You know, you really could take anyone from Game of Thrones and do an IBD. We’ve already done one focusing on Tyrion and another on everyone’s favorite psychopath Joffrey, so today I’m going to do a different one. Fairly spoiler-ridden after the jump.
Jaime Lannister, the Kingslayer. I could really go in about a thousand different directions with this post, but I’m going to focus on how Jaime Lannister doesn’t allow himself to be defined by his most physically obvious disability, the absence of his sword hand.
Besides the physical loss and pain, there are a lot of psychological problems that come from losing a limb. Depression and post-traumatic stress disorder are common. Phantom pain, or the sensation that the lost limb is still present, is also frequent. Not to mention there is the societal judgement that comes with being an amputee, and you can imagine that can be pretty darn awful in Westeros.
For a (very) brief period of time, Jaime did display some signs of depression accompanying the loss of his hand. However, I honestly don’t think he had depression as much as he was initially overwhelmed by society’s new treatment of him. Cersei doesn’t look at Jaime the same way without a hand; neither does his father. And the other knights of the Kingsguard, especially Sir Loras, look at him like he’s a useless waste of space. And Jaime, in a sense, agrees with them at first. He couldn’t fight, he couldn’t uphold his promise to Catelyn Stark and has Brienne go do it, and he’s in a bad place.
But when he’s sent to Riverrun, he realizes that he’s more than just a guy without a hand. He starts training with Ilyn Paine to learn how to fight with his other hand. That gives Jaime a sense of confidence that he didn’t have immediately after he lost his hand. He stops allowing his disability to hinder or define him, which I think is a remarkable achievement.
Where Jaime’s character will go from here is a mystery. Hopefully he will continue on a positive track, but readers of the books have reason to be a bit more skeptical.