SPOILERS for Game of Thrones Season 8 Episode 5 "The Bells" are discussed below.
The last time Game of Thrones fans saw Jaime Lannister, he was holding his sister, Cersei, as the world collapsed around them. Or at least King’s Landing collapsed, and neither of the Lannister siblings was shown on screen after everything came crashing down. The indication, of course, is that they died off-screen. However, an interesting new fan theory suggests that Jaime may still be alive.
That’s right. Seeing is frequently believing when it comes to TV deaths, and Game of Thrones did not show the brutal carnage of a dead Jaime or Cersei. Was that just a pointed visual choice made by the creative team? there is more than that to go on, too, as Tumblr user Weeds Are Flowers Too posited some reasons why Jaime's survival is pretty feasible. Let's go through the ins and outs below.
No Social Media Posts
She points out that neither Nikolaj Coster-Waldau nor his co-stars referenced the actor's “final episode” or Jaime dying in any social media posts. That includes Gwendoline Christie, who plays Brienne and would almost definitely have a heartwarming message for Coster-Waldau. Seriously, you would expect to hear from the entire cast if that was really Jaime Lannister’s last stand. Their silence hints that he may not be dead, after all.
To play the devil's advocate, even though I think this is an excellent point, there could be a reason for the radio silence. Maybe the cast was told to hold back on "confirming" it, since it was sort of open-ended and would allow for such speculating. Of course, that does not entirely fit due to this next bit.
No Confirmatory Interviews with Nikolaj Coster-Waldau
If there is a significant (confirmed) death on Game of Thrones, there is usually a post-episode interview somewhere out there. Varys' Conleth Hill and other dearly departed cast members did them following the penultimate episode, as did Lena Headey. Not Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, though. Although Headey mentioned the actor in hers.
When discussing her feelings about Cersei’s exit story, Lena Headey mentioned coming around to the Lannister siblings’ literally crushing end, or at least Cersei’s. Who helped her do so? Nikolaj Coster-Waldau. What she said there, and on social media, indicates that this is definitely the end of Cersei. Jaime’s fate is left far more inconclusive, at least in terms of post-episode confirmations.
The Showrunners Did Speak Out (Sort Of)
Game of Thrones’ showrunners have touched on Jaime and Cersei’s last scenes together, seeming to confirm they are both gone. During the show’s Inside the Episode wrap-up, showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss weighed in, with the former referencing the conversation that Bronn had with Jaime about how they wanted to die.
They went onto discuss Jaime’s answer, which was to leave the world in the arms of the woman he loves. David Benioff followed up by saying, “And this is it,” with the implication being that Jaime got to die the way he wanted, with those "arms" being Cersei’s.
Game of Thrones’ showrunners always do choose their words carefully, so who knows? Jaime may think “this is it,” and then miraculously survive or be brought back in some other way. It is something to think about, in any case.
Is Jaime Lannister alive? Find out when Game of Thrones’ series finale airs this Sunday, May 19, at 9 p.m. ET on HBO.