Acronyms, Acronyms, Acronyms: A G.O.T. R.O.I. & S.W.O.T. Analysis - Jaime Lannister
The number of characters jostling for the Iron Throne fluctuates faster than the relevance of Dorne. For seven full seasons now, it hasn’t really changed hands; the Baratheon-but-really-Lannister line has held it from Winter is Coming to The Dragon and the Wolf. With a handful of Starks in Winterfell, the Night King leading a zombie army, and Dany commanding a Dothraki horde, an Unsullied army, and
three two dragons, we’re closer than ever to a real power shift. But who’s best positioned to wind up on top of the special spiky seat when all is said and done? I’ll turn to my whopping 10 years of corporate experience to conduct a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis for each character and predict the ROI (return on investment) for the kingdom should they end up in the hotseat.
Let’s take a look at everyone’s favorite one-handed Bran-pusher, Jaime Lannister.
Everyone (except maybe Tyrion) in the world has been pissed off at Jaime at some point. Cersei alternates between love and hate, the Starks rightly blame him for dropping Bran out of a window, and most of the realm still refers to him as “Kingslayer” because context hasn’t been invented yet and critical thinking is hard. And yet, he finds a way to bring everyone he meets into his orbit. Catelyn Stark released him, counting on him to return her daughters; Brienne now has a strong bond with the man she once scorned; even Olenna wanted to direct her venom more at Cersei than Jaime.
Tough to say on this one. He and Bronn managed alright, outnumbered, against the Sand Snakes. Based on the books, that would be a big win, but we never actually saw the Sand Snakes accomplish anything in the show. Has he regained enough of his old skill to be an above-average fighter? We may not know for some time, but I suspect he’s better than most people assume he is.
Jaime led Lannister and Tarly troops to take Highgarden, outmaneuvering Tyrion in the process. In the
Loot Train Attack Battle of the Goldroad, Jaime managed to admirably form up his troops to face down a swarm of Dothraki and a dragon. He clearly sets an example for his men to follow in battle, even when the odds are stacked against him.
Jaime is currently traveling north to Winterfell alone. When he arrives, he plans to join the Stark and Targaryen forces preparing to battle the Night King. New-age Bran will almost certainly forgive him for his actions, but will the rest of the Starks? Tyrion will welcome Jaime into his arms, but will Dany be psyched about allying with the man who killed her father?
As mentioned above, there’s a lot of negativity surrounding Jaime Lannister’s name in Westeros. It would be a long climb to make people forget his past and some of the more recent transgressions, now that his relationship with Cersei is public knowledge.
If Jaime is ever in a public position of power, he’s going to have to do some serious image repair. What better opportunity than a war against an undead army for the future of humanity? If Jaime acquits himself admirably in the great fight to come and helps restore peace to Westeros soon after, people may be willing to forget his more distant past.
For a moment there, I really thought Cersei was going to order the Zombie Mountain to kill her brother and lover. Instead, she allowed him to leave King’s Landing and ride north. If a similar situation arises in the future, will Cersei be able to follow through? Or is Jaime untouchable to one of his top enemies?
Jaime now finds himself between two powerful forces in Westeros, with the White Walkers indifferent but also interested in killing him. That’s like being stuck between Scylla and Charybdis with a frying pan and a fire directly in front of you. It’s never good to be in so many crosshairs.
I’m not sure there were any romantic sparks between Jaime and Brienne, but if there were, Tormund is not going to be happy to have a rival. They have bigger things to worry about for the time being, but who knows what will happen after the wars?
Return on Investment
Jaime might rule…competently? I hadn’t really considered him as a King before this exercise, but he possesses some desirable traits. He’s shown commitment to a cause, the ability to make difficult decisions for the greater good, and a willingness to listen to people he considers more capable. I don’t think he’d revolutionize Westerosi society and instantly rebuild the realm’s prosperity, but I doubt it would fall into disarray. ROI: some ups and downs, but an average of 5% or so.
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