The Season 8 premiere of Game Of Thrones was filled to the brim with reunions, including the reunion of Jon Snow and Arya, The Hound and Arya, Gendry and Arya — basically everyone and Arya. However, one reunion that may have lacked the same excitement as Arya’s many emotional reunions harkens back to the ending of the show’s very first episode — the reunion of Jaime Lannister and Bran Stark. The knowing gaze that Bran delivers Jaime at the episode’s end suggests that Bran remembers exactly what Jaime did that caused them both to end up back in Winterfell after long journeys, but the real question is whether or not Bran will have sympathy for Jaime and the many changes he’s made during his travels.
Before Game of Thrones was shocking viewers every few episode with unexpected deaths, baking people’s sons into pies, and copious amounts of incest, the show’s premiere featured a shock in the form of a slightly less copious amount of incest that Bran stumbles onto while climbing. After Bran witnesses Jaime and Cersei Lannister making a brother-sister beast with two backs, Jaime commits the cruel act of pushing the child out a window to keep their secret safe, proudly celebrating this push by uttering "The things I do for love." It was a shocking moment of cruelty that is hard to imagine the Jaime of Season 8 committing, but will the Omniscient Protector Of Westeros Formerly Known As Bran Stark be able to forgive Jaime for his selfish act?
The one thing that Bran and Jamie have in common, aside from being royalty, is that they’ve change more than arguably any other character in Game of Thrones. Bran witnessed most of his friends die and abandoned his humanity to become an emotionless greenseer, and Jamie lost his hand, witnessed the death of his horrible nephew who was actually his horrible son, went to Dorne for reason, witnessed the deaths of his perfectly fine niece and nephew who were actually his perfectly fine children, and discovered that the love of his life who is also his Sister who is also the Queen committed a massive terrorist attack on their own city.
They’ve been through a lot, and Jaime’s choice to abandon his role as Kingsguard and leave his lover to her own devices in King’s Landing to willingly ride into Winterfell, which is probably the most Lannister-unfriendly place in Westeros aside from Dorne, suggests that Jamie is a much different man than the person audiences saw in the series premiere who stopped having sex with his sister for just a moment so that he could push a child out of a window. It would be hard for Bran Stark to sympathize with Jaime Lannister considering what Jaime did to him, but the all-knowing Three-Eyed Raven may be willing to forgive The Kingslayer for the actions he took when he was a younger, crueler man. Game of Thrones may be ending, but it appears much of the show’s final season will be rooted in actions that were taken in the show’s very first episode.
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