As Game of Thrones enters its eighth and final season, the heroes and villains of the story are pretty well established. Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen, along with the few remaining members and allies of the Stark family, are humanity’s last hope for survival against the looming threat of the Night King and his army of Wights. The only human antagonists of any significance are Cersei Lannister and Euron Greyjoy, who last season fooled Jon and Daenerys into thinking they would help defeat the Night King. But then there’s Jaime Lannister, the Kingslayer, who we last saw fleeing King’s Landing on horseback as the capital was seeing its first signs of winter.
As any fan of the show is well aware, Jaime’s arc the last few seasons has been an uphill climb toward redemption, challenged by a long history of truly awful offenses. He’s certainly done some good, like when he freed Tyrion from near-certain execution and gave Brienne his Valyrian steel sword to protect Sansa Stark, but it’s important to remember why we hated him so much in the first place. To that end, here are 10 things fans choose to ignore about everyone’s favorite anti-hero, Jaime Lannister.
10 He Pushed Bran Out Of A Tower
As easy as it is to fall for Jaime Lannister’s charm, it’s a difficult thing to forgive throwing a young child out of a window, forever crippling him. Sure, he only meant to keep his affair with his twin sister a secret, but somehow we’re still finding it hard to sympathize. Jaime’s terrible actions in the first episode of Game of Thrones set into motion a series of events that would shape the trajectories of central characters and ultimately, the entire story. If Jaime is headed to Winterfell as suspected, it’ll be fascinating to witness his interactions with Jon Snow, Bran’s half-brother, Sansa and Arya, Bran’s sisters, and Bran himself.
9 He Murdered His Cousin
After his capture by Robb Stark in season 1, Jaime Lannister finds himself imprisoned in a dank outdoor cell alongside his distant cousin and former squire, Alton Lannister. What makes Alton’s murder all the more tragic is the touching conversation preceding it where Alton passionately reminisces about his time squiring for Jaime.
After Jaime makes an effort to relate by sharing his experience as squire for the great Barristan Selmy, there’s a brief moment where we think Jaime might just be growing on us. But then he bludgeons his cousin to death. They do say you should never meet your heroes, right?
8 Raped Cersei By Their Dead Son
Very possibly Jaime’s lowest moment in the entire saga is when he forces himself onto his sister while she grieves over the corpse of their son. There really isn’t much to say about this scene; it’s just an unfathomably vile thing to watch that led to great public outcry from the Game of Thrones fandom. Worse yet, it didn’t seem to serve any narrative purpose, instead only complicating Jaime’s character arc and grievously setting back his redemption. Indeed, Jaime’s rape of Cersei at Joffrey’s memorial is one misdeed even his most die-hard fans can’t forgive.
7 Almost Killed Ned Stark
Poor Ned Stark spent the days leading up to his unjust execution hobbling from a wound to the leg dealt by one of Jaime Lannister’s men. As with most awful things he does, Jaime had his reasons for the attack on Ned Stark and his security detail, but it still felt like a step too far. After he learned that Ned commanded the arrest of his brother Tyrion, Jaime wasted no time getting revenge. According to a later conversation with Tywin, Jaime only left Eddard alive because “it wouldn’t have been clean.” Ironic because during the battle, Jaime killed one of Eddard’s closest allies by shoving a sword through his eye.
6 He Ruthlessly Mocked Brienne
Long before fans started shipping Brienne and Jaime as a couple, Brienne exhibited the patience of a saint putting up with Jaime’s constant threats and attacks on her physical appearance. During his time as Brienne’s captive, Jaime not only tempted Brienne to remove his chains and fight him, but he also hurled at her some of the more heartless barbs we’ve heard in Game of Thrones. He questions her womanhood, suggests they have sex, and calls her a “giant, towheaded plank,” whatever that means. Brienne is the last character who deserves the kind of abuse she suffers from Jaime, making their earlier interactions another part of Jaime’s history we’d rather not remember.
5 He Taunts Catelyn With Jon’s Mother
Didn’t Tywin ever teach Jaime not to speak ill of the dead? On second thought, he probably wouldn’t have. During Jaime’s captivity in season 2, he provokes Catelyn to rage by favorably comparing himself to her late husband, Eddard Stark. Pointing out that his sister Cersei is the only woman he’d ever been with, he brings up Ned’s affair that was thought to have conceived Jon Snow. It’s understandable that Jaime would have some misgivings about Catelyn chaining him to a post outside and holding him against his will, but calling out Ned’s infidelity after his death felt unnecessarily cruel. It also doesn’t help Jaime’s cause that it was his own son that ordered Ned’s execution.
4 He Threatens To Launch A Baby From A Catapult
In season 6, Jaime arranges a siege of Riverrun. During that siege, he has a conversation with Catelyn’s brother, Edmure, that reveals the barbaric measures Jaime was willing to take to return to his sister. At one point, he plainly admits to Edmure his intense love for Cersei and threatens Edmure in a number of ways with the intention of persuading his surrender. To his credit, he first offers him residence as well as generous accommodations at Casterly Rock, but Jaime quickly turns violent after Edmure refuses. To the horror of both Edmure and the viewers at home, Jaime threatens to launch Edmure’s baby son from a catapult into Riverrun.
3 Enabled Cersei’s Worst Impulses
The finale of season 7 saw Jaime Lannister finally give up on Cersei and leave King’s Landing, presumably to join Jon and Daenerys in their fight with The Night King. But thus far he’s done little to redeem his consistent support of Cersei Lannister and enabling of her most vicious impulses.
Naming every cruel deed carried out by Cersei would be a laborious task, but some of her most depraved actions include bringing the illegitimate King Joffrey to power, having Tyrion arrested for Joffrey’s murder with no evidence, and incinerating hundreds of innocents by blowing up the Great Sept of Baelor. None of that deterred Jaime from supporting her romantically and politically, making him a sort-of unwitting accomplice to her corruption.
2 He Patronizes Jon Snow
Fans caught up on Game of Thrones will know that The Night King is the story’s single-most existential threat. But all the way back in season 1, Jaime didn’t seem entirely convinced. His first interaction with Jon Snow at Winterfell exposes Jaime’s frustrating arrogance in full view. He speaks with the kind of passive-aggressive, patronizing language we tend to associate more with Cersei, giving viewers a bad impression of Jaime Lannister right from the get-go. Of course, we now know that Jaime has witnessed a Wight first-hand and likely plans to be an ally in the fight against them, but Jaime wasn’t nearly as wise, or likeable, back in season 1.
1 He Is A Kingslayer
Jaime Lannister’s original sin, and the betrayal that earned him the dishonorable “Kingslayer” title, is killing the very king he was sworn to protect. We all know the story by now: Jaime stabbed the Mad King in the back for a number of reasons. For one, the Mad King ordered Jaime to murder his own father. Jaime also justifies breaking his oath by reminding us that the Mad King was on the verge of laying King’s Landing low and killing roughly half a million people. It’s ironic that Jaime’s most infamous act is also his most justified, but the fact remains that he’ll forever be remembered as the knight of the Kingsguard who murdered his king in cold blood.
NEXT: Game of Thrones Theory: The Final Battle Is Against Cersei, Not The Night King