Jaime Lannister is the Bravest Man in Westeros

Jamie Lannister, Photo courtesy HBO.com

If you’ve only seen the show Game of Thrones or not read all of the Song of Ice and Fire books, you might think I’m off my gourd. If you’ve never done either of those things, you haven’t got a flipping clue what I’m talking about.

Let’s back up for a moment. Assuming you know who Jaime Lannister is, you know that on the surface, he his an arrogant jackass who pushes children out windows. You know he’s known as the Kingslayer for killing King Aerys II Targaryen. And you know he’s been having a nearly life long incestuous affair with his twin sister, Cersei. Not the guy you want to be seated next to at the next family wedding, right? You would be right on all those counts, Jaime is all of those things.

Without getting into spoilers from the book, Jaime is also a lot more. I don’t want to give a lot a way for those that either haven’t read the books or haven’t read all of them. The gist is that after Jaime leaves the Stark camp with Brienne, she rubs off on him. Brienne is the anti-Jaime. They are both knights, but where he only takes his vows somewhat seriously, she’s devoted to them to her core. If she promises to do something, come hell or highwater, she’s going to do it. Jaime starts to reflect on himself and it affects him later on in the series.

That’s not what I mean though.

Jaime began life as a squire in his youth and was inducted into the Kingsguard at age 15, the youngest of any goldcloak. He does this for Cersei who manipulated the situation to get Jaime out of a marriage. This backfires when because her father becomes upset at the King for taking his eldest (and by his estimation, only) son into the Kingsguard. Goldcloaks swear for life, forsaking all lands and titles. Tywin picks up and leaves King’s Landing and his position as Hand of the King, and returns to Casterly Rock with Cersei. Jaime as a teenager in the Kingsguard witnesses the Mad King continue to become more mad and more cruel, especially with the rebellion that rose up around Robert Baratheon and Ned Stark. At the sack of King’s Landing the Mad King raves all day and sets his newly appointed Hand, a pyromancer, to burn the city, as he would rather murder a whole city than allow it to be taken. Aerys II had already killed his previous Hand by burning him alive when he dared argue with this plan. At all of seventeen years of age, Jaime Lannister, faced with a mad king who is ready to kill himself and everyone in King’s Landing, finally steps up, killing the pyromancer hand, and the mad king.

So while Jaime Lannister is a jerk, a murderer, and an arrogant piece of shit, he also had the bravery to stand up to his King at at seventeen and strike him down, saving a whole city of innocent people. How many grown men would have done the same? Not many. Certainly most didn’t bother. We don’t know for certain that saving the city and innocents was Jaime’s motivation for killing Aerys, but it seems so. For being able to stand up to a King, for doing the right thing and saving countless lives, that is why Jaime Lannister is the bravest man in Westeros.

What I’m Reading (And You Should Too!): The Alloy of Law

If you are familiar with Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time series, you may also be familiar with Brandon Sanderson. A few years ago Mr. Jordan passed away before finishing the series and Mr. Sanderson stepped in to give all of us fans an ending. I remember when this was announced thinking “Brandon who?” but I wanted to give him a fair shake and decided to check out his other books. Among them was an unfinished (at the time) trilogy called Mistborn. It was a very unique fantasy novel. There wasn’t a hero that came of age and found out he was bound for greatness. Instead it’s an ensemble cast and the first book is a heist job, sort of like Ocean’s Eleven. I really liked it, ended up buying even the hardcover of the final book (Hey I didn’t have a Kindle yet, so sue me) and also checking out an earlier book of his called Elantris. In addition to these he also has a Children’s Series called Alcatraz. In 2010 he released the first book of his epic fantasy series, The Way of Kings (The Stormlight Archive). At the moment, however, I have recently started reading his newest book, The Alloy of Law: A Mistborn Novel.

If you’ve read the Mistborn series, this is not a continuation of the story. The characters from those books are long in the past and are part of legend and religion now. This is a whole new story, set far into the future of the same world. I’m certain that most fantasy readers are used to their fantasy novels being set in a medieval or semi-medieval setting. With the exception of “urban” fantasy or horror like fantasy that is. This is completely different, it’s a fantasy novel set in a turn of the century type setting. Train lines are being extended, electricity has just become available in homes, and some people are rich enough to own horseless carriages. It’s an interesting concept and I love the idea of taking a well loved genre and changing one little thing like the period of the setting. Awesome.

So far I’m just about to chapter three and so far, I’m really liking this book, just as I’ve liked Brandon’s other books. I did get to meet him a few years ago. His home town is not far from where I currently live and a few years ago a local book store was able to get him to come by for a signing. Where I live at the moment is NOT on the usual book signing tour stop, trust me. He was a really nice guy and had remembered an email I sent him about a year prior that he had even responded to.

If you are looking for something to read, I highly suggest checking out any of Brandon Sanderson’s books. If you’re a Wheel of Time fan who’s been unsure of this “new guy” you can trust me, the novels are in good hands, he’s an excellent writer.