Nikolaj Coster-Waldau: the “Kingslayer” Jaime Lannister


It’s time to know more about one of the most controversial character from Game of Thrones. Jaime Lannister, portrayed by Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, came from the richest and most powerful house of Westeros.

He is well known for his affair with his twin sister, Cersei, and for murdering the Mad King. That’s why he received the nickname of “Kingslayer”.

In the season 2 of the show, Jaime met Brienne of Tarth, a manly knight, and they started a journey together, in which both characters changed a lot. We can see more of Jaime’s feelings and know more about his past life.

In a Q&A with HBO, Nikolaj answers the fan’s questions about the interest in his character, the challenge of portraying Jaime and the meaning of being in Game of Thrones.

How did you become interested in portraying Jaime Lannister? Was there something that attracted you about the character?

Yes. There was quite a few things. I met with Dan and David and they told me the whole story. They mentioned the ending of Episode 1 and it got me really excited because it was so dark and twisted and so interesting. They told me about being Kingslayer and the whole situation. I saw right away that it would be an amazing part to play. You could just smell the quality oozing through them. I’ve had experienced feelings like that before but they didn’t happen, unfortunately, but this time I got lucky. I still feel very lucky to work with them.

What can you say about Jaime Lannister?

If I met him at a bar, I’m sure I’d like him. I know why he is the way he is. I can relate and understand what a difficult life he’s had. He’s grown up without a mother, with a dominant father figure. He’s close to his siblings and he fell in love with the one person that he just should have not fallen in love with – his twin sister – it’s just so complicated. It made his life so difficult. For him, challenging things, but for me, the actor, it’s a big treasure chest of goodies to dive into. And I like the fact that when GRRM created it, all of the characters are very human and to the extremes but I can still relate to them and I can relate to people having preconceived notions. All these things, we can relate to. Every son has a father and everyone has issues with our parents. Of course, his are extreme issues because Tywin is quite something but that’s what I love about it. And I think that’s why people love the show. Even though it’s a make believe show, what the characters go through.

Was it difficult to you to interpret your character?

Was it difficult? No…it’s challenging in a very good way because there’s source material and the world of George RR Martin is so great and amazing and 3 dimensional, it’s unbelievable. And Dan and D.B. and team of writers, what they’ve done in adapting it. It’s such a joy to work on. It’s so well written that the biggest worry is not to mess it up. It’s a great challenge, I don’t find it hard.

Which quality of Jaime do you hate and like the most?

Well, it’s a difficult one because often they go hand in hand. His pride sometimes gets him into trouble but it’s also a trait I like about him. When he finally reveals the truth of the killing of the Mad King you go, “Why the hell didn’t you mention this before?” But his pride got in his way but I totally understand why he didn’t because he knew that it wouldn’t make a difference. That, you know, in the eye of the world he was still an oath breaker.

How do you feel about the growth of your character from season one through season three?

I feel great about this. When we started out and shot the pilot and got the season pick up I was really hoping we would get to Season 3 because I knew that this was the season where a lot of things would be revealed about Jamie so I feel great about it.

Which is the most significant change you like about Jaime?

Meeting Brienne has had a huge impact and probably more than he’s aware of and I think if I had to pick one thing that’s most significant I would say that it would have to be Brienne of Tarth.

What has been the most rewarding part of being in the Game of Thrones cast?

Working with all of these amazing people and becoming friends and getting to know the crew, the cast. Dan and David. The people. That’s the most rewarding thing. I’ve been working for 20 years and you know, it’s really rare that the fans share the enthusiasm of the work. And since Game of Thrones has become so popular, it’s a real thrill to share your own enthusiasm with so many people. Just the fact that we’re doing what we do now, it’s thrilling for me. That there are so many people who are willing to take time out of their day to ask these questions and are as passionate as we are. It’s a privilege.

To see the entire Q&A you can enter to:

Samantha Schuster