Jamie Lannister is arguably Game of Thrones’ most fascinating character. The show has built a reputation for the way it blurs traditional lines between good and evil, heroes and villains. We often find ourselves hating a character one episode, and rooting for them the next. In many ways, Jamie is the personification of that flux. Despite his many indiscretions—incest, the attempted murder of a child who walked in on said incest among them—Jamie has a heart and abides by a strict moral code.
If there was one thing keeping Jamie from joining the ranks of the show’s true heroes, it was his alliance and his romantic relationship with Cersei. But that all ended in last week’s season finale, when he discovered the true nature of Cersei’s plans. When we last saw the Kingslayer, he had rid himself of his sister/lover and headed north, presumably to lend a hand (literally) in the Great War.
According to Nikolaj Coster-Wadau, whose performance as Jamie has been hailed as one of the show’s best, it came not a moment too soon.
“I’ve been waiting for this moment for a long time,“ he said in a recent interview with Making Game of Thrones. "I think that he’s seen her do crazy things before, but this is lying to everyone, and lying to him. You’ve got to go, ‘How much can this guy take before it becomes too much?”
Coster-Wadau makes a good point. For seven seasons we watched as Jamie stood idly by as Cersei laid waste to the realm. What would it take, we wondered, for him to finally grow a pair and tell Cersei that he’d had enough? Well, apparently it was her decision to backstab Jon and Dany.
“That was it. That was the moment,“ he said. "She’s so cynical on a level that he doesn’t understand. You don’t give your word in front of the whole world and then just fuck ‘em. That’s too far. The fact is, yes there’s always been a lot of deceit, but Jaime is actually pretty straightforward when it comes to 'walking the walk’ and all that. He’s thinking, 'You commit to something, and you’ve just seen this thing is real, what the hell…?’ She takes it to a place that he can’t follow her to.”
Coster-Wadau added that Cersei’s willingness to kill Jamie made him realize that his love for her “doesn’t go both ways.”
“That whole thing of ‘We’re in this together,’ well, we’re not quite in this together — because you’re not. We’re not playing the same game.”
Now that Jamie is free from his sister’s grips, we can expect him to stand alongside Jon and Dany in the fight against the Whit Walkers. And if next season also gives us a Jamie and Brienne hookup, well, we wouldn’t be mad at that, either.