(Scenario: After the Lannister loot train is burned by Daenerys, Jaime is taken prisoner and asks: “what better way to show your loyalty than by approving my execution?”)
Ser Jaime gasped as he rose out of the lake. He breathed in a lungful of air and it stung his insides. He coughed out water, choking.
Then, he fell under the surface. His armour and his golden hand weighed him down. Jaime flapped his arms maddeningly to rise above the surface again. It made no difference. He was sinking.
Two hands grabbed his waist and yanked him up. Jaime broke through the surface again, and breathed in as deeply as before.
“I Won’t Save You Again”
“I won’t save you again!” Ser Bronn shouted. “Swim for shore now!”
Jaime did not argue. He put one arm in front of the other, and with Bronn’s help, swam to the shore. He reached the riverbank, coughed and vomited.
“What in all the seven hells were you thinking?” the upjumped cutthroat demanded. “You almost became the dragon’s lunch!”
I wanted to end the war, to have one last shot at glory. Before Locke had cut off his sword-hand, Jaime had thought of little else other than glory… well, and Cersei. For a moment, while the Lannister army and the loot train had been on fire, he had forgotten that he was no longer the golden lion, who had once been knighted as the youngest member of the Kingsguard. It had felt good to be that person again, even if it had almost gotten him killed. “I was thinking of Cersei,” he said, instead. “How happy she would have been had I returned to her with a dead dragon’s head being pulled behind me, and Daenerys as my captive.”
Bronn shook his head. “Sometimes I wonder,” he said, in between breaths, “if your head and your cock are one and the same when it comes to your sister.”
“Why Didn’t You Just Let Me Die?”
Jaime lowered his brows. He did not like the brazen way Bronn spoke. He was about to remind the sellsword of his place, but then his stump itched him, drawing attention to something else that Bronn had done. “It’s unlike a sell-sword to save another man before he gets roasted alive by a dragon,” Jaime said. “Why didn’t you just let me die?”
“Maybe I should have. Your brother is on the other side. The wee-little imp always said he would pay more to hire me. But, in truth, neither he nor Daenerys would give me Highgarden if I came over to him now, after a defeat. But you will. Now that I have saved your life, you will recommend giving that bloody great big castle to me. Do you understand?”
You think Cersei will give you Highgarden? Jaime wanted to smirk. But he knew better than most how quick Bronn was with a sword, and it was best not to tempt him into using it. Bronn was a trained murderer, and he had yet to show any remorse for anyone he had killed.
“Oh, Seven Hells!” Bronn swore, before slamming his fist into the mud.
The sound of hoofs beating the ground in rhythm piqued Jaime’s ears. He looked over his shoulder and a cold hand gripped his innards as the Dothraki savages approached. Still, Jaime stood up and raised up his arms. His golden hand pushed down on his stump and pain shot up his arm. “Well, you can forget about getting Highgarden now,” he said. “We’ll be lucky to get out of this alive.”
Someone pulled the sack from over his head. He was in a tent, tied to a pole… and Tyrion sat before him. “You!?” Jaime pulled at his bonds, to break free. But he couldn’t. “I swore that if I ever saw you again, I would split you in two!”
Tyrion sighed. “That is understandable, but-”
“Understandable? You murdered our father!”
Tyrion lowered his head, to give his brother a severe look. “You should know, Jaime, that here Lord Tywin is reviled as the man who gave the order for Ser Gregor to rape Princess Elia, murder her, and kill her children. You would be wise not to-”
“You brought ruin to our House! You’re… you’re a kinslayer!”
“Oh, that sounds awfully close to what people have been calling you nearly twenty years. And let’s not pretend that our father was anything but a miserable, mean, murderous tyrant, who wanted me dead from the moment I was born.” Tyrion looked away. Sadness, perhaps even guilt and regret twinkled in his eyes. “Father once told me,” he continued, “that he wanted to throw me into the sea and let the waves wash me away. Instead, he let me live and looked down at me with disgust every time he laid his eyes on me. Then, when the opportunity arose he sentenced me to death for a crime he knew I did not commit. What would you have done if you were me?”
Enter The Spider
“I would have escaped on the ship, into exile, as I had arranged for you! You didn’t need to murder Father.”
“I heard,” Varys said in his oily voice, emerging from nowhere. “That the Old Lion died on the privy. Such an ignominious end for such a proud lord.”
Laughter and mockery rang around the tent. That only fuelled the fire burning inside Jaime. At least Tyrion had the dignity to frown. “My father was the greatest lord Westeros has known in ten thousand years,” Jaime said. “He should have put you to the sword long ago, Varys.” Like I should have.
“Then why didn’t he?”
“After I cut you open, he’ll get the chance in the next world-”
Cold, curved metal kissed Jaime’s neck. An arakh cut his beard and several layers of skin, stinging him.
“You May Not Want To Make Threats In Here Again”
“No,” Tyrion said, shaking his head.
The Dothraki moved away from Jaime, taking the arakh with him. Jaime snorted. Then, realisation dawned on him. The savage could have beheaded him with a swing. But he hadn’t. That told Jaime all he needed to know, and he smirked. They weren’t going to kill him. Not today at least.
“You may not want to make threats in here again,” Tyrion said. “Our Queen prefers burning people to beheading them, in case you thought that death was not coming for you today. You should ask Lord Randall Tarly. She burned him and his son earlier.”
Jaime gulped. He had seen the damage Daenerys’ black dragon could do when it breathed fire. He did not want to be crisped by it. “Where is Daenerys?” Jaime demanded.
“However much you may hate me for killing Father,” Tyrion said. “You should be glad it is me sitting before you, and not our Queen. I have used all my powers of persuasion not to have you and Bronn burned alive by Drogon.”
“What Better Way To Show Your Loyalty Than By Approving My Execution?”
Jaime raised his brows. He had not expected his brother to have saved his life. “Why?” he asked. “What better way to show your loyalty than by approving my execution? I killed her father, after-all.”
“Don’t think our Queen has forgotten,” Varys said. “She has spoken many a time about what she would do to the man who stabbed her father in the back.”
“She may still do all that she has promised,” Tyrion added. “If you fail to uphold your end of the deal.”
“What deal?” Jaime asked.
“The one I have agreed for you,” Tyrion said, a crooked smile forming on his face. “At my insistence, Daenerys will let you and Bronn go… so long as you head for King’s Landing and convince our sweet sister to surrender the city. Tell her that Queen Daenerys will let her live out her days in exile across the Narrow Sea if she agrees.”
Jaime chuckled. Did Tyrion not know what Cersei was like? She would rather King’s Landing burned with every edifice falling on top of her, than surrender. “Cersei will never agree,” he said.
“Persuade her. You have seen the devastation that a dragon can do. And Daenerys has two more of them! Think about how many innocent people will die if Daenerys sets her three dragons on King’s Landing.”
Cersei Cannot Win
Jaime sighed and looked down at the ground. He had saved the capital from being burned once before when a mad monarch had sat on the Iron Throne, not that he was inclined to speak of it under a Targaeryan banner. But this was different. Aerys II had meant nothing to him. Cersei meant the world.
“Cersei cannot win against such beasts,” Tyrion added. “You are our one chance to avoid destruction and bloodshed.”
Jaime’s heart sank. But he looked up at Tyrion all the same and nodded. Tyrion gesticulated to the Dothraki and the savage cut Jaime’s bonds and Jaime stood up, to prepare to leave. “I’ll do my best with Cersei,” Jaime said. “If I fail, I suppose I was going to burn anyway.”
PS: To read more Game of Thrones fanfiction short stories, including the time Jaime and Tyrion spoke before the trial by combat, please fill in the form below.