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Does Cersei really love Jaime?

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Posted (edited)

1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

Cersei grows angry when Jaime rejects her advances, she grows angry because he doesn't want to sleep with her in the tower. She does not grow angry because he doesn't do what she wants. Nobody ever said she doesn't grow angry when Jaime pushes her back or she doesn't get what she wants. That's her natural reaction. But she will cool down and then things usually go back to normal. That they don't, this time, is because Jaime pushes her back again and again, and makes no attempt straighten things out.

Umm... you realise that she gets mad because her attemt to manipulate him via a BJ failed. It's not about the sex. It's about the refusal. Him saying no to the sex act was him sticking to his guns about the whole issue. That's what was happening there. 

Shot yourself in the foot pretty good there. LOL

But it's roughly 100% clear to everyone but you, who are clearly trolling like in every thead, that Cersei is a textbook narcissist, and a malignant one. Her version of love is very limited and not particularly worthy of the name. 

As for Jaime, he was bad at the start. Has a lot of traits in common with Cersei. But he is on a redemption arc -- words from GRRM's mouth -- and is shedding those at a moderate pace. He's not done yet, but getting there. Also: not super relevant. 

Edited by Jon Ice-Eyes

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Posted (edited)

7 hours ago, Jon Ice-Eyes said:

Umm... you realise that she gets mad because her attemt to manipulate him via a BJ failed. It's not about the sex. It's about the refusal. Him saying no to the sex act was him sticking to his guns about the whole issue. That's what was happening there. 

Shot yourself in the foot pretty good there. LOL

He actually agreed to the whole issue. He said he would talk to Lord Tywin, no? And it is she who rejects his ridiculous proposal of marriage (showing that he certainly doesn't dream of Brienne's big blue eyes). He very much loves her, even at that point. That only changes when he gets jealous in AFfC thanks to Tyrion's manipulation.

You may also not that it is Cersei who rejects Jaime when she rejects the offer of marriage. She is then trying to convince him that she still loves and wants to prove that with sex. Then he rejects her because the whole thing happens in the tower.

It is also the case the Cersei very often convinced Jaime to do certain things during/after sex but they sure as hell also had sex many other times when nothing of this sort was on the table.

Your claim that this was just this quid pro quo sex where Cersei wanted something from Jaime is entirely unfounded. She wanted his help, yes, help he should have given her because Cersei's problem affects their relationship. It is quite clear Jaime does not want Cersei to marry another man. He wants her to marry him and is pissed that she does not fulfill his narcissistic needs (marrying him, never mind the fate of their children; refusing to sleep with her in that stupid tower). You know, she is right that there is no difference between having sex in that tower or in the sept.

They even fucked each other with Cersei's husband the king being drunk in the same room with them.

Edited by Lord Varys

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9 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

It shows that Jaime has a very high opinion of himself. He has no peers in his own mind. And he is partially true, there. It is objectively correct that he is arguable the most beautiful man of his generation. He has an impeccable noble bloodline, was once the heir of the richest man on the continent. He is also one of the best swordsman of his generation. 

But his entire attitude prior to the loss of his hand shows that the only rules that apply to him are his own. If Jaime is nice to you it is because he wants to, not because he feels he should do. Jaime Lannister makes his own rules. And that character trait doesn't go away after he loses his hand, it is just expressed differently. It is his own fancy that he suddenly wants to be a good Lord Commander of the Kingsguard. One can doubt that this is the best or proper thing to do. It certainly isn't helping his family and friends.

He is, of course, suffering from exactly the same upbringing as Cersei. As a Lannister of Casterly Rock he it is natural for him to feel entitled but while Cersei accepts other people's judgment and has other priorities than her own whims when the safety of her children is concerned, Jaime only follows his own whims. Right now he wants to be Goldenhand the Just. Let's wait and see how long that lasts. I'm not holding my breath.

Brandon Stark is nothing like Jaime. Nobody described him as as beautiful or capable as Jaime, nor is he as rich as the Lannisters. He is a hothead and certainly also a capable and exceptional man but he isn't like Jaime. Nobody is like Jaime Lannister.

You argue here already assuming that "There are no men like me. Only me." means "I am better than everyone". My point it that it does not mean that. Let's look at the actual piece of dialogue where he has said it and substitute "only me" part with "I am better than everyone".

"If there are gods, why is the world so full of pain and injustice?"
"Because of men like you."
"I am better than everyone."
 
Does this conversation make any sense to you? It certainly doesn't to me. He is responding to Cat's accusation here, not proclaiming his superiority to others and Cat accuses him in being the same as all others that bring pain and injustice to the world which means she is claiming that he is no different than the Mountain, Amory Lorch, Ramsey and the likes. She basically makes her judgement of him based on all other scum, lumping him with them, to which Jaime takes issue with and hence this is what his response about, that Jaime is Jaime and not Mountain, Amory or whoever she thought he is like. Jaime's phrase "There are no men like me. Only me." is not about superiority, it's not about similarity, it's about judgement.
 
I myself am not claiming that Brandon was like Jaime - Jaime did. That's just another point that indicates that you should not take the phrase "There are no men like me. Only me." literally. Because after saying that Jaime says this literally in the same conversation:  "Brandon was different from his brother, wasn't he? He had blood in his veins instead of cold water. More like me." Granted, he later retracts this statement on the basis of not knowing Brandon that much but it doesn't matter. It still shows that Jaime can very well think that other people can be similar to him and that his quote "There are no men like me. Only me." should not be taken out of context.
 
Also, Jaime has never shown that much care about his good looks or his father's money and he did not think that he was above others because of his surname. He lost all of it when he got captured - his time spent in dungeon hit his looks, all of his agency was stripped away from him, he was humiliated and treated as a lowborn - not something fit for a Lannister. Jaime's response? He did not care. His entire mindset of being treated like some peasant criminal was "whatever". Compare that with when he lost his ability to fight - Jaime fell into a deep depression and wanted to die. That's because this is what Jaime only cared for, this is what Jaime thought made him special. And nothing else. That's the reason Jaime wanted to die after his hand was cut off - because he literally believed that without it he was worthless:
 
They took my sword hand. Was that all I was, a sword hand? Gods be good, is it true?
 
 
And that's despite his good looks, his surname, his money. Which only means that it all did not mean much for Jaime.
10 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

You know what I meant there. Jaime wanted to kill Bran. Now, Ned killed Lady but he certainly didn't want to do that. He had empathy for her and considered it the right thing to following the code of honor the Starks are following. But that code of honor isn't based on the idea that the Starks are special and better than anybody else. Jaime's is.

From what I understand, you are claiming that Jaime thought there was nothing wrong with trying to kill Bran? As I can't see what other point you would be making here.

11 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

That doesn't matter. He decided that a debt he owed to Tyrion justified to free the convicted murderer of his own son and king. If that's not ignoring both the laws and common morals and rules of decency I don't know what is. And once Tyrion actually told him he killed his son he would have been obliged to actually arrest him again because Tyrion had admitted that he had killed the king. I mean, you do recall that Jaime wants to be an exemplary Lord Commander of the Kingsguard now, right? You know he spit his own father in the face to continue to be the Lord Commander of the Kingsguard before he freed Joffrey's murderer?

Wait. You say it doesn't matter that Jaime didn't believe in Tyrion's confession, but then you are making an argument assuming that he did. Well, no, Jaime not believing Tyrion does very well matter. He thought him to be innocent - for him he was rescuing his innocent brother from execution. This small detail makes your whole argument irrelevant.

 

11 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

However, does Jaime's own POV actually show empathy for the denizens of KL that are about to be burned here?

Why would Jaime's POV show empathy for those to whom nothing happened? We don't have Jaime's POV from when it happened, only his memories about it during present time. And in present time he knows they didn't burn, so obviously he would not feel empathy for them burning. But about those who did burn though, like Rickard Stark or Chelsted, we do know that Jaime was deeply horrified by their executions.

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Yes. Love is just a set of feelings people experience, and it comes in different forms. It isn't always healthy or selfless or unconditional.

Both Cersei and Jaime describe themselves as "half of whole" - there's a spirituality in their bond. So I think they do love each other (or loved, Jaime's case), but it's a twisted fucked up kind of love because they're both unempathetic assholes.

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4 hours ago, Dofs said:

You argue here already assuming that "There are no men like me. Only me." means "I am better than everyone". My point it that it does not mean that. Let's look at the actual piece of dialogue where he has said it and substitute "only me" part with "I am better than everyone".

"If there are gods, why is the world so full of pain and injustice?"
"Because of men like you."
"I am better than everyone."
 
Does this conversation make any sense to you? It certainly doesn't to me. He is responding to Cat's accusation here, not proclaiming his superiority to others and Cat accuses him in being the same as all others that bring pain and injustice to the world which means she is claiming that he is no different than the Mountain, Amory Lorch, Ramsey and the likes. She basically makes her judgement of him based on all other scum, lumping him with them, to which Jaime takes issue with and hence this is what his response about, that Jaime is Jaime and not Mountain, Amory or whoever she thought he is like. Jaime's phrase "There are no men like me. Only me." is not about superiority, it's not about similarity, it's about judgement.
 
I myself am not claiming that Brandon was like Jaime - Jaime did. That's just another point that indicates that you should not take the phrase "There are no men like me. Only me." literally. Because after saying that Jaime says this literally in the same conversation:  "Brandon was different from his brother, wasn't he? He had blood in his veins instead of cold water. More like me." Granted, he later retracts this statement on the basis of not knowing Brandon that much but it doesn't matter. It still shows that Jaime can very well think that other people can be similar to him and that his quote "There are no men like me. Only me." should not be taken out of context.
 
Also, Jaime has never shown that much care about his good looks or his father's money and he did not think that he was above others because of his surname. He lost all of it when he got captured - his time spent in dungeon hit his looks, all of his agency was stripped away from him, he was humiliated and treated as a lowborn - not something fit for a Lannister. Jaime's response? He did not care. His entire mindset of being treated like some peasant criminal was "whatever". Compare that with when he lost his ability to fight - Jaime fell into a deep depression and wanted to die. That's because this is what Jaime only cared for, this is what Jaime thought made him special. And nothing else. That's the reason Jaime wanted to die after his hand was cut off - because he literally believed that without it he was worthless:
 
They took my sword hand. Was that all I was, a sword hand? Gods be good, is it true?
 
And that's despite his good looks, his surname, his money. Which only means that it all did not mean much for Jaime.

From what I understand, you are claiming that Jaime thought there was nothing wrong with trying to kill Bran? As I can't see what other point you would be making here.

Wait. You say it doesn't matter that Jaime didn't believe in Tyrion's confession, but then you are making an argument assuming that he did. Well, no, Jaime not believing Tyrion does very well matter. He thought him to be innocent - for him he was rescuing his innocent brother from execution. This small detail makes your whole argument irrelevant.

 

Why would Jaime's POV show empathy for those to whom nothing happened? We don't have Jaime's POV from when it happened, only his memories about it during present time. And in present time he knows they didn't burn, so obviously he would not feel empathy for them burning. But about those who did burn though, like Rickard Stark or Chelsted, we do know that Jaime was deeply horrified by their executions.

People suffering from NPD don't have to think that they are better than anybody else. They can believe that, too. But it is enough that they merely believe they are very special, in a (relatively, i.e. compared to others) good or bad sense, depending on their situation, and they have a tendency to believe that they are above the rules of 'normal people', or that special rules apply to them.

All that is true to Jaime and attested by the text. He doesn't have to say that he is better than others, it is enough to say that he is his own category. And his explicit demand to marry his beloved sister, no matter the consequences, demonstrates this point to the extreme. That is a very selfish desire.

Jaime also doesn't have to be coherent in his comparisons. He certainly compares himself to others, no matter what he says. That isn't the point. The point is that he claims he is so special that he is his own category, basically.

We don't know how Jaime felt in the Riverrun dungeon. He was able to show little to no weakness when he talked to Catelyn, but that doesn't mean he liked being down there or had to complain all day long that he was entitled to better treatment - which he actually got before Tyrion tried to free him. And it is quite clear that being a Lannister of Casterly Rock is a less important part of his personality than being a great fighter. That is quite clear. Being a Lannister is part of who he is by birth. It can't be taken away from him. But he actually trained to become the fighter he had the potential to become. That is something he worked for. Losing that is crippling to him in more than the obvious manner.

It certainly makes him think about himself and his place in life. Just as being dumped in Sothoryos or Ulthos would make him think about 'being a Lannister', too, when it turned out that this name was completely unknown over there, taking away all the power and prestige it carried in Westeros. 

The point of Jaime having no empathy for Bran when he tried to kill him is the point. Both Jaime and Cersei wanted him to die, but Jaime first saved the boy only to try to kill him later with his own hands to exert the power that gave him. Cersei is the one who later showed regret over the entire thing, not Jaime. He sort of comes to regret it sort of because Cersei later complains. But it is not that he rues the fact that he destroyed the life of a young boy.

Jaime himself tells to Cersei in the lengthy I quote I give above that he is not entirely convinced that Tyrion did the deed. That is enough for him to free him, despite the fact that his father, the Hand of the King, speaking with the King's Voice, condemned him to death. The Hand of King Tommen, the very boy who happens to be both Jaime's son and king, too. The king whom he sworn to protect. He has no right to set a condemned criminal free. That is Jaime claiming special privilege again, for himself and the people he chooses.

Now, while Jaime is still somewhat convinced that Tyrion may be innocent the whole thing is mad but still justifiable to a point. But once Tyrion actually admits to Jaime that he did the deed he really has no right to allow him to go free. Even if he may think that Tyrion only said that to spite him he cannot be sure. And after what Jaime revealed to him Tyrion became a mortal danger both to Jaime and his entire family (as he very quickly proves when he kills Tywin). Jaime should have put him back into his cell after that.

Perhaps Jaime felt something for the people of KL. If the author's point of Jaime's story to Brienne was to relay the idea that Jaime's motivation to kill Aerys II was motivated by his empathy for the smallfolk of KL he would have included that part into the story. It would have reflected both in Jaime's memories of the event as well as in the words of his tale. Instead, we see that his driving motivation was his disgust of Aerys and the fact that he, Jaime, was forced to serve and protect that man. That's his problem, not the pain and suffering this man may afflict in a faceless mass.

Jaime gets the opportunity to punish a man who has forced him to silently suffer through his shit long enough. It is something along the lines of 'Oh, so now you want me to kill my own father while you are burning down your own city? We'll see about that.' That isn't a man striving to do the good thing in a moral dilemma (KG vows vs. other vows/common decency). Jaime could (and most likely would) have killed Aerys even if there was no wildfire plot. Simply because he could and because he had had enough. The man also wanted him to kill his own father. The point is that this is not a deed motivated by empathy. You make that mistake if you identify too much with Brienne when she hears that story. She would have killed him to save the people. Just as she betrayed Jaime to save the lives of innocents like Podrick and Hyle. Jaime wouldn't have done that.

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You can also see Jaime's narcissism at work when he contemplates the White Book. Now he can write its contents, meaning that he can write what he wants. Whatever he wants. That's the crucial point there. He wants to be able to write great and glorious deeds about himself in that book. That's what he wants more than anything else right now. And to do that he has to change his priorities. But he doesn't do that to better the world or because his empathy for others compels him to do. He does so to create this new persona, Goldenhand the Just, to be happy with himself again.

In that sense Jaime is very much like Tyrion when he announces that he will do 'justice' as Acting Hand. He does that because he wants to prove to himself and the world that he, a Lannister, can be just. It is all about himself and how he wants to be seen by the world, not about others and their feelings. There is nothing inherently compelling him to be just, a moral feeling or call to do the right thing, no matter what. And he quickly abandons all that when he realizes that 'doing justice' would mean to go against his own family. Not to mention that he quickly enough is corrupted by power when he realizes how much he enjoys having power.

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Posted (edited)

I agree with others in that Cersei is wrapped up in her (highly entertaining) clinical narcissism. She see's Jaime and what he represents and claims him for herself. In doing so, she begins to feel and think that all the positive traits he has also belong to her now; that she embodies them because she is his. More like he is hers, actually. She feels like if someone handed her a sword she would be as skilled as Jaime immediately without going through years of training. She did the same thing with Tywin, thinking that she naturally had all the qualities of effective rule that he demonstrated just by being his beloved daughter.

I'm sure the idea that only another Lannister is worthy of her also plays into it, but, as mentioned before, as soon as Jaime suffers his greatest trial (losing his sword hand) she quickly abandons him. This isn't love. A true love would be holding him long enough to ease his suffering, and then supporting him in his rehabilitation into courtly life. Instead, she's disgusted and she's quick to remind him of his maiming to shame and humiliate him. This gets worse when he rejects her advances in the Kingsguard tower. Now she hits him where it hurts every chance she gets. 

Her behavior finally opens his eyes to the limitations of her "love," and it's really a tragedy because his feelings for her were genuine. Actually, the real tragedy is how much the realm has bled because of Cersei's actions of cuckolding Robert Baratheon when she doesn't even properly love him. I'm actually a fan of Cersei (as an interesting, fleshed out antagonist) but this is the one thing that really has no Freudian excuse. In the end, I'm sure she genuinely believes that she loved Jaime, but when placed under scrutiny there is no reason to believe this is a real love. It's just another fantasy.

And I would disagree with those that say that she was only interested in Rhaegar's power. She clearly was infatuated with him.

When she had been presented to him, Cersei had almost drowned in the depths of his sad purple eyes. He has been wounded, she recalled thinking, but I will mend his hurt when we are wed. Next to Rhaegar, even her beautiful Jaime had seemed no more than a callow boy.

Martin, George R.R.. A Feast for Crows: A Song of Ice and Fire: Book Four (p. 405). Random House Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

I just read a chapter by her in A Feast for Crows and she stated that she believed the god's intended for her to marry Rhaegar.

Her aunt had lied, though, and her father had failed her, just as Jaime was failing her now. Father found no better man. Instead he gave me Robert, and Maggy’s curse bloomed like some poisonous flower. If she had only married Rhaegar as the gods intended, he would never have looked twice at the wolf girl. Rhaegar would be our king today and I would be his queen, the mother of his sons.

Martin, George R.R.. A Feast for Crows: A Song of Ice and Fire: Book Four (p. 406). Random House Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

In the end, romantic love (with the exception of her children) is something that Cersei isn't capable of. She has fantasies, to be sure. But I'm convinced she would have been as miserable with Rhaegar as she was with Robert.

Edited by Traverys

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Agree with a lot of the other posts. I think she loves him in the sense he is an extension of her and is who she wanted to be. She believes she would make a better Jamie than Jamie, especially recently. 

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54 minutes ago, King in the Nord said:

Agree with a lot of the other posts. I think she loves him in the sense he is an extension of her and is who she wanted to be. She believes she would make a better Jamie than Jamie, especially recently. 

Well, she would be. Jaime is a moron. Cersei is much smarter than he is. They are both not all that smart, but Jaime is still the stupid one.

2 hours ago, Traverys said:

I'm sure the idea that only another Lannister is worthy of her also plays into it, but, as mentioned before, as soon as Jaime suffers his greatest trial (losing his sword hand) she quickly abandons him. This isn't love. A true love would be holding him long enough to ease his suffering, and then supporting him in his rehabilitation into courtly life. Instead, she's disgusted and she's quick to remind him of his maiming to shame and humiliate him. This gets worse when he rejects her advances in the Kingsguard tower. Now she hits him where it hurts every chance she gets. 

This is simply not true. For one, Cersei lost as much - or even more, depending how measure those things - when Joffrey was killed. She is traumatized and afraid, too, and by no means obligated to comfort or care for him. They could have both comforted each other, but as you well know Jaime basically doesn't give a damn about his children or Cersei's grief for Joffrey. Do you recall a single word of comfort and solace he offered her. I don't. Even at Joffrey's bier he could basically only think with his cock, only think of his own desire and pleasure.

It is Jaime who pushes Cersei away in AFfC, emotionally distancing from her. All he can think about with whom Cersei is sleeping with, according to Tyrion. She is annoyed with him, yes, but she still loves him. This is made obvious throughout the book. She certainly should have expressed that better but it is Jaime who betrays Cersei, not the other way around.

If the man wanted to end their relationship he should have acted like a man and told her so. He could also have confronted her with his suspicions, asking her whether (and why) she slept with Lancel, Kettleblack, and Moon Boy (assuming he believes the latter). Instead he just abandons her (and by extension Tommen) to her enemies. Even if Cersei is no longer his lover she is still his twin sister.

2 hours ago, Traverys said:

Her behavior finally opens his eyes to the limitations of her "love," and it's really a tragedy because his feelings for her were genuine. Actually, the real tragedy is how much the realm has bled because of Cersei's actions of cuckolding Robert Baratheon when she doesn't even properly love him. I'm actually a fan of Cersei (as an interesting, fleshed out antagonist) but this is the one thing that really has no Freudian excuse. In the end, I'm sure she genuinely believes that she loved Jaime, but when placed under scrutiny there is no reason to believe this is a real love. It's just another fantasy.

Jaime wasn't tricked into that love, though. And I'm pretty sure he is as much to blame - or even more to blame - for the continuation of their sexual relationship throughout Robert's reign. It wouldn't haven't been that hard to keep his cock in his pants or to at least ensure that he didn't father all three of the king's children, would it?

I don't like Cersei as a character - again, she is paranoid, stupid, and can be quite cruel and uncaring - but the love between Jaime and Cersei is one of the few things between these that is actually genuine. On both sides.

2 hours ago, Traverys said:

And I would disagree with those that say that she was only interested in Rhaegar's power. She clearly was infatuated with him.

When she had been presented to him, Cersei had almost drowned in the depths of his sad purple eyes. He has been wounded, she recalled thinking, but I will mend his hurt when we are wed. Next to Rhaegar, even her beautiful Jaime had seemed no more than a callow boy.

Martin, George R.R.. A Feast for Crows: A Song of Ice and Fire: Book Four (p. 405). Random House Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

I just read a chapter by her in A Feast for Crows and she stated that she believed the god's intended for her to marry Rhaegar.

Her aunt had lied, though, and her father had failed her, just as Jaime was failing her now. Father found no better man. Instead he gave me Robert, and Maggy’s curse bloomed like some poisonous flower. If she had only married Rhaegar as the gods intended, he would never have looked twice at the wolf girl. Rhaegar would be our king today and I would be his queen, the mother of his sons.

Martin, George R.R.. A Feast for Crows: A Song of Ice and Fire: Book Four (p. 406). Random House Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

In the end, romantic love (with the exception of her children) is something that Cersei isn't capable of. She has fantasies, to be sure. But I'm convinced she would have been as miserable with Rhaegar as she was with Robert.

That is a post hoc idealization of Rhaegar. Cersei Lannister never knew Rhaegar Targaryen and she was ten years old - ten years! - during the tourney where her betrothal to Rhaegar was supposed to have been announced. She may have seen the man once or twice prior to that tourney but that would have been it, and most of those occasions would have been formal events at court when she was not even ten years old.

She would also have seen Rhaegar a few times after the tourney but she only came to court after the death of Steffon Baratheon and around that time Rhaegar married Princess Elia and moved permanently to Dragonstone. There is simply no chance that she ever knew him as a person. And I doubt that she still idealized him all that much after she had been rejected by Aerys. That would have had hurt her pretty much.

Rhaegar only comes back an image in the aftermath of the whole Robert thing.

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Lord Varys, can we really get a moderate Cersei only for the price of blaming Jaime for all bad in that relationship? As much as I appreciate your defence of Cersei as a lover, you now start to take two measures on the twins. But I reckon they are written as twins to stay comparable in their development. (You agree that there will be a development, don't you?)

Then how comes you blame Jaime for defending his family by pushing Bran and blame him too, when he is not willing to defend it by taking revenge or meddling with Tywin's plans the other time? You created a paradox, so that Jaime would never act right in your view. But that's alright to me. Now I know he has still a long way to go to be convincing in that very change both Cersei and Brienne notice. Or he himself, when he ponders that all his instincts have gone wrong now. I agree that there is no redemption for Jaime, since he isn't sorry at all for what he did. He defined himself as somebody who made kings and unmade them. Regardless if it is his own dynasty or not. Lack of personal involvement is a proto-state of justice. And not compassion... as law won't bring back dead people and won't tell you how to hold peace or how to be just. You can do something good without nessesarily good intentions. I think that is what GRRM shows with Jaime. He is arrogant, but he will need that possibly. Resilience helps Arya to kill her enemies, resilience lets Sansa play along with her enemies et cetera. There's much puberty in those books, but also a general change of times. As in a more modern time the man who passes the sentence and wields the sword won't be a king himself or his ally. I can sense a change of times in Cersei too, who anticipates your namesake's innovation by ruling along the lines power-is-where-people-believe-it-to-be. Only there is no model for a presidential system or a devision of power. The twins are right mocking the system they live in, but their ideas how to improve it are different if not opposed. This can kill love too.

I don't want to speculate about the truth of their love until we have more knowledge of that night which Jaime remembers as Cersei's most passionate, paid with Casterly Rock (in his own words). We still don't know about Cersei's motives here and how long she acted as a simple serving wench, until she gave up that cover. Was that her first time, too? Was it to show her brother her sisterly love in a radical way or did she coolly plan to switch places with him as in their past? We still don't know. All we know is that Jaime was pretty much ignorant regarding girls until then and would have married Lysa Tully obediently. Cersei had a disguise, information, sexual skill and a plan. More than Jaime had when this relationship startet.

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15 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Cersei also doesn't have to use seduction or sex as a coin to bend anybody to her will. She used Lancel to distract and entertain herself, not to get him to do what she wanted. Tywin had made it clear that the boys were to obey the queen in all things when they were made Robert's squires. She used sex to bind the Kettleblacks to her, yes, but that didn't give him a lot of power she did not already have, it ensured she could use them as tools to do some rather dirty work - like killing the High Septon.

IMO, she used sex to bind them. To insure they would not betray her. Partly for fun, but also for insuring her power over them.

To Ned:

Your wife is a thousand leagues away, and my brother has fled. Be kind to me, Ned. I swear to you, you shall never regret it.

To Sansa:

You little fool. Tears are not a woman’s only weapon. You’ve got another one between your legs, and you’d best learn to use it.

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12 minutes ago, BalerionTheCat said:

IMO, she used sex to bind them. To insure they would not betray her. Partly for fun, but also for insuring her power over them.

To Ned:

Your wife is a thousand leagues away, and my brother has fled. Be kind to me, Ned. I swear to you, you shall never regret it.

To Sansa:

You little fool. Tears are not a woman’s only weapon. You’ve got another one between your legs, and you’d best learn to use it.

She is not beyond using all her assets, of course. But it is not something she does all that frequently. Jaime left her, remember? And having an affair with Ned would have been a much cleaner and more pleasant thing than being forced by him to kill him and his men and start a war.

Cersei isn't a woman who used sex to acquire power. She was born to power and privilege and always had it. She knows other women use sex as a weapon, and she does it, too, but only when she has to. We can be reasonably certain that the only men she slept with prior to Lancel were Jaime and Robert. Nothing suggests otherwise.

We can be reasonably certain she would never have slept with either Lancel or the Kettleblacks if Jaime had been around and if she had been felt perfectly fine and secure. Instead she was threatened by not only Robert's brothers but also Tyrion and later her own father.

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14 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

That is a weird statement. You can scheme to get power and know how to wield it, and you can scheme to get power and not know how to wield it. The idea that people who scheme to get power don't understand power is usually wrong. In fact, if you look at politics today those people who scheme to get power usually understand it best. They usually are the people ruling us. You usually don't rise through the ranks of a party or a political system if you don't know how to scheme and destroy your rivals. 

It is a correct statement.  Scheming is not the same as ruling.  In fact, in many ways, it's the exact opposite.  Look at LBJ - one of the greatest political operators in all American history, someone brilliant at moving levers of power behind the scenes.  But it was a habit he couldn't break; he didn't know how to build an open consensus, and as a result, began the fatal process of undermining the credibility of government and the Presidency.

Cersei schemes well, because at the end of the day it nets her power.  And when she's working through Robert, her ability to gain patronage for her supporters is a definite plus.  But now she's ruling the Seven Kingdoms, and doing about the worst possible job.  And why?  Because she grants appointments only to her toadies and yes-men.  She doesn't know how to rule, how to build a coalition - she spends half her time scheming against the only hard power propping her up (the Tyrells) instead of actually running the realm.  Effectively, she's taken the power of the throne and used it... to continue scheming.  Which is why I say she's a bad ruler - she's the dog chasing the proverbial car.  Having absolute or near-absolute authority was a goal not because she wanted to use the power to achieve something, but because it was the next rung on the ladder in one-upping her "enemies" and rivals.

14 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

That isn't true either. Cersei's entire world was destroyed by Tyrion when he (allegedly) killed both Joffrey and Tywin. And prior to that she also lost much of her self and her confidence when she lost Jaime in AGoT. She didn't lose any of her body parts but the woman we meet in AGoT isn't the same as paranoid woman whose POV we first get in AFfC. 

Well we don't know that.  We can guess that she is the same, because she acts the same.  Obviously getting inside someone's head complicates and deepens our understanding of their motives.

My point about Cersei is she never self-reflects.  Joffrey's murder doesn't make her think about her own position of privilege in the world, or reflect on her life choices.  Her sense of self is unchanged.  She takes their deaths as an opportunity to accumulate more power to herself, after all, accelerating a process she'd been in the middle of for years.

14 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

And Jaime personality isn't this fighter guy. He is also the Kingslayer and the secret lover of his sister. Especially the latter is a huge part of his personality, and neither of that is gone.

They had taken his hand, they had taken his sword hand, and without it he was nothing. The other was no good to him. Since the time he could walk, his left arm had been his shield arm, no more. It was his right hand that made him a knight; his right arm that made him a man.

You are wrong.  I know you like ignoring the text in favor of your own bizarre opinions, but this isn't subject to debate.  Jaime's entire identity is bound up in his prowess as a fighter.  He says it himself; it's only after it is gone that he is forced to re-evaluate his life.  Yes, he loves his sister, but that isn't his identity, any more than you or I would define ourselves through a lover or significant other.  And yes, he's the Kingslayer, but that's the emo teen in him; he knows killing Aerys was his greatest act, and he just likes reveling in the world hating him for it despite not knowing the truth because he's a Lannister, he's the best swordsman of his generation, he's a lion, and no one else is fit to judge him.

15 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Oh, I don't doubt that Jaime wants to be a better person now, but only to be more happy with himself, not because he actually cares about other people. But it is quite clear that it is very unlikely that anybody will ever believe he has changed.

Which matters, why?  That isn't what character is about.  That's perception.  Jaime genuinely seems to give a shit about the consequences of his actions, at least more so than he did.  Yes, he's busy enforcing an immoral peace on the Riverlands now, and he doesn't even bother to reflect on that, but at least he's trying to do things without an excess of bloodshed for the sake of his pride, as he might have done previously.  And whether anyone else believes he changes is immaterial to his character arc; what matters is what he believes, and how he reacts accordingly.

15 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Brienne was a positive mirror for him back in ASoS, but is she still going to have that function for him after what Biter and Catelyn did to her? Will Jaime forgive that Brienne lured him into a trap - a trap that most likely will force him to participate in and watch helplessly while Catelyn cruelly kills his aunt Genna after she has taken Riverrun?

So your position is that because Brienne is physically disfigured, Jaime won't respect her as much?  Are you even reading the same books?

And by the way, he can't participate in AND act helplessly.  It's physically not possible to do both.  Pick one.

15 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

And vice versa. Jaime also loves Cersei because she reminds him of himself. But that's only part of their relationship. They are twins who grew up together. They know each other inside out.

This is highly debatable.  In fact, I'd argue everything we know goes against this interpretation.  Jaime, for his part, has been a faithful lover these past two decades.  He's been wrapped around Cersei's finger.  He does what she wants.  He puts her needs and her wants ahead of his own, mostly.  Cersei, by contrast, has done no such thing.  She has manipulated him for her own selfish ends.  She has no issues taking other lovers.  In a conventional relationship, Jaime is the victim of psychological and emotional abuse in the relationship, and Cersei is his abuser.

 

15 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Jaime is accused of being responsible for the death of Rhaegar's wife and children by the ghosts in the weirwood dream and he feels guilty about that.

That isn't necessarily historically accurate.  It's just the beginning of him subconsciously exploring his guilt and his past.

 

15 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Had he done his duty as Kingsguard and protected the king's family - Rhaegar's family - Tywin's men wouldn't have killed them. Or do you think Gregor and Lorch would have dared to harm them if Jaime had been in charge of their protection. Instead he killed Rhaegar's father.

You really don't understand anything, do you?  Jaime has no responsibility for Rhaegar or his kids.  Zip.  Zilch.  None.  He is responsible only to the King, and while the king can give him orders to protect his family, in the absence of that explicit command Jaime has no duty to protect the royal family, and certainly not at the expense of the royal person.  As it happens, Jaime was ordered to stay close to Aerys (as the only Kingsguard left in KL), and then to kill Tywin, so at all points he is explicitly not responsible for Rhaegar's family.

And instead, Jaime saved 500,000 innocent lives.  Pretty good trade, from a utilitarian standpoint.  I know you're taking this whole "I'm so cool because I'm going to say Jaime was wrong to break his Kingsguard vow" position, but it's a deeply and disturbingly unethical and evil one.  Contrary to your unfounded and bizarre assertions, the chronology of events is quite clear that Jaime acts only after he is certain Aerys ordered the mass murder of Kings Landing, and that no, he doesn't take a sadistic pleasure in it, but acts to save lives.  The text is explicit on this.

15 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

He only grows really angry at Cersei when Tyrion tells him about her (alleged) affairs. That's what gnawing at him in AFfC and ADwD. Petty jealousy and a sense of betrayal.

Right... when he realizes that Cersei doesn't love him, he gets angry.  How is this even remotely disproving my point?  Once Jaime finds out about Lancel and the Kettleblacks, he realizes that Cersei does not reciprocate the devotion he's felt to her, and re-evaluates his entire relationship with her.  He realizes that Cersei cares more about her own political future (through her kids) than about him.  That isn't petty jealousy.  Jaime broke his vows, committed treason, threw away a future and an inheritance, gained the hatred of the realm, all for Cersei.  Solely for Cersei.  And when he thought she truly loved him, it was okay.  But now he's realized what everyone except you has; that Cersei loves herself and Jaime is a way of her indulging in that fantasy, because she can pretend like she's making love to herself when Jaime is there.  So yeah... it's not "petty jealousy" and it is a massive betrayal.

15 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

The only blow in that direction comes from the dream where Bloodraven puts Cersei against Jaime and pairs him with Brienne. Those are not his own thoughts, that's an outside force messing with and manipulating his mind and emotions.

What evidence do we have that it's Bloodraven?  Aside from the fact that he's on a weirwood stump, which is just a magically sensitive tree?  Bloodraven doesn't give two wet shits about Jaime, or Cersei, or any of that.  He's focused on the Others.  Its amazing to me how many blind assumptions you make to support your awful positions, while completely disregarding the text when even a clear quote disproves you.

15 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Cersei grows angry when Jaime rejects her advances, she grows angry because he doesn't want to sleep with her in the tower. She does not grow angry because he doesn't do what she wants.

The FIRST THING she asks for is Jaime's help keeping her political power in KL.  Not "I love you" but "talk to Father so I can stay and influence my son".

And then, of course, we see her utter disregard for the independent well being of her children.  Tommen is lonely, and enjoys having Margaery and her court nearby, because ever since his sister left he's had no one but his mother.  But instead of wanting her child to have a healthy relationship with his future wife, and learn to be an effective monarch, all she cares about is staying close to him so she can continue to wield political power.  Tommen is her son.  Emphasis on the possessive there.

After Jaime rejects her pleas to help her stay in Kings Landing, she attempts to use sex to manipulate him.  It is only once she can't appeal to his desire to please her, and then once she can't appeal to his desire to sleep with her, that she becomes angry.  You can't take the context out of this.  She only tries to sleep with him to get him to do what she wants.  So yes, she's angry because he won't sleep with her, but what are her motivations?  She's using sex in lieu of the argument she just lost.  So she's not angry at not getting sex, she's angry at not getting her way.  Are you honestly so blind, or so naive in terms of relationships, that you can't understand this?

15 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

I guess you know who fathered those three children, no? And you are aware that telling the truth about them would most likely meant that they are going to be killed, right? It is pretty ridiculous how you are accusing Cersei of not loving her children when she is the parent who tries to protect them while their father simply doesn't care.

Well this is a nature over nurture question.  As Jaime himself says, he's never been allowed to have a relationship with his own children despite their proximity.  Why should he care?  To him, they're no more than the by-blows of masturbating.  

And look at the context.  Cersei isn't concerned about their lives.  She's concerned about their political power.  If Jaime, Cersei, Tommen, and Myrcella go back to Casterly Rock and announce their incest, they'll be scorned, and they'll lose all political influence, but they won't be killed.  It isn't worth it.  Maybe by the Faith or their own bannermen, but not by the Throne.  Cersei wants power for her kids, because that means power for her.  Which is why she's explicitly more concerned with their political prospects than the threat to their lives.

15 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

That is not what she thinks and says in her chapter. She first thinks about Jaime whenever she is afraid because he loves and protects her. He is strong, he is her champion, she loves him. She doesn't sit there, cold and calculating, using her feminine wiles to make a puppet out of him. She only decides that she wants a patsy when Kevan rejects her, too. She is willing to work both with Kevan but both reject her. 

No, Kevan doesn't reject her.  Kevan says that he wants her out of power, because she's unfit to hold it.  Again, proving that she wants a patsy.  This could not be more clear.  Jaime doesn't want the job for other reasons, but Kevan explicitly turns it down because he doesn't want to be Hand while she's Regent.

And Cersei has been using feminine wiles to make a puppet out of Jaime since they were 15.  You just quoted an excellent example of a time when it failed (appeal to his love for her, then his lust for her, then insult him and walk away if neither works).  And it is made explicit that Jaime joins the Kingsguard to be with Cersei, and that Cersei uses sex to make him do it.

15 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

That is only partly true. She could ask another Kingsguard. Or she could try to find around the trial-by-combat situation. And Qyburn points out Jaime's shortcomings as a champion. 

Who?  This is why I said "worth asking".  There aren't any other Kingsguard who are really worth the name.  Loras is incapacitated.  Balon Swann and, she thinks, Arys Oakheart are in Dorne.  Meryn Trant isn't considered a paragon of martial ability.  Boros Blount is a fat idiot.  Osmund Kettleblack is in jail.  Jaime is literally her only option, and because she's a paranoid fool, she wants him over Blount or Trant.  She can't get around the trial by combat, because her guilt has been pre-decided by the Faith.  So she's got a sure loser in Blount, a bad option in Trant, or the hope that "love" and the remnants of what was once all-conquering skill will triumph.  Looked at in that light, Jaime is her least-bad option, especially because no one knows just how bad Jaime has become with a sword.

15 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

That is just not true.

It is.  You have to understand things like relationships, or the English language, or narrative structure, but it is true.

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Posted (edited)

7 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Jaime also doesn't have to be coherent in his comparisons. He certainly compares himself to others, no matter what he says. That isn't the point. The point is that he claims he is so special that he is his own category, basically.

No, it is very much the point. You can't just state that Jaime believes he is in his own category of specialness and that anything that counters your argument is irrelevant. Jaime has said that Brandon Stark was like him. Jaime has said that Loras was flat out him. He does not believe that he is in his own category, period. Claiming otherwise is literally contradicting what is in the text.

7 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

And his explicit demand to marry his beloved sister, no matter the consequences, demonstrates this point to the extreme. That is a very selfish desire.

If a homosexual man demands to marry his loved one in a place where it is a social taboo, does it indicate that he is a very selfish man that suffers from NPD?

7 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

We don't know how Jaime felt in the Riverrun dungeon. He was able to show little to no weakness when he talked to Catelyn, but that doesn't mean he liked being down there or had to complain all day long that he was entitled to better treatment - which he actually got before Tyrion tried to free him.

I did not claim that he liked being in the dungeon but If you believe that he complained about being there, you grossly misinterpret Jaime's character (although judging from that I disagree with basically 99% of what you write about him, I honestly believe you do).

7 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

The point of Jaime having no empathy for Bran when he tried to kill him is the point. Both Jaime and Cersei wanted him to die, but Jaime first saved the boy only to try to kill him later with his own hands to exert the power that gave him. Cersei is the one who later showed regret over the entire thing, not Jaime. He sort of comes to regret it sort of because Cersei later complains. But it is not that he rues the fact that he destroyed the life of a young boy.

Jaime loathed the fact that he had to throw Bran and also:

 "I'm not ashamed of loving you, only of the things I've done to hide it. That boy at Winterfell . . ."

The only thing that Cersei regretted was that Bran didn't die. And it was Jaime who argued against further action with him.

7 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Even if he may think that Tyrion only said that to spite him he cannot be sure. And after what Jaime revealed to him Tyrion became a mortal danger both to Jaime and his entire family (as he very quickly proves when he kills Tywin).

He kinda was sure that Tyrion wanted to spite him, certainly because Tyrion also spoke about Cersei to which Jaime initially flat out refused to believe.

7 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

If the author's point of Jaime's story to Brienne was to relay the idea that Jaime's motivation to kill Aerys II was motivated by his empathy for the smallfolk of KL he would have included that part into the story. 

Why?

Jaime was horrified by burnings of Stark and Chelsted. He had nighmares of people burning with wildfire. He feels uneasy walking in burnt place. So yes, there is enough indication that he was also motivated by preventing the smallfolk to burn.

Edited by Dofs

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18 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

She used Lancel to distract and entertain herself, not to get him to do what she wanted.

Cersei has claimed that the only person she feels good with during sex is Jaime. So no, she was not distracting herself with Lancel, nor found it entertaining. 

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16 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

He actually agreed to the whole issue. He said he would talk to Lord Tywin, no? And it is she who rejects his ridiculous proposal of marriage (showing that he certainly doesn't dream of Brienne's big blue eyes). He very much loves her, even at that point. That only changes when he gets jealous in AFfC thanks to Tyrion's manipulation.

No, he did not say that.  Where in the world do you get this shit from?  Cersei is very explicit in what she wants.  She wants Jaime to give up his White Cloak, and make it clear to Tywin that it's a quid pro quo for allowing Cersei to stay in Kings Landing.  You even quoted the relevant passage!

“Lord Tywin has not asked for my approval. I can talk to him, but he will not listen …”

“He will if you agree to leave the Kingsguard.”

Seriously.  Get a better handle on the text.

16 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

He actually agreed to the whole issue. He said he would talk to Lord Tywin, no? And it is she who rejects his ridiculous proposal of marriage (showing that he certainly doesn't dream of Brienne's big blue eyes). He very much loves her, even at that point. That only changes when he gets jealous in AFfC thanks to Tyrion's manipulation.

You may also not that it is Cersei who rejects Jaime when she rejects the offer of marriage. She is then trying to convince him that she still loves and wants to prove that with sex. Then he rejects her because the whole thing happens in the tower.

It is also the case the Cersei very often convinced Jaime to do certain things during/after sex but they sure as hell also had sex many other times when nothing of this sort was on the table.

Your claim that this was just this quid pro quo sex where Cersei wanted something from Jaime is entirely unfounded. She wanted his help, yes, help he should have given her because Cersei's problem affects their relationship. It is quite clear Jaime does not want Cersei to marry another man. He wants her to marry him and is pissed that she does not fulfill his narcissistic needs (marrying him, never mind the fate of their children; refusing to sleep with her in that stupid tower). You know, she is right that there is no difference between having sex in that tower or in the sept.

They even fucked each other with Cersei's husband the king being drunk in the same room with them.

You are an absurd child.  The text is explicit, and I know you want to be some kind of counter-intuitive rebel, but you're just wrong.  And the text shows it.  It's like your coming here without actually having read the books, much less having understood them

 

3 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Cersei isn't a woman who used sex to acquire power. She was born to power and privilege and always had it. She knows other women use sex as a weapon, and she does it, too, but only when she has to. We can be reasonably certain that the only men she slept with prior to Lancel were Jaime and Robert. Nothing suggests otherwise.

OK.... which proves exactly nothing at all.  When she wants something that she cannot get another way, she uses sex.  All of your other useless and meaningless blatherings don't excuse that.

By contrast, we don't see a single other character acting in such a way.  Cersei is at the very tip top of the Westerosi social and political ladder.  She doesn't need to use sex for power; as you say, she couldn't possibly be more privileged or powerful.  She uses her gender in a way that is against the norms of Westerosi society (unlike, say, Margaery, who exploits her position as a woman at court in a much more "acceptable" way).  

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3 hours ago, cpg2016 said:

It is a correct statement.  Scheming is not the same as ruling.  In fact, in many ways, it's the exact opposite.  Look at LBJ - one of the greatest political operators in all American history, someone brilliant at moving levers of power behind the scenes.  But it was a habit he couldn't break; he didn't know how to build an open consensus, and as a result, began the fatal process of undermining the credibility of government and the Presidency.

Well, modern political systems aren't the same as monarchies, and people at the very top in monarchies are seldom the people who do the actual job of ruling. To get things in the direction you want them to go you have to influence things behind the scenes. In an (absolute) monarchy the monarch has seldom the need to scheme and plot but the people around him constantly have to remain in his favor and to get their policies implemented.

Cersei was not prepared to be a monarch, of course, that is certainly a problem, and I never said she was. But she like many other characters learns to understand power by exerting it. That's the way they all learn. Nobody taught Littlefinger or Varys how to scheme, they are all self-taught. Aegon V wasn't groomed to rule, either, and he did a good job, while Aerys II was prepared for it all his life as the eldest son of the king's heir yet he still was a failure.

Tytos didn't prepare Tywin to rule, either - the man couldn't rule, after all, yet Tywin, presumably partly self-taught, and partly groomed by Aegon V, did a very fine job later in life.

3 hours ago, cpg2016 said:

Cersei schemes well, because at the end of the day it nets her power.  And when she's working through Robert, her ability to gain patronage for her supporters is a definite plus.  But now she's ruling the Seven Kingdoms, and doing about the worst possible job.  And why?  Because she grants appointments only to her toadies and yes-men.  She doesn't know how to rule, how to build a coalition - she spends half her time scheming against the only hard power propping her up (the Tyrells) instead of actually running the realm.  Effectively, she's taken the power of the throne and used it... to continue scheming.  Which is why I say she's a bad ruler - she's the dog chasing the proverbial car.  Having absolute or near-absolute authority was a goal not because she wanted to use the power to achieve something, but because it was the next rung on the ladder in one-upping her "enemies" and rivals.

Cersei certainly fucks things up in AFfC. But take a back seat and look at the situation. Would she have turned to those yes-men if Jaime and Kevan had turned her down? Do you think it would have been a wise move to actually make a Tyrell man/Mace the Hand? Do you think she can trust the Tyrells? You do know that they have murdered Joffrey. Don't you think it is likely they intend to take out her, too?

Her worst blunder is her deal with the Faith. That's just a catastrophe. Trusting Taena-Orton and Aurane Water is also stupidity. Ignoring the Ironborn as long as she can weakening the Tyrells by helping Loras to nearly kill himself is no bad move. She doesn't have the knowledge to assume Euron is the evil sorcerer king he actually is. She also has no reason to expect Aegon's arrival. Her plot to get Myrcella back and cancel the Martell marriage is somewhat over the top but correct in principle. Arianne Martell did try to use Myrcella as a weapon against her and Tommen.

If Cersei was not as deeply traumatized by the loss of Tywin and Joffrey - and if her family would have stood by her and Tommen - they could have managed this whole thing much better.

I have to stay at her side in the judgment of Kevan - by what right does this man - this landless knight - make demands of the Queen Regent of the Seven Kingdoms? He wouldn't have dared treat a man in this fashion. Cersei is very much right here. A man as stupid and unhinged as Cersei is would have been treated much differently in this world.

3 hours ago, cpg2016 said:

Well we don't know that.  We can guess that she is the same, because she acts the same.  Obviously getting inside someone's head complicates and deepens our understanding of their motives.

Cersei is a much saner person back in AGoT. And she is even a caring mother and sister back there. Just think of that breakfast with Tyrion, Jaime, and the children at Winterfell or the scene between her and Tyrion in ACoK. What unhinges her are the deaths of both Joffrey and Tywin. The impact Joff's death has on her is laid out in the long quote from ASoS I gave above. She lays out her grief in front of Jaime and he doesn't care.

3 hours ago, cpg2016 said:

My point about Cersei is she never self-reflects.  Joffrey's murder doesn't make her think about her own position of privilege in the world, or reflect on her life choices.  Her sense of self is unchanged.  She takes their deaths as an opportunity to accumulate more power to herself, after all, accelerating a process she'd been in the middle of for years.

Jaime has the time to reflect while he is riding the countryside. Cersei is basically pushed from one crisis to the next. Just put yourself in her shoes for a moment. Her son chokes to death in front of her eyes. She sees it and cannot do anything. She believes her own brother is behind that in an attempt at petty revenge (no stupid conclusion in light of the threats Tyrion made in ACoK). Her father tries to separate her from her only surviving child, intending to force her into another marriage. Then said brother escapes and murders her own father.

Where is the time for reflection in all this? Cersei has to struggle not to drown the entire time. She is in a constant struggle for survival since Eddard Stark confronted her about the incest back in AGoT.

3 hours ago, cpg2016 said:

They had taken his hand, they had taken his sword hand, and without it he was nothing. The other was no good to him. Since the time he could walk, his left arm had been his shield arm, no more. It was his right hand that made him a knight; his right arm that made him a man.

You are wrong.  I know you like ignoring the text in favor of your own bizarre opinions, but this isn't subject to debate.  Jaime's entire identity is bound up in his prowess as a fighter.  He says it himself; it's only after it is gone that he is forced to re-evaluate his life.  Yes, he loves his sister, but that isn't his identity, any more than you or I would define ourselves through a lover or significant other.  And yes, he's the Kingslayer, but that's the emo teen in him; he knows killing Aerys was his greatest act, and he just likes reveling in the world hating him for it despite not knowing the truth because he's a Lannister, he's the best swordsman of his generation, he's a lion, and no one else is fit to judge him.

You are wrong there. His Lannister identity and the love for Cersei are as important to him as his sword hand. He reinforces this point throughout ASoS. And he even stretches the point that he killed Aerys as a Lannister by wearing the golden armor instead of the white armor (although he failed to remove the cloak).

Once Jaime loses his hand he reinvents himself as this Kingsguard 'Goldenhand the Just' fiction but that man is just as much a Lannister as the Kingslayer was. That is reinforced all throughout AFfC and ASoS when it is clear that he is doing everything he does for Tommen and House Lannister. In whose name is he pacifying the Riverlands?

3 hours ago, cpg2016 said:

Which matters, why?  That isn't what character is about.  That's perception.  Jaime genuinely seems to give a shit about the consequences of his actions, at least more so than he did.  Yes, he's busy enforcing an immoral peace on the Riverlands now, and he doesn't even bother to reflect on that, but at least he's trying to do things without an excess of bloodshed for the sake of his pride, as he might have done previously.  And whether anyone else believes he changes is immaterial to his character arc; what matters is what he believes, and how he reacts accordingly.

That is the point. He didn't really change. He is the same narcissist he was before, his narcissism is just obsessed with creating a different self-image. He is still the same guy. He didn't change on a deep and relevant level, becoming reformed from the ground up.

3 hours ago, cpg2016 said:

So your position is that because Brienne is physically disfigured, Jaime won't respect her as much?  Are you even reading the same books?

No, it is more complex than that. What Jaime liked about Brienne, what triggered her role as a mirror for him was her innocence and naiveté. He saw himself in her. But whether he is still going to see anything of himself in the woman who through quite an ordeal in AFfC remains to be seen. The question is not what Biter did to her face, the question is how did Biter and Catelyn change Brienne's own look on the world. And, of course, what Brienne did to - or participate in doing - to Jaime. She lured him into a trap.

The idea that Jaime is actually sexually attracted to Brienne is just a fantasy of some readers.

3 hours ago, cpg2016 said:

And by the way, he can't participate in AND act helplessly.  It's physically not possible to do both.  Pick one.

Sure, he can. He can participate in Catelyn's plan to retake Riverrun - and I assume doing that is going to at least part of the price for his life. He has to prove that he is worth for something, after all, else they would kill him at once. And then afterwards he might be forced there to watch while Catelyn has both Genna and Emmon tortured and hanged, perhaps even breaking her promise to him to spare Genna in exchange for his help. The Lannisters are now going to get fed a taste of their own medicine.

I mean, you do recall that Roose gave Robb Jaime's regards when he killed him. Catelyn heard that. And there is no way that Jaime will be able to convince Catelyn that he didn't mean it in *that way*. No chance at all.

3 hours ago, cpg2016 said:

This is highly debatable.  In fact, I'd argue everything we know goes against this interpretation.  Jaime, for his part, has been a faithful lover these past two decades.  He's been wrapped around Cersei's finger.  He does what she wants.  He puts her needs and her wants ahead of his own, mostly.  Cersei, by contrast, has done no such thing.  She has manipulated him for her own selfish ends.  She has no issues taking other lovers.  In a conventional relationship, Jaime is the victim of psychological and emotional abuse in the relationship, and Cersei is his abuser.

You could make such a case if you could prove that Cersei seduced Jaime and sort of corrupted him into this relationship, but there is no hint in that direction. We have more than ample evidence that it is Jaime who insist again and again that they have sex, most notably in the Broken Tower of Winterfell. And do you think it was Cersei's idea to have sex while a drunken Robert was passed out? That has all Jaime written over it. It could even have been Jaime who decided to that he would be the father of Robert's children. He certainly didn't object to that whole thing.

Cersei only turned to other men after Jaime left her - yes, left her - after he run amok because of Tyrion back in AGoT. And then he got himself caught by the Starks, making it very likely that he would never return alive. For Cersei Jaime was already half-dead, how on earth is it false in such a situation to look for solace elsewhere, especially if you are in constant struggle for survival?

3 hours ago, cpg2016 said:

That isn't necessarily historically accurate.  It's just the beginning of him subconsciously exploring his guilt and his past.

He accepts this guilt as his. You may absolve him of that failure and guilt but Jaime doesn't care about your opinion on the matter.

3 hours ago, cpg2016 said:

You really don't understand anything, do you?  Jaime has no responsibility for Rhaegar or his kids.  Zip.  Zilch.  None.  He is responsible only to the King, and while the king can give him orders to protect his family, in the absence of that explicit command Jaime has no duty to protect the royal family, and certainly not at the expense of the royal person.  As it happens, Jaime was ordered to stay close to Aerys (as the only Kingsguard left in KL), and then to kill Tywin, so at all points he is explicitly not responsible for Rhaegar's family.

Again, that is not how he feels, thanks to this weird weirwood dream. Jaime is not as cowardly as to hide behind orders. He promised Rhaegar to keep his wife and children safe and he did not. He did not even avenge them, something he could have easily done considering that he was, after all, Jaime Lannister. He could have found ways to make Clegane and Lorch pay for what they did.

3 hours ago, cpg2016 said:

And instead, Jaime saved 500,000 innocent lives.  Pretty good trade, from a utilitarian standpoint.  I know you're taking this whole "I'm so cool because I'm going to say Jaime was wrong to break his Kingsguard vow" position, but it's a deeply and disturbingly unethical and evil one.  Contrary to your unfounded and bizarre assertions, the chronology of events is quite clear that Jaime acts only after he is certain Aerys ordered the mass murder of Kings Landing, and that no, he doesn't take a sadistic pleasure in it, but acts to save lives.  The text is explicit on this.

Nobody acts on the basis of utilitarian principles. If you have to choose between the lives of your beloved family and a bunch of strangers, you choose your family. And there is nothing wrong with that.

But since you apparently fail to actually reread the text in question I give you hear what we do have from Jaime's POV on Aerys' murder:

Quote

“It fell to me to hold the Red Keep, but I knew we were lost. I sent to Aerys asking his leave to make terms. My man came back with a royal command. ‘Bring me your father’s head, if you are no traitor.’ Aerys would have no yielding. Lord Rossart was with him, my messenger said. I knew what that meant.
“When I came on Rossart, he was dressed as a common man-at-arms, hurrying to a postern gate. I slew him first. Then I slew Aerys, before he could find someone else to carry his message to the pyromancers. Days later, I hunted down the others and slew them as well. Belis offered me gold, and Garigus wept for mercy. Well, a sword’s more merciful than fire, but I don’t think Garigus much appreciated the kindness I showed him.”

Jaime is still serving his king up to the point the man order him to slay Tywin. Then he decides to kill both him and Rossart. And, again, it is quite clear that killing Rossart would have been enough to end the evil plan.

There is another scene covering Jaime's actual memory of the murder of Aerys:

Quote

But when he closed his eyes, it was Aerys Targaryen he saw, pacing alone in his throne room, picking at his scabbed and bleeding hands. The fool was always cutting himself on the blades and barbs of the Iron Throne. Jaime had slipped in through the king’s door, clad in his golden armor, sword in hand. The golden armor, not the white, but no one ever remembers that. Would that I had taken off that damned cloak as well.

When Aerys saw the blood on his blade, he demanded to know if it was Lord Tywin’s. “I want him dead, the traitor. I want his head, you’ll bring me his head, or you’ll burn with all the rest. All the traitors. Rossart says they are inside the walls! He’s gone to make them a warm welcome. Whose blood? Whose?”
“Rossart’s,” answered Jaime.
Those purple eyes grew huge then, and the royal mouth drooped open in shock. He lost control of his bowels, turned, and ran for the Iron Throne. Beneath the empty eyes of the skulls on the walls, Jaime hauled the last dragonking bodily off the steps, squealing like a pig and smelling like a privy. A single slash across his throat was all it took to end it. So easy, he remembered thinking. A king should die harder than this. Rossart at least had tried to make a fight of it, though if truth be told he fought like an alchemist. Queer that they never ask who killed Rossart . . . but of course, he was no one, lowborn, Hand for a fortnight, just another mad fancy of the Mad King.
Ser Elys Westerling and Lord Crakehall and others of his father’s knights burst into the hall in time to see the last of it, so there was no way for Jaime to vanish and let some braggart steal the praise or blame. It would be blame, he knew at once when he saw the way they looked at him . . . though perhaps that was fear. Lannister or no, he was one of Aerys’s seven.

There is no thought of the people he is 'saving' there, no thought of a moral dilemma he could have himself in. Instead he dehumanizes the man he kills. Jaime didn't kill Aerys because it was the right and noble thing to do. He did it because he wanted to. And he never decided to tell the story behind his actions because he doesn't feel any of those people have the right to judge him.

That is very much narcissistic behavior.

3 hours ago, cpg2016 said:

Right... when he realizes that Cersei doesn't love him, he gets angry.  How is this even remotely disproving my point?  Once Jaime finds out about Lancel and the Kettleblacks, he realizes that Cersei does not reciprocate the devotion he's felt to her, and re-evaluates his entire relationship with her.  He realizes that Cersei cares more about her own political future (through her kids) than about him.  That isn't petty jealousy.  Jaime broke his vows, committed treason, threw away a future and an inheritance, gained the hatred of the realm, all for Cersei.  Solely for Cersei.  And when he thought she truly loved him, it was okay.  But now he's realized what everyone except you has; that Cersei loves herself and Jaime is a way of her indulging in that fantasy, because she can pretend like she's making love to herself when Jaime is there.  So yeah... it's not "petty jealousy" and it is a massive betrayal.

Sure it is. He acts like a spoiled child. He doesn't ask Cersei whether she has other affairs, he just buys Tyrion's story, and allows him to drive a wedge between them. He demands that Cersei be as faithful to him and as he is to her and doesn't even allow that their children come between them. How sick is that? Cersei did not sleep with those people for pleasure. She did because she felt she had to, because Jaime wasn't there and she needed comfort, or the illusion of comfort, and support.

3 hours ago, cpg2016 said:

What evidence do we have that it's Bloodraven?  Aside from the fact that he's on a weirwood stump, which is just a magically sensitive tree?  Bloodraven doesn't give two wet shits about Jaime, or Cersei, or any of that.  He's focused on the Others.  Its amazing to me how many blind assumptions you make to support your awful positions, while completely disregarding the text when even a clear quote disproves you.

Well, it is weird dream. I'm pretty sure Bloodraven is behind that one (or Bran, if he can reach back in time). If you want to contest that, fine, but it is clearly no normal dream because Jaime has both his hands in his normal dreams.

3 hours ago, cpg2016 said:

The FIRST THING she asks for is Jaime's help keeping her political power in KL.  Not "I love you" but "talk to Father so I can stay and influence my son".

That is a matter of life and death for her, at least in her mind. Why are so you insistent that Cersei submit to Jaime and give up the power she has as Queen Regent? Tywin has no right to arrange marriages for her, he doesn't even have the right to demand her to step down as regent.

3 hours ago, cpg2016 said:

And then, of course, we see her utter disregard for the independent well being of her children.  Tommen is lonely, and enjoys having Margaery and her court nearby, because ever since his sister left he's had no one but his mother.  But instead of wanting her child to have a healthy relationship with his future wife, and learn to be an effective monarch, all she cares about is staying close to him so she can continue to wield political power.  Tommen is her son.  Emphasis on the possessive there.

Marrying Tommen to Margaery is a very bad idea. Margaery was complicit in the murder of Joffrey. Would you marry your child to murderer of your other child? And at this point Margaery is not yet Tommen's betrothed. It is Cersei who arranges that marriage later on in AFfC, remember?

You cannot compare the childhood of royal and noble children in the world to our standards. Children should have a pleasant childhood, be allowed to play, have friends, etc. But kings do not have friends in this world. And Tommen is king.

3 hours ago, cpg2016 said:

After Jaime rejects her pleas to help her stay in Kings Landing, she attempts to use sex to manipulate him.  It is only once she can't appeal to his desire to please her, and then once she can't appeal to his desire to sleep with her, that she becomes angry.  You can't take the context out of this.  She only tries to sleep with him to get him to do what she wants.  So yes, she's angry because he won't sleep with her, but what are her motivations?  She's using sex in lieu of the argument she just lost.  So she's not angry at not getting sex, she's angry at not getting her way.  Are you honestly so blind, or so naive in terms of relationships, that you can't understand this?

How do you know that she wants to sleep with him to convince him to step down from the KG? How do you know that she does not do that because she realized that she hurt his feelings when she rejected his idea of marriage?

And, quite frankly, why on earth should Jaime not step down as KG? Him staying in there isn't such a great idea after all. If he stepped down he was somewhat closer to his own desire of marrying Cersei and could, as Lord Tywin's heir and successor, actually have tried to help his family.

Instead he gets caught up in his own fantasy of being this Goldenhand the Just guy who is supposed to be this super, well, just Lord Commander of the Kingsguard of a false king who happens to be his own son. That is just twisted nonsense.

3 hours ago, cpg2016 said:

Well this is a nature over nurture question.  As Jaime himself says, he's never been allowed to have a relationship with his own children despite their proximity.  Why should he care?  To him, they're no more than the by-blows of masturbating.  

That is, perhaps, one of the most coldest and ugliest assessment I've read recently on those boards. Jaime may not have been been able to develop fatherly feelings for his children, but he was still their fucking uncle. Since when are uncles who routinely break their fast with their sister and her children particularly distanced from them. Jaime may not know those children all that well personally. But you don't need to know your niece or nephew all that well to see them as their close kin. But those children grew up around Jaime. He must have seen them every day, or at least multiple times per week.

You have massive emotional problem if you don't care for your children in Jaime's position. And that very much proves my point. 

3 hours ago, cpg2016 said:

And look at the context.  Cersei isn't concerned about their lives.  She's concerned about their political power.  If Jaime, Cersei, Tommen, and Myrcella go back to Casterly Rock and announce their incest, they'll be scorned, and they'll lose all political influence, but they won't be killed.  It isn't worth it.  Maybe by the Faith or their own bannermen, but not by the Throne.  Cersei wants power for her kids, because that means power for her.  Which is why she's explicitly more concerned with their political prospects than the threat to their lives.

That is just nonsense. Yes, Cersei also wants power for herself and her children. She thinks her children deserve to sit the Iron Throne. That is very clear. And she is technically wrong there. But you are very mistaken if you believe she is wrong in the assessment that she can survive this if she revealed what they are and allowed them to step down, go into exiles, etc. Her enemies would find them and kill them, either to spite her, to remove potential enemies, etc.

Do you think a man like Stannis would let this go?

3 hours ago, cpg2016 said:

No, Kevan doesn't reject her.  Kevan says that he wants her out of power, because she's unfit to hold it.  Again, proving that she wants a patsy.  This could not be more clear.  Jaime doesn't want the job for other reasons, but Kevan explicitly turns it down because he doesn't want to be Hand while she's Regent.

See above. Kevan has no right to demand anything from the Queen Regent. He doesn't even have a right to complain.

3 hours ago, cpg2016 said:

And Cersei has been using feminine wiles to make a puppet out of Jaime since they were 15.  You just quoted an excellent example of a time when it failed (appeal to his love for her, then his lust for her, then insult him and walk away if neither works).  And it is made explicit that Jaime joins the Kingsguard to be with Cersei, and that Cersei uses sex to make him do it.

Sure, but Jaime decided that all by herself. Cersei loved Jaime and wanted to be with her. What is wrong about that? Couples have to find time and ways to be together. Joining the KG isn't a very good idea and it backfired, but there is no hint that Cersei had an ulterior motive there besides finding a way to be close to Jaime. I actually think Varys set her up to that. It is so a ridiculous idea, she would never have come up with that all by herself. I mean, with Jaime as Lord of Casterly Rock she could one day have ruled the Rock at his side.

7 hours ago, foxberlin said:

Lord Varys, can we really get a moderate Cersei only for the price of blaming Jaime for all bad in that relationship? As much as I appreciate your defence of Cersei as a lover, you now start to take two measures on the twins. But I reckon they are written as twins to stay comparable in their development. (You agree that there will be a development, don't you?)

I actually consider Jaime to have more narcissistic than Cersei. Could be that I'm mistaken. Cersei has her children whom she truly loves, in my opinion. Jaime has only himself to love, and Cersei. And that makes him more self-centered than she is.

7 hours ago, foxberlin said:

Then how comes you blame Jaime for defending his family by pushing Bran and blame him too, when he is not willing to defend it by taking revenge or meddling with Tywin's plans the other time? You created a paradox, so that Jaime would never act right in your view.

The Bran example just illustrates that Jaime doesn't really care about other people's feelings when they clash with his own desires. He doesn't have a lot of empathy, we see this again with the non-existent feelings for Cersei's children. He effectively loathes them because Cersei made them Robert's children, and punishes her by throwing that in her face. He is not willing to see that she had no other choice.

7 hours ago, foxberlin said:

I don't want to speculate about the truth of their love until we have more knowledge of that night which Jaime remembers as Cersei's most passionate, paid with Casterly Rock (in his own words). We still don't know about Cersei's motives here and how long she acted as a simple serving wench, until she gave up that cover. Was that her first time, too? Was it to show her brother her sisterly love in a radical way or did she coolly plan to switch places with him as in their past? We still don't know. All we know is that Jaime was pretty much ignorant regarding girls until then and would have married Lysa Tully obediently. Cersei had a disguise, information, sexual skill and a plan. More than Jaime had when this relationship startet.

There are some hints what may have gone on there. Cersei tells us that she thought for years that Varys was her only friend at court. I think he set her up to do this, feeding her the ridiculous idea that she and Jaime could be together if he joined the Kingsguard. She herself would never have come up with an idea as ridiculous as that. Only children/young girls - Cersei was  around 14 at the time - are naive enough to think that joining some order for life is a good way to be close to your beloved. Jaime was a complete fool there, too.

The idea that she wanted to get Jaime out of the way to claim Casterly Rock for herself, etc. isn't very likely. She never showed any deep interest in the Rock, and we have to keep in mind, as I laid out above, that Cersei could easily enough have ruled the Rock together at Lord Jaime's side after their father's death.

4 hours ago, Dofs said:

Cersei has claimed that the only person she feels good with during sex is Jaime. So no, she was not distracting herself with Lancel, nor found it entertaining. 

Well, it was still a distraction. And she only had Robert to compare Jaime to prior to Lancel and his successors. But it is quite clear that all those men cannot compare to Jaime, and do not compare to him.

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@cpg2016, whatever it is, wherever it happened, it's always, always, Bloodraven. 

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1 hour ago, kissdbyfire said:

@cpg2016, whatever it is, wherever it happened, it's always, always, Bloodraven. 

I'd not go that far. But whatever it was it was most definitely not Jaime's subconscious.

But the really important part of that dream is that it is not about Jaime at all. Jaime is set up in that dream to save Brienne. But not because Jaime has the hots for Brienne or something of that sort, but because the person/power (Bloodraven or even Bran) has an interest in saving Brienne from certain death. He messes with Jaime's guilt complex, has him confront his demons, has him feeling abandoned by Cersei and Tywin, only to have him view Brienne as his last hope to get out of this mess.

And the question we have to ask is why Brienne is important. The first part of that answer we get in TWoIaF when we suddenly learn that the Tarth are closely connected to the Targaryens. Brienne has a special ancestry, and she carries (now) a Valyrian steel sword. What do you think is going to happen when fire magic and her blood meet? She will have a burning Valyrian steel sword, just as Beric Dondarrion (who also may have had a drop of Targaryen blood) had a mundane burning sword.

Brienne will become a crucial fighter/champion and a (literal) light of hope during the coming Long Night. That is her role for the endgame. And that's why Bloodraven wanted to save her. This whole thing was never about Jaime.

But to get out of this role of 'Evil Cersei apologist' (I don't really like her) and 'Evil Jaime slanderer' (I very much enjoy his chapters and really like his humor) I take this opportunity to give a short picture of how things turn out for the twins later on.

I think my take on the Cersei-Euron thing is pretty much known by now. Short version: Cersei will ally with and marry Euron, most likely after her children are dead. They will make the world burn and become the main enemies of both Aegon and Daenerys, dealing the latter a significant blow in a later naval battle.

Jaime is the valonqar and will eventually be the doom of Cersei. I don't know if that's a literal murder or rather some sort of metaphorical destruction of her. I'm inclined to believe that twins will destroy each other. Somehow will leave the world together.

As to Jaime: He will have to help Catelyn with some serious shit in the Riverlands, most likely the retaking of Riverrun and other things. If Catelyn lets him off the hook I could see him being propped up to also publicly reveal the truth about his children, leading directly to the death and downfall of Tommen and Myrcella. This could be connected with him ending up getting in the good graces of Aegon. He has this guilt complex about Rhaegar and his children, and being able to get the pardon and make things up to Rhaegar's son will make him soo happy. That will fulfill his 'Goldenhand the Just' fantasy. Aegon is only the Mad King's grandson, after all, and less obliged to avenge him than his daughter is. Even more so in light of the fact how Aerys II mistreated Dorne in his last months. Aegon can forgive the Kingslayer. It is also going to forever and irrevocably changing things between Cersei and Jaime.

Thinking about how Jaime might end up with Aegon one could see Bonifer Hasty and the Holy Hundred coming into play in here. Say, he somehow survives his time with Catelyn. If he gets back to Harrenhal around the time the pious knight who was once enamored with Aegon's grandmother is going to decide to take his men, raise some additional levies, and join Prince Aegon at Storm's End, he might take Jaime along as a gift.

That will set up the Lannister siblings as being on different sides in the later wars - Tyrion with Daenerys, Jaime with Aegon, Cersei as her own player, at Euron's side. And I don't think further down than that.

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Posted (edited)

4 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Well, it was still a distraction. And she only had Robert to compare Jaime to prior to Lancel and his successors. But it is quite clear that all those men cannot compare to Jaime, and do not compare to him.

No, she made that statement about feeling good only with Jaime in Feast, after she has slept with Lancel. So no, he was clearly not a distraction. She slept with him to make sure he will kill Robert for her and that's it.

4 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

There is no thought of the people he is 'saving' there, no thought of a moral dilemma he could have himself in. Instead he dehumanizes the man he kills. Jaime didn't kill Aerys because it was the right and noble thing to do. He did it because he wanted to. And he never decided to tell the story behind his actions because he doesn't feel any of those people have the right to judge him.

That is not a flashback, this is Jaime recalling what happened. He is not giving here any motivation of why he killed Aerys at all (from the story perspective at this point it is supposed to be still a mystery), nor even telling how he felt emotionally here. It is simply a dry recollection of events, nothing more.

4 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

You are wrong there. His Lannister identity and the love for Cersei are as important to him as his sword hand. He reinforces this point throughout ASoS. And he even stretches the point that he killed Aerys as a Lannister by wearing the golden armor instead of the white armor (although he failed to remove the cloak).

I am really wondering what ASoS have you read where the importance of his Lannister identity to him is reinforced throughout it. Because this is just flat out false. Jaime even said in it that he only means to be a Lord Commander of the Kingsguard and nothing more. You are also false about what killing Aerys in golden armor meant. It was not about killing Aerys as a Lannister it was about killing him not as a Kingsguard. His golden armor is his standard personal armor, considering he did not want to do the deed in his Kingsguard uniform, he put on his regular one and that's it.

Edited by Dofs

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