Jaime Lannister

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Jaime Lannister
Jaime art.jpg
Jaime Lannister by Anja Dalisa.

Alias The Kingslayer
The Lion of Lannister
The Young Lion
Title Lord Commander of the Kingsguard
Allegiance House Lannister
the Kingsguard
Culture Westeros
Born In 266 AC, at Casterly Rock
Book(s) A Game of Thrones
A Clash of Kings
A Storm of Swords
A Feast for Crows
A Dance with Dragons

TV series Season 1
Season 2

Jaime Lannister, known as the Kingslayer, is the second child and first-born son of Lord Tywin Lannister of Casterly Rock and his wife Lady Joanna. Raised to the Kingsguard of the Mad King Aerys Targaryen at the age of fifteen, Jaime was the youngest member of the order in history.[1] He earned his nickname when he slew King Aerys at the end of Robert's Rebellion.[2][3]

For most of his life, Jaime has participated in an incestuous relationship with his twin sister, Cersei. He has fathered three children by her: Joffrey, Myrcella, and Tommen, though the realm believes their father to be Cersei's husband, King Robert.[4]

In A Storm of Swords, Jaime becomes a POV Character.


Early Years

Jaime and his older twin sister Cersei were inseparable in their early childhood, going as far as to experiment together in a sexual manner at a young age. During one of these encounters, they were caught by a servant who informed their mother. Jaime's bedchamber was immediately moved to the other side of the castle, and both twins were told never to do anything like that ever again.[5][6]

At age nine, he lost his mother, who died birthing his younger brother Tyrion. Even though Tyrion is a malformed dwarf, Jaime seems to show genuine love towards him as a brother.[7]

At the age of eleven, Jaime was sent to Crakehall to become a squire for Ser Sumner Crakehall. Two years later, while still a squire, he won his first tourney melee.

Raised to Knighthood

At the age of fifteen, Jaime was knighted on the battlefield by Ser Arthur Dayne during the campaign against the Kingswood Brotherhood.[8] He later stopped at King's Landing to visit his sister, from whom he had been separated for years. It was there that Cersei told him that Lord Tywin intended to marry him to Lysa Tully, second daughter of Lord Hoster Tully of Riverrun. Cersei suggested that Jaime become a member of the Kingsguard instead, replacing the recently deceased Ser Harlan Grandison, to be close to her and free himself of the unwanted marriage to Lysa. After a night of passionate sex he gave his consent to Cersei's plan.[8]

File:Jaime Lannister.PNG
Jaime Lannister portrayed by Nikolaj Coster-Waldau in the HBO series.

A moon's turn later, Jaime was raised to the Kingsguard at a ceremony at Harrenhal by Ser Gerold Hightower, making him the youngest ever to be raised to the order.[1] That night, however, King Aerys soured the honor by sending him back to King's Landing to guard Queen Rhaella and Prince Viserys, depriving him of the chance to participate in Lord Whent's tourney. Jaime realized then that the King had only chosen him for the Kingsguard as a slight against Lord Tywin, of whom Aerys was insanely jealous, to rob him of his heir.[9] Furthermore, the plan failed to bring Jaime and Cersei closer together, as they had intended, when Lord Tywin, furious at the turn of events, resigned the Handship and returned with his family, including Cersei, back to Casterly Rock. Jaime remained at court, guarding the King.


During Jaime's time in the Kingsguard, Aerys's growing insanity became more and more clear, and Jaime found himself conflicted and troubled by many of the King's actions. One night, he and Jon Darry stood guard outside Queen Rhaella's bedchamber while Aerys raped and ravaged her. Jaime commented to Darry that they were sworn to protect the Queen as well, to which Darry replied "We are, but not from him."[1] He had a similar reaction to the execution of Brandon and Rickard Stark, and was reminded by Ser Gerold Hightower that he swore a vow to guard the king, not to judge him.[10] Jaime coped with much of Aerys's cruelty by "going away inside", advice he would later pass on to his son, Tommen, as a way to deal with a harsh reality.

As Robert's Rebellion grew, Aerys refused to let Jaime join the royal army, instead keeping him in King's Landing to be used as a potential hostage against Lord Tywin, who had yet to choose a side in the conflict.

When it became apparent that the rebellion might be successful and that King's Landing might be lost, Aerys devised a plan with the help of his chief Pyromancers that involved placing caches of wildfire all throughout the city. The plan was to burn the entire city to the ground rather than lose it to Robert. His new Hand, Qarlton Chelsted, who had been elevated to the position after the exile of both previous Hands, Lord Owen Merryweather and Jon Connington, confronted Aerys about his plan, eventually removing his chain of office in protest and flinging it to the floor. For that, Aerys burned him alive, and raised his favorite pyromancer Rossart to the Handship. All the while, Jaime guarded the King, learning the details of his plan and keeping his secrets.[3]

The Kingslayer

It was the Battle of the Trident that roused Lord Tywin to act. He marched his armies to the gates of King's Landing, pleading for entry. Though Varys called Lord Tywin a traitor, King Aerys heeded the advice of Grand Maester Pycelle and opened his gates to Lord Tywin and his army. Once inside, Tywin betrayed Aerys and began the Sack of King's Landing. In response, Aerys commanded Jaime to bring him his father's head. Instead Jaime returned to the Iron Throne, slaying Rossart on the way, who he believed to be carrying orders to destroy the city. Jaime then slew Aerys, to prevent his message from reaching another pyromancer.

Jaime took a seat on the Iron Throne itself, and moments later Lord Tywin's men, led by Ser Elys Westerling and Lord Roland Crakehall, came into the hall and saw what Jaime had done. They asked him who would be proclaimed as King, but Jaime had no opinion and said they should wait. Jaime stayed on the throne, and was seated there when Eddard Stark rode into the hall with his men to claim the throne for Robert Baratheon.[8][11]

In the following days, Jaime secretly hunted down and killed the two other pyromancers (Belis and Garigus) involved in Aerys' plan. Although Eddard Stark protested, arguing that Jaime should at the very least be made to join the Night's Watch, Jaime was pardoned by King Robert I Baratheon and continued to serve in his Kingsguard. Robert also gave him the name Kingslayer.

Though reviled by the realm for his betrayal, Jaime considers the slaying of Aerys to be his finest act. His true motivation for killing King Aerys remains unknown to the masses.

Under King Robert

The Lannister twins by Mathia Arkoniel©

Though his sister Cersei was wed to Robert and made Queen, she and Jaime renewed their illicit relationship and continued it throughout Robert's reign. In the following years, Cersei would give birth to three children: Joffrey, Myrcella, and Tommen. Though believed by the realm to be Robert's children, Jaime is the father of all three, and all three resemble their real parents.

Recent Events

A Game of Thrones

After the death of Jon Arryn, King Robert travels north to visit Ned Stark at Winterfell and persuade him to become Jon's successor as Hand of the King. The king is accompanied by almost the whole court, among them Jaime and Cersei.[12]

While at Winterfell, Jaime and Cersei are caught having sex by Bran Stark. Bran is shocked and almost falls from the tower. Jaime pulls him up and then throws him out of the window, intending to kill him to keep the affair a secret. Bran survives but falls into a coma.[13]

Ned Stark accepts King Robert's invitation to be Hand, and begins investigating the death of Jon Arryn.[14][15] In this investigation he discovers Jaime and Cersei's secret relationship by piecing together the fact that every time in history a Lannister wedded a Baratheon, they produced raven haired children. Instead Cersei's children; Joffrey, Myrcella, and Tommen are all fair-haired.[4]

Jaime and Cersei. (TV series)

Meanwhile, Catelyn Stark, Lady of Winterfell, captures Jaime's brother Tyrion on suspicion of involvement in a botched assassination attempt on Bran Stark.[16] Jaime and Lannister men attack Ned and his Northmen in the streets of King's Landing, leading to numerous deaths on both sides.[17] Jaime then flees from King's Landing and joins his father.[18]

Jaime leads an army of Westermen against the River Lords, smashing Edmure Tully's host at the Golden Tooth, and eventually besieging Riverrun.[19] However Robb Stark leads a Northern army to the Riverlands to relieve Riverrun. Robb surprises the Lannister army at the Battle of the Whispering Wood and the Battle of the Camps. Although Jaime fights bravely and manages to kill the sons of Lord Rickard Karstark and Lord Halys Hornwood, he is captured.[20] Afterwards, Jaime is imprisoned in Riverrun. While there he becomes Lord Commander of the Kingsguard after Ser Barristan Selmy is dismissed.[21]

A Clash of Kings

When Lord Tywin appoints Tyrion Hand of the King, Tyrion promises to help free Jaime to gain Cersei's support.[22] Tyrion's plan to free Jaime is unsuccessful. For breaking his word not to try to escape, Edmure transfers him to the dungeons. He is kept chained and malnourished.[23] During this period Cersei takes their cousin Lancel as her lover.

While the War of the Five Kings rages around him, Jaime continues to be trapped in Riverrun. Negotiations for his release have led to nothing. Hand of the King Tyrion has sworn in open court to return the two girls for the return of Ser Jaime. Although Robb Stark has declined this exchange, and Eddard Stark has been executed, Catelyn longs for her daughters and together with Brienne of Tarth frees Jaime.[24][25]

A Storm of Swords

Brienne, Jaime, and his cousin Cleos Frey begin the journey towards King's Landing, evading recapture by Ser Robin Ryger and his party from Riverrun, through Brienne's ingenious tactic of dropping boulders and rocks onto the chasing ship.[25] However, they cannot evade capture by the Brave Companions led by Vargo Hoat, who have betrayed Lord Tywin and now serve the newly crowned King Robb Stark.

Vargo Hoat suspects that his superior, Roose Bolton, is thinking about going over to the Lannisters. To prevent this he orders one of his men to chop Jaime's sword hand off, thinking that the blame will fall on Bolton.[5]

For Jaime, the loss of his hand and with it his fighting ability destroys everything that he was. He falls into a deep depression and loses the will to live. Brienne who has been taken prisoner with Jaime, reminds him that he has something to live for, namely, for his family and for revenge. While they are held at Harrenhal they share a bath in the bathhouse. Jaime divulges to Brienne the events surrounding the Sack of Kings Landing, including Aerys's wildfire plot. Later, at dinner, Lord Bolton hints that he will free Jaime as long as Jaime absolves him of the blame for the loss of his hand. Jaime agrees, and Lord Bolton orders Steelshanks Walton to escort him to King's Landing. Brienne is to remain behind as Lord Vargo's prize.[3]

Bolton leaves to join King Robb and Walton begin the journey to Kings Landing with Jaime and disgraced maester, Qyburn. The latter's task is to keep Jaime healthy. When sleeping on a weirwood stump, Jaime has a dream about Brienne. Moved by this he goes back to Harrenhal and rescues Brienne from Vargo Hoat.[26]

As the party arrives at the castle in King's Landing they run into Ser Loras Tyrell. Loras accuses Brienne of murdering Renly Baratheon. Again Jaime comes to her rescue and has Brienne arrested rather than allowing Loras to kill her. He then proceeds to the sept to see Cersei. Cersei is mourning for their son Joffrey, who has died, and whose corpse is being prepared for its funeral. Undaunted by this Cersei and Jaime have sex in front of Joffrey's corpse.[27]

This turns out to be the last time that he and Cersei share intimate relations as their relationship begins to fall apart. Jaime is changed by his experiences. He quarrels with his father and refuses to resign from the Kingsguard. He passes the Valyrian sword Oathkeeper, given to him by Tywin, on to Brienne and orders her to keep Sansa Stark safe from Cersei and all those that would turn her in for the reward posted by Cersei.[28]

Following Joffrey's death, Cersei accuses Tyrion of his murder. When both trial by words and by battle fail Tyrion, Jaime still does not believe that Tyrion is the murderer. He forces Lord Varys to arrange Tyrions escape. During the escape Jaime confesses to his brother an old sin:

Years ago Jaime had told him that Tysha, the woman Tyrion had secretly married was in fact a whore hired by Jaime. Their father had the woman raped by his soldiers and by Tyrion himself to teach them a lesson. But in fact Tysha was the crofter's daughter as she claimed to be and had loved Tyrion genuinely.

Incensed at this revelation, Tyrion hits Jaime, and, knowing that Joffrey was Jaime's son and not Robert's, falsely claims responsibility for his murder. As a final revenge he reveals that the truth about Cersei's sexual escapades with Lancel and Osmund Kettleblack.[29] Tyrion then leaves Jaime and, unknown to Jaime, visits Tywin and kills him.[29]

A Feast for Crows

Following the murder of his father by his brother Tyrion, Jaime remains in King's Landing and stands vigil over Tywin. During the night, Cersei comes to him and pleads for him to become the King's Hand. He refuses and Cersei leaves angrily, stating she was a fool for ever having loved him.[6] Following the funeral, Jaime, on Cersei's command, leaves King's Landing with the intention of lifting the siege on Riverrun.

During the journey, Jaime spars with Ser Ilyn Payne during the nights, in order to train himself to fight left-handed. Along the way he stops at Harrenhal, where he installs Ser Bonifer Hasty as castellan and releases the few prisoners kept there, including Ser Wylis Manderly. He also stops at Darry where his cousin, Lancel, confesses to having slept with Cersei.[30]

Soon after, Jaime arrives at Riverrun. He holds a parlay with Brynden Tully, who is holding the castle, but is unsuccessful in convincing him to release the castle. He then speaks with Brynden's nephew Edmure Tully, the current Lord of Riverrun, who is held prisoner by the besieging forces. Jaime tells Edmure that he is to be released and returned to Riverrun. If he yields the castle, the garrison will be spared and all that wish to join the Night's Watch will be allowed to do so. If he does not surrender, the castle will be sacked and burned, and Jaime will kill Edmure's child as soon as his wife gives birth.[31] Edmure decides to yield the castle and is taken to Casterly Rock as a prisoner, but not before allowing Brynden to escape by swimming under the Water Gate at night. Jaime is furious at this and sends some of his men to find him, but they are unsuccessful.[32]

Soon after, Jaime receives a letter from Cersei asking for help. Cersei has been imprisoned by the High Septon and is to go on trial. Cersei requests Jaime as her champion in a potential trial-by-combat. Jaime does not reply to the letter and orders it to be burned.[32]

A Dance with Dragons

Jaime arrives at Raventree Hall, the last holdout of Robb Stark's supporters. The Hall is under siege by Lord Jonos Bracken. Jaime finds the state of the siege to be dismal, however, and hopes to swiftly end it. His arrival is unexpected, and he strides into Bracken's tent while he is with a whore named Hildy. Bracken fills Jaime in on the situation at hand, and Jaime finds the scene rooted in an age-old feud between Bracken and Blackwood.

He then treats with Tytos Blackwood. Lord Tytos agrees to bend the knee to King Tommen and rescind his support of the Stark and Tully cause. In return, Blackwood must give up some of his lands to Jonos Bracken and send his son Hoster to King's Landing as a hostage. Because of House Bracken's original support of Robb Stark, however, Jaime also requires Jonos Bracken to send one of his daughters to King's Landing as a hostage.

After settling matters at Raventree, Jaime and his men head back to Riverrun. They make camp at Pennytree, where the local people are still wary of travelers and "king's men," and will not allow Jaime's men to enter the holdfast. While at Pennytree, Jaime receives an unexpected visit from Brienne of Tarth. She tells Jaime that she has found Sansa, who is a day's ride away. She claims, however, that Jaime must go with her alone or else the Hound will kill the girl.[33]


Jaime is a tall man, with golden hair. He has "flashing green eyes and a smile that cut like a knife."[2] He is widely considered to be beautiful.

After his imprisonment at Riverrun for close to a year, Jaime lost a lot of weight and started to resemble a lion with his ungroomed facial hair. During his journey to King's Landing with Brienne & Cleos, he decided to shave his head so his golden locks would not be recognised, although he kept the beard. He is gimped up after the loss of his hand.




  • - "There will be pain." (Qyburn)

- "I'll scream." Jaime Lannister
- "A great deal of pain."
- "I'll scream very loudly."[34]

A horse - Jaime Lannister (to himself)[31]

  • "I think it passing odd that I am loved by one for a kindness I never did, and reviled by so many for my finest act." - Jaime Lannister.[19]

References and Notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 A Feast for Crows, Chapter 16, Jaime II.
  2. 2.0 2.1 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 5, Jon I.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 37, Jaime V.
  4. 4.0 4.1 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 45, Eddard XII.
  5. 5.0 5.1 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 21, Jaime III.
  6. 6.0 6.1 A Feast for Crows, Chapter 3, Cersei I.
  7. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 9, page 79, Tyrion
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 11, Jaime II.
  9. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 44, Jaime
  10. 10.0 10.1 A Clash of Kings, Chapter 55, Catelyn VII.
  11. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 12, Eddard
  12. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 4, Eddard
  13. 13.0 13.1 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 8, Bran II.
  14. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 6, Catelyn
  15. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 25, Eddard
  16. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 28, Catelyn
  17. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 35, Eddard
  18. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 39, Eddard
  19. 19.0 19.1 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 55, Catelyn VIII.
  20. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 63, Catelyn
  21. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 57, Sansa
  22. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 3, Tyrion
  23. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 39, Catelyn
  24. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 45, Catelyn
  25. 25.0 25.1 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 1, Jaime I.
  26. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 44, Jaime
  27. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 62, Jaime
  28. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 72, Jaime
  29. 29.0 29.1 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 77, Tyrion XI.
  30. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 29, Jaime
  31. 31.0 31.1 A Feast for Crows, Chapter 37, Brienne VII.
  32. 32.0 32.1 A Feast for Crows, Chapter 43, Cersei X.
  33. A Dance with Dragons, Jaime I
  34. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 31, Jaime