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Jaime Lannister

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"There are no men like me. Only me."
Jaime Lannister to Catelyn Stark.[src]

Jaime Lannister is a major character in the first, second and third seasons. He is played by starring cast member Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and debuts in the series premiere. Ser Jaime Lannister is a knight of the Kingsguard and is in love with his twin sister, Queen Cersei Lannister, with whom he has been sexually involved for years. He and Lord Eddard Stark have had a caustic relationship ever since Jaime killed King Aerys, an act Eddard thinks dishonorable. Jaime Lannister comes to Winterfell in King Robert's entourage, and he pushes Bran Stark from a derelict tower when Bran sees him having intercourse with Cersei. Bran survives but is paralyzed and with no memory of the event. After evidence that implicated House Lannister emerged and a feud with House Stark was sparked, Jaime left his post to join his father, Lord Tywin Lannister, in his attack against the Riverlands. After King Robert Baratheon's death and the dismissal of Lord Commander Barristan Selmy, Jaime was promoted in absentia to Lord Commander of the Kingsguard. Jaime was laying siege to Riverrun when his son Joffrey assumed the Iron Throne. Jaime was captured by Robb Stark's forces during the Battle of the Whispering Wood but was later released by Catelyn Stark in an attempt to make an unofficial exchange for Sansa and Arya Stark.



Ser Jaime Lannister is a knight of the Kingsguard, a position he has held for twenty years since he was a teenager, the youngest Kingsguard ever.[1] He was appointed to the position by the Mad King, Aerys II Targaryen.


Jaime slays the Mad King

At the conclusion of Robert's Rebellion, Jaime's father Tywin betrayed King Aerys by arriving at the gates of King's Landing with the main Lannister army and pleading his allegiance, then after his army was allowed inside the gates, turning them loose to attack the city. As Lannister soldiers raped and pillaged throughout the city during the Sack of King's Landing, King Aerys remained holed up inside the Red Keep, for hours maniacally repeating the order to "burn them all". Despite being sworn by the holiest oaths to protect the king as a member of the Kingsguard, Jaime ultimately turned his own sword on Aerys, slaying him at the foot of the Iron Throne itself. For this infamous act, he is known throughout the Seven Kingdoms as "the Kingslayer". Jaime refused to discuss precisely what happened the day he slew the Mad King, and thus his true motivations– and what Aerys nearly did to King's Landing– were never revealed.

He was forgiven his breaking of his vows by King Robert Baratheon and permitted to remain in the Kingsguard as part of Robert's alliance with House Lannister, along with the marriage of Jaime's twin sister Cersei to Robert. In addition to the slaying of the Mad King, Jaime is known for his good looks, arrogant demeanor, and superb martial skills.[2] He is so skilled with a sword that he claims that there are only three men in the seven kingdoms which may have a chance at beating him in a fair duel.

Jaime is the eldest son of Joanna Lannister and Lord Tywin Lannister. Tywin is the head of House Lannister, the richest man in the Seven Kingdoms and Lord Paramount of the Westerlands. The Westerlands are one of the constituent regions of the Seven Kingdoms and House Lannister is one of the Great Houses of the realm. Jaime had great difficulty learning to read as a child because he transposed letters in his mind. Tywin sat with him through four hour a day practices until he learnt. Jaime resented being forced to spend so much time on reading.[3]

Jaime is the older brother of Tyrion and the twin brother of Cersei. Their mother died giving birth to Tyrion. Due to his place in the Kingsguard, Jaime cannot inherit his father's lands or titles, making Tyrion his father's heir; a fact which vexes Tywin. Unlike Cersei and Tywin, Jaime always treated Tyrion with a degree of kindness and respect. In a secret known to only a few, Jaime is Cersei's lover and the biological father of her children, Joffrey, Myrcella, and Tommen, whom the world believes are Robert's kin.[4]

Season 1


Jaime confronts Bran, before pushing him out a window.

In King's Landing, Jaime counsels his sister, Cersei over fears that Jon Arryn may have discovered their secret prior to his death. Jaime argues that even if he knew, Arryn did not inform the king, for if he had, they would already be dead. If Arryn knew, his knowledge died with him. He accompanies King Robert to Winterfell where the king plans to ask Eddard Stark to replace Jon Arryn as Hand of the King. After their arrival, Cersei sends Jaime to find their younger brother Tyrion. Jaime tracks Tyrion to a brothel, tells him that he is needed at the feast that night and brings him several whores to speed his exit.[5]

At the evening feast, Jaime blocks Eddard's path and asks if there will be a possibility of their competing against each other at a tournament. Eddard dismissively says no as he doesn't play at fighting and doesn't show off to let opponent know his abilities. The next day Jaime talks to Jon Snow in the courtyard. Ostensibly, he thanks Jon for his service joining the Night Watch, but really he is making fun of him, as those from the south see it as waste of time (ironically, Jaime's Kingsguard vows are also for life and prevent him from marrying, but he still gets to live in the capital city and not exiled to the frozen gloom of the Wall).

Jaime 1x02

Tyrion ponders the circumstances of Bran's fall with an uneasy Jaime and Cersei.

Eddard and Robert go hunting, leaving the castle largely empty. Cersei and Jaime liaise in derelict tower. Bran Stark climbs the tower and finds them engaged in sexual intercourse. He is caught watching by Cersei, and Jaime grabs him. He asks how old Bran is. When Bran replies "Ten", Jaime sighs and pushes him out of the window, saying "The things I do for love".[5]

Several days later at breakfast, Tyrion tells his family that Bran is expected to live and notes his sibling's guarded reactions to the news. Tyrion informs them of his decision to journey north to see the Wall before returning to King's Landing. The parties depart Winterfell. Jaime is with the group traveling south to King's Landing.[6]

The royal party reaches King's landing. Eddard barely has time to get off his horse before he is asked to attend a meeting of the king's small council. Jaime awaits him in the throne room. Jaime is unhappy with Eddard judging him for killing the Mad King, the murderer of Eddard's father and brother, but Eddard is unapologetic. He says it wasn't justice that drove Jaime to kill Aerys, and that Jaime served Aerys loyally when serving was the easier thing to do.[6]

Jaime and Cersei 1x03

Jaime comforts Cersei.

A raven arrives at King's Landing with news of Bran's recovery. In the capital, Cersei fears he will expose their secret, but Jaime comforts her. Elsewhere, Robert swaps old war stories with Ser Barristan Selmy, a distinguished and famous knight and commander of the Kingsguard. Jaime is called in to join them. He tells them that the first man he killed was an outlaw from the Kingswood Brotherhood, and, as he took off the man's head, there were no last words. Disappointed in not being able to mock him about this, Robert realizes that he never asked Jaime what King Aerys Targaryen's last words were, then taunts Jaime for killing a defenseless old man he had sworn to protect. Jaime tersely responds that the last thing the Mad King said was the same thing he'd been raving for hours, since the sack of the capital by the rebels began: "Burn them all!" This silences Robert's levity.[7]

Jaime guards the king's bedroom whilst Robert cavorts with several women, Jaime taking it as a calculated insult to himself and his sister. He reminisces with Jory Cassel, the captain of Eddard's household guards, about the Siege of Pyke during the Greyjoy Rebellion and the fierceness of the fighting.[8]

Jaime kills Jory 1x05

Jaime stabs Jory through the eye.

Upon hearing of his brother's capture by Catelyn Stark, he confronts Eddard in the streets of King's Landing. Knowing that killing Eddard will result in Tyrion's death, he instead has Eddard's guards executed, stabbing Jory through the eye himself. He and Eddard cross swords, and Jaime is surprised that Eddard is a match for him. The fight ends prematurely when a Lannister guardsmen stabs Eddard through the leg. An irritated Jaime knocks out the guardsman and then departs the city, telling Eddard that he wants his brother back.[9]

Jaime joins the army of his father, Tywin Lannister, in the field. Tywin laments Jaime's pride and how he spends so much effort trying to convince others he doesn't care what they think of him. Tywin is incredulous and disgusted that Jaime would let Eddard live and go free because his victory was not "clean". He says that if other Houses think they can take a Lannister hostage and not suffer for it they will lose respect for the Lannister name. Tywin says that Jaime must accept responsibility for the future destiny of their house, which will be decided by this war against the Tullys and Starks. They will either die out like the Targaryens or begin a dynasty that will last 1,000 years. He gives Jaime thirty thousand men and sends him to besiege Riverrun. In King's Landing, Eddard tells Cersei that he knows that Jaime is the true father of Cersei's three children. She admits it, saying they have loved one another from the womb and are destined to be together always.[10]

Some weeks later, Ser Kevan Lannister, Jaime's uncle, tells Tyrion that Jaime has won several significant battles, smashing a host of the river lords at the Golden Tooth and is now laying siege to Riverrun.[11]

Jaime captured

Jaime is captured by Robb's army.

Robb Stark marches two thousand men towards Tywin's forces in order to create a distraction. The remaining force feints outside Riverrun, drawing out Jaime and a small number of troops to deal with what appears to be a small scouting party, and Jaime is taken prisoner in the resulting Battle of the Whispering Wood. Jaime offers to fight Robb in single combat to decide the war, but Robb knows that Jaime is better at swords than he is and says they aren't going to do it his way. Robb initially intends to use Jaime as a bargaining chip for his father's and sisters' lives. However, Eddard is executed in King's Landing before news of Jaime's capture can reach the capital.[12]

Catelyn Stark visits the captive Jaime, he taunts Catelyn, saying widowhood suits her, informing her that he would have sex with her if she was lonely. She hits him in the head with a rock. Jaime knows that the Starks won't kill him as long as his sister holds Sansa and Arya hostage, but Jaime Lannister always taunts others while he is in chains to show them he doesn't fear them and they aren't superior to him. She says he has gone against the laws of gods and man, he says, "What Gods?" Where were her gods when her husband was killed. When she says injustice in the world is because of men like him, he tells her, "There are no men like me. Only me." When asked directly, he admits pushing Bran from the tower, but doesn't reveal why. [13]

Season 2

Main: Jaime Lannister Season 2

Jaime and Grey Wind face to face.

Jaime remains a captive of House Stark. King Robb Stark keeps Jaime caged and chained to a post in his camp at all times to prevent Lord Tywin bribing or threatening one of his bannermen into giving him up. Jaime remains defiant, taunting and insulting Robb when he comes to confront him. King Stannis Baratheon has made Joffrey's parentage public, by sending letters to all the lords throughout the kingdom, exposing Jaime's incest with Cersei. Jaime counters that Stannis has a personal stake in these accusations, as if all of Cersei's children are Jaime's bastards that means Stannis is heir to the throne. However it is Jaime who is intimidated when Robb threatens him with his snarling direwolf Grey Wind. [14]

Months later, Jaime is joined in his cell by his distant cousin Alton Lannister. They talk about the time Alton served as Jaime's squire at a tourney, and Jaime tell him about his own experiences as squire of Ser Barristan Selmy. Drawing Alton Lannister closer, Jaime seizes the opportunity to escape. When he leans over to hear Jaime whisper about an escape plan, Jaime head butts him then strikes him in the head repeatedly cracking his skull. When the guard (Torrhen Karstark) is distracted by discovering Alton's body bloody and convulsing, Jamie strangles him to death and takes his keys to free himself from his chains.[15]


Jaime talking to Lady Stark.

Jaime is soon recaptured. Lord Rickard Karstark demands Jaime's head for killing his son. Catelyn Stark convinces Rickard to wait until Robb returns but fears that his patience will not hold. Catelyn visits Jaime's cell with her female guard Brienne. She accuses Jaime of being a man without honor because of his broken vows. Jaime explains his view that his vows frequently conflicted with one another. He asserts that he has more honor than some; he reveals that Cersei is the only one he has slept with and reminds Catelyn how her husband Eddard Stark cheated on her and fathered Jon Snow.[15] Catelyn releases Jaime. She tasks Brienne with escorting him to King's Landing to exchange him for her captive daughters.[16]

Jaime and Brienne

Jaime and Brienne escaping on their way to King's Landing in "The Prince of Winterfell".

Brienne successfully smuggles him out of the camp on horseback and then they travel by rowboat to evade pursuit. Jaime needles her about her appearance and masculinity, unsuccessfully attempting to goad her into dueling him.[16] He changes tack, focusing on her virginity and childhood. They find a trio of women, hanged for sleeping with Lannister soldiers. He mocks her service to House Stark and she asserts that she serves Lady Catelyn specifically. As Brienne goes to bury the bodies they are accosted by a trio of Stark soldiers. Brienne kills all three after they recognize Jaime, and he is impressed by her skill. He questions her readiness to kill Stark men and she reasserts her dedication to Catelyn and the task she set her.

Season 3

Jaime continues to be escorted by Brienne to King's Landing. On their way there, they are spotted by a traveler. Jaime urges Brienne to kill the traveler, since he believes the man recognised him and will give away their whereabouts, but she refuses.

Brienne Owns Jaime

Brienne beats down Jaime

Later, the pair have to cross a river, which means they can either attempt a dangerous fording or take the bridge, which will probably be watched. Brienne takes the safer route of the bridge, but Jaime manages to distract her long enough to take away her spare sword and cut his bonds. Brienne and Jaime enter into an extended sword fight on the bridge. Jaime, one of the most skilled swordsmen in all of Westeros, nearly overcomes Brienne several times. However, Jaime's mobility is reduced because his hands are still manacled, and he is malnourished after having spent the past full year chained up in a cell. Jaime begins to tire, and Brienne wears him down further by making simple body-blows with kicks and punches. After a protracted fight Jaime finally slumps to the ground in exhaustion. Just then, riders from House Bolton arrive led by a man named Locke. Jaime asks if they want to negotiate, but Locke says they'll have his head if he doesn't bring the Kingslayer back to the King in the North, so there's not much Jaime can do to dissuade him from taking them prisoner.

Along with Brienne, he is taken captive by Locke and his men. As they ride along, the men sing a rousing chorus of The Bear and the Maiden Fair. Tied up back to back on one of the horses, Jaime warns Brienne that when they make camp for the night, they will rape her, more than once, and that his honest advice is to give no resistance, and just think of Renly. They were only sent to capture Jaime, therefore Brienne means nothing to them, so at the slightest provocation they will kill her without hesitation. Brienne says she will fight even if they kill her, and Jaime agrees that if he were a woman, he would fight to the death before being raped too.

Jaime's Hand gone

Jaime loses his swordhand

Later that night Locke's men make camp, and do indeed drag Brienne kicking and screaming into the bushes to gang-rape her. Jaime is disgusted by this pointless brutality, so he points out to Locke that Brienne is actually a noblewoman and the sole heir of Lord Selwyn of Tarth, the "Sapphire Isle", and her father will pay them a ransom of her weight in sapphires - provided that she is unharmed. Locke agrees and calls his men back before they are able to rape Brienne, and they tie her up to a tree again. Jaime then tries to smooth-talk Locke once again with offers of how his father Tywin will make him extravagantly rich if he lets Jaime go. Tiring of Jaime's frequent attempts to bribe him into turning over to the Lannister side, Locke decides to prove that Jaime's father will never deal with the likes of him. At first Locke has his men untie Jaime on the pretext of letting him go, but then his men hold him down on a chopping block while Locke grabs a carving knife: his reasoning being that maiming Tywin's son will be the ultimate proof that the Lannisters would never deal with Locke, much less bribe him. Locke says that Jaime's father can't help him now, and "this should help you remember!" - as he swings down the carving knife and hacks off Jaime's sword-hand. For half a second, Jaime stares at his severed right hand in shock, before what just happened can register in his mind, then he screams in horror.[17]

Jaime beaten

Jaime is laying helpless in the mud

The following day, Locke's men lead their prisoners Jaime and Brienne of Tarth on horseback. Jaime's severed right hand is tied onto a rope that hangs around his neck. Jaime is physically in agony from his wound, feverish and half-delirious. Jaime can barely stay conscious, and he falls headlong off of his horse into the mud. Laying in the mud Jaime is mocked and tormented by Locke and his men, giving him horse piss to drink. However Jaime manages to steal a sword, and unsuccessfully tries to fight them off using only his left hand. Jaime is so weak and feverish that he can barely stand, much less wield a sword and must therefore quickly give up trying. His only hope is that one of the men would give him a small dignified death having a sword in his hand. He eventually succumbs to exhaustion and Locke simply warns him that if he tries that again he'll cut off his other hand.

Jaime recounts the past s3e5

Jaime recounts the story of slaying the Mad King

Later that night Jaime and Brienne are restrained near a campfire. Jaime refuses to eat, and says he wants to die. Brienne says he should try to live for revenge, but Jaime says he was that hand, and without his sword-hand, even if he escapes, he is nothing, and would rather die as the Jaime he was than go on living, robbed of his very identity. Brienne says she overheard when he earlier managed to talk Locke out of letting his men gang-rape her. Brienne is confused, and asks Jaime why he helped her, but he doesn't answer. Brienne grows angry, insinuating to Jaime that this is the first time he's had to face the real world where things people care about get taken away, but he's pathetically moping around like a woman. Her criticism and strength convinces Jaime to start eating. [18]

While Brienne is bathing alone in baths of Harrenhal, Jaime approaches and slips into the opposite corner. He makes a snide remark about Brienne unable to protect Renly and for being the reason he died. She stands defiantly, and he quickly apologies, claiming that Brienne has protected him better than most. Jaime begins to open up to Brienne, and tells the story of how he slayed the Mad King. He explains he was forced to kill the King after he desired to have everyone burned; including his father, women and children. Jaime begins to pass out and collapses in Brienne's arms. She calls for the guards to help the Kingslayer, but he corrects her and says his name is Jaime.[19]

Jaime The Climb

Jaime in discussions with Roose Bolton

While sitting at the dinner table with Brienne and Roose Bolton, Jaime relentlessly tries to cut his meat with one hand. Roose tells Jaime that wars cost money and that many people would pay a great deal of money for him. After discussing how busy Tywin is, Jaime informs Roose that his father would make time for him. Roose tells Jaime, that when he is well enough to travel, he will allow him to return to Kings Landing as restitution for the mistakes his soldiers made. He tells Jaime that he will tell Tywin the truth, that he had nothing to do with his maiming. Roose does not allow Brienne to join Jaime however, claiming she is charged with abetting treason.[20]

Jaime arrives in Brienne's chambers to tell her goodbye before he leaves for King's Landing. He informs her that Roose Bolton has demanded she stay behind with Locke. He tells Brienne that he owes her a debt. Brienne tells Jaime that if he keeps his word to Catelyn Stark the debt will be paid. Jaime promises the he will return the Stark girls to their mother.

Jaime Harrenal Bear and Maiden Fair

Jaime leaves Harrenhal.

Along their travel back to the Capital, the group stops and Qyburn medicates Jaime's healing stump. Qyburn informs Jaime that Selwyn Tarth offered 300 Gold dragons for Brienne's return, but Locke refused; believing that Lord Selwyn has all the sapphire mines in Westeros. Locke, feeling cheated, would make Brienne the men's entertainment for the night. Jaime senses a feeling of obligation to Brienne, knowing it is his fault for Locke believing there is a fortune in Sapphires. He approaches Steelshanks and tells him they are to return to Harrenhal. Jaime threatens that he will tell his father upon arrival in Kings Landing, that Steelshanks chopped his hand off. Or, he says he could tell his father that Steelshanks saved his life. Steelshanks relents and escorts Jaime back to Harrenhal, where he finds Brienne being forced to fight a bear in a gladiatorial pit, using only a wooden sword. Jaime dives into the pit to aid her, forcing Steelshanks to aid them both by firing arrows at the bear. Jaime and Brienne narrowly escape the bear, and he once again demands that she accompanies him, asking Locke whether he believes Bolton would prefer to reward him or to ensure that Jaime reaches King's Landing. This time, Locke relents, and Jaime and Brienne depart together.[21]

Jaime Mhysa finale returns

Jaime returns to Cersei

Jaime walks into the gates of the Red Keep with Brienne and Qyburn. A worker pulling a cart orders that he move out of the way, calling him a "Country Boy".

Jaime returns to Cersei. He steps into her room and notices her admiring a seashell fondly. He says her name and as she turns, he notices she is taken aback by his stump.[22]


Tywin Lannister has raised Jaime and Cersei with the principle of ruthlessness as a virtue. Yet even though Jaime Lannister often behaves unapologetically amoral, in his own warped way, Jaime is one of the few Lannisters (other than Tyrion) who shows any hint of honor or principles. This is largely based on his arrogance and pride at being a member of the Kingsguard. Although he wasn't aware of it at the time, Jaime is deeply upset when he finds out that Cersei dismissed Ser Barristan Selmy, whom he always admired and respected. She then started staffing the Kingsguard with political cronies, whom he felt were not worthy of that high honor. Jaime became extremely disillusioned with ideals of honor and loyalty when he saw firsthand the atrocities committed by the Mad King, how other "honorable" members of the Kingsguard stood by and did nothing while King Aerys had people burned alive for imagined insults, because they felt bound by vows of faith and fealty. A key difference between Cersei and Jaime is that Cersei honestly believes, in her skewed view of the world, that she is "good", Joffrey is a great king, and all of her enemies are "evil" people trying to destroy her and her children. In contrast, Jaime does not maintain any pretense of being a "good" or honorable man: he has become so disillusioned that he thinks there is no sin and there is no virtue, there are no gods rewarding the good and punishing the bad, and all is mere hypocrisy.

Moreover, Jaime isn't a very politically ambitious man, much to Cersei's annoyance, and often turns down her frequent urgings that he should try to become Hand of the King. Political maneuvering is not his way, he sees himself foremost as a soldier who when confronted with a problem takes out his sword and cuts its head off.

Jaime is the only member of Tyrion's immediate family who ever treated him with respect or kindness. In fact, he admires Tyrion's intellect and his ability to tell off those who insult him. Jaime never approved of Tywin and Cersei's long history of abuse towards Tyrion, and has always treated him like a brother. Indeed, Jaime is the only member of the core Lannister family (Tywin and his three children) who has a reasonably good relationship with all of the others. Among the three siblings, Cersei and Tyrion can't stand each other, but they both like Jaime. Tywin is a stern man feared by all of his children, and in turn Tywin ignores Cersei as a woman and scorns Tyrion as the dwarf who killed his wife in childbirth. However, Jaime is on reasonably good terms with Tywin - not so much that he's "proud" of Jaime so much as he has the "least shame" for him compared to his brother and sister. Even so, Tywin is upset that Jaime joined the Kingsguard, as while it is considered the highest honor for a knight, its members give up the rights to marry or inherit lands, meaning that Jaime cannot be Tywin's heir. Jaime wasn't in a position to act as a father to his biological children with Cersei, though he is generally supportive of Tommen and Myrcella. However, in sharp contrast with Cersei, Jaime isn't particularly fond of Joffrey, nor will he defend his actions the way Cersei does.


Season One appearances
Winter is Coming The Kingsroad Lord Snow Cripples, Bastards and Broken Things The Wolf and the Lion
A Golden Crown You Win or You Die The Pointy End Baelor Fire and Blood
Season Two appearances
The North Remembers The Night Lands What is Dead May Never Die Garden of Bones The Ghost of Harrenhal
The Old Gods and the New A Man Without Honor The Prince of Winterfell Blackwater Valar Morghulis
Season Three appearances
Valar Dohaeris Dark Wings, Dark Words Walk of Punishment And Now His Watch is Ended Kissed by Fire
The Climb The Bear and the Maiden Fair Second Sons The Rains of Castamere Mhysa

Image Gallery

Family tree

Tytos tree
Tytos Lannister
Jeyne Lannister
née Marbrand Marbrand shield icon
Tywin tree
Tywin Lannister
Joanna Lannister
Kevan tree
Kevan Lannister
Dorna Lannister
née Swyft Swyft shield icon
Robert tree
Robert Baratheon Baratheon shield icon
Cersei tree
Cersei Lannister
100px-Jaime tree
Jaime LannisterKingsguard shield icon
Unknown tree
100px-Tyrion tree
Tyrion Lannister
100px-Sansa tree
Sansa Stark Stark shield icon
Lancel tree
Lancel Lannister Sparrow shield icon
Martyn Lannister tree
Martyn Lannister
Willem Lannister tree
Willem Lannister
KL baratheon sigil
Unnamed son House-Baratheon-of-King's Landing-Shield-Icon
Died in infancy
Joffrey tree

Joffrey Baratheon House-Baratheon-of-King's Landing-Shield-Icon

Margaery Tree
Margaery Tyrell Tyrell shield icon
Mycella Season 5 family tree pic

Myrcella Baratheon KL Baratheon shield icon

Trystane Martell family tree
Trystane Martell Martell shield icon
Tommen Baratheon family tree
Tommen Baratheon KL Baratheon shield icon
Margaery Tree
Margaery Tyrell Tyrell shield icon


"It's a strange thing, the first time you cut a man. You realize we're nothing but sacks of meat and blood and some bone to keep it all standing."
Jaime Lannister to Jon Snow[src]
"People have been swinging at me for years and they always seem to miss."
Jaime Lannister to Eddard Stark[src]
"So many vows. They make you swear and swear. Defend the King, obey the King, obey your father, protect the innocent, defend the weak. But what if your father despises the King? What if the King massacres the innocent? It's too much. No matter what you do, you're forsaking one vow or another."
Jaime Lannister[src]
"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?"
Jaime Lannister to Brienne[src]
"The boy won't talk. And if he does, I'll kill him, Ned Stark, the king, the whole bloody lot of them until you and I are the only people left in this world."
Jaime Lannister to Cersei[src]
"I think we can outfox a ten year old."
Jaime Lannister[src]

In the books

In the A Song of Ice and Fire novels, Jaime Lannister is described as extremely handsome with bright green eyes and hair like spun gold. The books do not mention him suffering from dyslexia. He is a prodigious warrior.

At age of eleven, Jaime was sent to Crakehall, and served as a squire for old Lord Sumner Crakehall for four years (Jaime never served as a squire for Barristan Selmy). Two years later, while still a squire, he won his first tourney melee. When he was fifteen, he and his master accompanied Ser Arthur Dayne and Ser Barristan Selmy in their campaign against the Kingswood Brotherhood. Jaime fought bravely against the Smiling Knight, although was not the one to kill him, and saved the life of Lord Crakehall from another of the outlaws. As a reward, Jaime was knighted by Arthur Dayne on the battlefield.

Shortly afterwards, Jaime was appointed to the Kingsguard by King Aerys II Targaryen, he served alongside such great and vaunted warriors as Lord Commander Gerold Hightower and Ser Arthur Dayne, the legendary Sword of the Morning. Jaime's appointment infuriated his father, Tywin Lannister, as the Kingsguard take vows to serve for life, never marry, and give up the right to hold lands and titles. This meant Jaime was no longer his heir, the honor of which instead fell to Tywin's misshapen and hated youngest son, Tyrion, whose dwarfism made him unfit in his fathers eyes to inherit Casterly Rock. Jaime also learned later that he had only been named to the Kingsguard so Aerys could use him as a hostage against his father (whom Aerys was insanely jealous of), which soured the honor. Jaime rapidly became disillusioned with his new position, as he was forced to watch the various atrocities Aerys committed, forced by his vow to stand by and do nothing.

At the climax of Robert's Rebellion, when the Lannister armies stormed King's Landing, Jaime betrayed his king by murdering him at the foot of the Iron Throne itself. He attacked Aerys on the steps of the Iron Throne, and cut the Mad King's throat rather than stabbing him in the back as in the TV Series. Robert Baratheon forgave Jaime, reasoning that someone had to kill Aerys, and he was just happy that the Lannisters were the ones who got their hands dirty instead of himself. Eddard Stark believed that Jaime should have faced justice for killing Aerys, or at least stripped of his position on the Kingsguard and made to take the black, but Robert didn't want to upset his crucial alliance with Jaime's father Tywin, his own new father-in-law. Jaime is stuck in an ironic situation: Targaryen loyalists despise him for personally killing the last Targaryen king, but even those who joined Robert in rebellion (and wished Aerys dead) often question why he didn't kill Aerys sooner, preventing the loss of life that happened in the war. A small number of people don't even mind what Jaime did or when he did it, but place so much respect on honor and justice that they feel his breach of his Kingsguard vows to defend the king are a sacrilege that can never be forgiven. For his part, Jaime points out that Aerys was a madman who roasted women and babies on spits because the voices in his head told him they were plotting against him, and he has no regrets about killing the Mad King.

Tywin's sister Genna remarks that her nephew Jaime isn't really like his father. Instead, she says Jaime has a combination of the qualities of Tywin's three younger brothers: Tygett's martial prowess, Gerion's sharp sense of humor, and Kevan's sense of honor. Genna insists that Tyrion is the son who inherited Tywin's brilliance and is most like his father, which she even told Tywin once, after which he didn't speak to her for six months.

The early sections of the book A Game of Thrones play to the suspicion that Jaime wants to seize the throne himself, but this is later shown to be a red herring.

So far in the books, there has been no mention that Jaime has dyslexia, which Tywin stated in the TV series.

After Jaime is captured in the Battle of the Whispering Wood, he is held at Riverrun, not taken along with Robb's army, though Robb only leaves Riverrun some time later so he can consolidate his forces. No scenes between Jaime and Robb are depicted in the books (as neither is a POV character at this point), though it is entirely plausible that the scene with Robb in Jaime's cell in the Season 2 premiere could have happened in the books, just "off screen", as Robb doesn't immediately leave Riverrun. At first, Jaime is held in comfortable imprisonment in a tower of Riverrun, but after a failed escape attempt in which he manages to kill three guards before being subdued, he is chained up in the dungeon.

The TV series' depiction of an escape attempt by Jaime, during which he kills Torrhen Karstark, is a very loose adaptation of events in the books. In the TV version, Jaime kills Torrhen because he was guarding his cell, which causes Lord Rickard Karstark to become enraged and demand revenge, to the point that Catelyn releases Jaime (in promise of her daughters' safe return from King's Landing) because she fears he won't live out the night. In the books, Jaime killed Rickard's sons Torrhen and Eddard Karstark at the Battle of the Whispering Wood (Eddard Karstark's death is apparently unchanged in the TV version). While Lord Karstark was certainly upset in the books, he wasn't going to go disobey Robb's direct command as his liege-lord that Jaime must remain unharmed (at least because he thought they'd execute him eventually). Catelyn's decision to exchange Jaime as a prisoner isn't rushed by pressure from within the Stark camp, but is rather due to her grief at hearing the (false) report that Bran and Rickon have been killed by Theon at Winterfell. Believing (somewhat justifiably) that even holding Jaime as prisoner is no guarantee that the crazed Joffrey won't have her daughters killed on a whim, Catelyn decides that keeping her remaining children safe is what matters most, so she releases Jaime, sending him under escort by Brienne to King's Landing. Rickard Karstark only truly becomes enraged after Catelyn releases Jaime, because he never thought they'd release the killer of his sons, as well as because it is a very poor exchange to trade a prominent Lannister warrior for two girls. The TV series may have moved Torrhen's death around to make it closer to Jaime's release, instead of just mentioning that Jaime killed Torrhen at the end of Season 1 and expecting the audience to remember this over a season later.

Similarly, "Alton Lannister" is actually a renamed version the character Cleos Frey in the books. Cleos' father is a Frey but his mother is a Lannister, and his name may have been changed because of concerns that the audience would be confused as the Freys are on Robb's side. Jaime does not kill him in the books to create a diversion to distract his guards, this is an invention of the TV series. Intead, Cleos is sent back to King's Landing again along with Brienne and Jaime, but is killed by outlaws along the way.

Jaime doesn't appear during virtually all of the second novel, A Clash of Kings, emphasizing that he is a prisoner of the Starks and in isolation. He only appears near the end during one chapter when Catelyn Stark visits him in his cell to release him. Dialogue from this scene in the books was split in two, so that some of it is used in the scene where she releases him late in Season 2, while parts of it were moved back to a separate meeting between Catelyn and Jaime in the Season 1 finale (it was just one long meeting in the book). During their conversation in the book, Jaime bluntly admitted that he and Cersei are lovers; that he is the father of Cersei's kids; that he pushed Bran from the window. Jaime denied any connection to the Catspaw assassin, and revealed to Catelyn that the dagger never belonged to Tyrion. Catelyn realized that Jaime was telling her the truth. Jaime also told her in details how the Mad King executed Ned's father and brother. Most of the conversation was omitted from the TV series.

Jaime then comes back to the forefront of the narrative in the third novel, A Storm of Swords, even becoming a POV character, but while this can be done in a book, the TV series producers felt that it would be odd for one of the main cast members to disappear for an entire season (similarly, Daenerys Targaryen doesn't appear that much in the second book either, so the TV show padded out her storyline in Qarth). This was partially made up for by showing more events that happened to Jaime "off screen", such as Robb interrogating him (in the season premiere) and actually depicting his failed escape attempt. Their primary solution, however, was to move ahead some of Jaime's storyline from the third book to late Season 2: Jaime is only released from captivity at the very end of the second book (as a cliffhanger), thus all of Jaime's scenes with Brienne leading him back to King's Landing are actually from the beginning of the third book. TV producers Benioff and Weiss insisted that they don't see each season as being required to neatly adapt each book matched to one season, but instead they are trying to adapt the story as a whole, so parts from other books will spill into other seasons as they are required, i.e. pointing out that the Jaime/Brienne scenes in late Season 2 aren't fabrications of the TV series, just moving up some scenes that actually occurred in the next book.

In "Kissed by Fire" Jaime reveals his motivation for assassinating the Mad King to Brienne. In corresponding book scene, Jaime also says that he didn't tell Ned Stark his version of what happened because he knew Lord Stark wouldn't believe him anyway, but he also goes on to explain to Brienne that the Kingsguard are sworn to keep the king's secrets, and he didn't want to be seen as breaking even more of his vows to King Aerys, even after his death. When Brienne calls for help for the Kingslayer, Jaime merely thinks to himself "Jaime. My name is Jaime.", instead of saying it out loud (though Bryan Cogman explained that Jaime is losing consciousness and just whimpering this to himself, not to Brienne).


By the time of the War of the Five Kings, Jaime is one of the most skilled and dangerous warriors in all of Westeros, ranking alongside Gregor Clegane, Loras Tyrell, Eddard Stark, and Barristan Selmy as arguably the best swordsman on the entire continent. Gregor's prowess relies more on his immense strength than on skill, while Eddard and Barristan are self-admittedly not as young and quick as they used to be. Loras is not quite as experienced as Jaime yet, but is one of the few knights who has on rare occasion actually managed to knock Jaime off his horse during a joust. Jaime, meanwhile, is at the peak of both youth and experience, and even his enemies often consider him to be the most skilled living warrior in Westeros, albeit not the most honorable one. During the Battle of the Whispering Wood, even with his army ambushed and wiped out, Jaime managed to single-handedly carve a path through the Stark army until he reached Robb Stark, and almost managed to kill Robb before he was knocked unconscious. This short list is supported in the TV series in "The Prince of Winterfell", when Jaime boasts to Brienne of Tarth that he thinks there are only three men in Westeros who might have even a chance of beating him in combat.

See also


v  d  e
Lord: Queen Regent Cersei Lannister Heir: (disputed)
Seat: Casterly Rock Lands: The Westerlands
Title(s): Lord Paramount of the Westerlands · Lord of Casterly Rock · Warden of the West · King of the Rock (pre-War of Conquest)
Ancestors:Lann the Clever · Tommen II Lannister · Loren Lannister · Damon Lannister
Current members:Kevan Lannister · Tyrion Lannister · Jaime Lannister · Dorna Lannister · Lancel Lannister · Cynda Lannister · Lyman Lannister
Deceased members:Tytos Lannister · Joanna Lannister · Stafford Lannister · Alton Lannister · Martyn Lannister · Willem Lannister · Orson Lannister · Tywin Lannister
Household:Podrick Payne · Bronn · Gregor Clegane · {Amory Lorch} · {Polliver} · {Rorge} · {Biter}
Overlord:House Baratheon of King's Landing

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