my words. I hated the guy in the beginning, but when I saw from where he was coming, I have more compassion than hatred for him. That is all.

Oh, I don't hate Jaime either. After getting his POV and seeing his suffering, I was able to sympathize with him. I still do. It doesn't change my opinion of what he did to Bran (which I consider his worst crime) though. I'm glad he has freed himself from Cersei and that he is trying to establish who he is and who he wants to be. It's good that he is still able to admire true chivalry and honour (Brienne) and he does seem to be a better and more responsible person now. I agree that he is improving.

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3 hours ago, Julia H. said:

Oh, I don't hate Jaime either. After getting his POV and seeing his suffering, I was able to sympathize with him. I still do. It doesn't change my opinion of what he did to Bran (which I consider his worst crime) though. I'm glad he has freed himself from Cersei and that he is trying to establish who he is and who he wants to be. It's good that he is still able to admire true chivalry and honour (Brienne) and he does seem to be a better and more responsible person now. I agree that he is improving.

This is basically how I feel. Jaime's one of my favourite characters and argueabley the best written. I hope he makes it till the very end of the story; he's too interesting a character to die yet.

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20 hours ago, WSmith84 said:

This is basically how I feel. Jaime's one of my favourite characters and argueabley the best written. I hope he makes it till the very end of the story; he's too interesting a character to die yet.

 

On 05/06/2016 at 9:57 PM, Julia H. said:

Oh, I don't hate Jaime either. After getting his POV and seeing his suffering, I was able to sympathize with him. I still do. It doesn't change my opinion of what he did to Bran (which I consider his worst crime) though. I'm glad he has freed himself from Cersei and that he is trying to establish who he is and who he wants to be. It's good that he is still able to admire true chivalry and honour (Brienne) and he does seem to be a better and more responsible person now. I agree that he is improving.

I would not say he is in my preferred character. He is lacking compassion and has not enough respect for life, for my taste. But I suppose it is expected of someone trained to kill, and to be the best at it. It is not much his fault, even if some have both skill and compassion. But yes, he is with Theon, who share some parallels, one of the most interesting character.

But really, the Bran affair, I don't understand why so many are blocking on that. I don't see what other choice he had. And not starting the affair there or before, is not an answer. No need to return to this, you will not convince me by these arguments.

To me, he is the valonqar, because he is the one who has the most suffered of Cersei. Not Tyrion, not any Stark. They are not equal in sin, and she started corrupting him while he was still very young. Their attitude toward Tyrion is also indicative. I'm impressed how he kept loving and protecting his little brother, while most everyone, but particularly father and sister were hating him. How easy is it for a young child to hate someone when everyone else hate or mock him.

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On 6/2/2016 at 11:50 AM, King Ned Stark said:

...

he knowingly allows some girl (Jeyne) to be taken by the Boltons knowing full well that it is kidnapping and coercion (this shows his true character, despite his dialogue to Cat and Brienne that you can't follow all the vows, he could follow a very important knights vow right then with minimal to no consequence, but he lets her be taken).

Actually I felt very sorry for Jeyne Poole- neither Jaime, but not even Brienne considered her faith worth their time and trouble. On the other hand, did Jaime know what kind of man Ramsay was ? Because, in theory, if he were not a saddist etc, Jeyne could have benefitted from the whole arrangement. Taken away from Littlefinger brothel, reducing number of sexual partners from x to 1 and having the privileges of a wife of the noble man and a lady of Winterfell. Still not free choices, but women rarely have free choices in the world of ASOIAF.

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10 minutes ago, beauty6 said:

Actually I felt very sorry for Jeyne Poole- neither Jaime, but not even Brienne considered her faith worth their time and trouble. On the other hand, did Jaime know what kind of man Ramsay was ? Because, in theory, if he were not a saddist etc, Jeyne could have benefitted from the whole arrangement. Taken away from Littlefinger brothel, reducing number of sexual partners from x to 1 and having the privileges of a wife of the noble man and a lady of Winterfell. Still not free choices, but women rarely have free choices in the world of ASOIAF.

When he speaks to Jeyne, Jaime wonders why she seems so afraid. So I don't think he knew what kind of fate awaited her. Generally speaking, being a lady is a much better option than working in a brothel. In ADWD, people are appalled at Ramsay's treatment of "Arya". It's not the norm, it's shocking.

Jaime and Brienne have never met Ramsay, but they've met Roose. While he's a deeply horrible man, being his wife would probably be a lot better than working in a brothel. They could not have predicted how his son would treat the supposed Lady of Winterfell, who is so crucial for his claim.

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On 6/5/2016 at 3:57 PM, Julia H. said:

Oh, I don't hate Jaime either. After getting his POV and seeing his suffering, I was able to sympathize with him. I still do. It doesn't change my opinion of what he did to Bran (which I consider his worst crime) though. I'm glad he has freed himself from Cersei and that he is trying to establish who he is and who he wants to be. It's good that he is still able to admire true chivalry and honour (Brienne) and he does seem to be a better and more responsible person now. I agree that he is improving.

Of course, the problem is that he's learned all this on the surface, and not understood the deeper implications of chivalry and honor (which is ironic, since he starts out getting the big picture).  Take his actions in the Riverlands - he's out there, patting himself on the back for achieving peace through negotiation instead of mass violence, but at the end of the day he's still working to prop up an illegitimate regime full of murderers and opportunist scumbags, and what's more, he KNOWS the regime is illegitimate, he KNOWS it's full of murderers and betrayers, and he does it anyway.  Brienne, by contrast, is the opposite; she sacrifices anything, in the face of anything, in order to uphold what is right.  Yes, Jaime is a less callous and more thoughtful person now, but he's still employing it for evil purposes.

It's the same reason that famous knights like Arthur Dayne and Barristan Selmy are being subtly mocked by the text.  Yes, these were men renowned for their skill with a sword, for their honor and courtly manners, for their chivalry, and yet, they all stood by and let their king abuse... well, everyone.  Rape his wife, murder his subjects, torture and kill without trial - all of it.  And they didn't lift a finger, they actively aided and abetted this by keeping him on his throne.  Jaime at least had the decency (then) to say something, and also realize that his duty as a knight to protect people from the wildfire came before his duty as a Kingsguard to obey the king.

And now we see Jaime cast in that same role; before he was reviled for his greatest act.  Now he receives plaudits for the opposite; acts and decisions that appear chivalrous on the surface but are really supporting a system by which people, smallfolk and noble, are being deprived of their rights, livelihoods, and lives.  Whereas in the past, he acted in ways that seemed unchivalrous, and dishonorable, but did it for the right reasons.  And we consistently see GRRM extolling the virtues of people who don't fit inside the typical social structure of Westeros, but who work to uphold it's core values, and contrasting them against the paragons of knightly chivalry who are held up as shallow and defenders of a corrupted order.

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5 hours ago, cpg2016 said:

but at the end of the day he's still working to prop up an illegitimate regime full of murderers and opportunist scumbags, and what's more, he KNOWS the regime is illegitimate, he KNOWS it's full of murderers and betrayers, and he does it anyway.  

The issue is that if the regime falls, most likely he, his innocent son, and his sister will be killed. So it's not like he has much of a choice in the matter. 

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I think it's too early to judge Jaime completely. He's obviously don't some messed up things, but his redemption arc isn't over. There's still two more books in which his full redemption will unfold.

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I think, with all of the characters, you must draw a line somewhere. The quote from Stannis is, 

"A good act does not wash wash out the bad, nor the bad the good. Each has it's own reward."

It's fitting that Jaime lost a hand. It was the hand he'd slain his king and pushed a small boy from a window with. Without that hand, Jaime must become a new man. And there is the line.

I have to seriously question whether the OP has in-fact put forward an unbiased account of Jaime's actions, as the language used betray's their own perspective. For example, the raping of the young woman was obviously horrendous for us to read. But it is worth mentioning that this was Tywin's order. So in this case Jaime either dishonor's a young woman he had never met in favor of appeasing his father or he dishonors his father in favor for a woman he has never met. The Lannisters have little to regard for the well-being of small folk. Jaime was raised this way.

Pushing Bran from a window. I won't insult your intelligence by telling you why Jaime did this. But he absolutely did not do it for 'fun'.

"The things we do for love...." Pretty much nails Jaime's pov in the first book in the absence of a first hand account.

Contrast this to Thick Vic Greyjoy who basically hasn't learnt anything. That man will rape and reave until somebody kills him dead. Or Ramsey Snow, who simply enjoys the thrill of torturing others. 

Jaime was quick to anger. A hot head who'd lashed out at any threat to his family. Golden and gifted; he was raised to have no equal. 

In summary, I blame the parents. And I would suggest that all characters are judged by the same measure. I can't think of a single character who hasn't behaved stupid or selfishly. And I would encourage another read of his chapters as his gradual change from obedient son to independent thinker is quite apparent with his rejection of Casterly Rock, his handling of Riverrun combined with him distancing himself from Cersei who appears to be going in the opposite direction. 

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10 hours ago, Brannis the Mannis said:

The issue is that if the regime falls, most likely he, his innocent son, and his sister will be killed. So it's not like he has much of a choice in the matter. 

Well that's just it, right?  By that logic he can justify literally anything, so why even bother applying any moral judgments at all?  If Bran gets to tell someone about him and Cersei, then he and Cersei and all his kids die.  So it's not like he has a choice about murdering Bran, right?

The truth is, Jaime always has a choice.  He could have fled with a ton of Lannister gold to the Free Cities.  He could have sent his kids away and then admitted to everything, or sent them to Casterly Rock.  To say that there is no choice because both choices are bad is morally bankrupt; there is a clear lesser evil here, with his vow of knighthood and of protecting the weak and innocent clearly more important than maintaining his own sense of honor.  Not to mention, Jaime feels relatively little affection and no true sense of fatherhood for his kids (unsurprisingly).  The point being, Jaime is actively involved in propping up an evil regime devoid of ethics or empathy, and injuring the many, for purely selfish reasons, and that context needs to be considered in every action he undertakes.  His rebirth and "redemption" arc is barely any such thing; before, he did what he wanted and what benefitted him and Cersei because, like an emo teen, he wanted people to think he didn't care.  Now, he has realized that he does care what people think, but only on the surface; the actuality of the results of his actions still don't factor in.

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I have torn feelings about Jaime. He might be thinking for himself and is starting to do things that are moderately less selfish... but I still take issue with him being an agent of cruelty and corruption. 

Even Cersei thought Jaime was a moron for throwing Bran, a little seven-year-old, who they could have easily scared into silence if he even knew what he was looking at. The big problem with Jaime is that he only felt guilty about what he did to Bran because he had incorrectly guessed what Cersei wanted him to do.

To be truly satisfied with Jaime's character arc, I feel he finally needs to get off his still-present ego trip. He sends Brienne off to complete the oath to Cat, and has done little more. Together with him never fully repenting what he did to Bran, and LSH thinking Jaime was complicit with the murder of Robb, a part of me hopes she actually kills him at the moment he finally grasps the consequences of his actions.

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