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Does Cersei really love Jaime?

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Posted (edited)

@Lord Varys

   3 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.

Jaime dehumanises Aerys... how exactly? And how can you state with all the certainty in the world that he did what he did because "he wanted to"? That's your interpretation of the text, nothing more. 

As to the bold, that is a massive misunderstanding of the character. Like, really gigantic. 

Edited by kissdbyfire

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32 minutes ago, kissdbyfire said:

Jaime dehumanises Aerys... how exactly? And how can you state with all the certainty in the world that he did what he did because "he wanted to"? That's your interpretation of the text, nothing more. 

By comparing him to a pig. Again, he had prevented the wildfire plan already, and he could have taken him into custody to hand him over to Tywin or Robert. Aerys already knew that Tywin's men were in the castle, and Jaime didn't even get away from the body when Tywin's men came in. The idea that this was somehow 'necessary' is just crap. It is true that Aerys technically could have found some other man in the few minutes he had left in freedom but Jaime could have prevented that by arresting him and handing him to Tywin's men, telling those people about his plans. 

32 minutes ago, kissdbyfire said:

As to the bold, that is a massive misunderstanding of the character. Like, really gigantic. 

That is what he says when he complains about Ned judging him. And it seems to be part of his motivation why he kept silent in general. Not only Ned judged him, but Tywin's men, too. He gives some explanation about having also sworn to keep the king's secrets but that's just crap. He didn't want to justify his actions because, you known, he doesn't like to be judged by other people.

Any normal person would also have felt somewhat annoyed by being judged so harshly for killing that particular guy but they would have gotten over it, defending themselves (and whatever remained of their honor) by telling everybody about the wildfire plan and all of Aerys' other atrocities.

But Jaime did none of that.

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@Lord Varys, Jaime's cynicism is a defence mechanism. 

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Posted (edited)

14 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

 

That is what he says when he complains about Ned judging him. And it seems to be part of his motivation why he kept silent in general. Not only Ned judged him, but Tywin's men, too. He gives some explanation about having also sworn to keep the king's secrets but that's just crap. He didn't want to justify his actions because, you known, he doesn't like to be judged by other people.

No. Jaime is proud, above everything. There's nobility underneath it all, hidden by cynicism as a defense mechanism, like @kissdbyfire says. 

 

The Ned, bless him, had a way of eliciting all sorts of annoyed reactions from people, both friendly and not. :)

Edited by Moondancer

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1 hour ago, kissdbyfire said:

@Lord Varys, Jaime's cynicism is a defence mechanism. 

Defense against what? The man isn't Sandor or Littlefinger who developed a cynical world view to defend against the injustices of a cruel world, he was a pampered, spoiled, and perfect child. He got everything he ever wanted and he excelled at everything he did. He had never to fight for anything.

Jaime laughs about the world because he is better than the common rabble. People who have power, money, prestige can afford to laugh about everybody else quite sincerely and with real joy because they can relish in the thought and feeling that they are better than others. Sure, the Kingslayer thing had its effect on Jaime, but that just made him somewhat bitter, it didn't change his general outlook on life. He got away with it, after all.

And it is quite clear as I laid out above that he doesn't even care about his own children-nephews/niece. That makes the attempted murder much worse. A man doing such a deed to save the lives of his own children is sort of justified - and that excuse works for Cersei, who actually cares. But Jaime doesn't give a shit about them and thus only cares to keep his affair with Cersei a secret. He only wants to preserve his and her life, not the lives of the children. 

57 minutes ago, Moondancer said:

No. Jaime is proud, above everything. There's nobility underneath it all, hidden by cynicism as a defense mechanism, like @kissdbyfire says. 

The Ned, bless him, had a way of eliciting all sorts of annoyed reactions from people, both friendly and not. :)

There is no nobility there, that's narcissism. Jaime wanted to be like Ser Arthur Dayne because that's what he wanted to be. Not because of what Ser Arthur did, but because of what he symbolized, what he represented. The pinnacle of knighthood, the paragon of the chivalric arts. He was the Sword of the Morning, after all.

That is also the reason why he joined the Kingsguard. The Kingsguard are the best and Jaime saw himself as the best. Cersei could have never convinced him if the idea to be one of the White Swords was not also something he found alluring.

Jaime doesn't look to his own conscience to find out what's right or wrong. He doesn't care about that. He looks at people he admires, checks what they did, and then he emulates their behavior. That's not how a person with normal empathy does. He or she just *knows* that you shouldn't do this or that. The best example for that is Jaime's memory of Ser Arthur being nice to the guys in the Kingswood so that they could get to the outlaws. And if you think about that - it is no sign that Ser Arthur was all that empathic, either. He used favors and niceties as a means to accomplish a goal - defeat the brotherhood.

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3 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

Defense against what? The man isn't Sandor or Littlefinger who developed a cynical world view to defend against the injustices of a cruel world, he was a pampered, spoiled, and perfect child. He got everything he ever wanted and he excelled at everything he did. He had never to fight for anything.

Man, I don't think I've ever seen Jaime so misinterpreted before. If you really think that Jaime had no reason to develop a defence mechanism, then I really question if you even remember anything from his chapters. 

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2 minutes ago, Dofs said:

Man, I don't think I've ever seen Jaime so misinterpreted before. If you really think that Jaime had no reason to develop a defence mechanism, then I really question if you even remember anything from his chapters. 

Seriously, what's wrong with that? Jaime is the most beautiful man alive. One of the best fighters alive. One of the youngest knights of all time. The heir of the richest man in the Seven Kingdoms.

Aside from his time as Aerys' Kingsguard the man never had any problems in life. He did what he wanted, took what he wanted, said what he wanted.

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10 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

Seriously, what's wrong with that? Jaime is the most beautiful man alive. One of the best fighters alive. One of the youngest knights of all time. The heir of the richest man in the Seven Kingdoms.

Aside from his time as Aerys' Kingsguard the man never had any problems in life. He did what he wanted, took what he wanted, said what he wanted.

I'm sorry, but that's the shallowest, most infantile and clueless take on Jaime I've ever seen. 

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11 minutes ago, kissdbyfire said:

I'm sorry, but that's the shallowest, most infantile and clueless take on Jaime I've ever seen. 

But it isn't wrong, or is it? A person is shaped by his or her family and upbringing, and Jaime grew up amidst insane wealth and privilege. That is what shaped him, and helped him to excel at everything he did. If he had been born a peasant he wouldn't have become a great knight nor would he have ever joined the KG unless some very happy coincidences had changed the course of his life.

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Jaime is actually one of the most empathetic characters you are likely to encounter.  His decision to rescue Brienne had complex roots (none of them involving Bloodraven), but his previous decision to save her from gang rape was based purely on empathy: he imagined how she would feel and what the effect would be on her.  This despite the fact that he had previously been willing to kill her in order to escape. 

As for Cersei, when she advises Sansa not to love anyone but her children, this could be taken as a frank statement of Cersei's policy on the subject.

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19 minutes ago, Lady bonehead said:

Jaime is actually one of the most empathetic characters you are likely to encounter.  His decision to rescue Brienne had complex roots (none of them involving Bloodraven), but his previous decision to save her from gang rape was based purely on empathy: he imagined how she would feel and what the effect would be on her.  This despite the fact that he had previously been willing to kill her in order to escape. 

The only reason why Jaime saves Brienne is the dream. And that was most likely sent/created by Bloodraven. Without that dream Jaime would have let Brienne die. 

As to the gang rape thing - well, he didn't really do anything to prevent that. He just spun a story about Brienne's father being rich, causing more trouble for her in the process since that made it impossible for her to be ransomed. But Jaime is in an exceptional situation there. His hand has been cut off, he is feverish and depressed, and Brienne is the only 'friend' or attachment figure he has in this situation. They are in this whole thing together. Jaime has been captive for a long time in this situation, he is, overall, in some sort of Stockhold syndrome kind of situation. And then he and his captor are, in turn, captured. That makes him emotionally vulnerable in the extreme. And there are many things in Brienne he can relate to.

But this doesn't really mean he cares all that much about her as a person. He does care to some degree in that special situation they are in. I mean, you do realize that Jaime doesn't give a damn about the death of his own cousin, Cleos Frey, in the entire matter, right? A truly empathic person would have cared.

Jaime even gives Brienne the advice to live through the rape he is then able to postpone as he did live through his time at Aerys' court - by going away inside. That is the same advice he later gives Tommen, about the worst thing you can do if you care about being a normal empathic person. This is the kind of thing that can destroy your ability to process your emotions normally and shoves you up the psychopathic scale. And Jaime would get a lot of points there. He is narcissistic enough and he more than capable to kill children and other people without having any emotional problems about that. He isn't as bad as Sandor, Ramsay, or Gregor, of course. But he is not *normal*. And he certainly could have been as bad as they are if he had lived a slightly different life. The man is and has everything a man can hope for yet he still became a cold-blooded killer. A people with normal emotions wouldn't develop in that direction, not even in this series.

Quote

As for Cersei, when she advises Sansa not to love anyone but her children, this could be taken as a frank statement of Cersei's policy on the subject.

Well, she couldn't tell Sansa to love her brother, no? And she was quite aware of the fact that Sansa would never love Joffrey after what he did to her. 

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5 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Seriously, what's wrong with that? Jaime is the most beautiful man alive. One of the best fighters alive. One of the youngest knights of all time. The heir of the richest man in the Seven Kingdoms.

Aside from his time as Aerys' Kingsguard the man never had any problems in life. He did what he wanted, took what he wanted, said what he wanted.

You mean: WAS. ;-) This changes things a bit.

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Just now, foxberlin said:

You mean: WAS. ;-) This changes things a bit.

Well, I'd say he is still the most beautiful man in the Seven Kingdoms. The lack of a hand doesn't change your looks all that much. And while Cersei might not like a beard and short hair other people do. But he is more clumsy and unable to dress himself properly now, I give you that.

And it certainly affects him strongly. But it doesn't make him a good man. In fact, in a sense it makes him worse. He is haunted now, less confident. He cannot afford to show weakness before people no longer fear him the way they did. He would have been forced to go through with that threat he made to Edmure. He would have sent Roslin to Riverrun with the trebuchet, and he would have stormed the walls of Riverrun, killing every single person inside the castle. It would have been that, or look as stupid as Ryman Frey.

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Posted (edited)

5 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

But it isn't wrong, or is it? A person is shaped by his or her family and upbringing, and Jaime grew up amidst insane wealth and privilege. That is what shaped him, and helped him to excel at everything he did. If he had been born a peasant he wouldn't have become a great knight nor would he have ever joined the KG unless some very happy coincidences had changed the course of his life.

It is a shallow take because it is what someone would have written after reading nothing about Jaime but a short description of him in a wiki. That Jaime is beautiful, rich, from a powerful family, hence he is this, that and that. To showcase why this interpretation is so wrong, let's take his beauty, for example. You have repeated many times how Jaime's good looks influenced his character but the only source that you take this from is the fact itself that he is good looking. In entirety of his 17 chapters when we read all of his thoughts there is nothing that shows that Jaime even cares whether he is handsome or not. When he was forced to shave his head, he did it without any regrets and later made a joke about it. Yet you mention it as one of the reason why Jaime would feel as better than others. A point that you've simply invented, for the sole reason that Jaime is handsome. And it seems to me you look at Jaime like that overall. You decide how a person like him should act, and so for you he does, no matter if the book even agrees with you. You have this character Jaime in your head, probably a result of your first impression of him, and you try to bend what the books have written in order for it to fit with your already established picture, instead of trying to understand Jaime based on actual text.

Edited by Dofs

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5 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

But it isn't wrong, or is it? A person is shaped by his or her family and upbringing, and Jaime grew up amidst insane wealth and privilege. That is what shaped him, and helped him to excel at everything he did. If he had been born a peasant he wouldn't have become a great knight nor would he have ever joined the KG unless some very happy coincidences had changed the course of his life.

It is dead wrong. Yes, Jaime has had a very privileged upbringing but that has nothing to do w/ what I said. 

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45 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

Well, I'd say he is still the most beautiful man in the Seven Kingdoms. The lack of a hand doesn't change your looks all that much. And while Cersei might not like a beard and short hair other people do. But he is more clumsy and unable to dress himself properly now, I give you that.

And it certainly affects him strongly. But it doesn't make him a good man. In fact, in a sense it makes him worse. He is haunted now, less confident. He cannot afford to show weakness before people no longer fear him the way they did. He would have been forced to go through with that threat he made to Edmure. He would have sent Roslin to Riverrun with the trebuchet, and he would have stormed the walls of Riverrun, killing every single person inside the castle. It would have been that, or look as stupid as Ryman Frey.

I still don't understand why you think GRRM would enjoy to enjoy to write a story like that. Where is the grey in Jaime's character?

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Well, let's get this thing in order. I don't think Jaime is the worst character in this series. I just think he is about as bad as Cersei, that's all. In some aspects she is worse (paranoia, ambition, lust for power) in others he is worse (willingness/ability to murder, narcissism, empathy).

Jaime is the one who shut his own emotions down and suffered lasting psychological damage during the time he served on Aerys' Kingsguard. He became a man who is capable of murdering other people without feeling any or much regret. That is a serious personality disorder. I daresay many men fighting and killing in wars and battles in Westeros are similarly shaped. There are lot of psychopaths of various degrees in this world who can kill with impunity without feeling anything - Littlefinger, Sandor, Gregor, Ramsay (he enjoys it), many men in the Bloody Mummers, Rorge, Biter, etc. - and Jaime is one of them. Perhaps one of the less damaged - after all, he was only forced to witness very gruesome events and not mistreated/abused himself - but he still fits into that category. Else he would never have been capable of trying to kill Bran in this nonchalant manner.

In his and Cersei's situation we would all have been tempted to hope that the boy dies, we would perhaps have watched him fall, making no move to save. But very few of us would have been able to actually save him only to throw him out of the window thereafter.

But I don't think either of them are as worse as Ramsay, Gregor, or Roose. Not even as Littlefinger or Sandor.

I think Jaime's main motivation in life was his love for himself and Cersei. The love for Cersei may even be more important to him than his love for himself. Cersei has her love for Jaime, herself, and her children. Jaime lacks the latter, and that makes him - in my opinion - more obsessed with himself than Cersei. This doesn't mean Cersei is a good mother or doing the correct things to raise and protect her children, of course. She doesn't. But that isn't the issue here.

Jaime's motivation to *change* isn't a change affecting the depth of his character - that is fixed since his late teens or so - it is merely a shift in what is important to him. Brienne allows him to remember how and what he once wanted to be. Before Aerys and Robert. Before the war. This is possible because she gets to him when he is emotionally very vulnerable (after his ordeal in the Tully dungeon), even more so after he loses his hand.

But this doesn't trigger a real change in him. Once he finally gets himself cleaned up at Harrenhal he abandons Brienne to the care of Vargo Hoat until supernatural forces intervene and make him change his mind. That forces him to reassess his whole guilt complex over Rhaegar and his children, something that is very prominent in the text from that dream onwards (on a rather subtle level, though - think, for instance, of his reaction after he sees the Targaryen sigil at the bottom of the tunnel in the Tower of the Hand). I think that lays the groundwork for his later decisions and story (assuming he does survive his meeting with Catelyn). This, I think, is the reason why he is suddenly so obsessed with the Kingsguard and his role in it. It is the reason why he wants to remain the Lord Commander of the Kingsguard. It was, after all, as a member of the Targaryen Kingsguard he had the duty to protect Rhaegar's children. Goldenhand the Just is trying to erase the Kingslayer from history so that Jaime Lannister looks better. That is also the reason, I think, why he puts such a strain on protecting King Tommen despite the fact that he doesn't really care about him. Rhaegar's children are dead and whatever *duty* he may feel is sort of transferred to this child.

The depth of this new obsession can be seen when he rejects Cersei in the White Sword Tower. He cannot sleep with her there, there is something that is more important to him than the love to his sister. That is a serious crack in the whole thing, but still something that could have been repaired in light of the fact that Cersei also has other priorities aside from Jaime (the crown, her children).

But what destroys the Jaime-Cersei relationship for Jaime isn't Brienne or a deep change in Jaime's personality. It is Tyrion's talk. It gnaws at his heart and we see what it does to him. He ends up treating her - who is not just his lover but also his sister and his twin - essentially as nothing but a thing. He learns that she is essentially in mortal danger and he ignores the whole thing. He is willing to let her die. It is not actually killing her but it gets close enough.

We can guess what this means by his standards when we keep in mind that he was still willing to allow the brother go free who confessed to him that he had killed his own son. Jaime loved Tyrion as a brother, but the love he felt for him was no way as deep as the love he felt for Cersei. But one cruel half-lie (the talk about Moon Boy is definitely not true) turns this deep love into indifference and, perhaps, even hate. And that without Jaime having the slightest piece of evidence to support this whole thing. He gets evidence later, from Lancel, but a person with normal/healthy emotions wouldn't have decided to let his sister die just because she slept with cousin in his absence. Especially not in a scenario where she needed that cousin (and when it was actually very likely that Jaime would not survive).

I've just double-checked AFfC, and it is quite clear that Cersei had only sex (sort of, as by Bill Clinton's Lancel's definition) with Lancel after he had helped to kill Robert. And it was at least partially done to comfort her:

Quote

“The brave man slays with a sword, the craven with a wineskin. We are both kingslayers, ser.”
“Robert was no true king. Some might even say that a stag is a lion’s natural prey.” Jaime could feel the bones beneath his cousin’s skin . . . and something else as well. Lancel was wearing a hair shirt underneath his tunic. “What else did you do, to require so much atonement? Tell me.”
His cousin bowed his head, tears running down his cheeks.
Those tears were all the answer Jaime needed. “You killed the king,” he said, “then you fucked the queen.”
“I never . . .”
“. . . lay with my sweet sister?” Say it. Say it!
“Never spilled my seed in . . . in her . . .”
“. . . cunt?” suggested Jaime.
“. . . womb,” Lancel finished. “It is not treason unless you finish inside. I gave her comfort, after the king died. You were a captive, your father was in the field, and your brother . . . she was afraid of him, and with good reason. He made me betray her.
“Did he?” Lancel and Ser Osmund and how many more? Was the part about Moon Boy just a gibe? “Did you force her?”
“No! I loved her. I wanted to protect her.”

Cersei's love to Jaime and her children is, of course, also not exactly normal, and neither is she. But they are not all that different in all that.

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18 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

I've just double-checked AFfC, and it is quite clear that Cersei had only sex (sort of, as by Bill Clinton's Lancel's definition) with Lancel after he had helped to kill Robert. And it was at least partially done to comfort her:

It's just shows that Cersei rewarded Lancel with sex for killing Robert. The fact that Lancel tells that it was for comfort means nothing. It's not like Cersei would have told Lancel "I know you love me so I use you". Cersei is not this stupid.

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3 minutes ago, Dofs said:

It's just shows that Cersei rewarded Lancel with sex for killing Robert. The fact that Lancel tells that it was for comfort means nothing. It's not like Cersei would have told Lancel "I know you love me so I use you". Cersei is not this stupid.

So you are claiming you know what happened better than Lancel and the author? Your claim was that Cersei controls men with sex. That isn't true for Lancel. It may, to a degree, be true for the Kettleblacks, but that's it. Cersei doesn't sleep with Sandor, Slynt, Littlefinger, Trant, Blount, etc. and they still do what she says more often than not.

There is also Lancel's confession to Tyrion that Lord Tywin commanded them to do everything Cersei said when they became Robert's squires. Lancel makes a big deal out of the whole wineskin thing but it wasn't really murder. Cersei wouldn't have had sex to control Lancel to convince him to do that. In fact, she may have just told him to give Robert the special wine without a very good information. He may only have figured out that he helped killing the king afterwards. After all, what would have happened if there hadn't been a boar, or if they hadn't found him? What if Robert had actually hit the boar despite the his state? Then he wouldn't have died. And Lancel wouldn't have attacked the king directly, that much is clear.

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8 minutes ago, Dofs said:

It's just shows that Cersei rewarded Lancel with sex for killing Robert. The fact that Lancel tells that it was for comfort means nothing. It's not like Cersei would have told Lancel "I know you love me so I use you". Cersei is not this stupid.

Exactly. Lancel isn't the sharpest knife in the drawer, and Cersei is quite good at manipulating people. I mean, we see her thinking how she's gonna go about doing it, and then doing it a number of times. To deny that is like stating the sun sets in the south just cos you want it to, or some similar obtuse conclusion. The text clearly proved this, and to keep banging on and on about how "no, it's something else entirely" is just silly. And quite tiring to be honest. 

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