(Spoilers for Game of Thrones ahead.)
Jaime Lannister is in desperate need of redemption, and Cersei Lannister is in desperate need of being brought down from her undoubtedly destructive reign as queen. These two notions have sparked a rather compelling fan theory (that we’ve touched on before) about how exactly this love-hate story of sibling romance will come to a head in the upcoming seasons.
Let’s start with Jaime’s work-in-progress redemption. While his path toward good is much more straightforward in the book, in the series, it always feels like it’s one step forward and two steps back. The show paints him as sympathetic by revealing why he killed Aerys the Mad King in season three, but then it shrouds that with the controversial rape scene with Cersei in season four. He’s still on that path toward good, but he’s flawed, still overly swayed by the “love” he has for his sister. Although she’s demonstrated that she wouldn’t risk as much as he did for their relationship — overlooking him as Hand of the King and as her defender in trial by combat — it wasn’t until her explosive solution in the season six finale that Jaime seems to have lost all hope in his now queen.
Cersei, on the other hand, has sacrificed everything for the Iron Throne. She has transformed from the conniving queen dressed in beautiful dresses to the battle-clad ruler with nothing keeping her grounded, ready to burn any who stand in her way. That pesky childhood prophecy pushed her to make some risky moves, but her path has given her all the power and none of her children.
It has been suggested by Reddit user RobertGoulet850 that for Jaime to finally reach that redemption he’s been circling for a few seasons, he needs to be the one to kill Cersei. Book readers who support this point toward the final part of Cersei’s prophecy (that was omitted from the show) which stated that her downfall would come at the hands of a ‘valonqar’, or little brother. The obvious choice here would be Tyrion, hence all her hatred and distrust for him throughout their lives, but Jaime meets that criteria as well as he was born seconds after Cersei. And now that his sister’s machinations have cost him his children and engulfed so many lives, he has plenty of reason to be the brother with his hands around her throat.
Even if you discount that part of the prophecy as being critical to Game of Thrones, that look of fear and horror Jaime gives Cersei during her crowning says it all. Jaime has already forsaken an oath to put down one Mad King, so why wouldn’t history repeat itself?