A thought about Jaime and Cersei shippers

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A thought about Jaime and Cersei shippers

Post by soldier-sorcerer on Fri Feb 02, 2018 9:25 pm

Art by gloryguts on deviantart:
https://gloryguts.deviantart.com/art/Jamie-and-Cersei-709970571



Although I made this forum, I'm not in the habit of actively shipping incest (I haven't made drawings or fanvideos or anything). That's partly because I'm picky with relationship dynamics, but it's also that I prefer to focus on writing my own stuff.

That being said, I love looking at what shippers come up with. I've always had mixed feelings about Cersei and Jaime because...well... look at the stuff they do in the story. They're not exactly the nicest. It amazed me to see that people still ship them. They ship these two sometimes while acknowledging their flaws and other times despite their flaws. It says something about how loving incest shippers can be. I think they have something to teach about how to love complex characters.

-Soldier
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Re: A thought about Jaime and Cersei shippers

Post by Azdaema on Fri Apr 06, 2018 2:54 pm

“Why do I ship Cersei and Jaime so much?” is a really big question, but I think the best answer is, “Because they are EVERYTHING.”

We talk about “all the feels” but they are really ALL of them. They’re perfect and terrible, fated and doomed, and just EVERYTHING. They encompass so much. They’re beautiful and golden and triumphant, and they’re also a disasterous power keg waiting to implode.

Usually, my favorite fic of a certain ship will be the fic that I feel best epitomizes everything that the ship is about, or what I think it should be about. My very favorite fic is them is “These, our bodies, possessed by light” by redbells. (https://archiveofourown.org/works/456515) I can’t imagine them ever being more gloriously golden that they are in this fic. Every time I read it, I’m filled with this fierce, wild joy. But I will say that I don’t think this fic absolutely epitomizes everything they are. I also read this one (and I didn’t save it, and I now wish I had) that’s about Cersei thinking about when Ned Stark came into the throne room after Jaime killed Aerys, and Jaime was sitting on the Iron Throne, and he he GOT UP AND WALKED AWAY. And in this fic, they were having sex and it’s like, “We’re joined together as one again now, but now there has been a time when we WEREN’T one, and how can things ever be the same now that I know that?” And it’s like, “You could’ve stayed—you could’ve stayed on the throne, and then you and I would be ruling Westeros right now. How can you not want that, when I want it so badly? How could you get up and leave, knowing that you were not only loosing it for yourself, but denying it to me?” That fic I think did an equally good job of capturing what Jaime and Cersei are all about. I think both of these fics to a really good job of epitomizing ONE ASPECT of them and their relationship.

There is no ONE thing that they are about. They cannot be epitomized in one single fic. They are both of these fics, and more. They’re EVERYTHING.

You can probably tell I have a lot of feelings about this. So it’ll end this with one of my favorite quotes from them: “Her torch was the only light in the cavern. Her torch was the only light in the world.”

And OH, how that light is golden.
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Re: A thought about Jaime and Cersei shippers

Post by soldier-sorcerer on Sun Apr 08, 2018 12:32 am

Hey Azdaema, Those are some great observations!

My main issue with Cersei and Jaime (other than the fact that they make some very selfish decisions when it comes to how they treat others) is that I feel like Cersei cares more about power than about her relationship. I feel like there's doubt in my head about how mutual their love really is... I WANT to believe it but some things make me doubt it.

I believe that Jaime loves her in a genuine way because he is faithful to her and he stays by her side even when she is older and the whole world is against her. This is significant because many men in Westeros sleep around and seem to marry mainly to produce heirs... It's practically expected that married men would have 'bastard' children somewhere. With his looks and position, Jaime can have several options for a fling, even though he can't marry. So it really shows how much he loves Cersei when all he can think of is her..

Maybe some of Cersei's unfaithfulness could be explained by the stress she is under and her trying to protect her children (as she said to the high Septon in the book) but I can't help but wonder where Jaime fits in with her hunger for power.

At the same time, I think one reason she wants power so badly is because she was never given the chance to make her own decisions in life since she was a woman, and her personality is not the type that is ok with being controlled by others.

Also, as beautiful as that line about the light is, in that dream of Jaime's, Cersei walked away from him (as I recall), after he saw the torch, right?

Sorry, I'm not trying to insult their relationship. I just wish there was a little less ambiguity around the power obsession, so that I could believe that the love is not one-sided. The fact that the books and the tv series take different directions with storylines makes it even more complicated to sort this out.

Thank you for the fanfic recommendations. I'll make note and check them out sometime Smile

I think you explained very well how those who ship them hardcore must feel. The more I see twincest in stories explored fully like this, the more I get the impression that twincest is like the highest physical manifestation of the Soul Mate theory... twin lovers are not just figuratively but literally 'two halves of one whole'. That's pretty powerful.

-Soldier Like a Star @ heaven
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Re: A thought about Jaime and Cersei shippers

Post by Azdaema on Sun Apr 08, 2018 3:57 am

I think there's two main topics here, and they're a bit tangled.

You mention "faithfulness," by which I think you mean "monogamy"? For me, honestly, that point is a real non-issue. Jaime is super monogamous, and that's very striking and impressive and all. Cersei is not particularly monogamous in return. I don't think this has anything to do with love, though. For her, sexuality is weapon and currency, and she has been taught for so long that it's one of the only ones she has. Also, on the counts of Lancel and Taena, I get the sense that because powerful men are allowed to sleep around, Cersei sort of sees as a trapping of power, and does it herself because it makes her feel powerful. ...or rather, because she thinks it will make her feel powerful, but then it doesn't, and she's left frustrated and angry and missing Jaime.

Basically, they express their love different. But this misunderstanding in an in-universe one too, because Jaime does read Cersei not being monogamous as a slight against him. (Honestly, I feel like reading a blog post on the 5 Love Languages could really help them.)

The other aspect of this is, as you said, "I feel like Cersei cares more about power than about her relationship." To which I must admit... yeah, probably. A Song of Ice and Fire is a series about what people do for power, and what power does to people. Putting love before power is shown to be a bad thing (Rhaegar, Robb) but putting power before love is no better. But you said you "wish there was a little less ambiguity around the power obsession, so that I could believe that the love is not one-sided." I can say easily, with full conviction, that their love is not one-sided. Would Cersei put love over power? I can't say. But one of the things I love best about them is that their relationship is dysfunctional, and there is a lot of love between them. They are both, they are everything.

Lastly, what you said about soulmates, and two halves of one whole. Dr. Gottman is this famous relationship therapist. He has this list of 9 things that are really important in marriages, one of which is "Create Shared Meaning: Understand important visions, narratives, myths, and metaphors about your relationship." I never really understood what this meant until Jaime and Cersei. Because yes, they have these deeply ingrained narratives and myths about their relationship—how they're one soul in two bodies, and they must leave the world together as they entered it. And these beliefs about their relationship are very central to it.

The idea that they are two halves—that they are not complete people on their own—is actually pretty unhealthy. In any relationship, the idea that you are incomplete, that you need this person, I don't think is ever a good thing. But at the same time, there is something poetically beautiful about it, and I won't pretend I'm not kinda sucker for it. It's really a pretty perfect metaphor for Cersei and Jaime: fucked up, yes, but beautiful and meaningful all the same.

People can't choose who they love, and in shipping I think it is much the same—we can't really choose who we think should love who either. We can try to explain our reasons to others, but in the end it's not really a logical thing, it's an emotional one. They are a great glory, and a great tragedy, and I love them for it.

So this time I'll end with a line from that fanfic: "...and they are two halves of a golden sun, pressing together, burning hot and bright and endlessly gold."
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Re: A thought about Jaime and Cersei shippers

Post by soldier-sorcerer on Mon Apr 09, 2018 9:18 pm

I think faithfulness is important depending on what each person actually expects from the other. I guess there are people out there who don't mind as much, but when someone does mind, then it strains the relationship.

I'm not saying she loves the people she sleeps around with. My interpretation of her flings with Taena and Lancel and the Kettleblacks is pretty much the same as yours here. It's her failure to communicate in an honest way with Jaime that causes the issues.

 
Azdaema wrote:But one of the things I love best about them is that their relationship is dysfunctional, and there is a lot of love between them. They are both, they are everything.

Hmm.. I see. I guess this is where my preferences differ. I just can't bear the lack of communication between them. But I could still see that she does love him, just shows her love differently and in a way that's confusing (at least, to me).

I can see why your comments about Dr. Gottman are applicable
too. I don't see how that's necessarily a myth though. I mean, a couple is allowed to have their own idea of their relationship. It's like spirituality. It's intensely personal. Who's to say how real or unreal it is when they're the only ones it ultimately matters to?

The 'leaving the world together' can be a problematic idea though, since it could literally be harmful if one dies before the other and the other cannot continue to live due to that idea.

The idea that they are two halves—that they are not complete people on their own—is actually pretty unhealthy.

That's true.. I was mainly talking about the romantic aspect of it. But it only works when each person has a healthy sense of self-love. It can be a problem if ppl are co-dependent.

For me, it only becomes a problem when the love is not mutual. But when it's very mutual, I don't see why feeling that close is a bad thing. I see it as different from co-dependency.. I just don't have the words to express what I mean.

Thank you for sharing.
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Re: A thought about Jaime and Cersei shippers

Post by Azdaema on Tue Apr 10, 2018 1:57 am

Yeah, I think our main difference is that I think screwed up relationships can be beautiful despite that, and you prefer your relationships heathier. Which is perfectly legitimate. I like them because they give me ALL the feels, but I can also understand being frustrated with their not communicating enough. (I feel that too.)

Just to touch on the “myth” point again, I don’t mean that myth in a way that implies it’s untrue. My meaning of “myth” is something closer to the one they use in Crash Couse Mythology: an story with a lot of meaning, truth being neither here nor there.
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