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In Season 2, Episode 8, Jaime says that there are only three men in Westeros who stood a chance of beating him in a fair fight. Who is this referring to?

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2 Answers 2

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Since Jaime himself has yet to reveal who those three are, we simply don't know.

In the books Jaime idolized Ser Barristan "The Bold" Selmy (the Lord Commander of the Kingsguard at the beginning of the series) and has always spoke in admiration of his swordsmanship, so it's safe to assume that he's on the list. Other than that it's pure speculation. Among the living the Clegane brothers (Sandor the Hound and Gregor the Mountain) are often described as powerful warriors even by Jaime, so they might be the other two. There are many others, but they are either dead (Ser Arthur "Sword of the Morning" Dayne), not included in the series (Ser Garlan Tyrell), or haven't appeared yet (Oberyn "The Red Viper" Martell).

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Ned Stark was holding his own against Jaime. That lead a Lannister minion to attack Ned and thus embarrass Jaime because it seemed that he needed help to defeat the older man.

Brienne was actually trying not to hurt Jaime in their fight. Jaime blamed his performance on being rusty and shackled. That is certainly true, but it seems that Jaime brags (used to) a bit much about his swordsmanship.

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+1 for pointing out Brienne, but I don't think they knew each other at the time, so there is no way he could have meant her as one of the three - not to mention she's a woman, and Jamie said "men" not "people". –  druciferre Jun 4 '13 at 22:16
    
Actually if I remember rightly the quote in the original question was spoken to her! –  Liath Aug 7 '13 at 10:42
    
@druciferre The answer isn't saying Brienne was one of them, but that Jamie's claims about his own skills might not be entirely true to reality at all and thus there might be very well more than just three men to make a match for him. Still I agree that this doesn't invalidate nor answer the question which three men he meant to be a match for him, no matter if this true or not. –  Sonny Burnett Jun 14 at 15:30

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