Jaime Lannister, Kingslayer
|World of Westeros - People|
|Wednesday, 14 April 2010 19:30|
(Ser; later Lord Commander of the Kingsguard)
14th Level (Man-at-arms 1 / Noble 3 / Knight 3 / Brother of the Kingsguard 7)
Ser Jaime Lannister was twin to Queen Cersei; tall and golden with flashing green eyes and a smile that cut like a knife. He wore crimson silk, high black boots, a black satin cloak. On the breast of his tunic, the lion of his House was embroidered in gold thread, roaring its defiance. They called him the Lion of Lannister to his face and whispered “Kingslayer” behind his back. Jon found it hard to look away from him. This is what a king should look like, he thought to himself as the man passed.
Bright and bold, wild and reckless, the tales of Jaime Lannister could make a bard’s fee pile high. Jaime Lannister has been called many things, but the epithet no one forgets is “Kingslayer,” for the blood of Aerys Targaryen lies on his hands. The cynical and wise would call it a necessary evil, but the murmurs of objection can still be heard among those who consider oaths more serious than political expedience. After all, Jaime was a sworn brother of Aerys’s Kingsguard at 15, the youngest ever to take that vow. To vow unending loyalty to a king only to cut his throat in time of convenience requires a relaxed approach to matters of honour. But then, to seem casual while moving with devastating effectiveness is one of Jaime’s gifts. He is a redoubtable warrior, famed
It is said that the ends justify the means, and Robert amply rewarded the House of the Lion. Still, regicide and treachery cast long shadows. It is not that people regard him as a dangerous assassin or a shadowy, political figure, because he clearly has no such aspirations. After Aerys’s death, he had his moment of temptation and tried the Iron Throne for size. He decided it was uncomfortable and took his leave, laughing. A maester might say that often a kingslayer fancies himself a kingmaker. Why then betray Aerys and his promise in the first place? If he doesn’t want the throne, what does he want? The question is likely to remain unanswered, as Jaime does not care to discuss his reasons. He has no gift for introspection, and trying to guess at motives, even his own, would strike him as pointless. His loyalties are few, but they run too deep for him to question.
The most important thing to Jaime is his family, for all their flaws and foibles. He is a child of Casterley Rock, and of Tywin Lannister — a man about which Jaime harbours no illusions. Jaime never really objects to Tywin’s power-brokering, as it always pays dividends. In his case, this is doubly true, as Jaime is the Lannister whose natural ability is most appreciated by his father. Jaime could never have been anything other than a superb warrior, and that ready sword makes him Tywin’s favourite. It is an indication of the warmth Jaime shows his siblings that they never resent him for his father’s partiality.
Jaime is the most fiery of the tribe. He has great affection for his brother Tyrion, so Catelyn Stark’s capture of the dwarf sparks off dramatic repercussions at King’s Landing. Eddard’s men are ambushed by Jaime’s forces, a confrontation which results in the death of Jory Cassel and all Eddard’s guard. Fury burns bright in the Lannister smile, and Jaime’s lesson is clear: this is what happens when you capture my brother. Imagine what I will do if you hurt him.
Jaime’s feelings towards his sister Cersei go far beyond filial love. Cersei is Jaime’s twin. They came out of the womb together, and their closeness expresses itself incestuously. Cersei is Jaime’s mirror, with her ambition and lust for power made flesh in him, and his warrior spirit and unconquerable appetites find their equal in her. With nothing of his own except his twin, what Jaime wants is Cersei herself. This secret relationship is the nearest Jaime Lannister gets to defiance of the world around him. On a deeper level, at this point in his life, it is the nearest he comes to defying his father’s manipulation. Jaime had the power to destroy Aerys. He also now has the power to destroy himself and all his family. He would never consciously think in these terms, but Jaime is a fighter first, last and always. What freedom has he ever had, other than to destroy?
There is something refreshing about the way Jaime refuses to play the game of artificially induced emotions. Should he care about his offspring? He only supplied the seed for them. Should he care about King Aerys? The man was a maniac. Should he care about Bran, a little boy he permanently cripples? The boy was dangerous. Jaime is fond of saying, “A Lannister always pays his debts.” He also knows that the world is full of those who try to make one feel indebted for their own reasons. Terms like “father,” “child,” and “king” mean nothing in the game of survival, and Jaime never wastes his time with guilt.
Despite this, however, Jaime does have a code of conduct that defines him. He is the quintessential warrior, at his best in conflict with the odds stacked against him. He recognises there is no real integrity in war, except to die valiantly if need be and grab any chance to live if possible. Bravery and humour come easy to him. This is what he is good at, where his instincts and talents work for him and him alone. This is where he is free.