HBO’s “Game of Thrones” was a cultural phenomenon centered around complex characters in a dark fantasy setting. George R.R. Martin’s meticulously created world came to us originally from his series “A Song of Ice and Fire,” which began with 1996’s breakout novel “A Game of Thrones.” Despite a controversial ending, the show overall is considered one of the best ever made, with countless amazingly complicated characters like Jon Snow, Daenerys Targaryen, and Ned Stark.
One of the most controversial characters in the entire series is Jaime Lannister, who was intentionally created as a subversion of the stereotypical prince charming tropes in fantasy literature. Fans of the show know that Jaime Lannister started out as a much different character than he became by the final episode, with his behavior being mostly rooted in self-interest, lofty arrogance, and incestuous devotion to his twin sister Cersei. Yet, both the books and show chose to develop Jaime into a more relatable and, eventually, heroic person. During an interview with Rolling Stone, George R.R. Martin discusses his intentions to use Jaime as a case study of redemption arcs in general. He said, “One of the things I wanted to explore with Jaime, and with so many of the characters, is the whole issue of redemption. When can we be redeemed? Is redemption even possible? When do we forgive people? Our society is full of people who have fallen in one way or another. How many good acts make up for a bad act?” He then added, “I don’t know the answer, but these are questions worth thinking about. I want there to be a possibility of redemption for us, because we all do terrible things. We should be able to be forgiven. Because if there is no possibility of redemption, what’s the answer then?”