My favorite character on Game Of Thrones is Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau). I’m in love with his personality and interactions with characters like Brienne Of Tarth (Gwendoline Christie) and Bronn (Jerome Flynn). I’m also in love with his journey, going from an insufferable asshole to someone who’s not as bad as we all originally thought – even though he’s still kind of an asshole. His arc is one of the most interesting things I’ve ever seen, not just on television, but in all of fiction.
Because of my intense love of this character and a whole lot of tweets about him, I was given permission to write pieces just about Jaime Lannister in season eight of Game Of Thrones and I’m taking full advantage of the opportunity. My original plan was to write pieces about Jamie’s role in each episode and how it informs his personal arc and the story as a whole, but since he was only in the first for about two-minutes I couldn’t do that last week.
Fortunately, episode two, “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms” more than made up for the very little screen time he got in episode one. The second episode of the eighth and final season of Game of Thrones displayed Jaime as the best he has ever been, bringing his character arc full circle, and in a way that I wasn’t expecting.
As much As I love Jaime, after one season of his misadventures in Dorne with Bronn in season five and him not really doing much in seasons six and seven, I was resigned to the fact that he wasn’t going to develop in the ways that I had hoped. However, “A Knight Of the Seven Kingdoms” manages to give back three seasons worth of development back to Jaime in a way that felt totally authentic and true to his character.
You can tell how much Jaime has grown from the opening moments of this episode. In his trial, he doesn’t make any excuses for his past horrible deeds or offer Daenerys a snarky come back when she is attacking him. When Sansa accuses him of attacking her father in the street he doesn’t try to excuse his actions he simply explains that did what he did to protect his family, which is exactly what her family was doing.
Even in his apology to Bran, he doesn’t make any excuses. There’s no trying to charm his way out of it like he’s done in the past. He knows he’s made mistakes, done horrible things, and those in the North are probably going to kill him for them. But, he goes North anyway. He goes North because he made a promise, and because it’s the right thing to do.
I think the biggest example of just how much Jaime has changed is in his interactions with Brienne. They’ve always had a tumultuous relationship, initially hating each other and even after they grew to respect one another there was still tension between them.
However, in this episode, they don’t argue at all, well besides one very cute scene where they argue about not arguing. In this episode, you see more of their relationship than ever before, you see just how much they trust and respect each other.
Brienne defends him during his trial because she truly believes that he is an honorable man, stating that she would fight beside him and recounting their time together which resulted in him loosing his hand. In return, he tells her it would be an honor to serve under her. It’s hard to imagine season one Jaime willingly serving under anyone, but in season eight he does it for her because he believes in her.
I adored all of their scenes together in this episode, but the knighting scene has quickly become my favorite scene in the series. Brienne is undoubtedly a huge part of Jaime’s journey and a big reason why he became a better person. Regardless of whether you think it’s romantic or not, you can’t deny that him knighting her added a beautiful element to their relationship. She gave him his honor back and in return he gave her the one thing she’s always wanted, to be a Knight. As the most honorable of all the men the room, and the most capable, it was a beautiful moment to witness.
His future may be uncertain, with next week’s climactic battle surely taking some lives. Even though I don’t want him to die, if this episode is, in fact his last, I would be okay with it. It gave him the character development he’s needed for a long time and beautifully wrapped up his storyline with Ser Brienne.
It feels like after seasons of watching Jaime Lannister be misguided and lost he’s finally pointed in the right direction and I couldn’t be happier for it.
Game of Thrones airs Sunday nights at 8/9 CST/EST.