Did 'Game of Thrones' Ruin Jaime Lannister Forever? The Debate Rages On

Kelly Woo
·Writer, Yahoo Entertainment

Ever since last week's "Game of Thrones" episode aired on HBO, the Internet has been burning up with heated debate about the character of Jaime Lannister and what he did to his sister/lover, Cersei.

Was it rape when he forced himself on her next to their dead son's body? Yes. Undoubtedly, even if the director of the episode, Alex Graves, claimed "it became consensual by the end." It was rape — and the scene seemed to ruin Jaime Lannister in many fans' eyes.

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But what would be the fallout from the horrific scene in the next episode? We got the answer last night: There is none! "Game of Thrones" acted like it never happened. In fact, as Vulture noted "Every scene Jaime appeared in last night cast him in a heroic light." And it left fans feeling very confused.

In "Oathkeeper," Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) visits his imprisoned brother, Tyrion, then gives his Valyrian steel sword to Brienne and sends her to find and save Sansa Stark — just as he promised Catelyn Stark.

"This is Jaime returning to awesomeness in the very next episode after he did what the audience views as a horrible, horrible thing," Alan Sepinwall wrote on Hitfix.

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This wasn't the show trying to redeem Jaime; the show doesn't even realize he needs redeeming!

Many fans were outraged and stuck by their belief that Jaime Lannister, the once-decent guy who was trying to right his many past wrongs, was ruined forever.

As Hillary Kelly points out in the New Republic, "A rapist who also helps old ladies cross the street is still a rapist."

But in her "open letter," she argues that Jaime can be redeemed.

"Please, stop laboring under the belief that Jaime is no longer a complex, dynamic character. Don't decide that Jaime is no longer capable of evolution," the letter reads.

Not everybody has jumped off the Jaime bandwagon.

In fact, some astute fans pointed out that television shows have redeemed rapists before:

If you don't know that reference, Luke and Laura are characters on the long-running soap opera "General Hospital." For those unfamiliar with it, bad boy Luke raped 17-year-old Laura at the Campus Disco. Some years later, they fell in love, married, and had children. At the time, many "General Hospital" fans were against having Laura fall for her rapist. And yet, Luke and Laura became a soap super-couple whose wedding episode drew huge ratings and even an appearance by Elizabeth Taylor.

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"Game of Thrones" itself has turned a rapist into a hero: Khal Drogo. In Season 1, he forced the frightened young Daenerys to consummate their marriage. But over time, she fell in love with her husband.

So, if Luke and Drogo can be redeemed, perhaps so can Jaime Lannister.

What do you think: Is Jaime ruined forever for you, or can you forget the scene ever happened? Sound off in the comments below.

"Game of Thrones" airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on HBO.