Sorry if this question has already been asked to you but what do you think Jaime menant when he says: "There are no men like me. Only me."? I honestly love this quote so much but it''s so hard to determine what he meant by that. Some people think it's arrogance, but I don't think it's arrogant to say that we're not like others, because we're all unique in our own way. I personally felt a great loneliness from this quote, what do you think?
actually no no one ever asked me that specifically so… *cracks knuckles*
first thing: I love that quote to pieces I mean I loved jaime like woah before then too but at that point it was just cemented xD that said hahaha nope arrogant my ass. okay here comes another episode of ‘janie’s unpopular opinions about jaime lannister’s true character TM’ brace yourself
okay so, let’s see the entire context and let’s recall that at this point the guy is somewhat drunk since I think he was at the point in the exchange with cat where he was fairly beyond tipsy.
“Your crimes will have earned you a place of torment in the deepest of the seven hells, if the gods are just.”
“What gods are those, Lady Catelyn? The trees your husband prayed to? How well did they serve him when my sister took his head off?” Jaime gave a chuckle. “If there are gods, why is the world so full of pain and injustice?”
“Because of men like you.”
“There are no men like me. There’s only me.”
There is nothing here but arrogance and pride, and the empty courage of a madman. I am wasting my breath with this one. If there was ever a spark of honor in him, it is long dead.
now, first thing: obviously cat does not know jaime’s backstory and we know that she’s fairly wrong about pretty much all of her evaluation - like jaime has a lot of pride obviously and he’s arrogant, but his honor is far from dead as you can see later in asos and he’s not a madman. actually, he’s the only one actually speaking sense in this exchange - obviously not from cat’s pov, but tbh his reply is pretty dead-on. he is alive and ned is not, and we all know that killing aerys is what turned him into the cynical pseudo-heartless person he thinks he is these days and that he’s presented as in the beginning (pseudo-heartless because he’s not but never mind), and he’s probably spent a lot of time thinking over the fact. like it’s also obvious from his confession to brienne, but he really fucking resents having been judged that harshly over aerys. I mean:
The water had grown cool. When Jaime opened his eyes, he found himself staring at the stump of his sword hand. The hand that made me Kingslayer. The goat had robbed him of his glory and his shame, both at once. Leaving what? Who am I now?
The wench looked ridiculous, clutching her towel to her meager teats with her thick white legs sticking out beneath.
“Has my tale turned you speechless? Come, curse me or kiss me or call me a liar. Something.”
“If this is true, how is it no one knows?”
“The knights of the Kingsguard are sworn to keep the king’s secrets. Would you have me break my oath?” Jaime laughed. “Do you think the noble Lord of Winterfell wanted to hear my feeble explanations? Such an honorable man. He only had to look at me to judge me guilty."
wow. he’s totally not angry over it still, isn’t it?
thing is: no one else in the kingsguard at least in recent times as far as we know has murdered their king as he did. he has never gone and tried to correct it with anyone else because everyone judged him on principle because of it and at that point let’s remember that he had guarded aerys for two years and when he burned people in front of him he was most likely dissociating so having to kill aerys was probably the straw breaking the camel’s back to jaime’s feelings about questioning his role in the kingsguard and the likes. I mean, don’t forget that he had been questioning the whole ‘why don’t we lift a finger if the king is horrid to his family’ rules for a long time and no one else saw fit to either do something about it or voice their concerns if they had any. there’s literally no one like him because as far as we know he’s been the only KG member who ever put the entire system into question. and as far as he knows he made the right decision (he doesn’t really regret killing aerys even if he has conflicted feelings about it ie his glory and his shame) but no one else does.
now, after that he thinks that the whole oaths/honor talk is bullshit for obvious reasons and that’s why he doesn’t give a fuck (externally) if people think he has no honor. he’s gonna embrace it if that’s what they think even if deep down he loathes it - or he wouldn’t be telling that story to brienne who’s, guess what, the One True Knight & Honor Personified Except That She Is True To It And Not A Fraud in the entire continent. this stated, let’s look at the first exchange.
cat is basically telling jaime that his crimes have eternally damned him and she obviously means pushing bran, killing aerys and possibly banging his sister, but as far as jaime thinks the only one out of the three he might consider a crime is pushing bran, not loving his sister (as far as he’s concerned) or killing a madman (and I’m saying he’d consider pushing bran a crime because before he pushes him he says ‘the things I do for love’ with loathing, which would suggest he KNOWS he’s doing something shitty). so hey she’s doing exactly the same thing ned did with him ie judging him without knowing the entire story or the reasons why he committed most of his supposed *crimes*. he gives her a perfectly logical answer that also complies with his character development - at that point he’d hardly care about gods whatsoever and he hasn’t for a long time most probably. also he’s laughing the entire time which would suggest he’s finding it all hilarious in the way it is when you’re drunk and you’re already cynical in the first place. anyway, ‘why is the world so full of pain and injustice’ isn’t just aimed at cat, it could be aimed in general, because that’s most likely a question he’s asked himself since he got into the KG. it is the question someone who has to serve aerys and hates it would ask themselves.
and she replies ‘well, because of men like you’, supposing that he is the kind of horrible person that makes the world full of pain and injustice while actually the guy had to live for years serving someone who made the world full of pain and injustice and made everyone a favor when he killed aerys. so basically she went and told him that he is the same as aerys which I’m fairly sure jaime wouldn’t agree with since they’re absolutely not.
and then he tells her that there are no men like him. but like that’s literal truth - there aren’t. no one has done what he has done, no one has been reviled for it as it happened to him, no one went into the KG at fifteen and no one did the things jaime did in that specific context and he’s just telling her the truth. he’s telling her that not only he’s not like aerys, but no one else could have done the things he did and he doesn’t really want to be likened to aerys in the first place.
and as you said there’s obviously the loneliness part of it since if you look at the whole picture, jaime’s basically kept that story for himself until he told brienne. but like he kept that secret for more than ten years also because no one would have cared to hear his part of the story, and he didn’t share it even with cersei when one presumes he would since at that point he still buys into the ‘we are the same person etc’ mantra. but he doesn’t. he never has. and he’s probably felt the burden of it for that entire time, and then again if he never told others it probably was also because he thought it wouldn’t change anything. (and guess what when he tells brienne it actually does change things but never mind.) also jaime tends to keep a lot of things that end up eating him from the inside ie he never tells tyrion about tysha or never tells anyone about aerys and the likes. of course there’s no one like him. because no one’s had his experiences and no one bothered to understand them and he’s not the kind of person that makes the world a horrible place but everyone thinks he is and at that point of the story he had sort of embraced it in the ‘well they think that of me fine I’ll deliver’ sense. he meant all of that, but obviously cat was not the right interlocutor for it since she thinks he’s insane when he’s the one out of the two of them that’s talking most sense. it’s not that it’s arrogance (he’s arrogant in other ways), it’s just the way it is.
(mind that jaime is one of the few people who tends to say things straight and tends to not bullshit in his povs and grows more self-aware with the narration rather than being unreliable - he’s like one of the most reliable narrators in asoiaf tbh if you don’t count the part concerning his feelings for cersei, but he also gets progressively self-aware in that sense as well. so like he generally means 90% of what he says unless he’s deliberately lying and you know when he is, it’s his pov most of the times. I think you can generally take at face value most of the things he says and this one also counts.)