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‘Game of Thrones’: Nikolaj Coster-Waldau on Jaime’s Next Steps and Season 8 Hopes and Fears

Plus, check out which couple the actor is rooting for.

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, "Game of Thrones"

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, “Game of Thrones”


[Editor’s Note: The following review contains spoilers for “Game of Thrones” Season 7, Episode 7, “The Dragon and the Wolf.”]

Jaime Lannister finally declared his independence, and it only took him seven seasons to do so. In the Season 7 finale of “Game of Thrones” on Sunday, Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) outwardly defied his Cersei (Lena Headey) to join the forces meeting with the undead enemy in the North.

The series has played out Jaime’s twisted love affair with his own twin sister since the very first episode, and over time, it’s become clear that he’s far more invested in their relationship than she is. Even when she’s done terrible things that go against his moral code, he’s stuck by her. This time is different though. When she reveals that she had lied about sending her own forces to help Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) and Jon Snow (Kit Harington) fight White Walkers, Jaime decides he won’t stick by her side anymore.

Coster-Waldau spoke to IndieWire about what set Jaime off, what’s next and what he hopes for Season 8:

“It’s built up obviously over for some time. I think that it’s that whole thing of seeing is believing, and he kind of got the fact that this was bigger than any of them, this threat,” said Coster-Waldau. “There’s only one answer to this conundrum we all face… Obviously he’s called The Oathbreaker [before] but he’s still a man of his word, and the fact that he promised and he gave his word [to fight] means something to him. He’s had enough at this point. This is just too much. If you’re not willing to do the right thing, then I will. He left. He’s gone.”

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and Lena Headey, "Game of Thrones"

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and Lena Headey, “Game of Thrones”


That Cersei is pregnant with their child emphasizes how important Jaime sees the upcoming war.

Coster-Waldau said, “She has so little interest or regard for the rest of humanity. It’s all about just her power… He is truly disgusted by the way she acts. At this point, the threat is clearly real. He believes what he sees, he believes his brother, he believes Jon Snow, he believes Daenerys when she says there’s an army of 100,000 marching. That is so much bigger than anything they’ve ever faced… I think that at this point, even the fact that she’s pregnant, there are bigger things at stake because it’s true what he says,’“No matter what, if the dead wins, there will be no child.’ There is no choice.”

Jaime’s confrontation with Cersei mirrors a conversation she has with Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) earlier, in that both scenes include moments when she threatens to have her zombie guard The Mountain (Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson) kill her brothers. Neither Jaime nor Tyrion back down though, call her bluff and she spares them.

“Obviously she doesn’t kill Tyrion there for different reasons because she’s setting him up for this big cheat if you will, a defeat,” said Coster-Waldau. “For Jaime, when he says that he’s all that she has left, then it is the truth. She must know that deep inside somewhere. I think that’s why she couldn’t kill him.”

Jaime’s Next Moves

Now that he’s left the Red Keep, Jaime has a couple of choices. He could go directly to the Wall to tangle with some wights or he could inform Jon and Dany about Cersei’s perfidy.

“I think he’s going to try to get up there,” said Coster-Waldau. “We see him covering up his golden hand because once he’s heading North, he’s in enemy territory, and it’s difficult to hide who he is when he has that golden hand. So I think he’s going to try to get up to some commander whether it’s Jon Snow or Daenerys Targaryen. We’ll see.”

If Jaime survives, it remains to be seen if he’d ever return to Cersei after their last blowup, but Coster-Waldau thinks there’s more story there.

“I think that you never finish with your family even if you want to,” he said. “It’s the thing that Tyrion says that there’s not a day that he doesn’t think about the fact that he killed his father even though he hated him… I’m sure for Jaime it’ll be the same. He’ll never be able to not have Cersei be a part of what makes him what he is.”

Continue reading for predictions for Season 8 and his favorite couple >>

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