6

Firstly, the father and Cersei wouldn't have allowed it, so both the brothers would have survived. Otherwise, they would have chosen a weak adversary to save Jaime and again both brothers would have survived.

Even if Jaime was set to confront to the Mountain, he is looking for redemption, and dying defending the brother would've been a pretty good altruistic act. So, why exactly did Jaime decide to not combat?

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    I had to read the answer before I actually understood the question. Tyrion has two trials by combat, the first at the Eyrie, where Bronn fights Lysa's champion. There Tyrion also requests that his brother fight for him. Can we edit that distinction into the question, just so idio... ermm... folks like me don't think we're referring to the first trial? ;) – disassociated Apr 2 '17 at 12:21
  • @Tetsujin As is the question seems adequate to the second trial. In Tyrion's "Trial in the Vale" Jaime is "hundreds of miles away" and Lysa Arryn demands that the trial be that day: youtu.be/wc93gQRRKbA?t=4m47s ...no Mountain, no input from Cersei or Tywin and though hypothetically we could presume Jaime may have wanted to, he didn't "decide not to combat" in the first trial, so if the question were in regards to the first trial, it would be a non-issue, no? – Mr. Kennedy Apr 2 '17 at 16:38
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    @Mr.Kennedy - an alternative answer wouldn't fit the question. It was more my own confusion rather than the question itself, as my mind was biased towards the first trial. None of the details in the question match the first trial. As to book vs show, tbh the first book matches the first season in all but some small details. It's only as the series continues that they really start to diverge. – disassociated Apr 4 '17 at 5:48
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    @Tetsujin one day I intend to read the books, then I can edit my question if it's warranted :) – Mr. Kennedy Apr 4 '17 at 5:53
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    It's required reading:) Some of the characterisations are remarkable. Tyrion especially is straight off the page. Dinklage has the character absolutely nailed. – disassociated Apr 4 '17 at 6:05
9

Having lost his hand, Jamie was not in any position to make a useful fighter. He tells Tyrion as much in the beginning of season 4, episode 7:

Tyrion: Don't give up on me just yet. I survived one trial by combat even though you weren't there to save me.

Jaime: I can't save you this time either. My training has proved that I can't beat a stable boy with my left hand.

Tyrion: Where's your sense of adventure? Even if you lose, imagine the look on father's face when you fall. Our family name snuffed out in the single swing of the sword.

Jaime: It is tempting.

Tyrion: Well, Bronn fought for me once, he'll do it again. If he wins, I expect I'll be in his debt for the rest of my life.

Jaime: If he wins.

I don't know if in-universe this would have necessarily disqualified him from participating as a combatant in a trial by combat, but had he fought, it would have been sufficient enough to embarrass him. Likely, he could not afford to be seen fighting poorly even if the trial by combat were not to the death. Politically, even if he were able to fight, I also suspect he may very well not have wanted to for several reasons such as the poor appearance of a kings guardsman defending an accused king killer. On top of that, the "King Slayer" defending an alleged murderer of the king - not to mention defending his own brother while also being suspected of being his sister's lover. Also, had he even accepted Tyrion's request, he would then have invoked the ire of Cersei and possibly his father as well.

Even if Jaime was set to confront to the Mountain, he is looking for redemption, and dying defending the brother would've been a pretty good altruistic act.

Sure, that would be very altruistic but I'd argue that Jamie is much more interested in living unredeemed than dying for redemption. As for an "altruistic act" of saving his brother, I really don't get the feeling that altruism is a defining goal of Jaime's. Yes, he hates his legacy as "King slayer" but the kind of redemption he is looking for is also mixed up with his sense of pride and entitlement as a Lannister. Consider one of his more vulnerable expositions in the show:

the father and Cersei wouldn't have allowed it, so both the brothers would have survived. Otherwise, they would have chosen a weak adversary to save Jaime and again both brothers would have survived.

Cersei and Tywin are also at odds with each other. Tywin doesn't want any of his children killed: they are Lannisters. Cersei, however, did very much so want Tyrion dead - she blames him for the death of their mother and in general hates him, so she chose the Mountain for combat. Tywin was just as happy with a trial by combat because either Tyrion's fighter loses and Tyrion gets sent to the wall, or Tyrion's fighter wins and Tywin can make use of his son however Tywin sees fit. Despite their differences, I doubt either Cersei or Tywin would have allowed Jaime to participate in the trial by combat at all. The extra manipulations involved in allowing him to fight and also securing an outcome where he does not die seem to me to be too extraneously contrived to be worth the effort when there are plenty of other adequate fighters available.Also, had Cersei and/or Tywin so contrived an outcome, it is just as likely that the political theater would have been so obvious as to further tarnish the reputation of the Lannister family already tarnished by suspicion of incest.

  • Probably I wasn't clear enough. I meant that both Cersei and Tywin would have not allowed anyone to kill Jaime, and with Jaime surviving also Tyrion would've been found not guilty. – Wes Apr 2 '17 at 6:49
  • Sure, I doubt they would have allowed it either, but it never even got that far. Without his left hand, Jaime couldn't fight, much less be seen to fight poorly. – Mr. Kennedy Apr 2 '17 at 6:53
  • @Wes also, it seems as unlikely that Tywin or Cersei would approve an obviously staged trial by combat so as to guarantee Jaime's success or at minimum, not dying. Whether or not the opponent was the Mountain, it seems consistently in-universe that a trial by combat requires an actual contest - especially such a public trial regarding the alleged assassination of a king (by poisoning no less!) – Mr. Kennedy Apr 2 '17 at 19:20
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    I'm not entirely convinced by this, but thanks for the answer :D – Wes Apr 3 '17 at 23:32
  • @wes I don't know if I can sway your thinking, but I added some more to the answer to address your question :) – Mr. Kennedy Apr 4 '17 at 0:35

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