‘Game of Thrones’: How Nikolaj Coster-Waldau Really Felt About Jaime Lannister’s Death in the Finale

It’s been over a year since the controversial Game of Thrones Season 8 finale dropped on HBO, and to no one’s surprise, the series ending is still heavily criticized by fans. When the last episode aired in May 2019, GOT viewers bashed showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss for ruining eight years of work, including the character development for Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau). Then recently, Coster-Waldau opened up about Jaime’s death in the Game of Thrones finale. And the actor’s perspective is interesting, to say the least.

How did Jaime Lannister die on ‘Game of Thrones’?

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Before Game of Thrones Season 8 debuted on HBO, most fans expected to see the deaths of Jaime and Cersei (Lena Headey) by the series finale. However, the end result was ultimately underwhelming. 

In the seventh season, Jaime left King’s Landing after Cersei chose to ignore the army of the dead even as they approached her doorstep. Then Jaime slowly started to grow into a better person, particularly through his connection with Brienne (Gwendoline Christie). But despite his redemption arc of sorts, Jaime returned to his sister/lover as Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) burned the city to ashes. Then Cersei and Jamie died as equals, crushed to death by falling rubble beneath the Red Keep.

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau discusses Jaime Lannister’s death in the ‘Game of Thrones’ finale

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as Jaime Lannister on 'Game of Thrones' Season 8
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as Jaime Lannister on ‘Game of Thrones’ | Helen Sloan/HBO

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For the most part, Game of Thrones fans were surprised Jaime didn’t receive a hero’s death or, at the very least, the opportunity to kill Cersei. Nevertheless, Coster-Waldau thought his character received the “perfect” ending when the GOT series finale aired.

“I thought it was perfect for him to end in the arms of Cersei,” the actor said at Comic-Con in 2019, per Vulture. “It made sense to me, that’s just my opinion.”

Then in an interview with Variety published in August 2020, Coster-Waldau was asked whether he would change anything about Jaime’s ending in the Game of Thrones finale. And although the actor needed some time to remember what happened to his character, Coster-Waldau still thinks Jaime’s demise was just fine.

“Oh, how did it end? He was — no, it was fine. It was great. It was fine,” he said. “How do you end that story? Let’s talk about this in 10 years, then you can talk about it. But now, I think it’s a little too recent.”

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau almost donated to the ‘Game of Thrones’ petition calling for HBO to remake the finale

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Clearly, Coster-Waldau is content with Jaime’s death on Game of Thrones. Though the actor almost donated to the viral petition to remake season eight

“I was aware of the petition for a new ending, which I thought was hilarious,” the actor said in the above interview with Variety. “I almost wanted to donate to that petition. HBO saying, ‘You’re right, so many people want it, we’re going to do it.’”

But that doesn’t necessarily mean Coster-Waldau believed in the fan’s response to the Game of Thrones finale, as he dismissed the criticism over the series finale.

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“Everyone wanted something specific and different from what they got. It’s a combination of — you imagine an ending. But also, I think if you’re a hardcore fan, it was really upsetting that it ended,” Coster-Waldau said. “You lived with this for eight seasons. There is still a massive community dedicated to Game of Thrones. I think there was a real fear that was going to go away. It had to end.”

That said, it seems Coster-Waldau is ready to end the Game of Thrones chapter in his life. While promoting his latest movie, The Silencing, Coster-Waldau revealed hs misses his former GOT castmates. But the actor indicated it was time to move on to a new story.

“I miss my friends,” Coster-Waldau said on The Kelly Clarkson Show. “You spend … almost 10 years together. Of course, you make friendships. So I miss them.”

He continued, “I don’t miss the —  I think we’ve told the story. The story was over”

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