The latest Game of Thrones episode was a smorgasbord of major character deaths, with the likes of Varys, The Hound, the Mountain, Cersei, Euron and Qyburn all proving that an attack by the dragon queen is more perilous than any visit from a zombie army.
However, fans are already questioning whether one of the episode’s apparent casualties was quite the victim he seemed, with some theorising that Nikolaj Coster-Waldau’s Ser Jaime Lannister – aka the Kingslayer – didn’t actually perish alongside his sister Cersei (Lena Headey) as the pair were apparently crushed by the falling Red Keep.
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The evidence? Well, tumblr user WeedsAreFlowersToo first noted that the usual round of social media tributes from co-stars were curiously absent when it came to Coster-Waldau, even as other actors who were killed off in the episode did get a mention.
“Why isn’t ANYONE acknowledging that Jaime Lannister just died???” she wrote. “Why is nobody in the cast thanking Nik for his performance? Why did Pilou (Euron Greyjoy) and Lena’s (Cersei Lannister) insta post not say anything about Jaime dying?”
“Why isn’t Nik saying anything about what he thinks of the scene? Why did he make a post saying goodbye to Lena, and not to the character he played for 8 years?”
Perhaps even more notably, Gwendoline Christie – who played Jaime’s sometimes lover, sometimes friend Brienne – paid no social media tribute to Coster-Waldau’s farewell either, while the behind-the-scenes videos released as usual by HBO also avoided any real focus on Jaime’s exit, despite his centrality to the series since the very first episode.
Less significant characters like the Hound and Euron got some behind-the-scenes time devoted to them, so why not Jaime? And the evidence doesn’t stop there.
You see, usually the departure of a character from this final Game of Thrones series has been accompanied by an in-depth interview for US magazine Entertainment Weekly. So far, there’s been no sign of one from Coster-Waldau – and writer James Hibberd, who has carried out every such interview so far recently replied to a fan that this particular chat was being held back for unknown reasons.
Thanks! Holding that one for a bit…
— James Hibberd (@JamesHibberd) May 14, 2019
Could this be because we haven’t actually seen his death, thus meaning any such interview would also need to cover his surprise return? After all, Hibberd himself previously mentioned watching filming of a scene from episode six that could offer a surprise character return…
“There are characters in the finale that I did not expect,” he noted at the time. “I gradually begin to piece together what has happened in Westeros over the previous five episodes and try not to look like I’m freaking out.”
Altogether, it’s easy to see why some fans could think Jaime Lannister is still among the living. Us? Well, we’re not so sure – while the show has taken some PRETTY big leaps in logic this year, his survival under a huge, collapsing castle while the woman he’s literally holding onto dies seems a bit far-fetched, and hard to imagine playing out.
Entertainment Weekly, meanwhile, might just be keeping back the Jaime interview for a rainy day – even if his character is dead, maybe they want Coster-Waldau to reflect on the finale events he wasn’t present for – and it could be that Jaime’s manner of exit just wasn’t interesting enough to be covered in-depth in the behind-the-scenes videos.
For our money, we’re still pretty sure Jaime died. But we can’t deny the whole thing is still a bit suspicious…
Game of Thrones concludes on NowTV and Sky Atlantic on Monday 20th May at 2am and 9pm