Season 5 Reflections on Season 2: House Lannister

Posted: August 25, 2015 by patricksponaugle in Game of Thrones, Opinion, TV
Tags: , , , ,

This post will be talking about HBO’s Game of Thrones, specifically how many of the major characters’ season 5 storylines were twins (or possibly Bizarro Twins) of their respective storylines in season 2.

I introduced the topic two posts ago, and last post dealt with both of the exiled monarchs, Daenerys Targaryen and Stannis Baratheon. This post will be all about the Lannisters.


Some seasons are Good Hair seasons, some seasons are Bad Hair seasons.

There are less (fewer) Lannisters now to talk about than in season 2, but I’ll confine myself to Lord Tywin’s three children.


Jaime Lannister

Ser Jaime, who now that I think of it is less of a Lannister since he had a hand chopped off in season 3, spent most of season 5 away from King’s Landing. It wasn’t the first time Ser Jaime was largely absent from the capital.

Season Two

  • Jaime sat through most of the season in the mud, a captive of the Starks. (Honestly, his accommodations were appalling for a member of a great house and brother to the queen. And they say Walder Frey was a bad host!)
  • He coldly murdered his cousin Alton, who had been acting as a diplomatic go-between. Jaime used Alton’s death as an element in a scheme to escape.

All in all, I’d rather be anywhere else, listening to Cersei nagging me right now.

  • Lord Karstark was pretty desperate to see Jaime dead. Something about someone being killed… who can tell with that thick northern accent of his?
  • Lady Catelyn Stark released Jaime on the condition that he travel to King’s Landing and exchange himself for her captive daughters, Sansa and Arya. As escort, Jaime had the formidable warrior Brienne of Tarth.
  • Brienne right away showed she was no joke by killing some thuggish northern soldiers (I hope they were Boltons) who were a danger to her mission in getting Jaime home. Jaime got to watch.

Season Five

  • Jaime’s sister Cersei charged him  to travel to Dorne and rescue their daughter, Myrcella.
  • Tyrion had sent his niece to Dorne as part of a political marriage, but with Prince Oberyn of Dorne dead at the Mountain’s hands, Myrcella might be in danger as a part of a revenge scheme against the Lannisters.
  • Jaime took the formidable warrior Ser Bronn of the Blackwater along for company. (You know he was thinking of Brienne though.)
  • Bronn right away reinforced his reputation as a bad ass fighter by killing some Dornish cavalry who were a danger to their mission. Jaime mostly got to watch.

All in all, I’d rather be listening to Brienne nagging me right now. CERSEI! I meant to think “Cersei.”

  • The rescue attempt was a bust, since the Jaime and Bronn duo weren’t the only snatch and grab team in the Water Gardens that day. Jaime, Bronn, Oberyn’s daughters, and Oberyn’s paramour Ellaria ended up behind bars. Jaime was confined to some comfortable accomodations, since Prince Doran knows how to treat a highborn guest/prisoner. Robb Stark could have taken some lessons in courtesy from the Dornish prince.
  • Ellaria was pretty desperate about seeing a Lannister be punished… something about someone being killed… who can tell with that thick Dornish accent of hers?
  • But everything was going to work out okay. Prince Doran scolded Jaime for not following a more diplomatic approach, but agreed to let bygones be bygones, to release his prisoners, to pardon his rebellious family, and to send Myrcella back to the capital with Jaime and young Prince Trystane (Myrcella’s prospective husband.) What could go wrong?

TL;DR: Sometimes Jaime’s is stuck in a cell until the chance to save a young lady secures his release. Sometimes, Jaime’s attempt to secure a young lady’s release lands him in jail.

Pro Tip: If you want your daughter returned to you, sending Jaime Lannister might not be your best move. He doesn’t bring them back.

All in all, Jaime didn’t have a whole lot going on in the second season, nor did he have much happening this most recent season. But both seasons dealt with him either being in captivity, on a mission to rescue young girls, or sharing an adventure with a badass.

Jaime in season 3 did not have a warm reception when he returned to King’s landing. We’ll have to wait and see in season 6 what effect Myrcella’s poisoning has on Sunspear/King’s Landing relations. And how Cersei will take  the news.

Cersei Lannister

Speaking of the Queen Mother…

Season Two

  • Tyrion’s appointment as Hand of the King was an affront and humiliation to Cersei. She began to marshal her spies, toadies, and assets.
  • Tyrion immediately got on her bad side by arranging a political marriage for her daughter, the princess Myrcella. Cersei swore revenge.
  • On the way back from seeing Myrcella off on her voyage, the journey through the city to the Red Keep became dangerous as an angry, hungry, and unruly mob rioted.
  • Cersei thought she had leverage over Tyrion when she got her hands on Tyrion’s beloved sex-worker, Ros. Except that was a mistake, Tyrion’s secret special lady friend was Shae the funny whore. Tyrion played along, letting Cersei gloat, not showing his hand that he already had leverage over Cersei in the form of the queen’s current side-piece, cousin Lancel Lannister.
  • Stannis eventually attacked King’s Landing. Cersei spent her time getting drunk, mocking the ladies who were finding solace in prayer, and rebuking her Jaime-substitute, Lancel.
Cersei y Sansa Blackwater

More wine is required. OBVIOUSLY!

  • Fearing that Stannis will capture the city and despairing that her brother-in-law would get control of her youngest child Tommen (and from what we now know about Stannis, his custody of Tommen would probably not be a good one) Cersei prepared to poison Tommen. But the Lannister/Tyrell alliance saved the day before she had to cross that line.

Season Five

  • Fearing that Margaery Tyrell (now Tommen’s queen in this furtherance of the Tyrell/Lannister alliance) was taking her youngest son away from her, Cersei began to conspire against her daughter-in-law. Her empowerment of the Faith Militant would prove to dramatically undermine King Tommen’s confidence and legitimate authority.
  • Cersei arranged for Margaery’s brother Loras to be arrested for religious reasons, and then for Margaery herself, effectively killing Tommen’s future connubial bliss. This was kind of like poisoning her son. (Ellaria Sand might disagree on my interpretation.)
  • Cersei thought she was in control of the situation, but she was mistaken. Her former boy-toy Lancel had informed the High Sparrow on their past infidelity. The High Sparrow let Cersei gloat a bit, and then had the Faith arrest her.

Wine, in general, is required. OBVIOUSLY!

  • There was no wine to be had in the dungeons under the Great Sept, but plenty of devout septas well-versed in prayer for her to mock. And be clubbed by.
  • Cersei endured another dangerous journey through the city and through another angry mob, to the relative safety of the Red Keep.
  • Her walk of shame was humiliating, her estranged and unfriendly Uncle Kevan was now the Hand of the King, but Cersei began plotting revenge in the strong arms of her newest asset, provided by her toadie Qyburn.

TL;DR: In seems clear to me that seasons 2 and 5 mirrored the elements of humiliation, plotting revenge, bungling things, drinking, bungling more things, more humiliations and opportunities for revenge. Cersei’s narrative arcs are the arcs of a pendulum.

Things rarely have worked out for Cersei when she thought she had the advantage. Her lack of control in season 2 nearly killed Tommen, and her troubles this season were entirely of her own making. Watching the show, I couldn’t help but feel sympathy for the naked and abused queen, struggling to get through the city and to safety.

Not everyone might feel the same way. Tyrion, for example, might be delighted with these turn of events.

Tyrion Lannister

Last post chronicled Daenerys Targaryen’s rags-to-riches/riches-to-rags story. In contrast, Tyrion’s season 2-5 matching was the opposite of that.

Season Two

  • With a lack of proper realm management happening in the capital, Hand of the King Tywin Lannister assigned Tyrion to administer the realm as acting Hand. Tywin had some military adventures to pursue.
  • Arriving in King’s Landing, Tyrion offered counsel to his sister, Queen Cersei. You’d think she’d be grateful: the city had more than one aggressive Baratheon claimant in the south, eyeing the throne. But Cersei was not receptive to Tyrion’s wisdom, she’d always hated her little brother for his (unintended) role in the death of their mother.

She’s smiling. She’s plotting to have me killed…

  • While seeing his niece setting off on a sea voyage (to exotic Dorne) Tyrion and the royal retinue were attacked by an angry mob. He escaped without injury. (The High Septon was not so lucky.)
  • Through the judicious use of wildfire, Tyrion saved King’s Landing (or at least prevented its capture long enough for reinforcements to arrive.) Tyrion was nearly killed during the melee when he was unexpectedly attacked by a kingsguard, an assassination attempt possibly with a blessing from the queen.
  • With Lord Tywin reinstated as Hand of the King, Tyrion was effectively stripped of power, abandoned even by his friend and strategist Lord Varys, and left nervously looking over his shoulder in case more assassins were to follow.

Season Five

  • Tyrion was still in danger from assassins, since he was fleeing from Cersei’s wrath and an outstanding death sentence. Lord Varys was once again on Team Tyrion, smuggling him to safety and pointing him towards Meereen.
  • Along the way, Ser Jorah unexpectedly took charge of Tyrion’s traveling arrangements, hoping to earn a pardon from his queen.
  • On a sea voyage, Jorah and Tyrion traveled through exotic Valyria and were attacked by Stone Men. Tyrion escaped without injury. (Ser Jorah was not so lucky.)

She’s smiling. Is she plotting to have me killed?

  • Arriving in Meereen, Tyrion lucked into a job interview with Daenerys, who was a sharp contrast to Cersei. Though Tyrion’s brother Jaime was directly responsible for Dany’s father’s death, she did not blame Tyrion and opted to accept his counsel. (Dany haters, you really need to give her props for that.)
  • When the Sons of the Harpy made their move and attacked the royal retinue, Tyrion didn’t have a cache of wildfire to save the day, but Drogon handled that heavy lifting, roasting and routing masked hooligans with dragonfire, and took Dany away to flying adventure.
  • With an obvious power vacuum in Meereen, Tyrion practically fell backwards into the role of co-administrator of the city. Not bad for a foreign fugitive patricidal alcoholic dwarf. And Varys showed up as icing on the lemoncake! The band was back together!

TL;DR: Tyrion starts out as the boss, has to deal with a blond queen, stuff happens, he has to deal with a different blond queen, and ends up practically the boss again. And fire both seasons!

So, riches to rags … rags to riches. (More or less.)

Next up, I talk about the Lannisters usual targets: the Starks

(Comments are always welcome. Super welcome! But if you want to talk spoilery Game of Thrones talk with me (also welcome) I’d invite you to visit my Safe Spoilers page on my backup blog. That way my non-book-reading friends won’t be shocked with foreknowledge.)

Images from HBO’s Game of Thrones (obviously.) 

I make no claims to the artwork, but some claims to the text.

If you liked this article, thank you! I have all of my Game of Thrones related articles on my handy-dandy Game of Thrones page should you want to read more but don’t want to navigate around my site.

© Patrick Sponaugle 2015 Some Rights Reserved

  1. KG says:

    Liked the line ‘Cersei’s narrative arcs are the arcs of a pendulum’ 😀 She never learns from her mistakes does she. Too emotional for her own good.

    Tyrion always ends up as a boss one way or the other. I guess being GRRM’s favorite character does that 🙂

    I think I already posted a comment in one of your earlier posts also about Jaime. I am not sure I will ever forgive him for Bran Stark, but he has become a poor thing now. I sort of feel bad for him most times. He keep losing all this important to him.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think it’s totally fair to hold Bran’s fall against Ser Jaime. He needs to atone in some way for that, either in helping Bran, or earning Bran’s forgiveness, or something like that. I am a Jaime fan, but I hold him accountable.

      And you are so correct about Cersei and her inability to learn (or recognize when she’s at fault.)

      Liked by 1 person

Speak Your Mind (Please) (Oh, first timers will be Moderated...)

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.