Why Did Both Jaime and Cersei Lannister Die in 'Game of Thrones'?

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  • In the penultimate episode of Game of Thrones, several of the series' biggest characters finally died.
    • Jaime Lannister set out to save Cersei and their unborn child, but ran into trouble several times as his plan to get her out of the city fell apart.

        This post contains spoilers for Game of Thrones Season 8, episode 5, "The Bells."

        If you have been Team Cersei for the Iron Throne then Sunday night's Game of Thrones was a somber affair. On the flip side, if you've been Team Anyone But Cersei, then you're probably basking in the glow of the character's death.

        So, how did Cersei Lannister finally bite it? In the crypts of King's Landing, surrounded by dragon bones and rubble and in the arms of her lover/twin brother, Jaime.

        The end wasn't what many Thrones fans expected for the show's longtime villain. Many thought Jaime would ultimately be the one to kill Cersei and save Westeros from her tyrannical rule, but that wasn't so. In fact, Jaime spent his final hours trying desperately to save Cersei, and their unborn child. Tyrion even got in on the action and hatched a plan to help smuggle Jaime and Cersei to Pentos where they could start a new life together.

        Alas, this didn't happen. Instead, Jaime is almost murdered by Euron Greyjoy of all people before he finally makes his way to Cersei, who has just watched her armies and her city fall to Daenerys Targaryen and realized for the first time that she might actually not win the game of thrones.

        As the plan to escape falls apart, a few questions arise.

        Why did Jaime decide to go to Cersei and leave Brienne?

        In episode 4, Jaime finally consummates things with Brienne of Tarth, after years of romantic and sexual tension (the man likes strong, blonde women—he definitely has a type), only to abandon her to go to Cersei when he realizes just how bleak his twin sister's chances are. But why? Brienne is perfect and Cersei is evil and Jaime had a real chance at happiness (not to mention staying alive) if he stayed in the North with Brienne.

        The reason is simple and tragic: Cersei is the love of Jaime's life. She's his sister, his lover, the mother of his children. She's his everything. It's tragic that Jaime leaves Brienne, but everything about Jaime's story has been pretty tragic and all of it has revolved around his love for Cersei, so this was, sadly, pretty fitting. To quote the great philosopher Selena Gomez, the heart wants what it wants.

        Why couldn't Jaime and Cersei escape King's Landing?

        This one was a matter of bad luck and bad timing. Tyrion's escape plan for his siblings was solid, but the tunnels and passageways that they needed to make it out of the Red Keep had caved in by the time they got there—you know, thanks to the dragon raging around the city, destroying everything in its path.

        Why do both Jaime and Cersei die in Game of Thrones?

        As the creators explain in the inside the episode featurette, Jaime and Cersei entered the world together, so it was only fitting that they leave it together as well. Cersei even says as much in Season 1, telling Ned Stark of her relationship with Jaime, "We shared a womb. We came into this world together, we belong together."

        Plus, Jaime foreshadowed their ending when Bronn asked how he wanted to die and he said in the arms of the woman he loves.

        RIP, Jaime and Cersei.

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