You Don’t Need to Like Jaime Lannister

By Marc Price on May 22, 2013 to Game of Thrones

“There are no men like me. Only me.” 


After a rather emotional confession in the bath, it seems like views of Jaime Lannister and his status as an arrogant, self-centered tool are showing signs of change. Begrudging respect is starting to form based on the righteous act he performed in his past that branded him with the title of “Kingslayer.” It’s a funneled perspective that makes us forget just who he is and what he’s done. He’s still a self-centered, arrogant tool but he’s starting to endure the consequences of the bad karma he spreads. After all, in the first episode he did push a kid out of a tower with absolutely no remorse. I mean, who does that?

Then there’s the whole killing Ned Stark’s men with the intention of killing him in the street. That happened too. And he strangled someone in a failed attempt to escape from the Stark’s encampment. The only thing worse than killing for pleasure is killing for ambition, to remove those who are in your way. One might say it should be the other way around, but which is more dangerous, someone who kills because they want to feel something, or one who kills and remains just as empty as the moment before he acted? Who has a greater inhibition towards hurting someone in their way? During Stannis’ assault on King’s Landing, odds are you were rooting for the Lannisters to beat them back. It’s likely that’s only because Tyrion is awesome, but how does one compare Joffrey’s pompous bottom on the iron throne to Stannis’ calloused ass? A boy who at his weakest looks to others for guidance is better compared to a man whose resolute determination was hardened to the point that he could send thousands to their deaths for his overreaching hands to have a chance at snatching power.


Jaime isn’t so ambitious. His only call to action resides in protecting his position. When he was wearing the uniform of the Kingsguard he acted in the way that benefited him the most. It’s only a coincidence that  the King happened to be a total nutter at the time, so he wound up on the side of basic morality. Kill the king to save the kingdom. Let’s not forget to mention that his Father was sacking the city as well. Would Tywin have spared the son that kept his vow to protect the king, or would he have  cut through to claim the prize atop the Mad King’s head? On a smaller scale, that’s all he did when he helped Brienne, and again self interest happened to intersect with doing the right thing. For the time being, she was the one person who didn’t want to take his head and put it on a spike. It’s only that these moments are drawn out so much that they seem like a change of heart instead of a strategic move.


It’s not to say he can’t change of course. Maybe his bathtub confession really was the start of a slow, painful metamorphosis for him. Who’s to say he doesn’t actually care about Brienne enough that sticking his neck out wasn’t only for his own sake? Cutting off a swordsman’s hand is taking away his pride. Maybe now that some light can shine through something good can blossom in him. Or it’ll turn out he’s just as irredeemable as the rest of his family. Except for Tyrion, he’s awesome.

What do you think of Jaime Lannister?  Has he or can he redeem himself?  Give us your thoughts below.

Marc Price is currently a Sophomore at Rutgers University and a writer for He considers himself a movie buff and an avid television watcher, but witnesses would attest that a more appropriate description would be bordering on obsessive. Hoping to one day be a screenwriter, he takes it all in stride knowing that one day he can put all his knowledge of movies and television to good use.   

Leave a Reply

21 Comments on "You Don’t Need to Like Jaime Lannister"

Notify of
Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted

I hate him, and all of him…. I hope Robb gets a shot at killing him….

Jaime couldn’t handle Robb but even so he’s still aHead.

How are people changing their feeling towards him? Are they forgetting that the pushed a child out a window after banging his sister?

No, but they are choosing to view those events in context with the world in which they are happening, not from a modern, anachronistic standpoint.

Great piece, Marc!
Jaime is one of the characters for which I have love/hate. There is something inherently incredible about the choices he makes and the reasons he makes them. He usually “thinks” he is doing the best thing for himself and the ones he loves. In this, he usually screws himself and others.
One thing I can say for certain about this show – There are no black and white good guys vs bad guys. They are all bad in some manner.

I would also like to point out that the person he strangled in the Stark camp was his own cousin. I think as we go along he will begin to recover at least some of his selfishness. He’s already being snarky with people again and I can see him going back to despicable means to an end.

One of the (many) things that frustrates me about the show is that they make Tyrion seem far too “good.’ I love the character, but he’s not actually a great person. He’s certainly the best Lannister, but if you read the books, you’ll recognize that he’s done many things that can’t be considered “good,” which we don’t get to see in the show. This is frustrating, as it’s obvious that Benioff and Weiss are putting Tyrion (and Dany & Jon) into more of a “hero” role, however the thing that makes the books so fascinating is that every character, no… Read more »

He was fighting on the side of Joffrey, who he knows is not the rightful king how is this good?

so far the only comment who made sense.

The whitewashing of Tyrion is definitely one of my main gripes with the show, but thank the gods that Dinklage is such a great actor and brings so much to the role, otherwise the change would be disastrous. I think they may be aiming for a sudden shift in Tyrion from white to black down the line, rather than him becoming a darker shade of the grey that he realistically should have always been. I’m actually starting to think that the producers may have simply completely misunderstood Tyrion’s character! Not that that can be an excuse, mind you…

a man judged on his actions without anyone looking closely at his motivations for them… if he can get out of Cersei’s clutches, and away from his father’s influence and expectations, he could have a chance to become a good man – whatever that is! He is definitely the character who has shifted farthest from black to grey the more we have found out about him, so maybe he will head further towards the white end of the scale?

No doubt that he is arrogant, rude and will kill anyone to serve his purpose. But he also has characteristics which we don’t attribute to him at the start of the show. Although pushing bran was a horrible act, and he did it to protect his family, it wasnt done in a scheming, cowardly fashion if that makes any sense. ( When Catelyn asks him what happened to Bran he tells her right away that he pushed him out the window. Also when she accuses him of sending an assassin he tells her that he’s never had someone else do… Read more »
I would say all feelings towards Jamie is mixed. He has done some unthinkable things, and yes you can never change that. But what he has done is to save himself, like any man faced with similar position would do. Is there honestly anyone that can say they haven’t “burned” someone in defence of them selfs. Remember all acts are of same value, if you steel a bread it is as good as stealing a horse. Don’t say respect him, but give him a chance at redemption. Same goes for for the like of Robbs mother, hound and the irritating… Read more »

Good points, but Stannis is definitely not evil!

Tyrion IS awesome.

And everyone hates Cersei. Jaime should just fall for Brienne and forget about Cersei.

Nice article, Marc! I’ll just give my two cents here: Nikolaj Coster-Waldau himself makes a great point about Jaime in almost every interview he does. He says that when we meet Jaime, one of the first significant things we see him do is push Bran, a child, out of a tower window. This act, in itself, is absolutely disgusting. But similarly, it is interesting to note that if we had met Jaime as he jumped into the bear pit to save Brienne, we would have a very different opinion of him. In relation to this, surely if we had met… Read more »

Jaime was not convinced by Cercei to join the Kingsguard, he was appointed by the Mad King as kind of a slap in the face to Tywin.

If you read the books, Jaime was convinced by Cersei, She proposed the idea to the Mad King, and he agreed as you say to ddeprive Tywin of his heir. So it’s all Cersei’s fault. But she’s hot so we’ll forgive her.

Very nicely written Marc and Cian, both!

I concur, the article was a pleasure to read but so was your response Cian. Beautifully detailed and accurate–definately worth more than two cents ~smirking~ Thank you both for your intriguing thoughts.

totally agree


Find an HBO Series

More HBO

Subscribe to HBO
Countries HBO Is In
Watch Game of Thrones Online
Watch Westworld Online
Watch Confederate Online
Watch Silicon Valley Online
HBO Premiere & Air Dates
True Detective Streaming
Other Streaming Television
HBO Boxing Live Stream
Game of Thrones on DVD & Blu-Ray
Watch Cinemax Online