(Scenario: Jaime visits Tyrion in the cell before the Trial by Combat. Tyrion asks him: ‘are you proud of yourself, Brother?’)
Ser Jaime Lannister approached the cell where Tyrion was being kept before the trial by combat. If Prince Oberyn were to lose to Ser Gregor Clegane, The Mountain That Rides, Jaime had thought it best to speak with his little brother one last time.
Ser Meryn Trant, standing self-importantly, scowled at Jaime and unlocked the cell-door. Jaime paid him no heed and pushed the cell-door open with his sole, left hand. The door creaked open and the stink of Tyrion’s shit assaulted his nostrils. Jaime raised his right-hand to cover his nose and bashed it with the golden imitation in place of the severed hand.
What Have You Made Of Prince Oberyn?
“Is the pain worse than the smell?” Tyrion asked.
Jaime swore under his breath and rubbed his nose with his left hand. “I’ve known worse pain and worse smells,” he said. He looked down at his golden hand and his phantom fingers itched. Jaime shuddered at the memory of Locke severing his hand and the rank stink of rot that had followed.
“It’s best not to think about it,” Tyrion said, as if he were reading his brother’s mind. He was now sat up on his wooden, uncomfortable-looking bench that was his bed; and looked at him. One would never have known, as he swung his legs nonchalantly under the bench, that his life was out of his hands. If anything, Tyrion looked better than he had during the initial trial. Particularly, as the scar on his face had marginally healed, or at least it appeared less horrific than it had when Jaime had returned to the capital. “So,” Tyrion continued, changing the subject. “What have you made of Prince Oberyn since his arrival in King’s Landing?”
Does Oberyn Stand A Chance?
Jaime inhaled deeply. He had an idea what his brother was getting at or was wanting to hear. But he did not want to lie to him either. “I think he quite enjoyed your trial,” Jaime said. “And he never seems to stop going on about gaining vengeance for what he claims happened to his sister, his niece and nephew during Robert’s Rebellion.”
“Well, he will have his chance soon enough. The Red Viper of Dorne. A fearsome name. If only a viper could bring down a mountain.” Tyrion then looked up at Jaime and his green eye twinkled, more with desperation than of hope. “Do you think Prince Oberyn can beat Ser Gregor?”
No. “For your sakes, I hope he does.”
“I imagine you have not said that around Cersei?”
Jaime smiled. His defeat at the Whispering Woods, his captivity, the loss of his sword-hand, and Tyrion’s trial had somehow made him forget that he actually enjoyed his brother’s company. “Imagine if I had told her,” he said. “I would need to be placed in a cell like this for my own safety.”
“It must be hard for you, choosing between your loathsome, hideous brother and our sweet sister?”
Sweet is hardly the word I would use to describe Cersei. “Not as hard as you might think.”
“How reassuring,” Tyrion said, thick with sarcasm. “I am sure it will be equally as hard for you to turn our sister away when she opens up her legs for you after this trial is over? When my head has been lopped off and I am one, if not all, of the Seven Hells, should I look away or should I watch as the two of you-”
“It won’t come to that!” Jaime interjected. “Besides, since I came back to the capital, Cersei has barely wanted to see me.” His phantom fingers twitched, as if they knew they were the reason for his sister’s distance. “It’s odd,” Jaime continued. “While I was Robb Stark’s captive, all I could think about, as I sat in my own shit and shivered, was how I would get back to Cersei. Now, all I can think is why I even bothered.”
Tyrion sighed and gave him a wide, knowing look that had because you love her, you fool written on his face in all but words. “The bells will soon ring,” he said. “And the guards will then come to take me to watch the combat, or to my execution if Prince Oberyn loses-”
“Why, didn’t you know? I have always been a believer. I am never more with the gods than when I have a belly full of wine and a woman on top of me. Father could have given me the chance to pray in my favourite way. In fact, he could have given me seven whores to pray so that I could have prayed to each one of the cunts. But that is not our Lord Father’s way.”
No, it’s not. “He gave you a good breakfast from what I hear.”
“How merciful of him.”
“Cersei argued it was a waste and that the food could have gone toward the needy of the capital.”
“Yes, because our sister has always cared so much for the needy.” Tyrion snorted a chuckle.
Are You Proud of Yourself, Brother?
“Anyhow,” he continued. “Since there is a good chance that my head will be lopped off come noon, perhaps you can answer a question that has puzzled me for many years: are you proud of yourself, Brother?”
Jaime’s heart seemed to drop inside him like a stone in water. He was still the youngest member of the King’s Guard to take the White Cloak; had betrayed the King that had knighted him; saved the people of King’s Landing; crippled Bran Stark; lost the Battle of the Whispering Woods; murdered his cousin and some Karstark boys in a failed bid to escape from captivity; had his hand cut off; been made Commander of the King’s Guard; been disowned by his father; and now could not fight to save his own brother from a crime he did not commit.
Something else that he had done gnawed at his mind. But Jaime pretended it did not exist. “I haven’t done enough to be proud of myself,” Jaime said. “Often, I think I should have achieved more by my age.”
I Could Have Been A Better Father
Tyrion gave him a bland look. “Yes, I am sure a great many think the same,” he said. “But what of your other great interest and your creations with her?”
Jaime looked away. His stump itched, as if the wound reflected the depth of discomfort that the subject caused him. “I love my sister, as the Targaeryan Kings loved their sisters,” Jaime said, speaking as honestly as the time the time in Harrenhall when he had bathed with Brienne. “What I have with Cersei… it may seem wrong in the eyes of many, but I wouldn’t take anything back.”
“Not even Joffrey?”
“Joffrey could have been… better. But, mayhap, I could have been a better father to him too.” Cersei would never have let me, though. She would have said it would raise suspicions, as if it weren’t obvious enough that he wasn’t Robert’s son.
“Myrcella and Tommen are good children,” Tyrion said. “Any father would be proud of them. You should be too.”
Water welled in Jaime’s eyes. No-one had ever spoken to him positively about his children, whilst recognising them as his own. However wrong it was to have children born of incest, it was redeeming somehow to hear that.
Let’s Hope Justice Prevails
The bells then rang, and Jaime’s heart thumped against his ribs. It was time for the trial and Tyrion’s fate. Jaime looked at his brother as the bells continued to ring; each ring sounded like a thud, as if it were a step further to doom.
Ser Meryn Trant opened the cell-door to take Tyrion, and Jaime stood up abruptly. Jaime’s throat tightened. “Good luck,” Jaime said, forcing the words out of him. “Let’s hope that justice prevails.”
He did not wait for Tyrion to reply, lest that snake Trant report back to Cersei that he had seen the affection he had displayed for his brother. Instead, Jaime marched out to make it in good time for the trial.
I hope Prince Oberyn wins. It was a faint hope; one that was a fraction more likely than his hand growing back. At least, Jaime had got to see Tyrion one last time. He was going to miss his brother. If only he had said that to him.
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