Detect Alignment: Jaimie Lannister

Kingslayer. Oathbreaker. A man without honour. Seventeen years after he plunges his sword deep into the back of Aerys Targaryen - climatically dousing the Mad King's brutal reign of fire – the titles which scar Jaime Lannister echo all across Westeros and beyond. But by what right does the wolf judge the lion? To this man consumed by a fierce desire for personal freedom, the opinions of others do little to pierce through his golden-red Lannister armour; the only real protection for the Kingslayer's conflicted heart.

At his core, Jaime Lannister's soul is filled with chaos. Engaging in a torridly incestuous love affair with his twin sister Cersei from an early age (and fathering her three 'Baratheon' children) enslaves him to the carnal lust he shares with the queen. Eventually, his twisted sister/lover fosters a bitter sense of neutrality in the Kingslayer, as he witnesses the sadistic acts she commits when she gains - and desperately grips at - total and undisputed power.

Jaime once whispers to Cersei that he will kill every last person it takes for the twins to be together. This pledge remains bound in blood right up until the Lannister army sacks Highgarden - eliminating the treasonous House Tyrell. The defeated Queen of Thorns hears it all as Jaime eventually confesses that while Cersei may well be the end of him, when she has won the savage war for Westeros, the survivors will care not how the new world was built. The Kingslayer is called many things. JADE is calling him Chaotic Neutral. Here's why:

Liberty – A Lannister is an individualist before anything else: Jaime does not strive to protect others' freedom or values. As the 7 Kingdom's deadliest fighter (prior to losing his hand), he respects not authority - only skill. By putting his needs ahead of the state's, the oath-breaking Lannister looks only to advance his own self-interest - even if it means jeopardizing the integrity of the royal bloodline. (Perhaps the main reason why he abides by the despicable behaviour of his bastard son Joffrey.) This sentiment is even echoed by a captive Jaime to his cousin Alton (just before he murders him to escape Robb Stark's clutches) when the Kingslayer laments how his life is uniquely unfit for constraint.

The very nature of the twin's lurid - and desperately secret - love affair serves as a direct challenge to the supreme authority the Hand of the King Tywin Lannister wields prior to his shocking death. With Jaime (as Tywin's prized heir) forsaking his right to Casterly Rock and joining the Kingsguard - to continue his ongoing tryst with Cersei in King's Landing - what's ultimately demonstrated is a whimsical devotion to his own liberty. The Kingslayer has intense resentment for the harsh restrictions imposed by Lord Tywin - whose own fanatical obsession with tradition appears little more than a death-trap to his first son.

Indifference – When seeking to eliminate authority in society, Chaotic Neutral can be a dangerous alignment. Gaining the motivation to cross such such a threshold however, is a matter unto itself. Jaime Lannister embodies brinksmanship like no other: He assassinates the Mad King only after being ordered to attack and kill his own father during the Sack of King's Landing - remaining a fully loyal Kingsguard up until that point. He plays his brother Tyrion by sacrificing his keep at Casterly Rock to the Unsullied, so that the Lannister army can divert south to surprise attack the Tyrell's - and crush them.

To disrupt their loose sense of liberty and social order, CN personalities must be desperate: Either compelled to liberate others, or driven to inflict vengeful suffering upon their enemies. Otherwise, the chaotic neutral alignment remains detached from anything that isn't complementing an arrogant pursuit of self-gratification. When Jaime describes his dead opponents as being not but sacks of meat and blood - held together by bone - his world view cements itself: There is no real order to anything; and it's only his passion which fuels the deadly swing of his Valyrian sword.

Survival The Kingslayer's neutrality endures because it has to. As the ultimate con man, he can watch Robert Baratheon raise his three illegitimate children, knowing death awaits him should he ever intervene. This powerful survival instinct persists when Jaime shockingly pushes Bran Stark from atop a Winterfell tower - proving he is not above murdering an unarmed foe if he feels it necessary to preserve his own freedom. A chaotic neutral character may be unforeseeable, but their actions are never totally random.

What finally drives Jaime away from Cersei is her lust for power: ignoring the deadly threat of the approaching White Walkers, and breaking a truce to continue the vengeful war against the invading Daenerys Targaryen. His self-interest and survival instinct feed off each other, to the point where the Kingslayer now rides north to aid former enemy Jon Snow against the coming White Walker onslaught. With perspective gained from the loss of his fighting hand, his admiration for his lawful former captor Brienne of Tarth, and the dramatic call to action to combat a looming apocalypse, Jaime's will to live has never been stronger.

At this point in the Game of Thrones, the current Lannister patriarch easily remains one of the most dynamic players in the series. Though he seems to be leaning toward helping the good guys - after refuting his incestuous love as his main driving force - he could just as easily switch allegiances at the swing of a sword should it suit him. This is what keeps Jamie Lannister so engaging: You can't predict what he's going to do. One could say his arc is at a truly neutral point, as he serves no king or queen - only himself. And yet, it's the chaos in the Kingslayer's soul which endures above all. With his crimes and losses equally great, does only a monster remain? A Lannister always pays his debts. Valar Morghulis. 

Written by: Jeff Clive

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Detect Alignment: Jaimie Lannister Detect Alignment: Jaimie Lannister Reviewed by JADE Gaming on 4/10/2019 10:48:00 am Rating: 5

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