How Jaime's Death Would Change Game of Thrones Forever
Daenerys hits the Lannisters hard during the deadly battle in "The Spoils Of War," and now Game of Thrones fans have to ask themselves a hard question: if Jaime Lannister dies in the aftermath of the attack, what does that mean for the rest of the season? There's no denying Jaime is in a precarious position at the moment. In the episode's closing scene, he seems to be sinking in the river after someone (most likely Bronn) knocks him off his horse. This could be the end for the Kingslayer, but if it is, then his death will be just the beginning for Cersei, Tyrion, and Brienne, and his passing could shape the next phase of the great game in ways no one could possibly see coming.
Jaime is meaningful to many of the characters, and if he becomes a casualty of the war between Cersei and Daenerys, there will be major repercussions for everyone involved. Here are just a few ways Jaime's death would alter the course of the final episodes of Game of Thrones.
No one would be more devastated by Jaime's death than Cersei. As her brother, lover, and key adviser, Jaime is Cersei's only remaining tie to her humanity. Without him, there will be no one to stop her from indulging in her worst impulses. In fact, she would likely turn to Euron for comfort, and he's only going to amplify her potentially evil instincts.
With no family left, Cersei would be consumed by her twin desires for revenge and power, and madness would surely follow. Daenerys and everything she holds dear will be in danger, because Cersei would never let the woman who takes her brother from her survive. The real losers in this outcome will be the people of Westeros, all of whom will be seen as disposable as Cersei foregoes stabilizing the realm in favor of demolishing Daenerys and Tyrion for their role in Jaime's death.
For Euron, a dead Jaime is a major opportunity to seize power. This wildcard character would like nothing more than to be crowned king, although his motives for wanting such an immense amount of power remain unclear. Jaime is currently standing between Euron and Cersei, but with Jaime gone, Euron will be able to manipulate the Lannister Queen and encourage her to go scorched earth on her enemies.
All the while, Euron would be positioning himself to take the Iron Throne. Remember, he's a little brother too, and he may be angling to marry and then dispose of Cersei. If Jaime is out of the way, his path to the Iron Throne is clear.
Poor Tyrion. He is standing on a hill just a short distance away when Jaime goes into the water. If he does nothing to prevent his brother's death, the weight on his heart will be immense. It could be enough to force him to reevaluate where his loyalties lie. While he will never side with Cersei, he may begin to question Daenerys's methods. Even though he understands the costs of war, losing his brother — the one person who always protects him — could very well push him to reconsider his role as Daenerys's Hand. After all, Tyrion has ruling experience as well, and with Varys's allegiance to the Dragon Queen already wavering, Tyrion may conspire with the Spider to put someone else on the Iron Throne entirely. Like Jon Snow, perhaps?
One thing is certain: with Jaime no longer in the picture to act as a buffer, a showdown between Tyrion and his sister would be imminent.
The Lannister Army
The preview for "Eastwatch" suggests the remaining Lannister men who are at the battle outside of Highgarden will be given the choice to bend the knee or die. Without Jaime, they won't have a leader, and many of these young men may prefer to take their chances with the queen who has dragons than to return to Cersei. Without Jaime to head up the remaining troops, the role will fall to Randyll Tarly if he survives, or possibly even Euron.
Either way, Cersei's control over these scared men will be tenuous at best, making her all the more vulnerable — and dangerous.
The Battle Against The White Walkers
It may seem like Jaime doesn't have a connection to the coming threat of the White Walkers, but his death will have unforeseen ripple effects. For one thing, Cersei will come at Daenerys and her people with every ounce of strength she can muster, and this will pull the khaleesi's attention away from the North, where she is needed the most. As a result, the Night's King and his army will be able to enter Westeros with precious little resistance. They may even find an ally in Cersei if she decides she wants to watch the world burn after losing everyone who has mattered to her.
On a smaller note, the resistance will be down one Valyrian steel sword since Widow's Wail is on Jaime's hip when he sinks.
Brienne hasn't had much to do this season, but when word of Jaime's death reaches her, she will no doubt take action. No, she won't go on a vengeance mission to take down Daenerys — she understands the costs of war. But she will no longer be content with sitting on the sidelines. Jaime gives her Oathkeeper because he believes in her, and the best way for Brienne to honor his memory is for her to fight as valiantly as Jaime did. Whether that means fighting White Walkers in the North or Cersei in the South remains to be seen, but you can bet Jaime's death will be a turning point for Brienne.
While Jaime's fate remains uncertain, there's no doubt that his death could upset the power balance in Westeros in unexpected ways and leave the people who loved him grappling with what they should do in the aftermath of their loss.