Since I made a few thousand words happen for my novel today, I think it’s okay to write this now.
Of all the places Jaime Lannister has gone and things he’s done so far on Game of Thrones, Season 4 is the only season he’s spent entirely in King’s Landing.
Have seen Season 6, I think 4 will be the last season he spends entirely in King’s Landing.
I don’t know that he’ll leave the city and not come back for the rest of the series, but he will leave the city again in Season 7.
The reason I think so is that he’s been dismissed from the Kingsguard, and we haven’t yet found out why that had to happen. In terms of adaptation, there was no reason why Jaime needed to be released from his Kingsguard vows at that time. They took away his white cloak and then they had him do the same thing as he does in A Feast for Crows while still beholden to his Kingsguard vows. Why is that? Why was it so important for TV!Jaime to be out of the Kingsguard at that stage? Season 6 didn’t answer the question.
We won’t get the answer with another full season of Jaime stuck in the capital and dealing with his mass-murdering, sadistic, power-grabbing twin. There’s basically nothing he could do in the capital that he couldn’t do just as easily while still technically serving as a Kingsguard knight.
I suspect the answer has a lot to do with the now-Confirmed Canon status of his romance with Brienne, but actually, the answer should be bigger than his feelings. The answer needs to be about him making decisions that are bigger than what he does behind closed doors. Like, Lord of Casterly Rock-level decisions. In order for him to make the sort of decisions that presuppose his release from the Kingsguard, he needs to go to other places and meet with people and make things happen that show Cersei she no longer has her twin’s loyalty. There are tremendous implications for Jaime being released from the Kingsguard, and those implications demand that he go somewhere else.
(For another example: in the same season, Jon left the Night’s Watch! And he had to be out of the Watch so he could retake Winterfell and become the new King in the North. We’re still waiting on a comparable shift in responsibilities for Jaime.)
Where he’ll go, how long he’ll stay away from the capital and what (if anything) might bring him back are all open to discussion, and I have some ideas. After coming back from the Riverlands to find his sister has detonated the wildfire under the Sept and killed hundreds of people, which caused their last child to commit suicide, which allowed her to grab the Throne, he’s not going to stick around now that he has other options.