- "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
Jaime Lannister is a major character in the first and second 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. Jaime pushed Bran Stark from a derelict tower when Bran saw him having intercourse with Cersei. Bran survived his injuries but could not recall being pushed or what he saw. Evidence emerged implicating House Lannister, sparking a feud with House Stark. 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 later captured by Robb Stark at the Battle of the Whispering Wood.
BackgroundSer Jaime Lannister is a knight of the Kingsguard, a position he has held for twenty years since he was a teenager. He was appointed to the position by the Mad King, Aerys II Targaryen. Jaime killed the Mad King at the conclusion of Robert's Rebellion when he threatened to torch the city of King's Landing. For this infamous act he earned the epithet 'Kingslayer'. 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. He is so skilled with a sword that he claims that there are only 3 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 4 hour a day practices until he learnt. Jaime resented being forced to spend so much time on reading.
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.
In King's Landing, Jaime counsels his sister, Cersei over fears that Jon Arryn may have discovered their secret prior to his death. Jaime informs her that this could not be the case as they would already be dead. He accompanies King Robert to Winterfell where he 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.
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".
The next day, 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.
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.
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. They are joined by Jaime who is questioned by Robert about his role in the death of the Mad King. Robert initially mocks Jaime for killing a defenceless old man, but Jaime points out that the old man had spent the day ordering the execution of supposed traitors and criminals by being burned alive.
Jaime guards the king's bedroom whilst he cavorts with several women, taking it as an insult to 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.
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.
Jaime joins the army of his father, Tywin Lannister, in the field. Tywin is incredulous and disgusted that Jaime would let Eddard live and go free because his victory was not 'clean'. 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. 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.
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.
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. 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.
Catelyn Stark visits the captive Jaime, who admits to pushing Bran from the tower but doesn't reveal why. He taunts Catelyn, saying widowhood suits her, informing her that he would have sex with her if she was lonely which she strikes him for. Jaime knows that the Starks won't kill him as long as his sister holds Sansa and Arya hostage. He then says that her gods have abandoned her and arrogantly says, "There are no men like me. Only me."
- Main: Jaime Lannister Season 2
Jaime remains a captive of House Stark. King Robb Stark keeps Jaime with his camp at all times to prevent Lord Tywin bribing or threatening one of his bannermen into giving him up. Jaime remains defiant but is intimidated when Robb threatens him with his direwolf Grey Wind. King Stannis Baratheon makes Jaime's incest with Cersei public in a letter sent to high lords throughout the kingdoms.
Months later Jaime is joined in his cell by his distant cousin Alton Lannister. Jaime seizes the opportunity to escape, drawing Alton close to him with reminiscences about their shared past and then murdering him. When the guard (Torrhen Karstark) is distracted by discovering Alton's body Jamie kills him and takes his keys to free himself from his chains.
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. Catelyn releases Jaime. She tasks Brienne with escorting him to King's Landing to exchange him for her captive daughters.
Brienne successfully smuggles him out of the camp and travels by rowboat to evade pursuit. Jaime needles her about her appearance and masculinity, unsuccessfully attempting to goad her into dueling him. 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 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|
(click icon at upper right corner to expand)
In the books
In the Song of Ice and Fire novels, Jaime Lannister was a prodigious warrior. Knighted at fifteen and appointed to the Kingsguard by King Aerys II Targaryen, he served alongside such great warriors as Ser Arthur Dayne, the legendary Sword of the Morning, and Lord Commander Gerold Hightower. However, Jaime's appointment angered his father, Tywin, since it meant Jaime was no longer his heir, the honor of which instead fell to Tywin's misshapen and hated youngest son, Tyrion. 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.
Jaime was forgiven his crime by King Robert Baratheon and reinstated to the Kingsguard, but he has carried the name "Kingslayer" ever since.
A point highlighted in the books (but also observable in the series) is that Jaime is the only member of Tyrion's immediate family who ever treated him with respect or kindness. Jaime never approved of Tywin and Cersei's long history of abuse towards Tyrion and instead actually treated him like a brother. In his own warped way, Jaime is one of the few Lannisters (other than Tyrion) who shows any hint of honor or principles, even if 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 and started staffing the Kingsguard with political cronies, whom he felt were not worthy of that high honor. Moreover, Jaime isn't a very ambitious man, and while the early sections of the book A Game of Thrones play to the suspicion that Jaime wants to seize the throne himself, this is later shown to be a red herring. The series made this clear with the invented scene in the first episode when Jaime tells Cersei that he doesn't want to become the Hand of the King.
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. Gregory'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. 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: with Ned Stark's death at the end of Season 1, that leaves Gregor Clegane, Loras Tyrell, and Barristan Selmy.
- "There are no men like me. Only me."
- ―Jaime Lannister
- Jaime Lannister at A Wiki of Ice and Fire (MAJOR spoilers from the books).
- ↑ HBO viewers guide, season 2 guide to houses, House Baratheon of King's Landing - Jaime Lannister entry
- ↑ "The Old Gods and the New"
- ↑ HBO viewers guide, season 2 guide to houses, House Baratheon of King's Landing - Cersei Baratheon entry
- ↑ "Winter is Coming"
- ↑ "Winter is Coming"
- ↑ "The Kingsroad"
- ↑ "The Kingsroad"
- ↑ "Lord Snow"
- ↑ "Cripples, Bastards and Broken Things"
- ↑ "The Wolf and the Lion"
- ↑ "You Win or You Die"
- ↑ "The Pointy End"
- ↑ "Baelor"
- ↑ "Fire and Blood"
- ↑ "The North Remembers"
- ↑ 16.0 16.1 "A Man Without Honor"
- ↑ 17.0 17.1 "The Prince of Winterfell"
|Lord:||Lord Tywin Lannister||Heir:||Tyrion Lannister (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 · Loren Lannister|
|Current members:||Kevan Lannister · Cersei Lannister · Jaime Lannister · Dorna Lannister · Lancel Lannister · Cynda Lannister · Sansa Stark|
|Deceased members:||Tytos Lannister · Joanna Lannister · Stafford Lannister · Alton Lannister · Martyn Lannister · Willem Lannister|
|Household:||Podrick Payne · Bronn · Gregor Clegane · Amory Lorch · Polliver · Rorge · Biter|
|Overlord:||House Baratheon of King's Landing|
Ser Jaime Lannister