While Jaime and Brienne are taking their bath at Harrenhal, and he’s sharing the story of how he became the Kingslayer, he asks himself:
I’d say Brienne’s age is in the 18-20 range when we meet her in A Clash of Kings. She’s past the age of majority, but she is hilariously, adorably naive. Which explains a lot about her going off to serve King Renly! Jaime’s in his 30s, and suffering no lack of cynicism.
And, indeed, Jaime: why ARE you sharing your story with this “ugly absurd child” when you haven’t even told your own siblings?
Jaime gets back to King’s Landing and goes about smacking the Kingsguard into shape. For example: he doesn’t want to hear any more about Kingsguard knights beating little girls just because the juvenile king commands them to do so. What?, they ask. You don’t want us to obey the king? He says: the king is eight; our duty is protect him, including from himself. So here’s a handy rule of thumb for how to respond to little King Tommen’s commands:
“If Tommen wants you to saddle his horse, obey him. If he tells you to kill his horse, come to me.”
I love it because it brings up this image of a Kingsguard knight coming to Jaime and telling him, “Lord Commander, your
son nephew is asking me to kill his horse. What should I do?”
A little while ago, I made the case for Brienne’s protection assignment still being viable. Here’s a little addition to that.
First: “A complication does not release you from a vow.”
Second: “Catelyn Stark’s death does not release me from an oath.”
Third: “My fuck-up does not release me from a promise.”
She’ll hate herself when she finds out how Sansa escaped the castle, but she’ll keep on busting her ass until she makes it right.
I regard this as one of the Top 10 Jaime Moments of how he’s written in the books. He’s just returned to King’s Landing in A Storm of Swords, and right after he fucks Cersei next to Joffrey’s body (doing so in somewhat less reprehensible a manner than on the show), he goes to see his father. Lord Tywin wants him to quit the Kingsguard and return to Casterly Rock with Tommen as his ward and squire. He’s trying to arrange for Cersei to marry Oberyn Martell, and he suggests Margaery Tyrell as a wife for Jaime, not realizing that Mace Tyrell won’t accept anything less than a king for his only daughter. Which is a moot point, because Jaime is not having it. No, he’s not on board with this plan at all.
“No. No. No. No. No. How many times must I say no before you’ll hear it? Oberyn Martell? The man’s infamous, and not just for poisoning his sword. He has more bastards than Robert, and beds with boys as well. And if you think for one misbegotten moment that I would wed Joffrey’s widow…She can die a maiden as far as I’m concerned. I don’t want her, and I don’t want your Rock!”
And that was the part where Lord Tywin disowned his first son.
He’s not quite right about Oberyn Martell; he has exactly half as many bastards as Robert, and the younger half of those are Ellaria Sand’s daughters. He does like to fuck dudes, though. Maybe that’s the reason why he doesn’t have as many bastards as Robert. It’s pretty funny that Jaime Lannister, of all people, thinks he can sneer at Oberyn Martell’s choices in sex partners.
During their bath-time at Harrenhal, Brienne thinks Jaime is mocking her. This is his reaction to that:
“Are you thick as a castle wall? That was an apology.”
Leave it to a Lannister to think an insult is an appropriate follow-up when an apology doesn’t land very well.
Only it’s not necessarily the apology that raises her alarm. I think it’s the praise that she takes as mockery.
Right after he rescued her from the bear, Jaime verified with Brienne that no one had raped her. This was his reply:
“Oh, good. I only rescue maidens.”
Which is pure nonsense, of course. Jaime doesn’t think a woman’s life is worth any less if she’s suffered a completed rape, or if she’s spread her legs for half his father’s army. But that was his idea of a cute joke after their little adventure in the bear pit. If he hadn’t just saved her life, Brienne might have back-handed him in the face.