We human beings make lots of choices everyday to serve our purpose. A person is defined and described by his choices. In many ways, the choices we make, shape ourselves. but making the right choice is not always easy and there is almost always a conflict between interests. People always search for a purpose while not every of our choices have one and often it is hard to even identify the purpose. Without realizing the true purpose of any action, making a choice gets harder. In this light, perhaps the most conflicting choice of human history is choosing between love & duty.
It is beyond any doubt that GoT depicts a lot of conflicts of human life in the most realistic way possible. It is obvious that the crucial conflict over the priority of duty & love will also be illustrated. But we, the profound diggers of GoT believe that this particular conflict of life is not merely represented in GoT rather it is one of the driving theme of the popular tv show. We came up with this perspective while discussing Jon Snow‘s resurrection (read it here). In this article we will discuss another individual whose character is developed on this very conflict; Ser Jaime Lannister.
As Tyrion points out, Jaime is the golden son of Lannister family. He is a master swordsman (at least he was) and war strategist. From his childhood, he wanted to be a knight of the kingsguard. He found purpose in it and became the youngest member of the kingsguard. But during the sack of King’s Landing, he killed the very king he swore to protect. Jaime had his strong reasons but he was misunderstood immensely. Some thought he was conspiring with his father against the King. Others didn’t even bother to think that far. They just bashed Jaime for breaking the Kingsguard’s oath. Afterwards, Jaime got known as the Kingslayer; a title that has always bothered him.
This shattered Jaime. He lost his sense of purpose. This is how the other side of his character came to being; the hopeless romantic. As weird and fucked up it sounds Jaime from the very beginning has been in love with his own sister Cersei! (Bravo Martin!) When Jaime was struggling with his purpose of life, most of his choices were preceded by his love for Cersei. We say ‘most’ because even then Jaime had a true sense of duty somewhere deep beneath his psyche. Whenever Cersei is not involved in any situation this dormant side of his kicks in and Jaime then makes choices prioritizing his duty and therefore, honor. So Jaime in first couple of seasons is driven by his love. He is yet to discover his true purpose and his sense of duty gets blurred whenever Cersei is around. Whenever not, Jaime is actually an honorable person. He protects Brienne honorably; he tries his best to keep his promise to Catelyn Stark. It’s just His sense of duty is conflicted by his love and he doesn’t even understand this fact because he is still unsure of his purpose. It continues until he loses his hand and Cersei treats him otherwise.
This is one of the moments when reality hits Jaime hard. After that in another sequence, Joffrey goes through the great deeds of the kingsguard member and makes fun of the blank pages under Jaime’s name. These situations make Jaime contemplate on the choices he made throughout his life and he begins to understand his conflict. The reason we love Jaime is because he not only identify or understands his conflict, he also tries to resolve it. He starts prioritizing his duty and suddenly starts developing a more matured moral compass than before. At this point, we see Jaime going back and forth for quite some time. Sometimes he is not relying on Cersei blindly; rather pushing his opinion forward and making choices which are dutiful. Sometimes, he just gives in to Cersei. His conflict gets more visible.
Both his conflict and his character development reach their apex points in season 7. Specifically when he swears a vow to fight beside Jon & Daenerys. He found his true sense of purpose and gets ready to act on it. But Cersei then directly contradicts his stance and he faces his conflict in the most extreme and direct way. The conflict of choosing either love or duty now looms over him. Like Jon, Jaime also chooses to serve his purpose. He answers his call of duty and leaves Cersei.
Jon had a very visible consequence of choosing duty over love; he was brought back from dead. However, we don’t think Jaime’s consequence will be that visible or materialist. It will surely be rewarding though. We believe Jaime, once known as The Kingslayer will have a glorious contribution in the battle against the Night King since he is choosing duty over love. His previous deeds will be surpassed by himself. We believe that the pages under his name will have newer and more glorious contents to showcase and people will have a better fit title to call him than ‘The Kingslayer’.