Circa Season 1 Episode 1 of Game of Thrones, we all hated the Kingslayer and pusher of boys out windows, Jaime Lannister, almost as much as we hated his icy sister/lover Cersei. I'm not sure how it happened — OK, probably great writing and character development — but now, in Season 6, I no longer hate Cersei's boyfriend. Instead, I'm pretty sure Jaime Lannister will switch sides on Game of Thrones to help out the good guys. Jaime is no longer the spoiled Lannister son with little understanding of anything besides a sword. He's been on a few quests, been imprisoned a time or two — basically, he knows a lot more about the world beyond palace walls. And, besides, that last talk he had with Brienne of Tarth about honor at Riverrun definitely seemed like it struck a cord.
Jaime's storyline pretty much seems like it might get to the point that he will have a hearty redemption story. He's done a lot of crazy stuff for his (totally insane) lady love, but he also vowed to return the Stark girls to Winterfell. Brienne's reminder of that oath seems to have stuck with him, so it would just be a big bummer if Jaime goes down with the Cersei Lannister ship instead of developing into someone greater than that.
In the promo for the finale episode, "Winds Of Winter," it looks like Jaime is hanging out at some sort of banquet held by the Freys in honor of his taking of Riverrun. Walder Frey, who seems to excel at creepy evil, references the Red Wedding by saying, "the Freys and the Lannisters send their regards." Jaime does not look amused — in fact, the semi-smile on his face looks downright eerie (if you're a Frey, that is).
The theory that Jaime might turn on the Freys is even more likely when one thinks about Nikolaj Coster-Waldau's interview with TVLine, in which he hinted that the finale would have a great payoff: "You have to tell a story, lay the seeds. Then hopefully — and I believe — the payoff is so much better and so much greater, instead of just getting everything at once.” What better payoff for the previous events would there be than if the Freys were all slaughtered at a banquet by people they thought were allies?
After Jaime's talk with Catelyn Stark's imprisoned brother Edmure Tully in Episode 7, we learn a little bit more about the respect he had for the deceased Mrs. Stark. Could his respect for the Starks, and apparent dislike for the Freys, affect his decisions? Or what if Tommen doesn't make it through the episode, and Cersei prepares to set fire to all of King's Landing with all the hidden pockets of wildfire Tyrion Lannister conveniently happened to mention to Danaerys in "Battle of the Bastards"? Will Jaime go rogue and get back into the kinslaying business because there's no reason to support the Freys/Lannisters if they're going to destroy the world?
On a related note, if Jaime killed his sister, that would be the most sincere redemption for his character.
I have faith that Jaime will turn away from his bad side and try to fight for the good guys. If the parts of the Lannister family that he cares about (Cersei and Tommen) are gone, it's not too presumptuous to assume that he'll stop fighting for his family. Maybe he'll join up with Tyrion and Daenerys, and then they'll meet up with the Starks, and everyone will fight the White Walkers. Maybe all the dead Starks will come back to life, and everyone will be friends, and then Bran will wake up, and everything will just have been a really long and awful dream. I'm very hopeful, OK?
Images: Helen Sloan/courtesy of HBO; Giphy (2)