He's the Oathbreaker, the Kingslayer, the sister... never mind. He's Jaime Lannister, a simple man trying to get by in a complex world. He wasn't born for the game of thrones but he got involved in it regardless, and the results were... not great. Jaime is one of the few characters in Game of Thrones with no ambition or desire for power.
He only wants one thing, Cersei Lannister. Jaime's sister is apparently enough for him for a lifetime supply of happiness despite Cersei's repulsiveness-- and people say Jorah Mormont was the hopeless romantic. Without a doubt, Jaime has always been one of the most compelling characters of the show and the books. His polarizing character's deeds range from genuinely noble to utterly unforgivable; here are five of each, think you can understand him?
10 TWINCEST (BAD)
Having an incestuous relationship with your twin sister does not exactly make for a good first impression of the character. That's basically what Jaime was known for in the very first episode of the very first season of Game of Thrones. In fact, those who probably haven't read the books probably knew Jaime for his incest first and foremost and not his Kingslayer title.
Jaime and Cersei's incestuous relationship goes way back. As children, they were inseparable and even slept on the same bed. It wasn't long before they started experimenting with sexual stuff at such a young age, specifically even before Tyrion was born. It went on until three suspiciously blond children were born out of their secret union which Cersei simply passed off as Robert Baratheon's children.
9 SAVED BRIENNE (GOOD)
It seems, however, that Jaime's toxicity somehow disappears when he's away from Cersei. He has proven this twice when he was imprisoned by Roose Bolton's men along with Brienne of Tarth. He once prevented Bolton's men from having their way with Brienne by channeling a little bit of Tyrion Lannister in him.
Jaime went on to save Brienne again at the hands of the very same men. This time, they pitted her against a bear in an arena. Miraculously, Jaime was able to just walk away with Brienne in tow. Apart from Cersei, it seems Brienne is the only woman Jaime has ever loved or has had a relationship with. He was even responsible for finally knighting Brienne.
8 KILLED HIS OWN COUSIN (BAD)
Prior to getting captured by Bolton's men, Jaime was already a prisoner of Robb Stark's army. Apart from the fact that no one can stand being a prisoner surrounded by mud and excretions, Jaime couldn't bear the thought of being away from Cersei more than necessary. So, he hatched a cold and brutal escape plan at the expense of his own ally.
This "ally" just so happened to be another Lannister, Alton Lannister-- his cousin. Worse still, Jaime's idiotic escape plan failed, meaning he killed his own cousin for nothing. They ought to just call him "kinslayer" after what he did.
7 SAVED TYRION (GOOD)
Tyrion is one of the few lucky people whom Jaime respects and cares for. In fact, the two grew up together despite Tyrion being the reason for their mother's death. Jaime actually grew affectionate of Tyrion when even Cersei and their father Tywin loathed the dwarf. Hence, in a touching act of brotherhood, Jaime freed Tyrion and spared him from execution.
Unfortunately, this led to Tyrion murdering Tywin, which may not exactly be a bad thing. Even when Jaime knew, he still did not despise Tyrion, that's how close the two were. Tyrion said it himself even; he wouldn't have survived his "childhood" if it wasn't for Jaime.
6 THREATENED EDMURE'S SON (BAD)
Based on Jaime's actions, he cares little for anyone who isn't related to him in the first degree or isn't blonde enough. That's why when confronted by what he considers as a hindrance to his eventual reunion with Cersei, he went full psycho. He rushed the siege of Riverrun by threatening Edmure Tully's child.
Jaime was even quite thorough with what he would do to Edmure's baby: he's going to launch Edmure's infant son against Riverrun's walls using a catapult. For a Kingslayer and a "kinslayer," that's a new low for Jaime. He even admitted that he was going to do it for Cersei as if it was a small price to pay.
5 RESCUED MYRCELLA (GOOD)
Despite threatening to obliterate another man's baby, Jaime is a good father. No, really-- he is, at least to his own remaining children which is princess Myrcella and Tommen. It was actually Tyrion who sent Myrcella to Dorne both as a gesture of good will and to spite his sister Cersei.
Jaime, fearing for the life of his last remaining child and of course, at Cersei's behest, fetched Myrcella from Dorne. In a sense, Jaime rescued Myrcella from her budding hostage situation. This ended rather poorly since Myrcella got poisoned and died but at least she finally got to share a heartfelt father-and-daughter moment with his real dad.
4 DOOMED THE LANNISTERS (BAD)
Despite Jaime's lack of purpose, he was the golden boy of the Lannisters-- Tywin's favorite child. He was a capable fighter, he was male, and he was handsome. Those are all the fitting qualities for a king (on the surface level, at least) but Jaime, much to Tywin's frustration, discarded his potential as the Lannister heir.
Why? Because Cersei. Both he and Cersei wanted to be close to each other despite the latter being wed to another. So, Jaime became a Kingsguard and renounced his claim to Casterly Rock as well as his royal title. He chose to be a glorified bodyguard to some fat king over his own land and crown just to be with Cersei. The Lannisters were left with no heir since Tywin did not want Tyrion and Cersei is a woman. Oh well, it's not as if Jaime would have made for a great ruler anyway.
3 KILLED THE MAD KING (GOOD)
Kingslayer is quite a terrible stigma. Still, that depends on which tyrant you actually killed. For Jaime, it was the Aerys II-- Daenerys Targaryen's father. He stabbed the very man he swore to protect in the back, but he didn't do it for power or his own scheme. Jaime wants nothing other than Cersei, after all.
The Mad King was having people burned left and right just for the sake of it. When Aerys II ordered Tywin Lannister next to be burned, this was the final straw for Jaime. So, he did the right thing and ended the Mad King's barbecue party. Did he lose honor because of that? Yes. Was it worth it? Probably even more so than his trysts with Cersei.
2 CRIPPLED BRAN STARK (BAD)
Pushing a kid off a window just so you can continue your sexy time with your twin and keep it a secret is the worst thing Jaime has ever done. The most painful part of that crime is that Bran didn't die painlessly but his life was ruined. Jaime even did it in the first episode of the first season of Game of Thrones.
In doing so, Jaime already drew the first line and fired the first shots in what would eventually be a continental bloodbath. One could argue that it was Jaime who gave birth to the next Three-eyed Raven. However, that doesn't give him a free pass in doing such an unforgivable crime with the pettiest of intents: Cersei... again.
1 FOUGHT FOR WINTERFELL (GOOD)
Jaime only ever turned his back on Cersei once and it was for all the right reasons. He chose to fight the great war against the Night King against Cersei's will. Any other man and their head would have gone clean off, but somehow Cersei still loves Jaime. Regardless, fighting for Winterfell was Jaime at his most redeeming moment.
It was a time of clarity for the once ambitionless and dishonorable man like Jaime. Like we said before, Jaime was at his best when he was far away from Cersei and free of her grasp. It seems Brienne's virtues brushed up on him. Too bad he didn't retain it and came running back to Cersei like an addict in a failed rehab.