Game of Thrones: Riverlands (Jaime Lannister and Brienne of Tarth)

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Key players: Robb Stark, Catelyn Stark (nee Tully), Walder Frey, Roose Bolton, Lord Rickard Karstark, Jaime Lannister, Brienne of Tarth, Hoat/Locke and Brave CompanionArya Stark, Brotherhood without Banners, The Hound

SER JAIME LANNISTER

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Jaime Lannister is the second child and firstborn son of Lord Tywin Lannister of Casterly Rock and his wife Lady Joanna, also of the House Lannister. And my favorite character. At the age of fifteen he joined the Kingsguard of the Mad King Aerys II Targaeryn thus becoming the youngest member in the history of this prestigious knightly order. He earned derogatory nickname “Kingslayer” when he treasonously slew the Mad King from the back near the end of Robert’s Rebellion. For most of his life, he has had a secret and incestuous relationship with his twin sister, queen Cersei. He has three children with her: king Joffrey. Myrcella and Tommen, though most of the realm believes their father is Cersei’s husband, late King Robert.

Prior to Kingsguard

At the age of eleven, Jaime was sent to Crakehall to squire for Lord Summer Crakehall alongside Merret Frey. Two years later, while still a squire, he won his first tourney melee. At the age of fifteen he participated in the campaign against the Kingswood Brotherhood, during which he saved the life of Lord Crakehall. He was knighted on the battlefield by Ser Arthur Dayne. On his return to Casterly Rock he stopped at King’s Landing to see his sister Cersei, from whom he had been separated for years. It was there that Cersei told him of their father’s plans to marry Jaime to Lysa Tully, second daughter of Lord Hoster Tully of Riverrun. Cersei suggested he becomes the member of Kingsguard instead, replacing the late Ser Harlan Grandison, so he would be close to her and so he would save himself from the unwanted marriage. Jaime was raised to Kingsguard by Lord Commander Ser Gerold Hightower in a ceremony during the Tourney at Harrenhal, making him the youngest knight ever to be raised to the order. That night, however, the Mad King soured the honor by sending him back to King’s Landing to guard Queen Rhaella and Prince Viserys (Daenerys’ older brother who was later killed by Khal Drogo), depriving him of the chance to participate in the 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. Furthermore, the plan failed to bring Jaime and Cersei closer together, as they had intended. Lord Tywin, furious at the turn of events, used a pretext to resign as Hand and returned with Cersei to Casterly Rock. Jaime remained at court, guarding the King.

Kingsguard

During Jaime’s service at the Kingsguard, King Aerys’s growing insanity became more apparent, and Jaime found himself conflicted and troubled by many King’s actions. One night, he and Ser Jon Darry stood guard in front of Queen Rhaella’s bedchamber while her husband King Aerys raped her. Jaime made a comment as to how they are sworn to protect the Queen as well to what Darry replied “We are, but not from him”. He had a similar reaction to the execution of Brandon Stark and his father Lord Rickard Stark, but was reminded by Ser Gerold Hightower that he swore to protect the king, not judge him. Over the years he learned how to cope with Aerys’s cruelty by “going away inside”, an advice he would later pass on to Brienne, when Brave Companions consider raping her before taking them back to Harrenhal.

Aerys refused to let Jaime join the royal army; instead he decided to keep him in King’s Landing so he could use him as a potential hostage against Lord Tywin, who had yet to choose a side in the conflict. Eventually Jaime was the only White Cloak in the capital. After the Battle of the Bells, Aerys come to realize that the rebellion might be successful and that King’s Landing might be lost. He devised a plan with the help of his chief pyromancer,  to burn the entire city to the ground, with the aid of wildfire, rather than lose it to Robert. After his eldest son Prince Rhaegar died at the Battle of Trident, Aerys had his pregnant wife (with Daenerys Strombron) and son Viserys sent to Dragonstone.

Kingslayer

After the Trident, Lord Tywin called his banners from Casterly Rock. His armies marched to the gates of King’s Landing, pleading for entry. Though Varys called Lord Tywin a traitor, King Aerys listened to Grand Maester Pycell instead, who told him that Lord Tywin had come to his defense. Once inside, Tywin betrayed Aerys and began the Sack of King’s Landing. As the only knight remaining in the entire city Jaime knew he didn’t stand a chance in defending the Red Keep. He sent the messenger to the King, asking him to make terms with the attackers. Messanger came back with the orders from Aerys that he should bring him Tywin Lannister’s head as a proof of his loyalty. Knowing that Rossart, the new Hand and chief pyromancer, is with the King, Jaime was lead to believe that Aerys was about to command the destruction of the city. Instead of going after his father he went to the Throne room. On his way there, he came across Rossart and killed him with his own sword. He found the King alone in the Throne room. Then he killed the King as well. Lord Tywin’s men, Lord Westerling and Lord Crakehall, came into the Throne room immediately after. Jaime told them to proclaim to those still fighting that the King was dead and to spare anyone who yielded. Lord Crakehall then asked whether a new king should be proclaimed as well, indicating that it could be Lord Tywin, Robert Baratheon or even a new Targaryen. Jaime told Crakehall to proclaim whichever king he wished, for they were all the same to him.

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He then seated himself on the Iron Throne, waiting to see who would come to claim it. He was found sitting there when Lord Eddard Stark rode into the hall with his men to claim the throne for Robert Baratheon. In the following days, Jaime secretly hunted down and killed the two other pyromancers involved in Aerys’ plan. Although Eddard Stark urged Robert to strip him of the white cloak, arguing that Jaime should at the very least be made to join theNight’s Watch, Robert listened to Jon Arryn instead and Jaime was pardoned by King Robert I and, along with SerBarristan Selmy, continued to serve in the Kingsguard. Robert gave him the name Kingslayer. Though judged by the entire 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. The only person who knows the truth is Brienne of Tarth.

War of Five Kings

After Jon Arryn’s death, King Robert travels North to ask Lord Eddard Stark to be his new Hand. Jaime Lannister accompanies him together with his two other siblings, Queen Cersei, his lover and their younger brother Tyrion Lannister, the Imp. While at Winterfell Jaime and Cersei are caught having sex by Bran Stark. The boy almost falls from the tower but Jaime pulls him up only to throw him out through the window moments later. Boy survives but falls into coma. Eight days later an assassin tries to finish the job before he was killed by Bran’s direwof, Summer.

Ned Stark accepts King Robert’s invitation to be Hand, and begins investigating the death of Jon Arryn. 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. Meanwhile, Catelyn captures Tyrion Lannister on suspicion of his involvement in the attempted assassination of her son. In retaliation for Tyrion’s capture, but ostensibly to create an uprising, Jaime breaks Kingsguard neutrality by leading Lannister men in an attack on Eddard Stark and his Northmen in the streets of King’s Landing, leading to numerous deaths on both sides. He then flees from King’s Landing and joins his father. Lord Lannister appoints Jaime to command half the host of the Westerlands. Jaime’s army marches against Robb Stark. However, in the Battle of Whispering Wood Ser Jaime Lannister is captured by Stark’s men.

While being held captive he was named Lord Commander of the Kingsguard after Ser Barristan Selmy, who was dismissed from his service by his sister, Cersei Lannister, who around the same time took their cousin, Lancel Lannsiter for a lover, among others. Distraught at the news of the alleged deaths of her sons Bran and Rickon at Winterfell by Theon Grayjoy, Cately Stark interrogates Jaime. After the second talk, Catelyn, acting on her own, releases Jaime in an attempt to make an unofficial exchange for her daughters. Along with Brienne of Tarth, Catelyn’s sworn sword, Jaime begins his journey south towards King’s Landing. After being held captive for over a year, his physical appearance changed a bit – he lost a lot of weight, his beard grew longer and later on (in the book) he shaved his golden hair. But his spirit was not broken and he continued to look for the ways to escape. On one occasion he tricked Brienne and stole one of her swords in attempt to duel with her for his freedom, or death. However, both of them are taken prisoners by Vargo Hoat/Locke and Brave Companions who betrayed Lord Tywin Lannister, shifting allegiance to King Robb Stark. Vargo Hoat suspects that his superior, Lord Roose Bolton, is thinking about going over to the Lannisters after their victory over Stannis Baratheon in the Battle of Blackwater, and their alliance to House Tyrell. To prevent this he chops Jaime’s sword hand off, thinking that the blame will fall on Bolton.

For Jaime, the loss of his sword hand and with it his fighting ability destroys everything that he was. He becomes nothing, which causes him to fall into a deep depression, losing the will to live. Brienne is the one who keeps him going, reminding 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 King’s Landing, including Aerys’s wildfire plot. Later, at dinner, Lord Bolton tells Jaime that he will free him as long as Jaime absolves Bolton 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. He makes an oath to Brienne that he will keep the promise they made together to Catelyn Stark and leaves.

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Lord Bolton leaves Harrenhal to the Goat, but before marching for the Twins he tells Jaime to give his warm regards to his father. Jaime responds, “So long as you give mine to Robb Stark.” Bolton leaves to join King Robb for Edmure Tully’s wedding and Walton begins the journey to King’s Landing with Jaime and the disgraced maester, Qyburn. The latter’s task is to keep Jaime healthy. When sleeping on a weirwood stump, Jaime has a dream about Brienne. They are trapped in the dank cavers beneath the Castlery Rock. He is then haunted by the shades of the other knights of the Kingsguard, most notably Ser Arthur Dayne and Ser Gerold Hightower, as well as Prince Rhaegar, who came to judge him for killing Aerys. He also sees Cersei who tells him that he will fade together with the fire of his sword before leaving him in the darkness. He shouts her name, but she is already gone. After the fire of his sword goes out, Brienne’s continues to burn, defending him from the shades, making her the only person left by his side. Moved by this he commands Walton to return to Harrenhal saying that he “forgot something”. Back at Harrenhal Jaime finds that Brienne has been tossed into the bear pit with only a wooden sword to defend herself with. Vargo Hoat, with a bandage around his face from where Brienne bit off his ear, refuses to pull her up. Instead he tells him: “If you want her, go and get her”. Jaime jumps into the pit barehanded to save Brienne, and stands in front of her holding off the bear long enough for Walton’s men to fill it with quarrels and pull them out from the pit. When Brienne asks him why he came back for her, Jaime responds that he had dreamed of her.

Current Location: Just left Harrenhal, heading south towards King’s Landing

BRIENNE OF TARTH

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Brienne, The Maid of Tarth, is the only child and heir of Lord Selwyn Tarth of Evenfall. Her father successfully found three men willing to betroth her, for her father’s wealthy lands, though the first two fell through. The last, Ser Humfrey Wagstaff, warned her he would insist she act womanly once they were wed. Though only sixteen, Brienne replied she would only accept such a demand from a man who could beat her in combat. In the effort, Ser Humfrey ended up with three broken bones and a broken betrothal. After that, Lord Selwyn stopped trying to arrange a marriage for her. Brienne’s only positive encounter with a man occurred when the Tarths’ liege lord, Renly Baratheon, visited their island during his coming of age tour. He crossed paths with Brienne and treated her courteously, so she fell in love with him. Some time later, Lord Selwyn sent her to be fostered at Storm’s End. During their journey south, Jaime Lannister confronts Brienne about her feelings for Renly to what she becomes extremely defensive. He tells her not to worry because he doesn’t blame her for we do not choose who we love, thinking primarily of himself and Cersei.

When Renly Baratheon declared himself the king, Brienne joined him in his march to King’s Landing. While arming Renly Baratheon for the battle with his brother Stannis Baratheon, a shadow, conjured by Stannis and his sorceress Melisandre, entered Renly’s tent killing him in front of Brienne and Catelyn. She was accused for the murder but Catelyn Stark menaged to take her with her north to the Riverrun, convincing her to join her service instead of looking for revenge against Stannis. At Riverrun, after receiving news that her sons Bran and Rickon were killed, Catelyn decided to free Jaime Lannister, making Brienne escort him on his way to King’s Landing to fulfill the promise made by the Hand, Tyrion Lannister, to return her daughters if the Kingslayer was freed. Jaime tried to escape in a duel with Brienne. However, manacled and out of practice, Jaime couldn’t manage to beat Brienne, who was holding his head underwater when they were captured by the Brave Companions. During their ride towards Harrenhal Jaime prevented Zollo, Rorge and Shagwell, three of the Companions, from raping Brienne. After Hoat cut of his sword hand, which was swinging around his neck, Jaime despaired for his life, but Brienne convinced him to live for revenge. The two developed a curious friendship and a respect for each other. At Harrenhal, they share a bath and several tales, among them the wildfire plot, which Jaime revealed to Brienne after he confessed that he trusts her. The next day, Lord Roose Bolton sent Jaime on his way, keeping Brienne at Harrenhal as Hoat’s prize. Jaime, however, soon returned and saved her.

Current Location: Just left Harrenhal, heading south towards King’s Landing

BRAVE COMPANIONS

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Brave Companions, also known as the Bloody Mummers, are a sellsword company comprised of criminals and outcast from many nations. During the War of Five Kings, Tywin Lannister brought the Brave Companion to Westeros to terrify the lands of his enemies. However, soon after, their leader, Vargo Hoat shifted his allegiance from Tywin Lannister to the new king Robb Stark. He became Lord of Harrenhal for his service to the North, but he grew to suspect that his new Bolton allies would join the Lannisters. When several Companions captured Jaime Lannister, Vargo had Jaime’s swordhand chopped off to drive a wedge between Tywin and Roose.

Current Location: Harrenhal

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One thought on “Game of Thrones: Riverlands (Jaime Lannister and Brienne of Tarth)

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