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some fandom things i was thinking about whilst doing my nighttime skincare routine. i’m going to try to be a little less casual with my language compared to my other opinion posts (no guarantees, because it is 3:00 am) because i think these points are more Important and Worth Discussing than previous ones have been.
so…it’s no secret that jaime/brienne is a notp of mine. it goes beyond notp territory; it makes me physically nauseated, makes my stomach go into knots when i see content on my dashboard. part of it is because i’ve had bad experiences with j/b shippers sending anon hate and generally being very rude to me; part of it is because i highly disapprove of the way the j/b fandom tends to pit brienne against cersei as if it’s a fight. (as if jaime is a catch worth fighting over – pfft.)
but there’s more to it than that, and i think there are a couple things worth discussing because quite often j/b is held up on a pedestal as a Good, Pure, Healthy ship and – well, it isn’t one.
the first thing that i think people tend to forget is that there’s a large age difference between them. in the books, jaime was born in 266 ac. brienne was born in 280 ac. that’s a fourteen-year age difference – and when considering that brienne is only nineteen at the beginning of the series, it starts to look a little shady. i’m not saying no ships with large age differences can be healthy, nor am i shaming anyone who ships age difference ships, but it is something to consider–
–especially when also considering the differences in their life experiences and romantic/sexual maturity levels. brienne has never had a romantic relationship. throughout her life, she’s been teased, made fun of, taunted, bullied, and mocked by potential suitors and when a man (renly) showed her the merest sliver of kindness, she fell head over heels with him. i don’t believe brienne was in love with him – i believe she was infatuated him, much the same way adolescents become infatuated with first crushes and celebrities they’re fans of when they begin to experience romantic and sexual interest in others for the first time. brienne is like a fifth-grade kid doodling love hearts in her notebook and writing out her name with her crush’s last name to see how it looks. romantically, she’s quite naive; sexually, she has no experience to speak of.
compare this to jaime, who has spent his entire life codependent and obsessed with one woman – his sister, cersei. their sexual development together began very early, when joanna caught them playing at mating like the animals they’d seen doing the same. i don’t believe we learn canonically when their first real kisses took place, those that went beyond typical sibling pecks, but i would imagine it was around the time jaime was sent to crakehall at the age of eleven. they had sex for the first time at the age of fifteen. when agot begins, they are thirty-two. (in the show, their romantic and sexual relationship has lasted even longer – they are forty.) jaime and cersei, in their pov chapters, often think things like “we are one person in two bodies”; “we were born together; we will die together”; “if i were [the opposite gender], i would be [the opposite twin]”: notions that romanticize their relationship as twins and indicate a deep obsession with each other. they are entirely codependent upon each other.
even when, in the book series, jaime is informed of cersei’s “infidelity” (this is a topic for another meta lol but i don’t believe cersei thought of her sexual relations with others as ‘cheating’ at all), he obsesses about it. in the show, we’ve just seen him return to king’s landing after being away at riverrun to find that cersei has burned down the sept. they exchange a look; jaime is in shock, confused. something important to remember here is that no one but grrm knows if this is the end of their romantic and sexual relationship or not. personally, i don’t believe that it is (again, this is a topic for another meta), but the fandom has by and large decided that jaime has washed his hands of cersei for good.
i don’t think it’s possible for someone who has spent their entire life consumed by the idea of another person to wash their hands of that person for good. they say the opposite of love isn’t hate, it’s indifference – and jaime is not indifferent to cersei. not even close.
the above are all things i’ve said before, though. here’s what i’ve been thinking about tonight:
it would be an absolute disaster if these two people were to attempt a romantic relationship. one would be naive and uncertain if events in the relationship were normal or not, uncertain if she was being treated right or not, uncertain if she is part of a healthy couple or not; the other would inevitably be thinking of the woman he spent his entire life previously with – in jaime’s case, i’m not sure it would be possible for him to even try not to, to try to block those thoughts.
and that’s not to mention how awful jaime is to brienne – when they first meet, yes, but it never entirely disappears. this is a relationship that, were it to become canon, would have begun with misogynistic slurs and barbed insults being thrown mercilessly from one party to the other, who has heard similar things her entire life. this is a relationship that one party would be taking part in DESPITE the other’s looks, instead of BECAUSE of them. that doesn’t just scream romance to me.
i understand the appeal of jaime/brienne. i do. it’s the classic “mean girl loses the guy to the unpopular girl” high school romance. it’s the story behind avril lavigne’s sk8r boi – a song that used to be my favorite; a song that i’m ashamed of having had as a favorite, given how deeply misogynist and fucked up the lyrics are.
but i believe brienne deserves better.
and i believe however jaime’s story ends, it will be with cersei’s story as inextricably entwined with it as ever, ending at the same time.
In no part of the books or the show has their story actually been 'inextricably entwined'. They have spent most of the books and the seasons away from each other. Their relationship may have caused them to make certain decisions which had an impact on their life, but that was before the story fully started (Jaime made most of the life-altering decisions for Cersei, she didn't exactly do it for him). Their respective story lines are completely divorced from each other and both are making their own decisions based on their own personalities, they are not currently inextricably linked to each other. They never were, as far as their direct plot was concerned, except in the beginning (MELISANDRE'S BOYTOY). After that they've mostly been doing their own thing even if they kept thinking about the other person (Jaime confronting PA INGALLS was for Tyrion, not Cersei).i believe however jaime’s story ends, it will be with cersei’s story as inextricably entwined with it as ever, ending at the same time.
UGH! Just ugh! And that right there basically sums up their thoughts. You cannot love someone who isn't beautiful. Ugly people are not allowed to have romance as you can only love someone because of how they look. What a shallow view to have.this is a relationship that one party would be taking part in DESPITE the other’s looks, instead of BECAUSE of them
I think some people are not good at anticipating "twists" in stories because they take everything at face value. For example in the beginning of the story two characters say that they will die together and a part of the audience thinks that it will happen that way because it's such a strong "foreshadowing". But that's not how foreshadowing works, characters saying what they want and think and how they feel is not foreshadowing, especially if they say those in the beginning, before their journey and character development start. On the contrary, it usually shows that there will be a surprising twist related it in the end. Stories like this are based on twists, they are designed to surprise and shock people. It's a twist when Jaime and Cersei who seemed inseparable in the beginning get separated in the end, or when two people that you thought could never get together ended up together. In the beginning Jaime thinks and says that Brienne is ugly and he would never be interested in her, and he would never love and be with anyone but Cersei, only because they will become an item later. It's a twist planned by the writers only to shock the part of the audience that can't anticipate twists like this. This part of the audience can't foresee the changes in general.jennyssong wrote: In a good story, things develop and grow, they shouldn't remain static throughout, who wants to read about that?
Saying that someone "deserves better" when it comes to romantic relationships is nonsense in general anyway. Because no matter who you are with, some people always think that you deserve better than that person or he deserves better than you It's such a subjective concept and I don't think people would ever find love and happiness if they made their romantic choices based on some people's opinions about what and whom they deserve or not.jennyssong wrote: The part where they pretend to care about Brienne and how she deserves better is absolute bollocks.
100% agree!koops wrote: I was just discussing this yesterday with someone. Yes, there ARE instances, early on especially, when Jaime calls her ugly, but, for the most part, all Jaime does is observe her body obsessively and describe what he sees factually. It is the reader who infers that his observations are negative because we have been conditioned to find only certain kinds of feature attractive, so that when one, for example, describes a woman as having big muscles, or hands bigger than a man’s, they automatically associate that with “unattractive”, despite the fact that the phrase “big muscles” in and of itself has no inherently positive or negative connotation.
There is also a big difference between beauty and attraction. The two often correlate, but not always. Some people are attracted to features that other people do not find attractive at all. I can think of a friend of mine who always had a thing for girls who were not at all slim and toned, to put it mildly. Brienne will never be beautiful, will never be conventionally attractive, but that doesn’t mean some of her features (astonishing eyes aside) cannot be considered attractive by someone.
So I would argue it isn’t the case at all the Jaime loves her DESPITE her looks. The case with Jaime, I believe, is more a case of “when you love someone, everything about them becomes attractive”. So, to me, this whole “loves her despite her looks” is a straw man argument.
I love this tea. XDTeamGwenee wrote: So according to J/C shippers, Jaime doesn't deserve to be in a healthy relationship and to get away from his toxic relationship with Cersei because he is a bad person. By that logic, does that mean Cersei didn't deserve better than her abusive relationship with Robert?
This is the ONLY thing that bothers me *slightly* in the books, because this bothers me in real life situations. Not the 14(ish?) year age difference, but the fact that Brienne is only 19 and therefore in a very different place in maturity than a man in his 30s (although you could argue that Jaime is also not mature in the romantic sense... he has been in an abusive, toxic relationship for so long and he has really never experienced a true, healthy relationship either). However, it's also important to consider the time in which these books are set.and when considering that brienne is only nineteen at the beginning of the series
... Oh, man. Sorry to hear that (sarcasm). Have a trash can ready when you watch season 8...it’s no secret that jaime/brienne is a notp of mine. it goes beyond notp territory; it makes me physically nauseated, makes my stomach go into knots when i see content on my dashboard.
Very true! Of course the majority of us aren't going to do that. There might be a few, but I never would suggest that a large number of JB shippers send hate. Most JB shippers I've met online are super reasonable people!koops wrote: The thing with “anon hate” of these J/C stans is that you never know how much is genuine anon hate and how much is fake anon hate. They constantly have sock puppet accounts on Reddit to agree with themselves and upvote their posts and I remember there being “anon” posts that read nothing like a J/B shipper would write. So... yeah. I’m sure there are a-holes in the J/B fandom as in any fandom, but in my experience there’s very little to suggest the majority, or even half, are as “evil” as they want us to be.
Agreed! That's kinda how I resolved my own thoughts in my own post as an afterthought!Re: Brienne’s age... the thing with Jaime is that he’s extremely immature when it comes to interpersonal relationships. He has, for all intents and purposes, arrested his development the day he took that white cloak. He might be 32 when the books start, but he acts more like a 20-something yo. So while there is a substantial age gap, I think it’s offset by Jaime’s stunted emotional development.
If the OP happens to have any B/T related content on their profile then that would be pretty telling and it wouldn't be a surprise since it seems like quite a few of these stans are quick to claim that Brienne deserves better than Jaime and in the same breath gush about how 'perfect' GINGERPEST is for her. Anything to get her out of the way of the 'beautiful true love' that is the twincest!Erin wrote: As far as the concern regarding Jaime and Brienne's age gap ... 14 years difference is really nothing compared to the nearly 50 year age gap between 16-year-old Brienne and 65-year-old Ser Humphrey Wagstaff. And Brienne was expected to be completely fine with it.
Here's hoping this person isn't also a Brienne and T.ormund convenience shipper considering T.ormund is much older in the books.