Season 8, Episode 5 of Game of Thrones seemingly marked the end of Jaime and Cersei Lannister’s lives. They died the way they came into this life: together. News outlets and Lena Headey herself confirmed Cersei’s death and that she wouldn’t appear in the series finale. However, the lack of postmortem coverage for Jaime and actor Nikolaj Coster-Waldau hasn’t followed the same trajectory. Combined with other evidence, a new theory makes the somewhat convincing case that the lack of attention following Jaime’s “death” might actually mean he’s still alive.
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The last time we saw Jaime, he had miraculously made his way inside the Red Keep to be with Cersei. Believing it was their final moment together, Jaime comforted his twin sister/lover right before the castle fell on top of them. Their deaths felt pretty final, and surviving a building collapse is highly unlikely, right?
However, there are plenty of reasons to believe Jaime is still alive. On Tumblr, weedsareflowerstoo theorizes he isn’t dead because the Game of Thrones cast and journalists haven’t acknowledged his demise in any major way.
Think about it. After any character dies on a show, there are plenty of interviews and articles following the episode that detail the death scene, the character’s journey, and confirm the actor’s exit. Lena Headey confirmed Cersei’s death through interviews and on Instagram. Euron Greyjoy actor Pilou Asbæk did the same. Meanwhile, Coster-Waldau only shared a photo for Lena/Cersei but didn’t acknowledge Jaime’s end.
Then, there’s this particular tweet from Entertainment Weekly journalist James Hibberd, who suggested there is an interview with Costor-Waldau, but that he’s “holding that one for a bit.” Why hold onto an interview with an actor whose character is supposed to be dead unless he isn’t actually dead? It’s hard to imagine that Jaime survived a building collapse, but Season 8 of Game of Thrones has been a bit of a mess, so anything’s possible.
Jaime’s survival can also be evidenced by David Benioff and D.B. Weiss’ comments during Season 8, Episode 5’s “Inside the Episode.” They reference Jaime’s Season 2 conversation with Bronn about dying in the arms of the woman he loves and discuss the scene as a whole in terms of his character development. Not once, however, do they acknowledge the aftermath of his death. In fact, they avoid talking about Cersei altogether, which is possibly because her ending was final, whereas Jaime’s was not.
Finally, a September 2018 article in Harpers Bazaar revealed that Coster-Waldau would appear in all six episodes of Game of Thrones Season 8 (at a shocking $1 million per episode). It’s possible that detail could be wrong, but considering all the other evidence, it’s definitely worth considering.
Of course, it’s also possible Jaime could be dead but Coster-Waldau could still appear as Arya Stark in disguise. We’re pretty sure Jaime’s face got smushed when the castle collapsed, but maybe Arya’s Faceless Man training included a class on repairing damaged face masks.
With Cersei definitely dead, we’re not sure what kind of goal Arya might hope to achieve by wearing Jaime Lannister’s face, but it would certainly explain why Coster-Waldau’s exit interview hasn’t been published yet.
Game of Thrones Season 8 finale airs Sunday at 9 p.m. Eastern on HBO.