Jaime's Heartbreaking, Complex Decision On Game Of Thrones, Explained

Photo: Courtesy of HBO.
Warning: Spoilers for Game of Thrones season 8 are ahead.
Happiness can never last in the Game Of Thrones universe [see: Missandei (Nathalie Emmanuel) and Grey Worm (Jacob Anderson), Jon (Kit Harington) and Ygritte (Rose Leslie), Robb (Richard Madden) and Talisa (Oona Chaplin), etc.]. But there was a particular sting to watching Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), a character who has spent most of the series on a redemption arc, walk away from Brienne (Gwendoline Christie), someone who has helped Jaime grow more than anyone. Why did he do it?
Jaime and Brienne got together and split up in the same episode, and now Jaime is headed back to Cersei, but for what, exactly? Is he looking for more twincest? Or to kill Cersei before her hired assassin, Bronn (Jerome Flynn) can get to him? Jaime’s plotline moved at a breakneck pace this week, so let’s first take a look at what happened.

Why Does Jaime Leave Winterfell?

When Jon’s party hits the Kingsroad, Jaime stays behind to hang out with Brienne. And it looks like they’re having sleepovers in Brienne’s room every night, which is cute! Jaime is now sleeping under furs in a room he previously claimed was too hot, which does make me think that he just wanted to take his clothes off that first visit, but I’m not mad.
Jaime gets an update on the Cersei/Daenerys conflict from Brienne, followed by a remark from Sansa (Sophie Turner) that she was hoping to be there at Cersei’s execution. This isn’t surprising information, given that Cersei was The Worst to Sansa, but thinking about Cersei’s death definitely gets Jaime thinking about where he wants to be.

Does Jaime Love Brienne At All?

Yes, Jaime loves Brienne. Coster-Waldau's longing glances have thoroughly convinced us of that much. And given that we haven't see Jaime sleep around (or sleep with anyone that isn't Cersei, until now) we know that he probably sees sex as kind of a big deal. His plan to leave in the middle of the night is cowardly, and Brienne catches him, which likely makes Jaime feel more ashamed. We know he feels like he can’t escape his past, which suggests he might feel a little unworthy of the always-honorable Brienne. So while he does love her, and some part of him probably wants to be with her still, it didn't feel right to him. This is not a good enough excuse to be cruel to Brienne, but I guess that's Jaime logic.

Does Jaime Still Love Cersei?

Of course he does! Jaime has been in love with Cersei essentially his whole life, and one trip to Winterfell can’t change that. He was definitely trying to get over her, but that would take longer than one wintery vacation. The last time they saw each other, he was left because he wanted to keep a promise to fight against the dead. With that promise kept and the dead defeated, Jaime has decided he's ready to go home to her.

Is Jaime Going To Kill Cersei?

It’s hard to say, but it seems unlikely that Jaime will kill Cersei. He’s previously expressed interest in dying in her arms, so it’s possible they will die together. His trip south probably isn’t to commit a premeditated murder, but if their reunion goes poorly, it is a possibility.

Is Jaime Going To Get Cersei's Baby?

Maybe! We know Jaime wanted to be a father to his kids, but couldn’t because his incest was a secret. In the end, Myrcella (Nell Tiger Free) accepted him, but then she promptly died. The baby is a factor here, but Jaime also knows that Cersei and the baby may not survive.

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