One of the most interesting relationships in Game of Thrones was between Jaime Lannister and Brienne of Tarth. For the first couple of seasons, Jaime was one of the most detestable characters on the show while Brienne was a strong yet reserved character. The two find themselves stuck together and forming an unlikely bond that reveals a lot about each of them.
As the series continued, that bond grew deeper and fans began cheering for these mismatched characters to fall in love and run away together. That, of course, did not happen, but would that have been the right ending for them? Their relationship was intense, but was it ever really friendship? Here are some of the reasons why Jaime and Brienne aren’t really friends on Game of Thrones.
10 He Tries To Kill Her
Jaime and Brienne’s relationship begins when Catelyn Stark has Brienne take Jaime to King’s Landing in exchange for Sansa and Arya. However, this doesn’t make for a friendly journey as Jaime almost immediately tries to kill Brienne.
Granted, a lot of people have tried to kill each other in the series before becoming allies. But Jaime’s attempted murder is particularly pointless. She was taking him back to his home and he tries to kill her for the simple fact that he would rather travel alone.
9 His Insults
The tragedy of Brienne’s story is how she has been ridiculed and insulted for pretty much her entire life. Despite her intelligence and skills as a warrior, people only focus on her appearance and mock her. Sadly, Jaime is no different in that regard.
The first thing he says to her in the series is an insult to her appearance. He continues with these cruel jokes throughout their journey together. Brienne mostly takes these insults in stride as she is used to it, but while he eventually comes to respect her, there is no taking back the hurtful things he has said.
8 His Ego
While Jaime could be described as a misunderstood man in some ways, he certainly still has a lot of bad qualities. One of his worst traits is his massive ego. He is undoubtedly a skilled fighter and he comes from a rich family, so with that privilege, he sees himself as superior to most people, including Brienne.
The reason Jaime doesn’t let anybody, including Brienne, get close to him is that he doesn’t see them as equals. Even when she bests him in a fight, he makes excuses and will not admit that she is the better fighter. Though he is humbled after losing his hand, that ego never really goes away.
Perhaps more than any other two characters on the show, Jaime and Brienne find themselves bonded together despite being on opposite sides of a fight. Whatever good qualities they see in each other, they do ultimately stand on two opposite sides of the war.
Brienne is loyal to Catelyn Stark and her children. Jaime is loyal to Cersei and the Lannister army. The Starks and Lannisters are true enemies of each other and the fact that neither Brienne nor Jaime would change loyalties means their relationship always has a barrier.
Despite their initial hatred for each other, Jaime and Brienne eventually start to let their guards down. Their relationship begins to grow and they grow to see new sides of each other. This is also when hints of romantic feelings began to trickle into their relationship.
Fans got behind this romance in a big way and cheered as they finally slept together following the Battle of Winterfell. But were the fans wrong? They may have an attraction for one another, but it feels as though Jaime and Brienne mistook their mutual respect for romance and forced themselves into this love story.
5 Honor Versus Dishonor
Brienne and Jaime may have found some common ground as they grew closer, but there was always a massive divide in who they are as people and as knights. In short, Brienne is someone guided by honor while Jaime will dismiss honor if it ever gets in his way.
One could argue that Brienne is a little too rigid in her principles, but she would look at many of Jaime’s actions as irredeemable. He might make an effort to be a better person, but there is always a part of him that will do the most evil thing imaginable if it gets him what he wants.
4 Broken Promises
Catelyn Stark entrusted Brienne to take Jaime to King’s Landing and get her daughters back. Brienne, noble knight that she is, took this task very seriously and made it her mission to see it through. Jaime, attempting to turn over a new leaf, gave his word that he would honor the exchange.
However, once they arrive in King’s Landing, promises are immediately broken. Jaime begins making excuses for why he can’t honor the agreement now that Catelyn is dead and Sansa is married to Tyrion. Even worse, the Lannisters lied about having Arya in the first place. Such treachery should have changed Brienne’s mind about Jaime very quickly.
3 Her Weakness
It’s probably safe to say that Brienne made Jaime a better person. If he had not met her, he would likely have continued to be the terrible person he always was. However, one could also say that Jaime brought out the worst in Brienne.
Again, after making a promise to Catelyn Stark, Brienne seemed to forget her duty due to her friendship with Jaime. He made her a more emotional and irrational person when they were together. She is one of the strongest characters in the show in more ways than one, but Jaime weakened her.
2 His Return To Cersei
Fans had their hearts broken once again when Jaime decided to leave Brienne and return to Cersei. While not a totally unexpected decision for Jaime to make, it was still devastating to see right after he and Brienne seemed to have chosen each other.
Returning to Cersei was bad enough, but the way he left Brienne made the whole thing worse. Once again, we see that Jaime is a weakness for Brienne with her uncharacteristic reaction. But his cruelty towards her at this moment also shows that he doesn’t respect her enough to think she could understand his decision.
1 He Didn’t Change
The arc Jaime Lannister went through over the course of the series was pretty amazing. He transformed from one of the biggest villains of the story to one of the show’s heroes. But while his reputation as “Kingslayer” may be unfair, he is still far from a good person.
From pushing Bran out the window to killing his cousin to threatening Edmure Tully’s child, Jaime did not really reform — he just understands that he’s a bad person. Brienne is better off without someone like him in her life.
NEXT: Game of Thrones: 10 Things About Jaime Lannister That Fans Need To Know