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Villain Overview

The things I do for love.
~ Jaime Lannister just before pushing Bran Stark out a window.
That boy had wanted to be Ser Arthur Dayne, but someplace along the way he had become the Smiling Knight instead.
~ Jaime Lannister describing himself.
I think it passing odd that I am loved by one for a kindness I never did, and reviled by so many for my finest act.
~ Jaime to Catelyn Stark.

Ser Jaime Lannister, also known as the Kingslayer, is the second child and first-born son of Lord Tywin Lannister of Casterly Rock and his wife Lady Joanna, also of House Lannister. Raised to the Kingsguard of the Mad King Aerys II Targaryen at the age of 15, Jaime became the youngest member in the history of the prestigious knightly order.

He earned the derogatory nickname "Kingslayer" when he infamously slew King Aerys near the end of Robert's Rebellion, an act condemned as treason by many. For most of his life, Jaime has had a secretly incestuous relationship with his twin sister, Queen Cersei. He has fathered three children by her: Joffrey, Mycella, and Tommen, though most of the realm believes their father to be Cersei's husband, King Robert I Baratheon.

In the novels, Jaime Lannister serves as one of the two main antagonists (alongside Queen Cersei) of A Game of Thrones. In A Storm of Swords, Jaime becomes a POV character. In the TV show, he served as one of the two main antagonists of Season 1, alongside Cersei. During Seasons 2 and 3, he became an anti-hero, and since Season 4, he has become a major protagonist, though still has some anti-heroic qualities.

In the television series, he was portrayed by Nikolaj Coster-Waldau.

Characteristics

So many vows...they make you swear and swear. Defend the king. Obey the king. Keep his secrets. Do his bidding. Your life for his. But obey your father. Love your sister. Protect the innocent. Defend the weak. Respect the gods. Obey the laws. It's too much. No matter what you do, you're forsaking one vow or the other.
~ Jaime Lannister to Catelyn Stark.

Jaime is the warrior, and most of his skills lie in that area. He has little interest in politics, intrigue and leadership, though he has exceptional skill in the latter when it comes to military matters. Jaime has the Lannister look, bright green eyes and his long curly hair is golden. He is considered to be an extremely handsome, has comely features and has a "smile that cut like a knife". He dresses in white, like any member of the Kingsguard when on duty, but he also wears his family colors and distinctive armor of his own: gold-plated, with a lion's-head helm at other times.

Early in life, Jaime comes off as an amoral, arrogant, traitorous and dishonorable man, a code of conduct similar to his sister Cersei. However, he is changed by his imprisonment and prolonged exposure to Brienne's stubborn adherence to a code of honour. He sees his adversity as a blank page for him to write a new history, jokingly thinking to himself he might become Gold Hand the Good and noting "this is what justice feels like" even when doling it out to men in Lannister colors.

Because he has done reprehensible and iniquitous acts he has such a bad reputation, everything he says is usually cast in the worst possible light. An offhand joke is taken as a grave threat by others, just because it is spoken by the Kingslayer. And as for honor, Jaime took his Kingsgaurd vows, but when they conflict, he chooses a course of action and follows it to its conclusion, no matter the consequence.

Unlike his sister, he is shown to care for his brother Tyrion. When he found out that Eddard Stark had Tyrion imprisoned, he proceeded to attack his men in retaliation.

Jaime Lannister was an expert swordsman, having been knighted at 15 years old and become renowned as one of the best swordsmen in Westeros and one of the deadliest of the Kingsguard. However, after losing his hand, his skills have rotted considerably and he is forced to rely on his wits far more prominently.

Quotes

There it is. There's the look. I've seen it for 17 years on face after face. You all despise me. Kingslayer. Oathbreaker. A man without honor. You've heard of wildfire? The Mad King was obsessed with it. He loved to watch people burn, the way their skin blackened and blistered and melted off their bones. He burned lords he didn't like. He burned Hands who disobeyed him. He burned anyone who was against him. Before long, half the country was against him. Aerys saw traitors everywhere. So he had his pyromancer place caches of wildfire all over the city-- beneath the Sept of Baelor and the slums of Flea Bottom. Under houses, stables, taverns. Even beneath the Red Keep itself. Finally, the day of reckoning came. Robert Baratheon marched on the capital after his victory at the Trident. But my father arrived first with the whole Lannister army at his back, promising to defend the city against the rebels. I knew my father better than that. He's never been one to pick the losing side. I told the Mad King as much. I urged him to surrender peacefully. But the king didn't listen to me. He didn't listen to Varys who tried to warn him. But he did listen to Grand Maester Pycelle, that grey, sunken c--t. "You can trust the Lannisters," he said. "The Lannisters have always been true friends of the crown.” So we opened the gates and my father sacked the city. Once again, I came to the king, begging him to surrender. He told me to bring him my father's head. Then he turned to his pyromancer. "Burn them all," he said. "Burn them in their homes. Burn them in their beds.” Tell me, if your precious Renly commanded you to kill your own father and stand by while thousands of men, women, and children burned alive, would you have done it? Would you have kept your oath then? First, I killed the pyromancer. And then when the king turned to flee, I drove my sword into his back. "Burn them all," he kept saying. "Burn them all.” I don't think he expected to die. He-- he meant to burn with the rest of us and rise again, reborn as a dragon to turn his enemies to ash. I slit his throat to make sure that didn't happen. That's where Ned Stark found me. (Brienne: If this is true why didn't you tell anyone? Why didn't you tell Lord Stark?) Stark? You think the honorable Ned Stark wanted to hear my side? He judged me guilty the moment he set eyes on me. By what right does the wolf judge the lion? By what right? (Brienne: Help! Help! The Kingslayer!) Jaime. My name is Jaime.
~ Jaime’s monologue explaining why he came to be known as the Kingslayer.
It's alright... it's alright... just look at me... look at me... look me in the eye. Don't look away, don't look. Look at me! Just look at me. Nothing else matters. Nothing else matters. Only us.
~ Jaime's last words to Cersei before their deaths.

Gallery

Trivia

  • Alongside his brother Tyrion, Jaime is considered to be the least vile of the Lannisters.

External links

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