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Jaime and Jon Parallels; Books & Show
Topic Started: Jun 18 2017, 09:42 PM (481 Views)
Olive
Red Leatherer
There's been a lot of talk here on the parallels between Jaime and Jon in both books and show, but we didn't have a thread that was just dedicated to that type of discussion. I thought it would be nice to open up this topic where our reasonings and book/show evidence on the subject are organized in one place. What do you think all the parallels mean?

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Olive
Red Leatherer
I'll start with this from the show:

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Jaime Lannister: We could end this war right now, boy, save thousands of lives. You fight for the Starks, l fight for the Lannisters. Swords or lances, teeth, nails - choose your weapons and let's end this here and now.
Robb Stark: If we do it your way, Kingslayer, you'd win. We're not doing it your way.


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Jon Snow: You’re right. There’s no need for a battle. Thousands of men don’t need to die. Only one of us. Let’s end this the old way. You against me.
Ramsay: I keep hearing stories about you, bastard. The way people in the North talk about you, you’re the greatest swordsman who ever walked. Maybe you are that good. Maybe not. I don’t know if I’d beat you. But I know that my army will beat yours.


Jaime and Jon had the same solutions: spare thousands of men by fighting their enemy one-on-one. Jon was referred to as the greatest swordsman who ever walked; that once was said about Jaime, which was why Robb didn't want to fight him. And Jaime is "Kingslayer," Jon is "bastard." Those names follow them. Jon might've finally overcome his after being crowned the "King in the North" in 6x10, but Jaime is still touted as Kingslayer in 6x10; when will he be known by a new name...
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Mikki
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Overlord
Oh, I'd never noticed that one, but you're right.

Others, Jon joins the NW, gets released against his will.
Jaime joines the NW, gets released against his will.

Jon joined for family.
Jaime joined for family.

Both had high ideals of their Orders only to feel betrayed and disillusioned.
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ballade
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Almost a Beauty
Ok, 1) I love this topic because it's keeping me away from spoilers and speculation.

2) Jon and Jaime both break their vows: sometimes for the greater good (joining the Wildlings/killing Aerys), sometimes for personal feelings (love) as in Jon going after Ramsay Bolton for Arya's sake (Bookverse) and Jaime sleeping with Cersei repeatedly after he joined the KG.

3) they both have a sense of the bigger picture that a lot of the lords lack - Jon knows the NE has to make common cause with the Wildlings to save humanity; Jaime recognizes that winter is coming and wants to make sure people will be able to eat rather than worrying about who they supported on the WOFK.

But there is one big difference: Jon always gets an easy out with his oathbreaking (at least until he gets shivved "for the Watch"): his friends save him from breaking his vows to join Robb; Qhorin orders him to join the Wildlings (and he HAS to sleep with Ygritte or he'll be killed and fail at his mission); Ygritte kills the old man at Queenscrown so Jon doesn't have to; someone else kills Ygritte - on and on it goes. Every time Jon has to make a genuinely morally ambiguous choice or choose the lesser of two evils, someone else does the thing for him. Even with the stabbing it's more like the close-minded members of the NW are jealous of Jon's Dragonstoneness rather than the stabbing being presented as Jon making a bad choice or at least one that can genuinely be seen as damaging to the unique mission of the Night's Watch. Whereas Jaime has no out by others for his tragic difficult choices - there's no one else to kill Aerys and save the lives of thousands so he has to break his vows and lose his reputation.

So of the two, to me, Jaime is by far the more interesting character BECAUSE he makes and lives with his own mistakes; Jon is a very very tropey character from a dozen fantasies who is almost always rescued by the author from the full consequences of the hard choices he doesn't have to make because someone else does it for him.
Edited by ballade, Jun 19 2017, 01:45 AM.
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Andi
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Kingslayer
I don't have much time at the moment, but there have been many discussions on reddit about Jon and Jaime parallels, especially on asoiaf subreddit, I paste the links of some of those discussions here for now so that I can read again thoroughly later and discuss further. There are many ideas in those threads, not only in original posts but among the comments too, some of them can be discussed further and in a different light. You can check asoiaf subreddit for other posts which explored the same Jon-Jaime subject, but they are all similar discussions. There was an interesting one that I couldn't find now, perhaps it was deleted, I will check later.

I find this discussion very interesting and I am one of those people who think that those Jon-Jaime parallels can give hints about their endings -although most people think that based on those parallels which seem to be reversed storylines, Jaime can end up as the LC of CB and can die as the 1000th LC-.

https://www.reddit.com/r/asoiaf/comments/27ioco/interesting_similarities_between_jon_and_jaime/
https://www.reddit.com/r/asoiaf/comments/2rgy2s/spoilers_all_jon_and_jaime_similarities_parallels/
https://www.reddit.com/r/asoiaf/comments/5v2urf/spoilers_extended_the_jaime_jon_parallel/

If you have time, read the comments too...the most interesting ideas are usually among the comments, rather than the original posts.
Edited by Andi, Jun 19 2017, 03:00 AM.
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WackyGoofball
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Just spitballing, at the risk of repeating things already mentioned - I LOVE those parallels, because they very much point to the overall importance of Jaime's character (despite the fact that pseduo moralists, Starkists, and general dickwags tend to disagree with the notion):

To begin, I think that while it's no parallel, one thing to always bear in mind is that the show bothered to include a scene with Jaime and Jon in the very beginning that is completely absent from the books. It effectively showed Jaime giving Jon some *real* advice with his sarcastic remark of the vow being "only just for life" and foreshadowing the soon-to-follow disillusion Jon is bound to face when he figures out that the group he vowed his life to is a bunch of fucktarts, safe for very few. That was valuable show time at a point of time when the show still very much stuck to the original structure of the books. So I take that as a big hint for the watcher to be like "oh, important interaction! Maybe vital for later!"

Anyway, carrying on.

Parallels, well, undoubtedly, we have a rather similar romance structure for those two characters with Jaime/Brienne and Jon/Ygritte. They start out in clear antagonism, that one kills the other is always an option at that point, basically. Jaime searches for a way to escape, and if he has to kill Brienne (by the time), he'd be willing to follow through (until wench feels be burgeoning). Jon and Ygritte stand on similar grounds at first until they progress towards romance levels.

Going from there, I will just keep mentioning this ad nauseam:

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The visual parallels of those two scenes are just too delish to ignore.

Other things that are noteworthy in that connection are Jon's saving Ygritte from falling down during The Climb and Jaime's leap down a bearpit to save his favorite wench. There is a very strong and pivotal moment in saving one another that you find in both these narratives, in a way that most other romances have not shared in.

The interesting thing (and hence divergence) from the parallel is that after their separation, Ygritte and Jon only ever see each other in battle, and that is when she is killed. We already got the reunion without that, so that already gives an idea that they are meant to reach *beyond* what those two had, to whatever result it will be.

But it most definitely shows that Jon and Jaime, in their romantic arcs, keep getting mirrored, which also points to, obviously, JB romance.

Moving on.

Something the two also share in is that moment of "more than what meets the eye", and particularly "more than what their stigmata hold" - while for Jon the "Bastard", it will come down to his Targ ancestry (which I give pretty much only just a shrug but whatevs) and whatever heroic acts he's gonna do coz he be Jesusing around yo, we get with Jaime that idea of the man behind the "Kingslayer", who protected half a million people from a madman, and only ever got shit for it.

I think ballade makes an excellent point on the issue that Jon gets a lot of narrative plot convenience that doens't have him face moral dilemmas in the same way Jaime's had to deal with them since... well, very early on in his life (likely not coincidentally roughly around the same age Jonny Boy had to make some big decisions in his life). While some tend to gloss over more ambivalent stuff Jon does in the books (threatening oh gasp, Gilly for the baby, which is oh gasp again, somewhat similar to the trebuchet threat), the show has particularly had him bypas those conflicting territories. While his decisions get challenged by some people (resulting in stabbination), we as the *viewers* know that this is the morally and logically reasonable thing to do. We know that the threat is real because we have seen the ice zombies, whereas characters *within* the narrative can still flip him the bird and go like "yeah, right". Also, we as the viewers went through the process of seeing the Wildlings through a humanizing lens along with Jon, so for us, it's also straightforward that they are *humans* and that they *deserve* support and aren't some unspoken evil or so that others make them out to be *within the narrative*.

So, Jon's morality is rarely challenged in the show. That may be for a number of reasons, like, wanting to have him clearly as a hero and wanting to not waste time on graying hiim when in the end, he ends up in a lighter position anyway (that is something I assume may also be part of the reason why Tyrion's got his rapey adventures from the books cut for the show), or perhaps it's a withholding strategy, one can never know. Whatever the reason may be, it's as ballade says, Jon *enjoys* (like, he doesn't enjoy it, but from a meta perspective) a status wherein he has to *only* worry abou the execution of his plans because they are morally justified, even if Thorne is weeping in his icy grave now. Jon knows it's right. The narrative proves him right. Well, that only means he has to worry about carrying it out. That also means he doesn't have to worry about the moral ambivalence - at least up to date.

Because it may still come. Jon's been *using* the Wildlings as soldiers to win back Winterfell, and surely, a lot let their lives. The last giant's dead now, too afai am concerned. So there is the potential that the Wildlings will, at some poitn be like "well, Jonny Boy, we can only give that much, and you know you promised us shit, like lands and safety, we won't have much of that if we keep beign decimated fighting *your* fights that are not against the Undead". I don't say it will happen, but it can happen. Also, it amy well be that the Wildlings amongst themselves will witnes dissonance. Mance was the one who united them. Now Tormund's sorta taken up on that spot for now, but he is Team Jonny, and not every Wildling may share that sentiment till the bitter end.

Which was now a long way of going about the topic that Jon's moral ambivalences may still turn up once he is in a situation where he has no one to hold the plot conveinence hand over his curly head to save him from moral corruption, witihout providing a safety net of laws that make his actions right (see hanging Olly - he is justified qua the laws, even though he potentially didn't have to kill the laddy).

Jaime never had them *to that extent* - though certainly, he got his fair share, too, see for instance his being on the Road Trip with Brienne to fall in lurve while his family is busy planning and executing a brutal series of murders during the Red Wedding, the narrative clearly sets him apart from all this, despite Starkists insisting otherwise. He's had to make those sort of moral choices throughout his life that *broke* a man like Ned Stark, who couldn't deal with the ambivalence until it was too late for him (and... that death was needed for the plot, too).

Leaves me wondering if Jaime wil perhaps be granted that bit of morality armor in the future while Jon will not. I would very much enjoy it if they pushed Jon into the severe moral dilemmas, or else he really runs the danger of being basically Neddy 2.0 just with less bloated face and I assume better looks.

Other parallels to note:

Jon gets a brother he is *bound* to take care of at first when he doesn't know how to defend himself - that is Sam. Jaime has a little brother whom he also protects fiercely. At the same time, both Sam and Tyrion are bookworms par excellence, who can stand their own ground and are characters in their own right. Funny enough, Tyrion is the one who gets his POVs before Jaime, whereas Jon gets them before Sam, as for the books.

Both have gifted swords to women they care about deeply. Jon gave Arya Needle. Jaime gave Brienne Oathkeeper. Both these swords in turn mean a big deal to both women - for Arya, it's the pullback and drawback to her own identity when she is on the verge of becoming truly No One (though she may still, no one can know, LOL). For Brienne, it's a legacy sword that gives her a purpose after she returned to KL only to learn about Cat's demise and having failed to protect her. The extra layer on top is of course that when she means to return it to Jaime, believing its purpose achieved via saving Sansa, he tells her "it's yours, it will always be yours" - making clear that the sword was always only ever meant *for her* and was not tied to just a purpose but to the bond the two share.

Jaime and Jon, depsite their differences, share in common values such as honor, a sense of utilitarianism - they both rather fight alone or make themselves the sacrifice instead of demanding that of entire armies, if someone only finally took the offer, a sense of duty that is continuously challenged by circumstance, both witness dissatisfaction with the vows they took for life, they care about the people they consider friends and family, etc., to name but few.

There is also that moment from the books of Jaime not being able to remember his mother's face whereas Jon doesn't know his mother. So, on a more abstract level, we have this sense fo a mother figure being absent or not there for long that deeply affects them to this day.

while it is not necessarily a parallel, it is also interesting to note that Jon, despite being considered a bastard, he is still treated by his father figure Ned like a son, he gets the same teaching as Robb etc. and Ned, for all the shit of a guy he may have been in many other aspects, he was undoubtedly a *rather* supportive, strict, but also educating father (at least wrt what he thought was important... including but not limited to chopping poor lads' heads off because the rules command it yo). Tywin, by contrast, is portrayed as not caring about Jaime as a person, really, but only in his ability to contribute to his empire meant to last a thousand years. There is no love or affection there, there is just the expectations that Jaime disappoints qua KG vow, mingled with the hope that he will take up on the duty again. Still, against all odds, they end up with similar mindsets when it comes to the qualities I tried to list previously. That may also be a bit of a hint how not all is nature or nurture, because here, nurture brought about two men who certainly take different approaches at large, but who share in some common key values that mark someone like Jon as a *hero*. Jaime has the same nature, however, at least to a certain extent.

Another thing that marks more of a difference but that I still find interesting is that Jon is portrayed as getting those different kinds of mentor figures (Maester Aemon, Jeor Mormont, Mance, etc.). With Jaime, we don't really get that notion. Obviously due to age differences, but if we trace back to Jaime's mentors by the time he was Jon's age... let's be real, they were shitty. The other KG guys were busy with Rhaegar's plan and told Jaime how his instincts were all wrong when he was like "we should prevent the king from raping his wife!" etc. Arthur Dayne is the guy he idealizes, still, but even that guy was perhaps not as great (though good-looking, damn you GoT, for casting that hottie that I won't ever see again most likely!) as he seemed to be. So I also get this sense of Jonb eing very fortunate in the mentors that are sent his way, in a way that Jaime never had the luxury, really. I mean, Jaime now has a sounding ground with Bronn, Voice of Reason, but that is on a different level, which is more apt for someone Jaime's age, but nonetheless, I find that rather interesting in itself, which may also partly explain how Jaime got some different ideas from Jon, who's only had those oh so honorable men educate him. :)

And just for funsies:

Jon be standing with emo expression next to redhaired Sansa, whereas Jaime looks emo standing next to "blonde" Cersei who is... let's be real, that is not blonde.

I suppose I will return once I gathered more throughts, LOL.
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Andi
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Kingslayer
Based on asoiaf subreddit discussions, and excluding the ideas that were already mentioned in this thread...:

- Both of them have had a hand incident...Jon's hand got burned and Jaime's hand was cut off.
- Both will use Valyrian swords that actually belonged to someone else...Jorah's father gave Jon the sword which was supposed to be Jorah's, and Jaime got Ned's sword.
- Jon sends Mance on a mission to rescue Arya, while Jaime sends Brienne to search for Sansa.
- Both were despised/disliked by Catelyn Stark.
- They have similar dreams:
Jon:
"...That always scares me. I start to run then, throwing open doors, climbing the tower three steps at a time, screaming for someone, for anyone. And then I find myself in front of the door to the crypts. It’s black inside, and I can see the steps spiraling down. Somehow I know I have to go down there, but I don’t want to. I’m afraid of what might be waiting for me. The old Kings of Winter are down there, sitting on their thrones with stone wolves at their feet and iron swords across their laps, but it’s not them I’m afraid of."
Jaime:
"...Why am I going down? Below the earth his doom awaited, he knew with the certainty of dream; something dark and terrible lurked there, something that wanted him. Jaime tried to halt, but their spears prodded him on....Jaime pleaded. “Don’t leave me here alone.” But they were leaving. “ Don’t leave me in the dark!”. Something terrible lived down here."

- They both break oaths for love, but they also break their vows by doing the exact opposite of their intended duty for the greater good. Jaime kills Aerys to save KL and Jon lets the wildlings past the wall, violating his obligation to protect the realms of men.

...in addition to Wacky's Jon-Ygritte and Jaime-Brienne parallels: Jon broke his oath when he had sex with Ygritte and Jaime broke his oath when he had sex with Cersei...that's why I think Jon-Ygritte is a parallel to Jaime-Cersei too, in a way, because Jaime broke his oath for Cersei and she is the first and -so far- the only woman he had sex with. For Jaime, Cersei was the forbidden love, although Jaime and Brienne are on the opposite sides like Jon and Ygritte and both couples had those bath scenes. What I mean is that perhaps Cersei's death can parallel Ygritte's death...for example, Jaime and Cersei can confront each other in a battle, and someone kills Cersei when she is about to kill Jaime.

- Both had mothers who died in childbirth and their fathers were killed by Lannisters.
- Their younger brothers have physical challenges....Tyrion is a dwarf and Bran is crippled. And they both have/had siblings who claimed the throne...Robb as King in the North and Cersei as Queen in the South.
- This one is interesting...if Rhaegar and Lyanna got married, Jon is actually a Targaryen and a legitimate son, he is not a Stark bastard. If GRRM intended to create another "reverse" parallel here, this may be supporting the theory which suggests that Jaime and Cersei are Aerys' bastards...because in that case the bastard Jon is actually a legitimate heir, and the legitimate golden boy Jaime is actually a bastard.
- Jaime had bastard children, Jon can end up having a bastard child if Dany gives birth to his child without them getting married. Not to mention that both JC and JD would be incestuous affairs. Besides, Jaime's first relationship was the incestuous one, and the second will be with someone on enemy's side...again it's reversed for Jon, his first relationship was with a warrior woman on enemy's side and the second will be incestuous if JD happens...and/or if Jon has to betray/kill Dany for some reason after pledging to her, he would be a king/queen slayer exactly like Jaime.
Edited by Andi, Jun 19 2017, 11:59 AM.
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zuzu's petals
Well-Hung Squire
In the books, when we last left Jaime and Jon, Jon was about to go on a mission to rescue a "fake" Arya and he was then killed. Jaime was about to go on a mission to rescue a "fake" Sansa, and is now missing and likely presumed dead. In the books, I assume as a result of their presumed deadness, they will be released from their vows.

To piggyback off of the similar dreams thing, I believe that it's Bran who is gifting each of them dreams that both warn and explain how they are going to cheat death. Jaime has to rescue Brienne to prevent dying in the Riverlands (later on, post ADwD), Jon has to maintain his warging connection with Ghost in order to prevent his entire psyche from dying when his body is killed in ADwD. Obviously these are both book only threads, and I'm taking some liberties with where I presume the story is going to take us.
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Mikki
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The plot parallels are blatant, so much so that I wonder if it's intentional as much as it's just George writing the same story because he can't think of different ones for each character. ;) Then again, I might not be giving him enough credit.

Really, if you strip away the attitude and the consequences, Jaime and Jon are experiencing the same plot.

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ballade
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Mikki
Jun 19 2017, 11:18 AM
The plot parallels are blatant, so much so that I wonder if it's intentional as much as it's just George writing the same story because he can't think of different ones for each character. ;) Then again, I might not be giving him enough credit.

Really, if you strip away the attitude and the consequences, Jaime and Jon are experiencing the same plot.

I think the parallels are deliberate - in part because GRRM seems to like to play with similar storylines developed in different ways (there are many iterations of Beauty and the Beast in the series as well, interestingly paralleling Brienne and Sansa in particular.)

I'm not a huge Jon fan, tbh, especially not on the show where Kit Harrington is too old to be as gormless as Show Jon and also because Circle Jerkers LOVE Jon so much - unsurprising, he is a very conventional heroic fantasy character. But I feel like these parallels probably annoy the Jon Stans a lot so that makes me happy :)
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Quinn
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Director of HYPE
Sorry, Andi, but I personally have no interest in Reddit discussion :angel:

I would much rather start from scratch here than dissolve my brain in the pit of lye that is ten plus years of Reddit mire. I honestly just can't care what they think on that platform!

I'll bring back my comment from the other thread about sexuality and Jon and Jaime's parallel experiences with two women, assuming Jon actually does sleep with Daeny. If we consider the idea that Jon begins with "true love" and ends with a mad Queen, and Jaime begins with a mad Queen and ends with "true love," we can also posit that Jon could end on a negative spin where Jaime ends on a positive spin. Fandom would HATE that, but I think all of us here would be elated!
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Cerenna of Highgarden
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Quinn
Jun 19 2017, 07:50 PM
Sorry, Andi, but I personally have no interest in Reddit discussion :angel:

I would much rather start from scratch here than dissolve my brain in the pit of lye that is ten plus years of Reddit mire. I honestly just can't care what they think on that platform!

I'll bring back my comment from the other thread about sexuality and Jon and Jaime's parallel experiences with two women, assuming Jon actually does sleep with Daeny. If we consider the idea that Jon begins with "true love" and ends with a mad Queen, and Jaime begins with a mad Queen and ends with "true love," we can also posit that Jon could end on a negative spin where Jaime ends on a positive spin. Fandom would HATE that, but I think all of us here would be elated!
The Starkgaryens would riot and it would be sooo sweet! More butthurt fanboy tears for us!

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koops
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Yeah, I think Starkists love the parallels only insofar as they think that Jaime would end up in the NW, dying at the Wall, and thus "punished" for his Lannister wickedness, because they totally ignore the fact that if they truly are parallel stories, then by that reasoning Jon should end up in the King/Queensguard, guarding a mad king/queen for life and fathering incestuous kids.

Needless to say, I do not buy at all the fact that their stories are merely meant to put them in the position the other started in. They are growing along similar trajectories, and experiencing the same things at different stages, but there seems to be a severe lack of imagination in these Reddit speculations in that they think the story will pretty much reset to a status quo where there's a ruler on the Iron Throne, and a Wall, and a Night's Watch. If that truly were the case, it would be one long waste of time in telling this story.

Another parallel between Jon and Jaime is that neither of them is interested in power, but somehow ends up in positions where they have to exercize power and make big decisions. Which is why I think they would make better rulers than Dany.
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Olive
Red Leatherer
koops
Jun 20 2017, 05:10 AM
Another parallel between Jon and Jaime is that neither of them is interested in power, but somehow ends up in positions where they have to exercize power and make big decisions. Which is why I think they would make better rulers than Dany.
^^This. I go by what Tywin said to Joffrey once: "Any man who must say, 'I am the king' is no true king." To me, that's a big flashing neon sign. Who has screamed "I am the king/queen" so far? Joffrey, Tommen, Marg, Cersei -- all doomed. I'll throw in Dany in that category because she has stated similar sentiments:

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When my dragons are grown, we will take back what was stolen from me and destroy those who wronged me! We will lay waste to armies and burn cities to the ground! - very Cersei-esque, by the way


Quote:
 
I will take what is mine with fire and blood.


The fact that Jaime had sat the throne but still gave it up tells me that he isn't like all the rest, clamoring for that precious seat. Jon wasn't expecting being called the new King in the North; he would have been content without the title or adulation. The power will rest with those who don't yearn it, and they are the ones who will make the best rulers, absolutely, koops!

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Mikki
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I am so on board with Jaime as the reluctant king. Especially if he takes the Throne from Cersei in order to foster peace with the North and unite to fight the Others.
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FairladyZ2005
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I want that so bad Mikki! Jaime as king by default playing a huge role in uniting the realm.
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koops
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Maiden Saver
I still have my tinfoil theory that the YMB is Jaime. ;)
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Mikki
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Overlord
That's a good one!!

Jon is already playing the reluctant king; it would follow if Jaime is forced into the role as well.

I am a huge fan of symmetry in a story, not ending where a character began, but calling back and closing the circle created by the arc.
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zuzu's petals
Well-Hung Squire
No offense to your tinfoil koops, but it reminded me of something valonqar related. I've always been supremely annoyed that people have latched onto the idea that Jaime is younger than Cersei, and used it for their valonqar theories. Jaime and Cersei are twins. They are the same age. He's not younger than her by a technicality, they.are.the.same.age. I can almost guarantee that when George wrote that Jaime was born hanging onto Cersei's foot, he didn't do it to emphasize that he's younger; he did it to emphasize their obsession with each other. That's it. That the entire outcome of the story/prophecy hinges on a twin being two minutes younger than the other twin is, as Mikki once famously put it, "The "Saved By the Bell" of plot twists."

Sorry. Carry on. :)
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koops
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Ha! None taken. I totally get your point. I'm not married to this tinfoil at all, it's just something I thought would be a fun twist since everyone expects the YMB to be a woman despite nothing being said in the prophecy that she is. And everyone expects Jaime to be the valonqar, so for him to be in the prophecy but not as the valonqar would make me cackle maniacally in the fanboys' faces for weeks. :p
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