Show & book spoilers ahead!!!
Well call me a grump. But I am really getting tired of seeing Gwendoline Christie insist in interviews that Brienne’s relationship with Jaime has no sexual or erotic component at all, at all.
(That’s after she gushed about Jaime giving Brienne the blue armor and Oathkeeper as these grand romantic gifts — even if they’re not couture, please, they’re a little more important than what a sugar daddy would give to his girl du jour. But GC contradicting herself is a theme for another rant, or maybe just an eye-roll.)
I know, she said it doesn’t have a sexual component yet, and I know she has to talk only about what was shown on the show so far, but she could phrase it more ambiguously instead of doing this no, no, no. An “I’m not sure, it’s complicated and complex, we’ll just have to wait and see” is all I ask for.
Guess what: it may not be proof of instant true love (it isn’t, ffs), but he didn’t get hard in that bathtub in ASOS simply because the water was warm, OK? You’ve been too long far away from Cersei, sure, Jaime, keep telling yourself that. Just to make sure we get it that Jaime did not, in fact, get hard just because he hasn’t been near Cersei in a long while, Jaime then goes on to think about Brienne in a variety of situations where his surroundings or thoughts have a sexual or erotic connotation, like in his bath on the road, and all but says her name when confronted with naked Hildy. Innocence — really, Jaime, don’t slip on that Freudian banana peel.
Because guess what else: a relationship can have a sexual or erotic component even if nothing remotely physical has happened (yet or ever). Putting the boner aside for a moment (har har), Jaime and Brienne don’t need to hold hands or any other part of their anatomies for there to be something sexual between them. And there is, just as there is deep regard, affection, maybe even love. It’s both mutual regard and the spark which neither is quite ready to deal with physically or emotionally, but it’s in Jaime’s thoughts, and it’s in Brienne desperately trying to think of Renly instead of Jaime when she’s in her freaking bath, and calling Jaime’s name when she’s feverish and injured so her Id grabs the reins in AFFC.
Again, of course I’m coming at this from the perspective of a book reader, and I realize GC can only talk about the characters on the show (and what was — or in this case wasn’t — shown or mentioned on the show), and obviously I don’t expect her to give any future spoilers even if she does know them. But this constant refrain of it being a pure relationship, Jaime supposedly only being into Brienne’s honor and character, is grinding my gears something awful, like the boner would somehow sully or diminish that.
It wouldn’t, and it doesn’t. You can think highly of someone’s character and still get hard/nervous in your bath thinking about them.
I’m re-reading GOT and I’ve noticed something. The Dothraki are very much a sexist, misogynistic peoples, but their head honchos are the dosh khaleen, old women who out lived their khal husbands. They are respected and even feared by many of the Dothraki and in the book they are described as ‘leaders of the vast Dothraki nation’ (I’m paraphrasing so I probably got one or two words wrong), which completely contradicts their other sexist practices.
Yes I think the three of them are equally terrible sometimes I switch thinking Tyrion is the worst but nope they all are. Which makes them so interesting!
Yeah it certainly does! But I think the reason Cersei is seen as being the worst is because she’s a woman and thus a victim to misogyny. Out of her and Jaime, she gets demonized the most imo and everyone says she’s much worse than Tyrion. (I love Tyrion too but sometimes he goes a bit too far for me.) And people just hold Cersei to a whole other standard than the other two purely because she’s a woman and I also think being a mother has a lot to do with it too.
Mothers are supposed to be soft and gentle and kind and loving and nurturing and people don’t really see Cersei as being those things, and I think it’s because by the time we get Cersei’s POV chapters our view of Cersei has been tainted by everyone else’s view on her and when you combine that with internalized misogyny it makes a very deadly mix that leaves Cersei being deemed the worse Lannister child while Jaime and Tyrion are lifted up and heralded as saints and wonderful men. And considering everything Cersei has been through, I don’t think that’s fair. She has faced misogyny from everyone including her father, her dead husband beat her and shows no remorse for it, she’s also a victim of marital rape and she’s never truly been in control of her life and choices and agency. Even when she’s Queen Regent she doesn’t have agency because while she’s pulling Joff’s strings guess who’s pulling hers?
And don’t even get me started on Cersei and women’s sexuality…
What you call ramblings is actually extremely insightful meta! I agree with everything you just said about Cersei. I will never understand if you and I can see that why can't everyone else?
I just went really overboard there with my Cersei feels, and thank you for the compliment! Tbh I didn’t like Cersei at first but after reading some very good meta on her and re-reading the books has made me more sympathetic towards her because really she’s just the product of a very misogynistic society that views women as incubators first and people second and Cersei has tried very hard to fight against that. She wants the power to do as she likes and I think that in a modern setting she would be a big feminist (admittedly a White Feminist tho) and support abuse victims and strive to get power and live her own life.
Imo, the main problem people face with Cersei is that they can’t relate to her as well as they can with say Arya, Sansa, Sam, Jon, Brienne or any other character you care to mention (I just picked those ones because I relate to them easily.) and there’s just big culture around literature where if you can’t relate to a character then they aren’t a good character and therefore do not deserve to be liked. And I don’t really think that’s fair because all of these characters are in situations none of us have been, I’m sure some of us have been situations similar to what they’re in but not 100% identical, and when you believe that relatability of a character=likability of a character it can seriously hold you back. For instance, I can’t relate to Theon or Tyrion but I still love them both immensely, I don’t let the lack of relatability get in the way of things.
But I do think that a lot of abused women can see themselves in Cersei and relate to her; they see a woman who just wants control over her life and doesn’t want her children to suffer as she did, especially her daughter (I don’t think enough people look into the relationship between Cersei and Myrcella tbh), and is suffering from very deep wounds and doesn’t have the proper tools to cope with her past trauma and her grief over losing her son and add that to the possibility that she could lose Jaime and you get…well you get Cersei. As someone who has been abused and screwed over by men and is now wary of men as a result, I feel very deeply for Cersei and I know what it’s like to feel like a man has power over you and you can’t really do anything about that. But often abuse victims just can’t talk about their abuse because of many things and that can hold them back when talking about Cersei. Or, maybe they don’t want to seem themselves in Cersei and just keep quiet about their feelings about her and how they see her in relation to themselves, which I think is a mistake because it isn’t often we see an abused female character who is good and, yes, relateable and likable. (DISCLAIMER: I don’t presume to know how abuse victims should to deal with their abuse and talk about their abuse, this is just how I feel.)
I guess that’s why I’m finally connecting with Cersei; I’m looking my past abuse in the face and seeing that the result could have been something akin to Cersei.
People need to understand that Catelyn was always always ready for the role of great lady of sacrificing her life to politics and the demands of the upper echelons of the feudal system and Ned was so not ready for it. Ned did not grow up knowing that being a great lord would be his life, he didn’t know that until he was nineteen years old. That’s five years older than Robb was at the start of AGOT and 3 years older than Robb was when Robb died. Ned Stark went that long being a Sansa or Bran instead of a Robb. Ned Stark’s personality formed without that pressure for almost two decades and then it all came down on him.
Catelyn? Catelyn was always ready.
“Well, it hasn’t come a moment too soon, really. It does help Tywin, because I’ve sorted out who I want to marry who. It’s all about maintaining the status quo really — making sure the Lannisters stay up there. Whether it’s getting help from the Dornish or the Tyrells, the most prominent house in the seven kingdoms is the house of Lannister, so I have to do whatever it takes to make sure that that situation stays. And way over in the east there’s these continuous rumors about this Targaryen girl with her dragons that I’m trying not to think about — let’s cross that bridge when we come to it. But now that we’ve got Joffrey out of the way, the young man that I want to put on the throne I can put on the throne … the death of Joffrey is fortuitous because he was kind of like a little mosquito anyway — annoying, that you’re swatting all the time.”
—Charles Dance on the Purple Wedding (via nabokovsshadows)
"i’m trying not to think about [it] — let’s cross that bridge when we come to it."
Tywin is one of the few characters I think D&D do right:
The eunuch drew a parchment from his sleeve. “A kraken has been seen off the Fingers.” He giggled. “Not a Greyjoy, mind you, a true kraken. It attacked an Ibbenese whaler and pulled it under. There is fighting on the Stepstones, and a new war between Tyrosh and Lys seems likely. Both hope to win Myr as ally. Sailors back from the Jade Sea report that a three-headed dragon has hatched in Qarth, and is the wonder of that city—”
“Dragons and krakens do not interest me, regardless of the number of their heads,” said Lord Tywin. “Have your whisperers perchance found some trace of my brother’s son?”
Tywin is an ESTJ, he’s very concrete, he’s very focused on the task in front of him, and there are so many things he’s just trying not to think about (*cough*jaime/cersei*cough*). The things down the road will just sort themselves out:
Lord Tywin steepled his fingers beneath his chin. “Balon Greyjoy thinks in terms of plunder, not rule. Let him enjoy an autumn crown and suffer a northern winter. He will give his subjects no cause to love him. Come spring, the northmen will have had a bellyful of krakens.
It’s part of the extreme irony of Tywin Lannister that he is so concerned with his legacy 1000 years down the road, but when he’s dealing with what’s right here and right now, he disowns both of his sons!!
And Tywin focusing on the marriages, treating everyone like his pawns:
"Even from the grave, Lord Tywin’s dead hand moves us all."
I have been so happy with Tywin’s characterization on the show.
“I want him dead, the traitor. I want his head, you’ll bring me his head, or you’ll burn with all the rest. All the traitors. Rossart says they are inside the walls! He’s gone to make them a warm welcome”
"Aerys also felt the need to remind men that he was king. And he was passing fond of ripping tongues out as well. You could ask Ser Ilyn Payne about that, though you’ll get no reply."
In the books Renly and Loras being gay lovers was only alluded to, and known only by a handful of people. On the show, everyone in the Seven Kingdoms and their horse knows this, and spew an endless barrage of lowbrow gay jokes that I would’ve found beneath me as a teen.
I don’t get why Joffrey would openly insult Renly this way in front of the Tyrells, as it would remind ecerone of their duplicity. Then again, it was never established on the show, that when Renly’s armor appeared in the Battle of Blackwater, people thought it was his ghost, and Lannister/Tyrell propaganda spread the legend that his ghost had come to absolve his sin of treason by defending his King Joffrey at his most perilous hour from his murderous brother Stannis.
Lastly, they introduce a bisexual character and of course they have him making eyes with the only established gay character. Sigh. As a guy who likes guys, this pandering featuring one token gay love scene per season needs to stop. Not as bad last season where they had Loras who had just lost his lifelong best friend and lover instantly jump into bed with the first boy who sets off his gaydar and spill all his secrets to.
I’m fine with and even prefer most liberties taken with the source material. I just wish they would have Loras as a despondent man, who had lost the love of the life, who took the first chance he got to join the Kingsguard, and who distrusts the Martells because the Dornish are the historical enemies of The Reach especially Prince Oberyn who crippled his brother Wyllas. I don’t like this stereotypical gay man we’re presented with, who is sexually promiscuous and indiscriminate and vain.
Grim Griefer (x
okay so I keep seeing people claiming that Cersei’s jealousy of Brienne is OOC and I am just baffled to be honest.
Cersei is so jealous of Brienne. There is not a fibre of Cersei’s being that is not jealous of Brienne.
and that has nothing to do with Jaime.
Jealousy is absolutely present in that scene, but it’s all at the beginning: “You’re Lord Selwyn Tarth’s daughter, that makes you a lady whether you want to be or not” absolutely reeks of Tywin. These are the same words that Cersei herself has heard her whole life. These are the words that little six year old Cersei is told when Tywin catches her swapping clothes with Jaime so she can learn swordfighting.
Yet here’s this enormous ridiculous woman who has everything Cersei wants: freedom, physical power, a life without fear of being played as a pawn when she knows she’s more than that.
And we all know Cersei, Cersei hates being the less-powerful party, and for all that she could have Brienne carted off to the dungeons if she wanted, the fact that Brienne has so much that Cersei wants is infuriating for her. She needs to find a weakness, and she does; the way Brienne smiles when she talks about Jaime is textbook schoolgirl crush and suddenly Cersei has the upper hand.
Now she has something Brienne wants, and she’s going to play that to her advantage. In making jibes about Brienne’s history and directly challenging her love for Jaime, Cersei is proving both to herself and to Brienne that she is superior.
Brienne might be a warrior but Cersei is a lioness. Cersei is a Queen. Cersei has Jaime’s heart.
This scene was not about a “love triangle”.
This scene was about a power-play.