Tag Archives: jaime lannister

100 Days of Fan Favorites: Day Six

It is a tale as old as time. Two people, who meet under less than ideal circumstances and each with misconceptions about the other, embark on a journey together that reveals their truest selves. This journey changes them and forces them to reevaluate what they once believed about the world. It takes them from antagonists to allies to friendship and love that is based on mutual respect and trust.

It’s a ship type that I will never get enough of and for me, there is not a better example than Jaime and Brienne. Where there was once contempt and insults, there is now the highest regard and belief in the other’s honor. They have come a long way from their initial meeting and the early part of the journey to King’s Landing and each of their reunions has only served to reinforce their bond. 

Just as a side note, while I have loved these two since I read the books, it’s also been a very long time since I have read them and as they’ve taken rather different paths, I largely opted to stick with the show for this piece. 

Throughout the Seven Kingdoms, Jaime Lannister’s name was synonymous with betrayal. He was the Kingslayer – the member of the Kingsguard who murdered Aerys Targaryen. It’s an identity he took on as a shield, turning himself into the cruel, honorless person everyone assumed him to be. He openly scoffed at the idea that vows could mean anything, after all, they would only inevitably conflict with each other. Keeping them was impossible, so why bother trying. He was cynical and fatalistic in his beliefs and no longer believed in idealistic notions like honor and loyalty.

Brienne is looked upon with similar disregard and distrust. Women in Westeros, especially the daughter of a Lord, weren’t supposed to be fighters. They weren’t supposed to feel more comfortable in armor than in dresses and more at ease with a sword in their hand instead of a polite smile on their face. They were supposed to grow up wanting to be princesses and ladies, not knights. Brienne’s physical appearance and interests made her an outcast, someone to be mocked and sneered at. She dedicated her service to Renly Baratheon, becoming a member of his Rainbow Guard. He was kind to her and she loved him for it. When he was murdered, she was the one blamed as she had been the one with him. She failed at her oath. But it didn’t stop her from believing in their power and worthiness. She didn’t stop believing in honor. Even as she pledged her loyalty to Catelyn Stark, it was on the condition that she could one day avenge Renly. She meant to keep her word, even though he was no longer there to hold her to it.

Even if we disregard the fact that Brienne is working with Jaime’s captors, it is natural to see why the two clashed when they met. Jaime stood against everything Brienne believed in. The idea of betraying your king to his death was unfathomable to her, as was the notion of conflicting vows. Brienne was a shining example of everything Jaime had turned his back on. She was true to her sense of self and the values of a knight, despite the mockery of everyone around her. It made her an easy target for him to provoke and for a time, he was more than happy to be the arrogant lion he was raised to be.

Continue reading 100 Days of Fan Favorites: Day Six

Game of Thrones: I Don’t Understand

After a long hiatus while my writing muse went into hiding, last night’s episode of Game of Thrones has revived my inspiration to write about TV again. Unfortunately, it is for an extremely negative reason.

In “Breaking of Chains”, Jaime Lannister became a rapist and I’m not alright with that. This isn’t the first time that Game of Thrones has turned a consensual sex scene from the Song of Ice and Fire series into a rape scene. It is made all the more unfortunate by the fact that the director doesn’t seem to think it was a rape scene or at least not entirely one. Sonia Saraiya at The AV Club has already written a fantastic article about this problem that I highly recommend, but it has been bothering me so I thought I’d chime in as well.

I understand that people have different interpretations of media. I recognize that people won’t always see a certain scene or a character in the same way that I do. What I don’t understand is how a scene in which a character is explicitly rejecting the sex being forced upon her the entire way through can be seen as consensual in any way. There was no moment in that scene where I felt Cersei was turned on and desiring Jaime. If this was not intended to be a rape then I place the blame on the writers and directors for not recognizing how it would come across to what appears to be a sizable part of the audience. It was a bad choice.

In A Storm of Swords, this scene was still creepy and conveyed how screwed up the relationship between Jaime and Cersei is but it did so while being consensual. It’s not normal to have sex with your brother in the equivalent of a church next to your son’s body. Their relationship is already unhealthy and destructive to both of them and it could have been conveyed on screen without making it rape. The separation between them was shown in “Two Swords” during their conversation. This sex could have been an expression of their grief or Cersei recognizing that she still wants Jaime. But it wasn’t. This was an act on anger. Jaime recognizes his love for his sister then punishes her for being a “hateful woman”. In that moment, what little agency Cersei has was taken away and Jaime’s road to redemption just became a lot more complicated.

While it wouldn’t solve the underlying problem of adding extra rape to an already cruel universe, I wish I understood why this change was made. What extra bit of character information were they trying to convey about either Jaime or Cersei? As far I can tell, we’ve just added more tragedy to Cersei’s life and destroyed Jaime’s characterization. The pointlessness of the act is truly bothering me. I don’t feel that this change added anything to either character’s story or gave us new information of Westerosi society as a whole and therefore, it was unnecessary.

I would also like to know if this will ever be addressed again. Will Jaime feel guilty about raping his sister? Will this be worked into Cersei’s future arc? This isn’t an act that can be forgotten about. It’s not something that can be glossed over. If it is, I don’t really know how I can continue to enjoy the show or Jaime as a show character. It crossed a line that really did not need to be crossed and today all I’m left with is disappointment and anger.

Best of 2013: Characters

This was an amazing year for television. There were so many great shows, both new and returning, all filled with great characters, moments, and episodes. I couldn’t narrow down my favorites into just one “Best of” post, so this will be the first of a series of posts about my favorite things in television this year.

These characters are the ones who grabbed my heart the most this year. They may not be the best characters on their show or the most talked about, but they were the ones I loved the most. So, in no particular order, I give you my Top 10 characters of 2013!

Jaime Lannister (Game of Thrones) Season 3 belonged to Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and his portrayal of Jaime Lannister’s progression from the Kingslayer who pushed Bran out of a window into an incredibly complex character who is rediscovering his honor. The scene with Brienne in the bath of Harrenhal provided so much backstory and character development for him. He was placed in an incredibly difficult situation – torn between protecting his king, his father, and the people of Kings Landing – and he became despised for the choice he made. It was his first time he had explained himself and in doing so, showed the kind of man he had been. His journey to become that man again has been one of the most rewarding stories on TV for me this year.

Diane Lockhart (The Good Wife) I want to be Diane Lockhart when I grow up. She is smart, dedicated, and incredibly strong. I am still mad at Peter for passing her over for the Supreme Court nomination because she has earned it and I know she would be an incredible judge. Christine Baranski did a beautifully heartbreaking job portraying Diane’s devastation at losing that opportunity. I am so happy that she decided to marry Kurt, despite everyone’s protests over his political views. She did what made her happy and didn’t let anyone dissuade her and I find that inspiring. As a bonus, she was also responsible for one of my favorite comedic scenes of the season. Her reaction to Kalinda asking her about writing The Vampire Diaries fanfiction and to Damon and Elena’s sexual activities cracked me up and continues to make me smile to think about.

Ben Wyatt (Parks and Recreation) Ben Wyatt is my favorite male character on TV right now. Whether he’s reciting beautiful vows to Leslie, being concerned that Andy doesn’t know that Hogwarts isn’t real, or coming up with ridiculous board games, he consistently makes me happy. He is a loving and nerdy human being and I love him for it.

Continue reading Best of 2013: Characters