Jaime Lannister thought he was Tom Brady. That’s the honest explanation I can muster in explaining why Jamie, in Sunday’s “Game of Thrones,” would attack a Queen and her dragon with a lance and his horse. The Lannister Army down 28-3 (probably more 28000-3 if we’re being honest), Jaime really thought he could lead a comeback of epic proportions with that Hail Mary charge.
But war isn’t football. War is hell. And with dragons involved, that mantra is rendered quite exactly—if extra crispy soldiers shrieking amidst flame-soaked, hopeless battlegrounds doesn’t resemble a literal hellscape, then what does? Watch again closely prior to Jamie’s romantically doomed charge.
Director Matt Shakman cuts multiple times from Jamie’s perspective to Lannister soldiers shrieking wildly, their skin disintegrating and heads rolling. Following another fire-blazing attack from Daenerys Targaryen and Drogon, more Lannister men vanish. As their bodies dissolves to ash in the background, the camera zooms focus to Jaime in the foreground, a pained witness to this death and destruction.
I’ve always sort of viewed Jaime as “Game of Thrones’” most tragic character, trapped between everyone’s expectations (including his own) about him and the reality of who he is. He saves untold numbers of people from the Mad King, who plans to burn King’s Landing to the ground, only to be derisively mocked as the “Kingslayer,” his honor tarnished. His princess, his true love, is his sister, so he must sneak and skulk behind closed doors with that love. His children call him “Uncle.”
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His narrative arc is a twisted perversion of everything we expect out of a classic knight’s tale. With his arm severed, he lost even that final piece of identity he could know and cling to, that part of him that could instill good into his bleak world. Taking cues from Jaime’s father and sister, Olenna Tyrell manipulates Jaime’s desire toward goodness at his least suspecting, informing him it was she who poisoned Joffrey, his son. She delivers Jaime this parting shot after he ensured her death would be painless, which was an entirely unnecessary gesture.
So again: Was Jaime’s heroically misguided charge idiotic, stupid, doltish, and batshit insane? 1000 percent yes! Yet every emotional motivation propels his attack forward. What has Jaime left to lose? Not much, except his life. It echoes a similar predicament back in Season 2 and the Battle of the Whispering Wood. The Lannister army defeated by the Stark-Tully alliance, Jaime cuts through numerous soldiers to reach Robb Stark and kill the King of the North, believing it will end the war.
His impulse is the same when he rides to deliver the foolish killshot on Dany. Here too is another perversion of the classic knight in fantasy tales: The knight always confronts the dragon to save the princess, but Jaime challenges a dragon to kill the Queen. His reward? Death. Or perhaps it should’ve been, if not for a last-minute save from someone we can only suspect to be Bronn.
Our final image of Jaime instead is him submerging downward, slipping to…well what exactly? Jaime’s fate hangs on everyone’s minds following “The Spoils of War,” one of the series’ best episodes. So what will happen to Jaime? We had some ideas.
Bust down, Jaime’s drowning. His armor pulling him into a seeming abyss, the Kingslayer disappears from existence, dead. A poetic ending sure: He perished while committing one last honorable act.
But this is the most boring narrative choice and therefore the least plausible direction. It would go down as the lamest cliffhanger in television history. Don’t count on it.
Jaime collects himself and swims upward, breaking the surface. Daenerys awaits, assuming Jaime was capable of saving himself. Proven correct, she delivers a super dramatic speech about betrayal and how she is the only Queen, not Cersei. Then to prove her point, she’ll allow Drogon to eat Jaime as a snack since her little dragon was such a good boy in burning all those people.
But this is too funny for such a beloved character so nope.
Assuming Bronn saved Jaime, everyone’s favorite sellsword does so again and pulls Jaime underwater to safety. When they surface, Dany’s army has retreated and only charred bodies remain. Bronn locates the gold he dropped earlier, and convinces Jaime to flee because, as Bronn would say, “Fook thisss.” The pair forget the war, buy a brothel, and party until their end of days.
If this happens, it would become the most successful of HBO’s Game of Thrones spin-offs. It would set a new record for gratuitous nudity in an HBO series, yet no one would complain.
Echoing his capture in Season 2 to Robb Stark, Jaime is rescued and becomes a prisoner to Daenerys. Though apologies are offered, Jaime and Tyrion experience some awkward, terse moments. Jaime refuses to forgive his brother, until he learns Cersei won’t make any concessions to save Jaime.
This narrative choice is clever enough to satisfy fans. Since this season has become openly fan-service-y, this is the safest prediction.
Jaime falls into the aforementioned abyss only to be saved by a beautiful and seductive mermaid. He discovers a secret underwater world exists in Westeros and because of his golden arm, they revere him. The mermaid who saves him is their Queen and wants to wed him, but Jaime is more interested in her sister, because that’s his thing. Improbably it works out, and Jaime earns true happiness.
This will definitely happen.