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Why Game Of Thrones' Jaime Lannister Is More Important Than We Realized

It isn't always easy to tell where Jaime Lannister falls on the good guy/bad guy spectrum in Game of Thrones. Before the show even started, he broke his sacred oath as a member of the Kingsguard and killed Aerys Targaryen, earning his derisive "Kingslayer" nickname—and since then, Jaime's actions have ranged from nefarious to honorable. With his twin sister/babymama Cersei ascending the Iron Throne, things look likely to grow even more complex for the character as Game of Thrones moves into its final two seasons. Let's break down why Jaime Lannister is so important and see whether or not he needs a more gender-neutral nickname.

His actions helped start this mess

Other than Petyr Baelish convincing Lysa Arryn to murder her husband, the old Hand of the King, you can thank Jaime for setting up most of the major events leading into Game of Thrones' first season. Murdering the last Targaryen king and allowing the Lannister army into King's Landing? Check. Being the secret lover of his twin sister and fathering the three royal children everyone thought were sired by King Robert Baratheon? Check. Pushing Bran Stark out of an abandoned tower in Winterfell for inadvertently catching him in the act with the Queen? Check. And that's all just from the backstory and first episode! If Jaime was at the center of these major events at the beginning of Game of Thrones, you'd best believe he'll be involved with its ending.

Kingslayer, but for the right reasons

Breaking the high oath of the Kingsguard and actually murdering the leader you've sworn to protect makes Jaime one of the most dishonorable men in Westeros, and its citizens aren't afraid to rub it in his face. But as dastardly as he was throughout the first three seasons of the series, Jaime had defensible reasons for betraying King Aerys—chiefly that, in order to stave off a successful rebellion, Aerys ordered his men to set off a cachet of the hugely flammable substance known as wildfire under the city.

Jaime, knowing the king had gone mad, stabbed Aerys in the back in order to save the townsfolk from a fiery death. Despite the injury, Aerys continued to scream his orders to "burn them all," so Jaime slashed his throat to seal the deal and finally shut him up. Aerys' reign ended, the Targaryen dynasty was shattered, Robert was crowned the new King, and the townsfolk were saved—with most people believing Jaime betrayed his vow merely to help his father Tywin choose the winning side.

The disarmed swordsman

After Jaime lost his hand at the...hands of Locke and the other bannermen of House Bolton in season three, the Kingslayer was certainly taken down a few notches. Jaime was often regarded as one of the most talented swordsman in Westeros. Losing his hand removed the thing he was most known for—his primary arm for dueling/swordsmanship, and the hand he used to slay King Aerys. Having Brienne of Tarth by his side for much of the trek back to King's Landing after the injury changed Jaime—and changed the audience's perception of a man once seen as a feckless two-dimensional villain.

Brother/Lover of the Queen

Since Jaime has seen what Cersei is capable of firsthand, he's probably going to be the lone voice of reason for the Queen. She's taken extreme measures to get her way over the years, most recently by fueling the rise of a religious sect in order to gain more political power—and then using that pesky wildfire to strike back when it looked like she'd lost control. Having Cersei in a position of power was already bad in the previous seasons, and having her crowned Queen in her current vengeful state is even scarier. Jaime's relationship with Cersei, and his grief over the tragic deaths of their children, puts him in a very conflicted position.

Little Brother could become a Queenslayer as well

With their twincestual brood no longer in the picture, things will likely change between Cersei and Jaime, especially after he realizes the lengths Cersei went to in order to permanently separate church and state. We have a feeling she'll cross the line again, perhaps to the point that Jaime feels he needs to backstab another ruler he swore to protect.

In the books, young Cersei received a prophecy predicting she'd be killed by "Valonqar." For those rusty in High Valyrian, that's the word for "Little Brother." Sure, that could mean Tyrion, but he already killed their father. Based on the Valonqar prophecy, Cersei's inevitable killer could also be Bran Stark or even the Hound, Sandor Clegane, but our money is ultimately on the Kingslayer becoming a Queenslayer: Cersei was born just before Jaime.