While many of the characters on Game of Thrones display both good and bad qualities, none may be more complex than Jaime Lannister, portrayed by Danish actor Nikolaj Coster-Waldau. Game of Thrones fans have come to love the man who did some very nasty things to a child in the pilot episode, and the fact that fans now embrace him is quite an achievement of writing and acting alike. In an interview with the New York Times, Coster-Waldau talked about the challenges Jaime faces with his evolved moral code and how much more can he take from his crazy twin sister, Cersei (Lena Headey.)
If you aren’t up to date with all the episodes that have aired, including the Game of Thrones season finale, there are spoilers ahead.
The New York Times noted an interesting irony in how Jaime’s character has sort of come full circle with the season finale of Game of Thrones. In the pilot of the series, Bran Stark (Isaac Hempstead Wright) caught Jaime and Cersei in an incestuous tryst, and Jaime heeded his sister’s request to dispatch poor Bran from the top of the tower. While Bran didn’t die, he was left paralyzed, and Jaime seemed to be a character destined to be hated by Game of Thrones‘ fans.
But after being held captive and losing a hand, Jaime Lannister has displayed one of the most interesting character arcs on the series, yet still reaped some serious karma when his son King Tommen (Dean-Charles Chapman) leapt to his death after his mother slaughtered the High Sparrow, his disciples, Queen Margaery, and a whole lot of other folks who were simply collateral damage. Coster-Waldau has also noted the ironies and the great losses suffered by Jaime for his choices, and how they have come full circle to haunt him.
“It’s a bookend to what’s driven him. If Bran had told anyone what he’d seen, the three kids would have been killed there and then. Now they’re all gone. What seemingly was Cersei’s whole reason for being — to keep them safe and to keep them powerful — is now gone. She only has herself and Jaime, but really just herself. So I think it is an end to what has been such a huge part of the motivation for these characters.”
On the good side, Coster-Waldau’s Game of Thrones character is still alive, and as anyone who knows the show knows, that’s saying something. But that’s about the only good thing that’s happened to Jaime this season: he lost his job as a Kingsguard, he lost the other two of his three children, and his sister/lover appears to have gone completely off the deep end, even as she takes the Iron Throne. Is there a clichéd country song in there somewhere?
“He once said, ‘The things I do for love,’ and it was all about protecting his sister and also the kids. Now they’re all gone. We won’t find out until next season how Jaime reacts to that. The cruel irony is he killed the Mad King in order to save King’s Landing, and he comes back to find out his sister pulled the trigger instead.”
Coster-Waldau also talked about why his character would stay in a relationship that, besides being incestuous, he described as “abusive” and “dysfunctional.” But even Coster-Waldau thinks that rather ambiguous look on his face as Cersei took the throne does not bode well for the future of the Lannister twins, once his shock wears off. He rated the moment on a scale of 1 to 100, with 100 being that moment when you realize it’s over, and he’s at about 99.9 on that scale.
“So many things are going through his head — you look down and you see your sister telling the rest of the world to go to hell. The woman you love has turned into this seemingly mad woman. If you were a couples’ counselor, you would tell him to maybe reconsider this relationship.”
While Jaime may not hold the record for the most suffering by a Game of Thrones character — that title is between Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) and Theon (Alfie Allen) — his losses have clearly transformed him from Season 1 to the Season 6 finale. Coster-Waldau also talked about his relationship with Brienne (Gwendoline Christie) and the bond they have formed, but Game of Thrones fans shouldn’t get too excited yet about a potential Braime or Jaimenne hookup.
“She represents the best parts of me, and clearly there’s a love and an attraction, but it’s an impossible scenario. They’re both dedicated to other people’s needs. And I don’t think they’ll ever be able to put themselves first.”
Having said that, Coster-Waldau is not opposed to a spinoff from Game of Thrones featuring Jaime and Brienne, but has very specific requirements if he’s going to get involved. He agreed that the premise should be the pair as roommates, and called Heartslayer.
“But it has to be a sitcom, though, and it has to have a laugh track. Then I would do it in a heartbeat.”
There’s hope, Braime shippers.
[Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images]