Disclaimer: This is a long one. Around the 13K words mark I had to take a break because it was taking a toll on me. Around 17k I started asking myself what was the point of it at all. Eventually I stopped making questions and just wrote. If you manage reaching the end, you are a champion and I salute you.
I have honestly lost count of all the messages I receive on the matter of Jaime and Cersei’s arc following Jaime’s return mid-ASOS. Truth be told, it’s tricky, because to fully appreciate the depth of what happens from now on one must take a more psychological detour of the senses, a less superficial read, a further dive into the already fucked up mentality that is the Lannister pride. But it’s important for both characters, and I’ll go as far as to say it’s important for the reader as well. A first, superficial read might give a certain impression, surely, especially if the reader reaches that point with an already strengthened convinction that Jaime Lannister’s happiness is directly proportional to his separation from Cersei. In short, if you want to believe Jaime stops loving Cersei at some point, or if you want to believe Cersei never loved Jaime as much as he love her, it will not require great mental exercise. All you have to do is close your eyes and only read the bits and pieces you want, and it will be easy enough. After all, Jaime is angry and does not go to Cersei when summoned. After all, Cersei does say “How could I ever have loved that wretched creature”.
Welcome back, Jaime (ﾉ◕ヮ◕)ﾉ*:･ﾟ✧
Lord Tywin rose as well. “A duty to House Lannister. You are the heir to Casterly Rock. That is where you should be. Tommen should accompany you, as your ward and squire. The Rock is where he’ll learn to be a Lannister, and I want him away from his mother. I mean to find a new husband for Cersei. Oberyn Martell perhaps, once I convince Lord Tyrell that the match does not threaten Highgarden. And it is past time you were wed. The Tyrells are now insisting that Margaery be wed to Tommen, but if I were to offer you instead -”
“NO!” Jaime had heard all that he could stand. No, more than he could stand. He was sick of it, sick of lords and lies, sick of his father, his sister, sick of the whole bloody business. “No. No. No. No. No. How many times must I say no before you’ll hear it? Oberyn Martell? The man’s infamous, and not just for poisoning his sword. He has more bastards than Robert, and beds with boys as well. And if you think for one misbegotten moment that I would wed Joffrey’s widow…”
“Lord Tyrell swears the girl’s still maiden.”
“She can die a maiden as far as I’m concerned. I don’t want her, and I don’t want your Rock!”
(A Storm of Swords)
I don’t want Casterly Rock, I don’t want a wife, I don’t want children.
We will die together as we were born together.
jaime + tyrion | “You won’t need last words. I’m rescuing you.” |
atonement for guilt.
Jaime Lannister does not feel guilty for any of the things he has done, as he deemed them (and still does) necessary for the safety of his family and himself. He does not regret killing Aerys because he did it to save King’s Landing. He does not regret his relationship with Cersei because “I am not ashamed of loving you, only of the things I’ve done to hide it”. He does not regret attacking Ned in the streets of King’s Landing because he did it for Tyrion. He does not regret pushing Bran and crippling him because he did it to protect his secret. He does not regret anything.
Jaime Lannister’s arc is not a redemption arc. It’s an identity arc. It’s a matter of semantics, truly, and the confusion comes from the fact that people misread many of Jaime’s statements as symptom of regret, which is not the point. An identity arc is different from a redemption arc. An identity arc means that Jaime Lannister, after losing everything (his hand, which he identified with, Cersei, his father, his brother, all the things he cred about) throw himself into the role of Lord Commander to balance the void of sense that follows the absence of all these things. Without these components, Jaime Lannister does not know who he is, because all he was hinged on those factors. Hence, the reason behind Jaime Lannister’s action is the desperate search for identity, not redemption.
One would think Jaime threatening to fling Edmure’s newborn baby against the walls of Riverrun with a trebuchet would… kinda give that away.
If people need to descend their newfound love for Jaime on a redemption pulled out of their asses, then I’m sorry, but LMAO at them and their poor reading abilities to be honest.