Leave a Comment
Warning! The following contains spoilers for Game of Thrones Season 8 premiere. Read at your own risk.
In a night that was filled with Jon riding a dragon, Bran creeping people out, Cersei whining about a lack of elephants, and a young Umber wight screaming in flames, it's easy to overlook a plot point that may lead to a key death or two in the upcoming episodes. Qyburn interrupted Bronn's evening with a few ladies to inform him he's been tasked with a request from the queen.
The mission is for Bronn to kill Jaime and Tyrion with the same crossbow that Tyrion used to kill Tywin Lannister. In exchange, he'll get several chests of gold, and likely avoid any heartache or potential retribution that would come from rejecting her request. Audiences were left with Bronn pondering, and probably are wondering whether he'd actually kill either Lannister brother. With that said, let's revisit Bronn's history with Jaime and Tyrion, and evaluate the likelihood he'd kill them.
Bronn's History With Tyrion
Bronn's first encounter with the Lannister family (within Game of Thrones anyway) was at the Crossroads Inn when he offered to give Tyrion his room in exchange for gold. Tyrion didn't have a chance to take him up on the offer, as he was captured by Catelyn Stark, and Bronn accompanied them on their way to the Vale. Tyrion's proclaimed innocence in the plot against Bran doesn't matter much to Bronn, but Tyrion's promise of wealth to anyone who protects him does.
This becomes the basis for Bronn and Tyrion's relationship. Bronn defends Tyrion at the Vale, and is later rewarded with a position as Commander of the City Watch. He eventually loses the title, but gains knighthood via Joffrey. Though the title isn't given by Tyrion, he remains loyal to the Lannister and continues to serve as his bodyguard. Tyrion later asks Bronn to train Jaime, which he obliges without mention of pay.
Things change when Tyrion is arrested for Joffrey's murder, and Bronn is promised by Cersei a marriage to a woman that will lead to wealth and land. Bronn offers Tyrion help if he can double her offer, but knows he's not in a position where he can offer more. Additionally Bronn doubts he could beat The Mountain, so in means of self-preservation, he's out.
The two meet again in person season's later at the Dragonpit, and both men are happy to see each other. Tyrion assured Bronn his offer to double whatever Cersei is offering still stands, to which Bronn noted that he's already ensured all of Cersei's enemies are in King's Landing. The two haven't seen each other since, although there's a chance they might yet sooner than later.
Why Bronn Would Kill Tyrion
Bronn's couldn't have stated it more plainly when he spoke to Tyrion when he visited him in the dungeon. The offer has always been whether or not Tyrion can offer double what his opposition could. Cersei is offering a whole heap of gold, and Tyrion isn't exactly swimming in riches right now. If this is based on money alone, Tyrion doesn't stand a chance at matching Cersei's offer.
It's also worth noting that Tyrion is more of a low-risk target for Bronn. Provided he can find a chance to take him down when there aren't competent fighters nearby, Tyrion would be a rather easy target to kill. For a fighter who strayed away from The Mountain because he wasn't sure he would win, Bronn may be encouraged to pursue Tyrion due to the ease of the challenge.
Why Bronn Wouldn't Kill Tyrion
Bronn outright stated that he's not willing to mess with Daenerys, so it benefits Tyrion that he's her Hand of the Queen. Messing with him means messing with her, and Bronn doesn't seem to want any of that or her dragons. Provided he stays in Dany's good graces, one would think Tyrion is safe from Bronn's grasp.
It's also possible the timing in which Bronn reaches Tyrion may be on his side, depending on how things shake out over the next couple episodes. Should Bronn roll up and decide that Cersei's days as queen are numbered, then the better long-term move for him would be to side back up with Tyrion and see where that takes him.
Bronn's History With Jaime
At Tyrion's suggestion, Bronn began sparring with Jaime to teach him dominance with his left hand following his injury. The two slowly establish a repertoire and get comfortable enough for Bronn to encourage Jaime to visit Tyrion in prison. Once Tyrion escaped, the two spent quite a bit more time together, with Bronn becoming Jaime's fixer of sorts in future seasons.
They traveled to Dorne in an effort to rescue Myrcella, and ran into a fair bit of trouble along the way. The adventure almost gets Bronn killed a couple times, but he ultimately escapes with his life thanks to Jaime pleading on his behalf to Doran Martell. The whole adventure ends up being for naught after Myrcella's passing, although one could argue the adventure ultimately brought the two men closer.
From there, the two men go to Riverrun, and share more battles and information about each other's lives along the way. Bronn continues to act under Jaime's command, though brings up he's still owed a castle and riches for his troubles. The two eventually help the Freys complete the siege, and arrive back in King's Landing just in time to see the smoldering remains of the Great Sept of Baelor and learn that the Lannisters' enemies are dead.
With no one left to beef with on the home front, Jaime and Bronn go out and raid Highgarden and take its valuables on a wagon train back to King's Landing. The two are intercepted by Dany and her army, and engage in a battle that nearly kills both Bronn and Jaime. Bronn ends up saving Jaime, but the two's meaningful interactions fade from that point on.
Why Bronn Would Kill Jaime
Bronn is big on promises of riches, and thus far, Jaime hasn't delivered any that he's promised. That's something Bronn will remember as he's loading up that crossbow, and seeking out the Lannister as he's in the North. All he had to do was give him the castle he promised. Is that too much to ask?
It's also worth mentioning that Jaime has never really treated Bronn as an equal. He's always been one to bark orders, and expects a lot from the former sellsword despite not giving him a ton in return. Lastly, let's also not forget that Jaime is the one person universally hated by every major party at the moment, so killing him won't raise many complaints.
Why Bronn Wouldn't Kill Jaime
Though Bronn showed some clear skill over Jaime in their initial sparring, it's safe to say Jaime has regained some of his former glory as a skilled swordsman. Sure, Bronn's only got to shoot him with a crossbow, but should he miss, he'd then have to take on the Kingslayer in combat. If Bronn isn't certain he'd come out on top, killing Jaime would be a hard pass.
To go back to a previous point addressed with Tyrion, timing might also be the thing that saves Jaime's skin. Should Bronn discover it's no longer in his best interest to do Cersei's bidding, he might just cut ties and try to find his own way in a brave new world post-Cersei. Bronn isn't the smartest guy in Game of Thrones, but he's smart enough to know whether or not he's making the right decision thus far.
Why Bronn Wouldn't Kill For Cersei
While Jerome Flynn has teased audiences may not like Bronn much in Season 8 (via Insider), there is a solid chance he doesn't take Cersei up on her offer. She shot down plans for his initial marriage that would've had him beyond this type of work seasons ago. The gold does sweeten the deal, but historically, she's not made good on promises to him so why should he believe this time is different?
Also, let's not forget that while Bronn isn't a huge friend to Tyrion or Jaime, he's got a better relationship with them than he ever has had with Cersei. Plus, he's seen the undead threat, and what side both men are on in this exchange. If anything, this offer may lead him to question why he's still on her side, and whether he might not want to leave his knighthood in hopes of getting something better under a new regime.
Game of Thrones will reveal what decision Bronn makes at some point, as Season 8 continues on HBO Sundays at 9:00 p.m. ET. Readers can vote in our poll below on which brother they think Bronn will kill, whether he'll go for both, or he'll tell Cersei to kick rocks and hightail it out of King's Landing below.