Oathbreaker, Kingslayer, or maybe even Queenslayer, there's no doubt that Jaime Lannister was the most controversial man in Westeros. He has made many mistakes and many improvements, only to go full 360-degrees and end up where he started. Still, there's no doubt that he's one of the most well-developed and in-depth characters in fantasy fiction.
It's safe to say that the Game of Thrones TV show gave Jaime Lannister justice. He went from one of the most hated characters to a fan favorite and then back again. Just when you thought you knew all there was to know about him, Jaime himself will surprise you. So, here are plenty more facts about Jaime that his fans (former or otherwise) deserve to know.
10 NEARLY BECAME RHAEGAR TARGARYEN'S SQUIRE
It was never mentioned in the show, but in the books, Jaime Lannister's upbringing could have been immensely different. His father Tywin, always power-hungry, had the brilliant plan of placing Jaime under the legendary Rhaegar Targaryen's tutelage, as his squire. Everyone who knew Rhaegar knows that he could have straightened up Jaime.
It's too bad Rhaegar's father, Aerys, the Mad King himself, angrily refused Tywin's idea. Hence, Rhaegar's greatness never rubbed off on Jaime, nor was Jaime given a better teacher. In any case, Rhaegar becoming Jaime's role model would have been short-lived due to Robert Baratheon's rebellion.
9 A DOTHRAKI WHO CUT HIS HAND IN THE BOOKS
One of the most shocking things to ever happen to Jaime was losing his hand. The show handled it in spectacular HBO fashion, but anyone who has read the books up to that point in the story will surely notice the differences in who cut Jaime's hand.
In A Clash of Kings, Jaime and Brienne were kidnapped by Vargo Hoat, leader of the sellsword gang called Brave Companions. In the show, this was replaced by Locke, a loyalist of House Bolton. Meanwhile, the person who cut Jaime's hand at Hoat's behest was a fat Dothraki man named Zollo.
8 IT WAS ILYN PAYNE WHO TRAINED HIM, NOT BRONN
The turning point for Jaime was when he lost the very thing that defined him: his fighting abilities. His sword-arm represented this more than anything else and he was reduced to a defenseless rich noble when he lost it. Thankfully, he never gave up and enlisted the help of an unconventional fighter to teach him to use his left hand instead.
In the show, this was Bronn, however, in the books, Jaime actually picked Ser Ilyn Payne, the mute knight and executioner of King's Landing. He's the one who beheaded Ned Stark. However, Ilyn Payne's actor, lost to cancer and never made it that far into the show hence Bronn replacing his role as Jaime's teacher.
7 HE NEARLY MARRIED LYSA TULLY
Feudal politics is merely a game of chess where kings use their children as the pieces. It just so happens that feudal marriage is also a game of chess and a political wedding is as advantageous as a gold mine. That's why Tywin planned to marry Jaime off to Lysa Tully.
In fact, in the books, Jaime was even sent to Riverrun (the Tullys' capital) in order to familiarize himself. Funny enough, Jaime ended up liking Catelyn Tully instead of Lysa. He would have stayed in Riverrun and continued the marriage (but with Catelyn) were it not for Cersei being too possessive of her twin brother.
6 HE'S YOUNGER THAN CERSEI
There's no doubt that Cersei is the more mature between the two Lannister twins but physically, Cersei is actually older. While that doesn't mean much since both of them were born on the same day, Jaime was born a few moments later than Cersei, as described in the books.
So officially, Cersei had the right to boss Jaime around, being the older sibling. Regardless, that minute age-gap probably wouldn't have made a difference regarding the two's certain romantic disposition which went on to ruin kingdoms, including their own.
5 AMONG THE TOP 5 SWORDSMEN IN WESTEROS
Back in his heyday, and when he still had both hands, Jaime was nearly unparalleled when it comes to the sword. Tywin worked him hard and well enough to at least be good at something and that was neither politics nor intellect; Jaime became good at swordsmanship instead.
In his internal thoughts and reflections in the books, Jaime even claimed that he could only name four or five people in Westeros who could defeat him in combat. He even surmised that he could probably beat them all using his speed and skill. It's safe to say that he most likely could have killed Ned Stark cleanly during their duel in the show.
4 HE LOST AGAINST JORAH MORMONT AND LORAS TYRELL
Turns out that one of the five or four people who can defeat Jaime is the hopeless romantic, Jorah Mormont. Jorah did against Jaime Lannister, but in a jousting tournament instead of a life-and-death bout.
It was a grand day, since King Robert and his kingdoms were fresh from a victory against the Greyjoy rebellion. He held a tourney at Lannisport joined by many brave and skilled knights. The only two who made it to the finals were Jaime and Jorah. After a long and winded jousting battle which involved nine broken lances, the judges declared Jorah as the winner. Years after, it was mentioned in the show that Loras Tyrell also defeated Jaime once in a joust.
3 GRRM COMPARED HIM TO WOODY ALLEN
George R.R. Martin himself has confirmed that he modeled Jaime's redemption storyline after actual people in history who also have questionable pasts. One of those was the filmmaker Woody Allen, who is both praised and despised by many people due to certain allegations.
For Martin, Jaime was the perfect character to fully explore the gray areas of a dark medieval fantasy setting. Jaime never poses answers himself, but only presents questions that blur the line between morality and cynicism.
2 CERSEI ONCE REMINDED JAIME OF THE MAD KING
Both in the show and in the books, it was clear that Jaime was on Cersei's leash — voluntarily even. Jaime only began realizing this after learning that there were other women in the world apart from Cersei, thanks to Brienne. Needless to say, Cersei has done many things to drive a rift between her and Jaime.
The nail in the coffin (at least in the books) was when Cersei used wildfire to destroy the Tower of the Hand after their father's death. As Jaime watched Cersei's glowing eyes while she gazes at the wildfire, he was reminded of the Mad King. Took him long enough.
1 HE COULD HAVE DECIDED THE FATE OF WESTEROS
Everyone and their dogs in Westeros know why Jaime Lannister is called the Kingslayer. However, they didn't know that Jaime also could have been the Kingmaker. After stabbing the Mad King in the back, two lords loyal to Tywin Lannister asked Jaime what to do. Then and there, Jaime could have picked any noble to be king or even could have given the throne to his father.
In fact, Jaime even considered naming Rhaegar Targaryen's brother, Viserys, or Rhaegar's son as king. However, he also feared the repercussions of his decisions; hence, he just let everyone else figure it out. He never was good at politics anyway.