anjulibai

Does Cersei really love Jaime?

132 posts in this topic

I often wonder if Cersei really loves Jaime, or if her relationship with him isn't a manifestation of her own narcissism and desire to have the respect given to men. She views her children as extensions of herself, perhaps she views Jaime, as her twin, as an extension of herself, thus why she sleeps with him. 

There are a few other things that make me thing this as well:

1. Cersei seems to have genuinely wanted to marry Rhaegar. Obviously she wanted the power of being queen, but she found Rhaegar attractive. As I recall, she once mentions that she believes that if Rhaegar had married her instead of Elia, he would not have turned to Lyanna. 

2. Cersei was initially happy to marry Robert, and it was only his drunkenly calling her Lyanna that turned her infatuation of him to hate. 

3. She sleeps around quite a bit - Lancel, the Kettleblacks, who else? She does it for power, but stil, compare her to Jaime, who has never been with another woman besides Cersei. 

So, it seems to me like Cersei is at least willing to cast Jaime aside if something better comes along, or if she can use sex to control others. This isn't the mark, at least to me, of someone genuinely in love. 

Thoughts? 

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Posted (edited)

No, she doesn't. She loves to see her own reflection in Jaime, but that's it. And he's finally aware of it and over her.

Cersei loves... Cersei. Even her professed "love" for her children... I mean, she ignores and mistreats Tommen, she ignores Myrcella. The only one she kinda connected w/ was Joffrey, the little psycho. 

Edited by kissdbyfire

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Posted (edited)

She's probably fucking Moon Boy! I agree. She definitely is a narcissist and only sees Jaime as an extension of herself which is why she wants to bang him and father her children (to make more Cersei's). I also think she lost interest in him after he lost his hand. To me, it comes off as her being annoyed by the fact that she was born a woman (not in Dorne). She thinks she would be ruling Westeros if she only had a cock. And she sees Jaime as someone without her same ambitions and it starts to turn her off. He's attractive, a rich Lannister, a man, and he's a skilled swordsman (or at least was). She believes if she were Jaime, she'd be more powerful than Tywin. I think that letter to Jaime proves a lot.  She needs him. She doesn't want him. And Jaime realizes it FINALLY.

 

 

Edited by fire&blood
grammar

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Posted (edited)

I think this piece of analysis sums it up pretty nicely:

 

Edited by GyantSpyder

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I think she does love him. It's not, perhaps, the most ideal love ever, but I think it's still love. Not all love is the same, after all.

4 hours ago, anjulibai said:

1. Cersei seems to have genuinely wanted to marry Rhaegar. Obviously she wanted the power of being queen, but she found Rhaegar attractive. As I recall, she once mentions that she believes that if Rhaegar had married her instead of Elia, he would not have turned to Lyanna. 

I think it's mostly about the power, honestly. Yes, she thought Rhaegar was attractive, but it doesn't look like there was a person in Westeros who didn't; I don't think I've ever seen a physical description of Rhaegar that didn't mention his beauty. He was a good looking man, all agree. There are worse people she could be saddled with, that's for certain; why not be happy about it? He was to be King, which Cersei would obviously find to be an attractive quality, too.

About the Lyanna thing, that was just her saying that she was far more beautiful that Lyanna; not that she would've been a perfect wife, or anything. I highly doubt she'd have stopped being with Jaime.

4 hours ago, anjulibai said:

2. Cersei was initially happy to marry Robert, and it was only his drunkenly calling her Lyanna that turned her infatuation of him to hate. 

From a rather young age, Cersei would have known that she was going to get married, and that she wasn't going to get married to Jaime. Robert was, quite literally, the best match she could possibly have had. He was the King. Also, considering she'd have to bed him, the fact that he was rather attractive would be a bonus, I'm sure. Best of a bad situation, and all that. Much of this also applies to the Rhaegar situation, obviously.

4 hours ago, anjulibai said:

3. She sleeps around quite a bit - Lancel, the Kettleblacks, who else? She does it for power, but stil, compare her to Jaime, who has never been with another woman besides Cersei. 

It's not like she ever slept around for her own pleasure, and from what I can tell, she never found any pleasure in doing so, other than the "I'm successfully manipulating someone" kind of pleasure. Everyone she slept with was for a purpose, to manipulate them into being trustworthy. It did work, too; Lancel killed Robert for her, one of the Kettleblacks killed the High Septon for her, etc. Even with Robert it was a manipulation, and something that she had to do, something which she did as little as possible:

During the first year he took her at least once a fortnight; by the end it was not even once a year. 

The time with Taena was perhaps not solely to manipulate her into doing something (although, the flirtation with her was so that she could have someone at court that she could trust, and this was a part of that), but she certainly didn't enjoy it, and we even have this gem:

It was still no good.

It had never been any good with anyone but Jaime.

On the other hand, with Jaime, if he were sleeping around, it would only be for his personal pleasure. I don't know of a single opportunity that Jaime had to manipulate someone worth manipulating with his body. Jaime's anger is also perfectly understandable, though; regardless of Cersei's reason for cheating, she did still sleep around. It's not that she didn't do anything wrong, here, but that I believe she could've done these things while actually being in love with Jaime. They're not mutually exclusive.

So, like I said, it's not the most ideal love, but Cersei and Jaime aren't in the most ideal situation.

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5 hours ago, anjulibai said:

I often wonder if Cersei really loves Jaime, or if her relationship with him isn't a manifestation of her own narcissism and desire to have the respect given to men. She views her children as extensions of herself, perhaps she views Jaime, as her twin, as an extension of herself, thus why she sleeps with him. 

There are a few other things that make me thing this as well:

1. Cersei seems to have genuinely wanted to marry Rhaegar. Obviously she wanted the power of being queen, but she found Rhaegar attractive. As I recall, she once mentions that she believes that if Rhaegar had married her instead of Elia, he would not have turned to Lyanna. 

2. Cersei was initially happy to marry Robert, and it was only his drunkenly calling her Lyanna that turned her infatuation of him to hate. 

3. She sleeps around quite a bit - Lancel, the Kettleblacks, who else? She does it for power, but stil, compare her to Jaime, who has never been with another woman besides Cersei. 

So, it seems to me like Cersei is at least willing to cast Jaime aside if something better comes along, or if she can use sex to control others. This isn't the mark, at least to me, of someone genuinely in love. 

Thoughts? 

Yes.  In her own way.  Love is not a flip switch.  She can love Jaime but still love herself more.  

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Yes and no. Yes, she loves him, but not the same way Jaime loves her. She loves him as the man she should have been born, as just an extension of herself.

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5 hours ago, kissdbyfire said:

No, she doesn't. She loves to see her own reflection in Jaime, but that's it. And he's finally aware of it and over her.

Cersei loves... Cersei. Even her professed "love" for her children... I mean, she ignores and mistreats Tommen, she ignores Myrcella. The only one she kinda connected w/ was Joffrey, the little psycho. 

This is exactly how I feel on the matter.  I think it is kind of tragic that with Joanna gone Cersei never really learned to love in a healthy way.  I think seeing their parents in love would have been immensely healthy for all of the Lannister children.

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Posted (edited)

36 minutes ago, Lucius Lovejoy said:

This is exactly how I feel on the matter.  I think it is kind of tragic that with Joanna gone Cersei never really learned to love in a healthy way.  I think seeing their parents in love would have been immensely healthy for all of the Lannister children.

That could have helped. But what would have been ideal is for Tywin to be out of the equation altogether. Being Tywin's kids it's no wonder they are all so fucked up. Of course, they would have been different people then. :P

But yeah, imo Cersei doesn't love Jaime at all. When Jaime is physically at the top of his game pre-Harrenhal, she loves seeing in him what she thinks she would have been if she'd been born male. After Harrenhal however, it changes, and she is clearly disgusted by him. When she goes see Jaime in the WST to try to manipulate him into leaving the KG so that Tywin doesn't separate her from Tommen it all becomes so painfully obvious... but at least we have Jaime's coin dropping moment then, the final straw.

Edited by kissdbyfire

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1 hour ago, kissdbyfire said:

But yeah, imo Cersei doesn't love Jaime at all. When Jaime is physically at the top of his game pre-Harrenhal, she loves seeing in him what she thinks she would have been if she'd been born male. After Harrenhal however, it changes, and she is clearly disgusted by him. When she goes see Jaime in the WST to try to manipulate him into leaving the KG so that Tywin doesn't separate her from Tommen it all becomes so painfully obvious... but at least we have Jaime's coin dropping moment then, the final straw.

Completely agree with you here.  I really hope that Jaime survives his LSH meeting and lives past Cersei's eventual demise (I believe he will on both accounts, probably as the valonquar).  I am looking forward to reading his POVs as he is further removed from the relationship and reflects back on it, especially if he starts to fall in love with someone else (I don't think he will ever fully fall in love with Brienne).

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21 minutes ago, Lucius Lovejoy said:

Completely agree with you here.  I really hope that Jaime survives his LSH meeting and lives past Cersei's eventual demise (I believe he will on both accounts, probably as the valonquar).  I am looking forward to reading his POVs as he is further removed from the relationship and reflects back on it, especially if he starts to fall in love with someone else (I don't think he will ever fully fall in love with Brienne).

I think he survives both as well. I only disagree with the last part. I think he is already in love w/ Brienne, and has started to fully realise it. 

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Cersei loves Jaime as much as someone who can't feel empathy can love. Meaning her love will not fit a definition of "love" for most people, but her feelings towards Jaime are probably the strongest feeling of attachment to another person that Cersei is able to feel.

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I believe she is eternally unhappy with her life.  Her only joy is bringing misery to those around her...misery loves company, even in Westeros.  I think she believes herself to be as perfect as a woman can be, and for Rhaegar and Robert to not fall in love with her is the only chinks in her armor.  She needed Jamie in order to be loved, and in that way it is a self love.  She drew her strength from that, Jamie is referred to as one of the most attractive men in the realm and he was hers.  He was her.  She was him.  As a result of that feeling, their kids are her as well.  They all make up her "self".

In that sense she is slowly being deconstructed.  Jamie loses his sword hand and his confidence, Joffrey is married to a supposed "more beautiful" queen, Joffrey is killed, etc. All these incidents are chipping away at her.  She fills these losses by taking power, believing it is only through power that she can protect all parts of her "self", her legacy.

The greatest irony is that the actions she is taking to protect herself are her undoing.  Almost every act of deconstruction is in some way self-inflicted.  That result is the only sympathy (whatever small) she ever got out of me as a reader, she is destroying herself by protecting those who make up her own persona.  I think her ultimate "self" destruction (death) will be a metaphoric suicide via Jamie (who will kill himself with her)...every single thing that was "part of her" will be dead in the end.  It is tragic and human, down to the core...and beautifully written by GRRM.

Of course, that's just my opinion and interpretation as a reader.

DB

 

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Posted (edited)

Cersei can only love a  carrot and stick master. A man whose will make her feel unique but is equally willing to put her back in her box if needed, simply because he (And only he) is better then her. Her father comes as a close second to what I am saying. However the perfect man for Cersei is her own son Joffrey. He's the only man who could push Cersei to the ropes without ending up killed, executed or betrayed by it

 

Edited by devilish

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I think she does love Jaime, perhaps as an extension of her narcissistic self, but she does seem to feel that she has shared a special bond with him for her entire life. But she desires power and perceived adoration above all else. 

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I think she loved him for what he could do for her. Now he isn't as useful anymore so, as someone said upthread, she isn't interested in him anymore and even cruelly mocks his injury. (Who does that? Seriously? I mean even if they weren't romantic they are still family). Also she was quite willing to have him risk his life/more than likely die to be her champion. 

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I find this idea of Cersei being the bad part of these two narcissists to be rather vapid view.

Narcissists can love, they just love differently than 'normal people'. And even with 'normal people' love is never unconditionally. 

Cersei never 'loved' Rhaegar. As the daughter of the richest lord of the Seven Kingdoms she was raised and trained with the knowledge that her father would choose her husband for her. She knew she would have an arranged marriage, and her aunt and father fed her the idea that she would marry Prince Rhaegar. Her reaction to that was to idealize and dream about this prince, something pretty much any girl in her position would do. She is exactly like Sansa in this regard.

Cersei knew Rhaegar as much as Sansa knew Joffrey throughout AGoT - she only got to know him when he executed her father. The first time she seems to have met him (while being old enough to actually meet him) seems to have been in 276 AC, when Aerys II and Rhaegar came for the tourney to Lannisport. She was ten years at the time, younger than Sansa Stark is in AGoT, and Prince Rhaegar was seven years older (and thinking about that age gap alone - it is hardly a surprise that Aerys II refused to marry his adult son to a child bride). This was not love. This wasn't even some sort of, well, childish infatuation. It was just the illusion of that. If people in that society tell you that you are going to meet your future husband soon you will be excited, full of expectations, and romantic illusions but if you are prepubescent child those feelings are worth pretty much nothing - especially if they don't grow out of real interactions with the person you think you are infatuated with. Instead, they are just the result of tales other people tell you about him. That leads to your fantasy creating the illusion of an 'ideal image' of this future husband of yours.

Later on Cersei idealizes Rhaegar and compares her life at Robert's side to the life she could have had at Rhaegar's side. Rhaegar is a symbol for paths not taken, nothing more.

As to Jaime, Cersei most definitely loves him very much. As much as she can love a person. That much is clear. It may not be a healthy love, and it certainly is not unconditional love nor was Cersei capable to remain faithful to Jaime in their relationship after she married Robert. In that sense, she is much different than Jaime but then - he joined the Kingsguard at the age of fifteen and could subsequently only have secret affairs or risk being castrated by his sworn brothers.

If you actually care about narcissism as a personality disorder Cersei doesn't meet as much points as Jaime. He is the guy who runs around honestly declaring there are no men like him, only him. You cannot get more narcissistic than that. By comparison, Cersei's POV is AFfC and ADwD shows that she is full of fear and self-doubt - take, for instance, the nightmare she has in her first chapter of AFfC. She certainly thinks she should be in charge and thinks she is a better politician and more competent than her many rivals, but that isn't narcissism, it is her survival strategy.

You also have to take into account that a queen and children raised like Cersei and Jaime Lannister were essentially raised to be narcissists. They were not just beautiful as hell (which would have made pretty much everybody adore and please them) but also raised in a family environment that was very entitled, treating them like spoiled brats. Cersei and Jaime don't suffer from delusions when they think they are entitled something, they are, by the very rules of the society they live in. The Lannisters of Casterly Rock are not normal people. They are not even normal noblemen. They basically own the world. The only people they have to bow to are the king and queen, but even they don't live in the same kind of splendor they do.

In that sense, Jaime and Cersei both might meet certain criteria of NPD (like, for instance, 'Exploitative of others to achieve personal gain' for Cersei, and 'Unwilling to empathize with others' feelings, wishes, or needs' for Jaime, when he killed Bran), but they rules of the society they live in simply cares more about their needs, whims, desires, and expectations than it does care about the whims of the people they rule and exploit. That is why they rule the West, and don't work the fields there.

That means criteria like those

Quote

 

Grandiosity with expectations of superior treatment from others. [they are entitled and encouraged to expect this]

Fixated on fantasies of power, success, intelligence, attractiveness, etc. [they are very beautiful, rich, and successful but not intelligent]

Self-perception of being unique, superior and associated with high-status people and institutions. [they are treated as such by the entire world]

Needing constant admiration from others. [they get it, they don't really demand it, though]

Sense of entitlement to special treatment and to obedience from others. [given to them by their surroundings]

 

actually give a proper description of their day-to-day lives. They are treated like royalty and were raised to expect to be treated as such by the people around them. This is not a reflection of their twisted psyche, it is a correct and accurate reflection of their place at the top of the food chain in the society they are living in.

[We see another twisted version of this elitism at work when it is repeatedly made clear that Theon murdering the Stark boys is a most heinous crime worthy of universal condemnation - just as the murder of a king or the murder of the innocent royal women and children is - while the murders of two miller's boys isn't a crime in the same category at all.]

Cersei does not really know how to train Tommen to become a more forceful and strong character but she is not wrong that he will fail and die if he cannot protect himself. If he can't - which is very obvious - somebody has to protect him. And she has much more interest in doing that anybody else. The Tyrells might very well deal with him the same way they dealt with Joffrey after he has finally given Margaery a son. Then they could rule through him. That Cersei also feels she should now finally get a place in the sun after the shit she had to go through is hardly surprising. She wasn't raised or encouraged to behave modestly.

As to why I think Jaime is worth than Cersei - she loves her children very much (that doesn't mean it a healthy or normal love, but it is still very much the love of a mother - she would do anything to protect them). Jaime does not. He feels pretty much nothing for his children, and the best advice he has for Tommen when they have their one bonding scene is try to detach himself from his own emotions - like Jaime did, when he served as Aerys' Kingsguard. That is pretty disgusting when you think about it.

But the really important thing is that Jaime very much rediscovers his 'good side' in a narcissistic manner. He remembers - thanks to Brienne and the dreams he has - that he once wanted to be somebody else, a paragon of virtue, a good knight. He doesn't want to be good because being good is the right thing to do, he wants to be good so that history will remember him as Goldenhand the Just. He is pissed and unhappy about the fact that 'lesser men' (Eddard Stark) dare judge him when the they are far beneath the standard of 'the lion'. That is also the reason why Jaime never explained why he killed Aerys. Common people have no right to judge or even demand an explanation of a man as exceptional or superior as he is. And he would have never talked about his deeds had he not been in a very exceptional mental and physical state.

And the whole Brienne thing figures into that whole thing, too. Jaime doesn't really care about her as a person. He cares about what she represent to him, what reflection of himself he sees in her. Just as Cersei is a mirror in which he sees his own beauty Brienne is the mirror in which he sees the youth he once was - or rather, the youth he once had wanted to be. Jaime was always courageous and brave, and natural knight, but he never was an idealist. He always did what he wanted to be - be the best knight there could be to bask in his own glory and win the admiration of others. And that he certainly did when he was knighted by Ser Arthur Dayne.

Another version of that you can see when Jaime decides to free Tyrion. He does that because he feels he owes it to him, as a fellow Lannister and brother. He doesn't do it because it is the right thing to do. In fact, once Tyrion falsely admits to having killed Joffrey it becomes the wrong thing to do. Letting the murderer of your son and king go free is clearly not the right thing to do. But it actually shows how little Jaime cares about his own children (or the feelings of Cersei) and how important his own self-image is to him. For him and the people he chooses - other Lannisters - normal rules simply don't apply.

We also see this with the incestuous relationship to Cersei. It is he who repeatedly urges her to openly marry each other just as the Targaryens did. He doesn't care about appearances and just wants what he wants. Cersei wants that, too, of course. At her heart of hearts she wants it, too. But she is smart enough to know that they could never survive a move like that. Not now that she is Robert's widow.

The only redeemable aspect of Jaime is his naiveté. It makes him somewhat sympathetic and vulnerable, especially if you are in his head. But he is not really a good guy, and he most likely never could have been. He is going to ruin himself and his family with his desire to create a new image of himself. This Goldenhand the Just guy, a man who is most likely to commit even worse crimes (or do worse blunders) than the Kingslayer committed.

What little we know about his plans right now indicates that he wants to tell the truth about his children - definitely to Tommen and Myrcella, but possibly also to the world. What good would that accomplish? His guilt complex over Rhaegar makes it very likely he is going to join Aegon, and that is most likely going to result in him doing the best he can to help pit Targaryen against Targaryen in the Second Dance, following in the footsteps of Ser Criston Cole. All with the best intentions, of course.

But, back to the original question - Jaime and Cersei both love each other very much. They just express it differently.

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2 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

If you actually care about narcissism as a personality disorder Cersei doesn't meet as much points as Jaime. He is the guy who runs around honestly declaring there are no men like him, only him. You cannot get more narcissistic than that.

First of all "running around honestly declaring there are no men like you, only you" is not something that proves that Jaime has enough points to have a narcissistic personality disorder. Secondly Jaime telling that in one dialogue as an answer to an accusation that he is the same as all the other scum and monsters out there is not him "running around honestly declaring there are no men like him, only him". Don't take this phrase out of context and base Jaime's entire character on it. Jaime in the very same dialogue have said that there are others like him - particularly Brandon Stark. Later in the book he flat out says that Loras is a young him and he also later compares himself with the Smiling Knight. So taking this "no men like me" literally and thinking that it is a narcissistic statement is wrong. It wasn't. Not only it is apparent when you read the context of this statement, it also contradicts all the other instances when Jaime in fact does compare himself with others.

2 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

'Unwilling to empathize with others' feelings, wishes, or needs' for Jaime, when he killed Bran

Not only this statement can be applied to everything, for example to Ned when he killed Lady, but also - Jaime killed Bran? 

2 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

In fact, once Tyrion falsely admits to having killed Joffrey it becomes the wrong thing to do.

Jaime didn't believe Tyrion that he did.

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Cersei does love Jaime.  However, she is willing to put her ambitions ahead of her love for Jaime.  That doesn't  automatically make her bad.  Not on its own.  Picture how many men in the world today and in the past have sacrificed love for their careers.  A lot of the strong women in the story get criticisms for something that men would get a pass for.  I am not a fan of Cersei but I think she loves Jaime and it is authentic love.  But just because she loves him doesn't mean that is all there is in her life.  She has children.  She has ambitions.  Love is not all it's cracked up to be.  It can be bliss but it can also lead to ruin.  Go back to Lady Dustin's thread on Bowen vs. Jon and you see what happens when love for a person (Arya in that example) led a man away from the greater good.  It was also love that made Jaime push little peeping tom Bran out of the tower window.

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2 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

snip

Lord Varys, I agree with your analysis. Only I wouldn't skip those moments where Jaime questions himself regarding Brienne: why do I do this, why do I care et cetera. Those rhetorical questions urge the readers to answer with Jaime's iconic parole: The things I do for love. His very name means "I love" (j'aime).

After Bran fell, Jaime's slogan is all Bran remembers of him and it inspires Bran. We know from Bloodraven that the past can't be changed, but that doesn't mean that Bran can't change himself. Bran might have choosen to fall, when he let go of Jaime's arm. Since Bran is a good climber, Jaime wouldn't have been able to shove him, if Bran had still clung unto him. Had Bran not made himself forget about the incest, surely everything would've gone worse, so his legs are Bran's sacrifice followed by those of so many others as a result of an alleged accident. Jaime's sacrifice as I see it is his love for Cersei:

Quote

If truth be told, Jaime had come to rue heaving Brandon Stark out that window. Cersei had given him no end of grief afterward, when the boy refused to die. 

Quote

"I’m not ashamed of loving you, only of the things I’ve done to hide it. That boy at Winterfell...” “Did I tell you to throw him out the window? If you’d gone hunting as I begged you, nothing would have happened. But no, you had to have me, you could not wait until we returned to the city.” 

Bran's fall spoiled the twin's love, which worked fine with one narcissist fancying himself as savior and one narcissist letting the other come. Now with everything that happened, Lancel-Kettleback-Moonboyforalliknow, the twins have to change quiete a deal if they are looking for love.

Brienne's name bears a resemblance to Bran. That certainly is a way to pay back, to have Jaime fall for the ugliest girl. Jaime has to remember what love is nonetheless and it won't be easy with Brienne. Jaime and Brienne shippers tend to idealize Jaime and lay all blame on Cersei.

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