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Jamie Lannister: Anti Hero or Villain?

The Kingslayer ... The false knight who profaned his blade with the blood of the king he had sworn to defend.  

*Spoilers! This article contains some Game of Thrones & A Song of Ice and Fire spoilers. Also mentions some A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms info but not really spoilers.

Ser Jamie Lannister:

The Kingslayer

You might say Jamie Lannister had a rough start in the world of Westeros. Son to the infamous Tywin Lannister, Jamie was one of two twins, born from his mother Lady Joanna. Once his mother Joanna died from giving birth to his younger dwarf brother Tyrion, things spiraled out of control from there.  His Narcissistic twin sister Cersei would manipulate him from a young age with lust and incest and this created many rifts within house Lannister.  Jamie is most known for his slaying of the Mad King Aery II Targaryen in retaliation to the mad king trying to blow up all of King’s Landing. No one knows that this was his main reason for killing the king and the only reward he receives from saving King’s Landing is the nickname “Kingslayer”.

The Kingslayer … The false knight who profaned his blade with the blood of the king he had sworn to defend.
-Barristan Selmy

Lets take a look at some of his accomplishments and good deeds:

  • Gets Knighted at age 15 and soon after is positioned on the Kingsguard.
  • Killed King Aerys II and his pyromancer Rossart before they could destroy the entire city of King’s Landing with a wildfire explosion.
  • Returns and saves Brienne from the Brave Companions when they throw her into the bear pit.
  • Becomes Lord Commander of the Kingsguard.
  • Forces Lord Varys to plan an escape for Tyrion when he is falsely imprisoned for killing Joffrey.
  • Manages to secure the surrender of Riverrun with no casualties on both sides.
  • Peacefully secures Raventree Hall, the last holdout of Robb Stark’s supporters.

Now lets take a look at some of his not so great moments: 

  • Regularly practices incest with his twin sister Cersei Lannister for pretty much his entire life.
  • Lies to his brother Tyrion about his ex-wife Tysha, she was not a whore and just an innocent crofters daughter who genuinely loved Tyrion.
  • Stood and watched the burning of Rickard Stark and the strangulation of Brandon Stark beside the king.
  • Pushes Bran Stark out of a tower window as Bran catches Jamie and Cersei having sex.
  • Starts a fight in King’s Landing against Ned Stark leading to the death of  many Winterfell soldiers, notably Jory Cassel. Ned also breaks his leg in the fight.
  • Kills Ser Alton Lannister in his cell to be used as a decoy to try and escape (Show Only)
  • Tries to escape from Brienne of Tarth on the way to King’s Landing after agreeing on a deal with Catelyn.
  • Threatens to catapult Edmure’s new born baby into Riverrun if he does not yield the castle.
  • Continues to stand by Cersei after she blows up the Sept of Baelor (Show only)

jaime lannister baths taklking to brienne game of thrones

Where we leave off at

Both the show and the book follow a pretty similar route with Jamie Lannister.  With a few small differences we end up pretty close in where we leave off with the Kingslayer.

In the books we last see Jamie make camp in Pennytree.

Pennytree is also the home of Ser Arlan of Pennytree who was the one to pull Sir Duncan the Tall from the streets of King’s Landing as a child and mentor him.

The locals of Pennytree are not trusting of “king’s men” and will not allow Jamie or his party to enter their holdfast. As they are camped outside, Brienne of Tarth, who is curiously enough related to Sir Duncan the Tallshows up and tells Jamie she found Sansa less than a day away who is currently being held by The Hound under life or death circumstance. We know these are outright lies..




In the show Jamie also secures Riverrun peacefully, except for the death of Brynden the Blackfish, and hands it over to the Frey’s. To follow up with their new allies he returns to The Twins to meet with Walder Frey and after a bitter dinner he heads back to King’s Landing. Once he gets back Jamie, Bronn, and all the Lannister forces are all in awe to see that the Great Sept of Baelor is destroyed.  When he makes it to the throne room a little later he witnesses the coronation of Queen Cersei.  Jamie is visibly uncomfortable because Cersei committed the same malicious act that Jamie prevented all those years ago by killing the Mad King.

By what right does the wolf judge the lion?
-Jamie Lannister

So what do you think? Anti-Hero or Villian? One thing that becomes apparent throughout the story is Jamie does deal with some kind of PTSD like disorder because of the stressful situations he has endured and most likely from the manipulation of his sister. In the books he repeats “go away inside” as a motto of sorts when things get stressful, being the advice he gives to Brienne when he thinks she might be raped by Vargo Hoat. Jamie is also the subject of a lot of fan theories including being of Targaryen decent and a possible runner up for Azor Ahai and The Prince that was Promised. I think one huge question we want answered is will Jamie find his honor?

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[Sources: A Wiki of Ice and Fire, Game of Thrones Wiki, Pictures from HBO’s hit series Game of Thrones, Video by TheGaroStudios, featured image still from video by TheGaroStudios]

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