Going from the big swinging dick of King’s Landing to POW in the Stark camp, to prisoner alongside his jailer Brienne of Tarth, Jaime Lannister has fallen pretty far from grace, his golden armour swapped for tattered rags. But, as star Nikolaj Coster-Waldau reveals exclusively to SciFiNow, that we’re going to see a lot more to the King Slayer than an incestuous bravo with a penchant for infanticide…
Can Jaime be redeemed, or does he even see himself as needing redemption?
No, I don’t think he needs redemption. In a way, there are similarities between Jaime and Brienne. Whenever they walk into a room, everyone has preconceived opinions about who they are. That scene when Brienne killed those guards last season, as soon as they saw her, they were just laughing because that’s ridiculous – there’s a woman and a knight. For him, it’s, “Oh, the King Slayer, he can’t be trusted.”
He doesn’t feel the need to make any excuses for who he is. It really annoys him that he’s got this reputation, which he believes, deep down at the very core, is very unjust. But, having said that, he’s not proud of some of the things he’s done, of course. Pushing Bran out a window was a horrible thing to do. At the same time, he felt – and I think he still feels – that it needed to be done to save his own kids and Cersei and himself.
What do you enjoy about playing Jaime?
Jaime is such a well-written character. To be honest, I wouldn’t want to play any other character. It’s such a great part.
I remember when I read the pilot script, and I read that last scene where he pushes Bran out the window, and then he says, “The things I do for love,” those two actions are so powerful. It’s very interesting. How could you use the word love, and try to kill an innocent kid? When you start there, you have so much room. His journey is interesting, and he interesting.
People who haven’t read the books don’t know that Jaime becomes a sympathetic character. How do you feel about that?
The funny thing is that he does change. Of course, we all change and he does change, but there’s also that whole truth that we meet him right in a very dark moment, in his life. If we’d had 10 episodes with him, where he was just trying to deal with being in love with this woman, maybe we would have built up sympathy and understand what he did to Bran, but we didn’t have that.
But what’s great with a television show – because in a movie you usually have one or two characters, and the rest are just supporting – is that we actually get to know these people and spend a lot of time with them. With Jaime, we discover that there is more to him than meets the eye.