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After Grumpyclown's fantastic discussion about that scene that occurred in the latest episode I started to think about a good reason as to why the writers would want Jaime to backslide and neglect some of the character development he's had since Catelyn released him. I wanted to make up an excuse to 'save his development' which is ridiculous. However, I thought of something that has been a pretty big theme in the books and in the show. Identity crisis. This show has plenty of characters that struggle with who they are and while Jaime never really had this in the books, the show is known to change things up.

This article is not going to include spoilers concerning what's going to happen. However I will be talking about the inner monologue some of these characters have in the books. Something that the show has not/has yet to portray in a clear fashion. So if you have not read the books and plan on doing so at certain point, this might not the article for you.

So let's start with:



Jaime Lannister:

This is most likely just me grasping at straws but I think that the writers/we have 'two Jaimes'.

There's the one I like to call Kingslayer, a knight who saves King's Landing and grows bitter because of being judged for that. To this man justice is dead. This is the armor of the person who stood guard behind the Mad King's bedroom as the king raped his wife, and then spent a lot of time listening as his sister's husband disrespected her by whoring around.

After most likely spending his childhood dreaming (probably as naively as Sansa in S01) of being a knight in a shining armor and a hero and of honor, this was a harsh reality check. The only redeeming quality of this 'Kingslayer persona' is the fact that he loves his brother who is universally hated by his family.

Then there's Jaime Lannister. This persona is what the Kingslayer shielded from the cruelties of Westeros. This is the honorable part of Jaime that started to fade out when he couldn't do anything to help the Mad King's wife and completely disappeared when he was judged for killing the king that attempted to kill the population of King's Landing. This is the part of Jaime that Brienne brought out with her honesty, chivalry and honor. This is the part we saw in increasing amount during season 3.

The writers are now probably going for the clash of the personalities thing. Cersei is bringing out the Kingslayer persona and not a single fan wants that... I think (by the small preview for the next episode) that the Kingslayer vs. Jaime Lannister is settled in the next episode. Cersei asks if Jaime would give her Sansa's head if she asked for it and this will probably trigger the duel between the personalities. Kingslayer would do it because of 'the things he does for love' but then there's Jaime Lannister who vowed to Catelyn to take Sansa to safety. I think that the outside forces of Brienne and Cersei will settle this because in many ways Cersei represents Kingslayer and Brienne represents Jaime Lannister. It's who makes the bigger impact on Jaime that wins.

I think that that scene from the last episode was Jaime backsliding to Kingslayer... Head first. It doesn't excuse his actions, but it makes the show's redemption arc salvageable for me. Though I guess I should call it some sort of a struggle of personalities which makes Jaime sound like he's suffering from split personalities.

And just so this isn't basically me recycling ideas for an article I'm going to extend this to few other characters:



Sansa Stark:

Sansa is a combination of what she was taught (a lady), her mother (a Tully) and her father (a Stark). By the way, this is the part where I talk about the inner monologue of the books a bit, not much though. Her predicament has caused these parts of her personality to clash in many ways.


  • In season 1 we saw the combination of the lady and Tully with the Tully personality fighting with the Stark personality (and winning). Sansa fancied the south and her actions were guided by her infatuation with the idea of being queen.
  • In season 2 we saw the combination of the lady and Stark with Tully's role a bit more unclear. Sansa hid behind her courtesies and endured the beatings like a Stark would while yearning for the North.
  • In season 3 we saw the lady and the destruction of Sansa's Stark personality. Many has shown frustration of the fact that Sansa never quite opened up to Tyrion. They could have hit it off properly as neither of them really wanted to be in the position they wanted to be. But there's the one thing that the show omitted that would have made it a lot more understandable for me. The chapter where Sansa and Tyrion get married. There's this bitter, sad and depressing line of inner monologue from Sansa: ”They have made me a Lannister.” I think that that alone is enough of a reason to not get friendly with Tyrion... And you know... Tyrion is a Lannister could suffice as well.
  • In the latest episode Sansa is now on the run. Sansa Stark is now symbolically dead. She is in the same position as Arya. She can't be a Stark until there's a Stark at Winterfell.

Jon Snow:

Jon's search of identity is one of the clearest. It's obvious that he wants to be a Stark but the fact that he's a bastard bothers him too much. Jon being a bastard is one of the biggest parts of his identity in the first season and even though he has a family in Winterfell, it's obvious that at the same time he doesn't think he is a part of that family. Fuse this with the naivety that Jon had in season 1 and the Night's Watch is the obvious choice for him

The mystical and noble brotherhood that Jon had heard tales of. Of course he would yearn for something like that. Jon is a Stark in the end. He seeks honor and Night's Watch promises that. But it also promises a family which I think was one of the driving forces when Jon made his decision to join the Watch which then didn't turn out to be as legendary as the fairytales had tols him. But in the end, Jon found his identity, family, and purpose in the Watch.

During season 3 Jon begins to struggle with his identity as a Night's Watch's man as he has to infiltrate the wildlings. But this is more of a temporary thing (and his loyalty to the Watch is the reason for this adventure) so I don't really need to talk about this.

Jon is a man of the Night's Watch. His identity crisis has mostly concluded.

Theon Greyjoy:
This is probably the clearest identity crisis that this show has. Identity seems to be the biggest theme of Theon's storyline in every season.

  • In season 2, Theon struggles with his Stark and Greyjoy identity. He chooses Greyjoy.
  • In season 3, Theon's identity struggles continue but now he has started to change his mind. He realises that Starks were his family more than Greyjoys ever were. A little too late, I might add.
  • In season 4, Ramsay kills Theon but a pathetic phoenix called Reek rises from the ashes. Theon is no more. Well he is... But he is so deep in Reek's sub-conscious that he's as good as dead.

That concludes that. I hope it makes any sense at all. I think it did... Don't you just love this show? This is the first show that has caused me to talk write this much about a TV-show.

Sorry for spamming the community page. Two articles in two days. I need to calm down... And I will.
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Yes, yes, yes! You speak directly out of my heart! I apologize for only reading this the week after but here goes my two cents:

On Jaime:
This is one of the finest character struggles I have ever come across. I think you're exactly right about Jaime having two personas. The Kingslayer is the shining knight his father molded him to be, who is basically a walking metaphor for everything the Lannister name is recognized for - and he is in love with his sister. The other guy, Jaime Lannister, is only later on revealed to us in his conversations with Brienne - the guy who despises his family (except for Tyrion), his own Kingslayer persona included, who saved a million lives yet isn't appreciated for it.
GRRM's genius here lies with the analogy to the women in Jaime's life: Cersei and Brienne. The former is beautiful, another Lannister metaphor, the Queen her father molded her to be (well, not really but anyway) and presentable to the world - just like the Kingslayer persona. The latter is ugly, out of place as a female knight and someone a Lannister would not present to the world - just like the Jaime persona.
Those are the reasons he is one, if not the most black-and-white, and in that GRRM-type character in the series and a personal favorite.

On Sansa:
Sansa is a very different sort of character and I would choose a different approach to her than you. She goes into the whole thing with one flat persona, namely the lady, the queen-to-be. Over the course of her 'stay' in King's Landing however, she becomes more and more nihilistic, basically void of character. Yes, she cries over her siblings' deaths but in her heart knows she had never had the chance to become Robb's sister again. She remains Sansa Stark only by name until Littlefinger smuggles her out of the city. Then even her name is taken from her as she can't use it anymore. She is a nobody. (For the sake of spoilers I'll stop here. I hope saying that isn't another spoiler.)

On Jon:
Indeed, as a bastard he has one of the most obvious character struggles. Back in season 2(?) we saw him trying to return to his Stark persona but then being stopped by his Night's Watch persona's brothers. In season 3, he struggled with being able to bang people or fighting to protect the kingdoms, creating another alter ego. I disagree with you on your last part, though: I don't think his identity crysis will conclude until he knows more of where he comes from and who his mother is. How can he who he is if he doesn't know that? The aforementioned struggles he had with himself were a sign of that. He might for now have decided on being a Brother of the Night's Watch but we and he can't know for sure he will stay that once he learns of his origins.

On Theon:
Yup, completely agree. Also, I'm kind of outta creative juice. Kind of a bummer as Reekon is another incredibly interesting character who, very much along the lines of Jaime, struggles between good and bad. I'll let that one slide till another one of your posts. Looking forward to it!
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Jaime Lannister is one of the best creations of George R.R. Martin. I read a interview by Rolling Stone where he kept mentioning how he is fascinated by redemption as a concept. Then he went on to muse on if a concentration camp guard is redeemable if he feeds the poor and is a pure philantrophist for the rest of his life and he had a few other examples as well. It's kind of obvious that Theon and Jaime are GRRM's canvas when it comes to the whole redemption as a concept and it kind of shows that he is interested in the concept and I wouldn't be surprised if there will be a third redemption arc in the last two books. Jaime's arc in book 3 and Theon's arc in book 5 are, maybe not the best but amongst the most interesting and memorable character arcs that he has ever written in my less than humble opinion.

You make some fascinating points about Sansa. It's actually true that she becomes this void of a character. She totally becomes the 'little bird' that Sandor kept telling her she was if she wasn't one before. She is stripped of a personality since her personality is against the Lannisters. I think this is sort of a running trend with the Starks. Was it Ned that said that 'When the Winter comes, the lone wolf dies while the pack survives' or something. I like to think that "Yes... We'll get a Stark reunion, the pack will be united and Westeros will pay for the crimes it committed against Ned and Robb".

When I was writing this article I was "in the zone" when I wrote the Jaime part pretty quickly and then I realised that I had to add something to it or it would be just another "What's going on Jaime" post. And the Sansa thing was the first thing I added and I think it was probably the weakest... Theon part was short but I don't really need to dig to the subtleties as his crisis is like a Michael Bay flick compared to these others.

Jon might end up having another identity crisis when his parentage is revealed but I don't know... Jon has been a character that has me grabbing onto the middle ground like my life depends on it when it comes to a certaing theory. He'll probably and most likely have a huge crisis then but ah... I don't know... ADWD has come and gone and no sign of him learning his parentage so... It's not very likely that his next identity crisis is coming in the next 2 seasons... I reallly just don't know what I want to think about Jon... Creative juices running out as well.
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"Sorry for spamming the community page. Two articles in two days. I need to calm down... And I will."

You better not, you're a wonderful contributor, and we're lucky to have the privilege of reading you.

I would---and with great, great respect---perhaps suggest that your articles would benefit from a day's delay, so you can re-read for clarity and flow. Please understand, I only say this because I want your 8/10 articles to be 10/10's---and I think you could get there if you edited down some of your "stream-of-consciousness" writing.

But don't let that small bit of constructive criticism detract from the truth: You're a great contributor, a valuable---and valued---member of this community, and I'd rather have more stream-of-conciousness contributions from you than nothing at all!
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Haha, yeah! I usually take a lot of time to try and edit the posts (the post about the actors took about an hour or two... Mostly because it reached ridiculous length and I was forced to trim it a lot and I think it might have suffered from that a bit.) but this post was written in 30 minutes if I'm not wrong. This post is pure passion! Haha!

I acknowledge that I have a small problem with writing these. I did when I was back in elementary school, I did when I was in high school and I still seem to have them. I should probably try and apply some sort of a "word limit" policy to these posts. It could force me to be a bit more focused. It helped a bit back in school.

And thanks for constructive criticism (good change of tone since for some reason I'm quite active in Youtube as well) and thanks for all the nice words :)
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Great article. I find Sansa in the show really interesting because her character might have changed the most from the books. She's matured a lot on the show, some of this probably has to do with the actor outgrowing the character, some of it is probably related to the tendency to make TV characters more sympathetic. Anyway when Sansa married Tyrion in the books she couldn't get over the repulsion factor. She was still a little girl living in somewhat of a romantic fantasy. In the show it didn't take Tyrion and Sansa too long to start getting along.

So I think Sansa's identity crisis has been about participating in a romantic fantasy vs accepting the world as a cruel and unforgiving place. It's also the conflict of Sansa as a noble vs Sansa possibly being irrelevant as her prominence has dwindled throughout the show's run. Part of this is just about growing up but Sansa's had some unique challenges. As I said she's a different person at this point then she was in the books. In the books she maintained an immaturity and romanticism beyond this point in the story.
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I already said it on Grumpy's article but I don't see Jaime as out of character, but rather the character Jaime was at this point on the books should he have been in King's Landing at this point on the show.

At this point on the books, Pia had already initiated sex with him too but Jaime stopped i because, according to his POV he already had a woman. At this point on the show, Pia never existed, so Jaime has sex with the only woman he had ever had sex with.

At this point on the books, Loras has already joined the Kingsguard, Joffrey was killed on his watch and the engagement to Cersei never happened, because "when the sun has set, no candle can replace it". At this point on the show, Loras is stuck with a stepson he loathes, a fiancee that hates him and a brother in law that already warned him what would happen should he ever dares to father Cersei's children.

At this point in the books, Tywin is still trying to offer Jaime to Margaery so that Tommen wouldn't have to marry her, Jaime is clearly upset by the whole thing which leads to their fallout, not the conflict we've seen the episode before this one.

At this point on the books, Cersei is still not disgusted by Jaime, she hasn't sleep with one of the Kettleblack brothers nor Taena just yet , and she has already poisoned Lancel so he would not "talk". At this point on the show, Lancel is MIA, there are no Kettleblacks nor Talena.

So this is the Jaime that would've been, should he have severed tied with Tywin long before he did, had a quarrel with Loras that he never had as long as Brienne was caught in the middle, had never met Pia, nor felt rejected by Cersei. Its still the same person, the conflict is still the same, Tyrion is still in the same - if not bigger - danger.
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Way to go! And don't calm down it's ok to passionate.
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"I think that the outside forces of Brienne and Cersei will settle this because in many ways Cersei represents Kingslayer and Brienne represents Jaime Lannister. It's who makes the bigger impact on Jaime that wins."

I like that analysis.
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Thanks a lot. I tried to draw parallels with Stannis' predicament. You know with all the devil (Melisandre) and angel (Davos) on his shoulders.

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I'd say Jaime's chapters are so schizophrenic once he meets Briene because she encompasses the whole conflict within himself.

With Cersei it has been a straightforward road ever since she marry Robert. With Brienne, however, Jaime thinks with his head but acts with his heart the whole journey, its only those momenta when they are not together that Jaime can think straight again.
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I started watching this on 8th April on this year and finished three seasons in 4 days. I agree about the show making us all obsess about it. The whole week goes by me reading or writing or dreaming about it. I am going to be lost after the season is over.

I might sound crazy but I am afraid that GRRM will read the people's views and do the opposite and kill Jon or/and Dany by the end of the series. Worse if he kills Tyroin - I fell in love with him when utters the words -'All dwarfs are bastards in the eyes of their father.'
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You'll love him more by the end of this season I bet, no spoilers just that. Also get ahold of the first three books its worth a read to draw parallels and get some more back story.
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DOQsYk8cbnE
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thanks
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Lol he has already stated that he won't let fans' opinions/views/thoughts/theories/etc influence the story or the outcome of any character and that he already knows the ending its just been harder than he anticipated to get there
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nice review! identity crisis: well, obviously everyone can (and probably will) backslide in the Game of Thrones... maybe that's why we all love this show so much...
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