Jump to content
Tikhunt

Did Jaime have to kill the Mad King

Recommended Posts

Sorry if this question has already been asked, I searched but couldn't find a thread on the topic. 

So we all know that Jaime Lannister is branded as the Kingslayer and looked down upon for it. We know why he killed Aerys and that it was for the good of Kings Landing. 

My question is whether he had to kill Aerys? It seems to me like Jaime could have either surrendered when Ned arrived at the Red Keep or else taken the King prisoner himself and waited for whoever turned up. After all the King didn't pose an immediate threat as, to my knowledge, Jaime had already prevented the order of unleashing the wildfire and so killing the King seems like it was purely for some form of personal gain.

It'd be good to see what others think about this. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Aerys was going to die anyways, either killed in action or by trial.

If Jaime killed Aerys himself, he at least proves to Ned and Robert that he was on their side ... allowing Jaime to live.

If Jaime just "arrests" Aerys ... people may label him a coward ... well more of a coward.

 

And it would be a better story, since Jaime is Aerys' son via the A+J=J&C theory.
Aerys: Bring me your father's head!
Jaime: Bigggg mistake!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Honestly.....probably not.....however I can not hold 17 year old Jamie in contempt for this....especially considering what we know of the wildfire plot. Yes, in hindsight, he could have physically overpowered Awrys and taken him prisoner, but what's the actual difference? He's breaking his vows either way. 

And let's play devil's advocate and assume he does just that, what happens next? 

In my opinion, Jamie killing Aerys is maybe the only instance of true justice in the entire ASOIAF universe, think about it, Jon Arryn would have prolly sentenced him to the Nights watch and forgot all about him until he caused more problems. 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

He did not have to kill him, he wanted to kill him.

He prevented the wildfire plan by killing Rossart - but even that wasn't necessary. He could have arrested him or knocked him out, too. He also didn't give shit about the Kingslanders when he murdered him since he didn't make sure the king hadn't sent other men besides Rossart to ignite the wildfire. If I wanted to ensure, really ensure, the guy doesn't burn the place I'd doublecheck whether Rossart was indeed the only messenger boy, considering Jaime wasn't there when the command was given. But Jaime didn't do that, did he?

In fact, thanks to Jaime the holocaust of KL has only been postponed in light of the fact that he told nobody about the wildfire and murdered all the people who knew where it was hidden. We do know that the substance ripens overtime to the point that it can ignite spontaneously. Great job, Jaime Lannister, you stupid asshole!

11 hours ago, Back door hodor said:

Honestly.....probably not.....however I can not hold 17 year old Jamie in contempt for this....especially considering what we know of the wildfire plot. Yes, in hindsight, he could have physically overpowered Awrys and taken him prisoner, but what's the actual difference? He's breaking his vows either way. 

Not to the same degree - he wouldn't have been 'the Kingslayer', nor an oathbreaker to the same degree, accursed in the eyes of gods and men. And he could also have distracted Aerys II until his father's men arrived to then stand aside. They were right outside the door and the king believed Rossart was on his way to ignite the wildfire, so he would not send other men while he thought Rossart was doing his job. That wouldn't have been good form, of course, but nobody would have faulted him for that, especially if he had told them what the king wanted to do and had commanded him to do (murder his own father).

Edited by Lord Varys

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We know Jaime to be the  impulsive type who acts first and thinks later. There's a line somewhere in the story to the effect that he would rather cut through a rope then untie a knot (sorry, I know it was worded much more elegantly in the book). At that age, he was probably even more so.

What puzzles me is why Jaime never told anyone about the wildfire. Although two of the top alchemists were dead, there must have been others who could have shown everyone where the Wildfire was cached, to back up his story.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well If I think about it, he did not have to kill Aerys just neutralise him, which can be achieved without killing him.

The fact that he killed him breaking his sacred vow reinforces the idea that Jaime had it in for Aerys for a time now. And why wouldn't he or any teenager for that matter? Aerys is a sister-brutalising, xenophobic, mad pyromaniac.

I never held Jaime in contempt for killing the mad cunt. Arguably his best deed. Him keeping quite about the wildfire deposits was a dick move though 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Aebram said:

What puzzles me is why Jaime never told anyone about the wildfire. Although two of the top alchemists were dead, there must have been others who could have shown everyone where the Wildfire was cached, to back up his story.

Because Jaime is as prideful as he is impulsive.

I think, if Ned would've asked Jaime why he killed Aerys upon finding them in the throne room, Jaime would've told him about the wildfire plot. Instead Ned instantly condemned him as the kingslayer and oathbreaker without honor and didn't for a minute entertain the idea that Jaime might have a reason for what he did. Out of all the people in 7K Ned Stark should, arguably, be the most receptive to the idea that the Mad King did something to deserve to be killed for - since, you know, Ned led a rebellion against him because the guy murdered his father and brother. So, if he didn't care for the why of it, Jaime assumed nobody would. Killing Aerys cost Jaime his honor and in his mind explaining himself to the people to whom he was now a parriah would cost him his pride. And that was all Jaime had left at that point. 

It was prideful, stupid and shortsighted. It was also completely understandable from the POV of the rash teen, who was by that point deeply disgusted with the man he was sworn to serve and all the men who turned the blind eye to Aerys' attrocities because him being the king excused everything. 

That's why the way GRRM written this whole situation is - IMHO - some of his best work. It is messy and as far away from a black&white scenario as it could be. It is both cathartic (one of the most hateful characters in the series gets his karmic death) and frustrating (because the characters we're made to sympatize with do some of their stupidest acts in the midst of it and it screws things up in a major way for everybody). 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Doubtful, not really going to fault him however.

Edited by frenin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It always struck me as odd that Jaime got painted with the Oathbreaker brush but Robert, Ned or any of the rebels did not. Even the argument that Kingsguard are held to higher standards doesn't make much sense being Barristan was still regarded as an honorable man even after bending the knee to Robert. 

I guess hypocrisy is a thing, but you'd think someone would call that out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, Lord Lannister said:

It always struck me as odd that Jaime got painted with the Oathbreaker brush but Robert, Ned or any of the rebels did not. Even the argument that Kingsguard are held to higher standards doesn't make much sense being Barristan was still regarded as an honorable man even after bending the knee to Robert. 

I guess hypocrisy is a thing, but you'd think someone would call that out.

There's certainly a difference between looking for a new job after the king you've fought and nearly died for is dead... and murdering the king.

Killing Aerys was a very bad idea. And not only because it destroyed Jaime's reputation beyond repair and tarnished the prestige of the kingsguard as an institution. I think the rebels would have benefited from a public trial of Aerys. If all Westeros had seen the full extent of his madness and public knowledge of his intent of blowing up King's Landing with wildfire had became known, the Targaryen faction would have lost a lot of support and Robert may not be known as the Usurper but as the Liberator.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 minutes ago, The hairy bear said:

There's certainly a difference between looking for a new job after the king you've fought and nearly died for is dead... and murdering the king.

Killing Aerys was a very bad idea. And not only because it destroyed Jaime's reputation beyond repair and tarnished the prestige of the kingsguard as an institution. I think the rebels would have benefited from a public trial of Aerys. If all Westeros had seen the full extent of his madness and public knowledge of his intent of blowing up King's Landing with wildfire had became known, the Targaryen faction would have lost a lot of support and Robert may not be known as the Usurper but as the Liberator.

Well I think you're making the mistake of assigning modern mentality and morality to this age with the suggestion of a trial. You may as well suggest that the small council have veto powers on the king.

As for Jaime, what should he have done? Is the honorable thing to do to let Aerys burn King's Landing? In that case, screw honor. Should he have killed Tywin as ordered? Wait, he'd be vilified as a kinslayer. 

If Robert had been there he'd have smashed Aerys' head in with his hammer and pissed on his corpse. I doubt very much he would've gotten the negative stigma that Jaime did. The only people who called Robert Usurper were the Targaryen crowd. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When all you have is a sword, everything looks like it needs to be stabbed?

Killing Rossart wouldn't have removed the threat - there were lots of other pyromancers who could initiate the charges. Taking the King on the Iron Throne "into custody" would have been absurd: Aerys could just order himself freed by anybody they might encounter - and order that Jaime either imprisoned, executed or burned alive.

As far as seventeen yo Jaime could tell, the only way to stop Aerys from (1) torching all of King's Landing, (2) Which included his father and his army, and (3) having Tywin's head on a pike -- was to kill Aerys. He didn't have a lot of time to discuss and debate alternatives and he was trained for war. There weren't any other Kingsguard or other courtiers present who might have done anything.

We're overthinking this. (In my opinion)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, Lord Lannister said:

Well I think you're making the mistake of assigning modern mentality and morality to this age with the suggestion of a trial.

There's real life examples of medieval monarchs being put to trial. Only in England, I can think of Edward II, Mary Stuart, Jane Grey and Charles I.

5 minutes ago, Lord Lannister said:

As for Jaime, what should he have done? Is the honorable thing to do to let Aerys burn King's Landing? In that case, screw honor. Should he have killed Tywin as ordered? Wait, he'd be vilified as a kinslayer.

 
You present a false dichotomy. There's he obvious third option of capturing both Aerys and Rossart, and make public the wildfire plot. Then even the most fervent Targ supporters will agree that you couldn't let King's Landing and it's million inhabitants to be destroyed, and you'll be praised and loved.
 
5 minutes ago, Lord Lannister said:

If Robert had been there he'd have smashed Aerys' head in with his hammer and pissed on his corpse. I doubt very much he would've gotten the negative stigma that Jaime did.

 
Ned disagrees with you. And he's an expert on honor and all those things!  :)
 
"Seven hells, someone had to kill Aerys!" Robert said, reining his mount to a sudden halt beside an ancient barrow. "If Jaime hadn't done it, it would have been left for you or me."
"We were not Sworn Brothers of the Kingsguard," Ned said.
 
 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
49 minutes ago, The hairy bear said:
Ned disagrees with you. And he's an expert on honor and all those things!  :)
 
"Seven hells, someone had to kill Aerys!" Robert said, reining his mount to a sudden halt beside an ancient barrow. "If Jaime hadn't done it, it would have been left for you or me."
"We were not Sworn Brothers of the Kingsguard," Ned said.

I have to disagree with your interpretation of Ned's remarks. I don't believe this means Ned would have considered it "dishonorable" for either Robert nor himself to kill Aerys, but that it was for a sworn Brother of the Kingsguard (Jaime) to have done so. Of course, Ned might have wrestled with the "honor" of rebelling in the first place, let alone killing the King his father had sworn fealty to.

What was it Jaime said about having to swear and swear and swear, all these separate oaths to separate people and concepts; all the contradictions - how's a man to tell what's right?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Lord Lannister said:

It always struck me as odd that Jaime got painted with the Oathbreaker brush but Robert, Ned or any of the rebels did not.

Besides the obvious fact that Ned and Robert were the new powers and the Kingsguard has other standards etc etc etc. 

It's the the most simple aspect that their quest is far more appealing, Robert and Ned openly rebelled, they took the field and defeated the royalists in fair fight, Jaime cut his king's throat when the ship was sinking.

The rebels were an honorable foe while Jaime, and Tywin, simply wasn't.

 

 

4 hours ago, Lord Lannister said:

Even the argument that Kingsguard are held to higher standards doesn't make much sense being Barristan was still regarded as an honorable man even after bending the knee to Robert. 

Barristan bent the knee when his king was already dead and Robert was already crowned, prior that he fought for said king almostto his dead.

 

 

3 hours ago, Lord Lannister said:

As for Jaime, what should he have done? Is the honorable thing to do to let Aerys burn King's Landing? In that case, screw honor. Should he have killed Tywin as ordered? Wait, he'd be vilified as a kinslayer. 

He should have explained his actions, Jaime's actions screamed Judas and he never tried to give another explication, so he was named Judas.

 

 

3 hours ago, Lord Lannister said:

If Robert had been there he'd have smashed Aerys' head in with his hammer and pissed on his corpse. I doubt very much he would've gotten the negative stigma that Jaime did. The only people who called Robert Usurper were the Targaryen crowd. 

Robert wasn't his kingsguard.

 

 

2 hours ago, zandru said:

What was it Jaime said about having to swear and swear and swear, all these separate oaths to separate people and concepts; all the contradictions - how's a man to tell what's right?

Well,  he very much knew what was right. He knew that killing Aerys was frowned upon, which is why he wanted to get out fast to let other take the blame for it.  

 

 

2 hours ago, The hairy bear said:
Ned disagrees with you. And he's an expert on honor and all those things!  :)
 
"Seven hells, someone had to kill Aerys!" Robert said, reining his mount to a sudden halt beside an ancient barrow. "If Jaime hadn't done it, it would have been left for you or me."
"We were not Sworn Brothers of the Kingsguard," Ned said.

Nah, he's agreeing with Robert, just presenting a nuance, They could do it, Jaime could not.

 

 

2 hours ago, zandru said:

Taking the King on the Iron Throne "into custody" would have been absurd: Aerys could just order himself freed by anybody they might encounter - and order that Jaime either imprisoned, executed or burned alive.

To whom?? When Jaime entered in the throne room, Aerys was well alone, he could've just knocked him out and either wait for his father's men to storm the room or simply taking him out of sight. Jaime entered by another room to the throne room, he might just do the same.

Edited by frenin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It only ruined his reputation because he was caught in the act. If he killed Aerys, then slipped away and went to command in the defense somewhere, no would ever have been the wiser. He could have bent the knee like Barristan.

It is important for the story that he did it (for arguably, both personal and benevolent reasons) AND that it is known that he did it. It could not have happened any other way.

(Personal because it was revenge against Aerys for giving him the White Cloak, but then denying him being a 'good knight.' Benevolent in that it saved KL and saved Aerys the ignominy of capture and whatever degradation he would have have been subject to.)

Consider this... "what orders do you think Tywin gave as regards to Aerys?"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think he had to and I am sure he wanted to.

And the fact he hasn't told anyone about the hidden substance... is sooo edgy and vain. Irresponsible too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, frenin said:

He should have explained his actions, Jaime's actions screamed Judas and he never tried to give another explication, so he was named Judas.

Exactly. So Ser Jaime went for fifteen-odd years nursing his resentment that people didn't recognize the sense of his action and called him "Kingslayer" -- all because Lord Eddard looked at him with a mean face. Ser Jaime at 17 was considered "a man grown", but he sure played the boy in this instance. For more than fifteen years.

12 minutes ago, frenin said:

Nah, he's agreeing with Robert, just presenting a nuance, They could do it, Jaime could not.

Okay. Sorry!

12 minutes ago, frenin said:

To whom?? When Jaime entered in the throne room, Aerys was well alone, he could've just knocked him out and either wait for his father's men to storm the room or simply taking him out of sight. Jaime entered by another room to the throne room, he might just do the same.

Could be. Probably Jaime didn't think of this option, or if he did, was concerned about the risk should Aerys recover and start yelling out orders. Maybe he lacked faith in his father's men? At any rate, Jaime did what he did.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, broken one said:

And the fact he hasn't told anyone about the hidden substance... is sooo edgy and vain. Irresponsible too.

Exactly! So King's Landing has been sitting on a time bomb for over 15 years now, Jaime is continuing to live there along with his beloved sister and their children ... and yet it's crickets. What is wrong with that guy?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...