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#102 Posted by BladeOfFury (3311 posts) - - Show Bio

@the_red_viper: Didn't the writers literally state that they are equals?

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#103 Posted by jashugan (6652 posts) - - Show Bio

@jashugan said:

the mountain is invincible, he's numero uno.

I didn't count UnGregor in this list, nor will I in the next one that I make.

why not? he's a "fighter"

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#104 Posted by FinalKingThanos (1246 posts) - - Show Bio

@the_red_viper: i know the books mate that was my point about Dayne being great in both.

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#105 Posted by the_red_viper (12863 posts) - - Show Bio

@the_red_viper: Didn't the writers literally state that they are equals?

The writers said that Ned and Jaime were evenly matched, but they also said Jaime wanted to test Ned's mettle, i.e he was fighting him for sport more than anything. I think that a non-serious Jaime being evenly matched with a furious, out-for-blood Ned, indicates Jaime's superiority. I always got the impression Jaime was toying with him even before watching the "Behind the Episode" in which the writers said that Jaime wasn't being serious, he was taunting Ned and smiling in his face throughout most of the fight. He only started to get more serious when he realized Ned isn't a slouch and isn't someone to toy around with, but shortly after that the fight was interrupted so we never really got to see Jaime being serious there. I view Ned as a very solid fighter, good enough so that he'd be a danged to Jaime if he isn't completely serious, but against a serious Jaime I'd say that Ned really doesn't stand a chance. Jaime's got so many subtle accolades throughout the entire show that are easy to miss that I can't see him as anything less than top-tier. For example, Euron's praise for him in season 7; he described Jaime's fighting to be glorious like a dance (we know it was a genuine compliment given how he started to mock Jaime a few moments later). I drew an immediate parallel from that description to the way Barristan Selmy was described back in season 2: it was said (by Jaime, I should add) that Barristan's fighting as a form of art, and even says that being able to fight like that is something he couldn't even imagine when he was younger. That's but one example, there are a lot more.

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#106 Posted by the_red_viper (12863 posts) - - Show Bio

@jashugan said:
@the_red_viper said:
@jashugan said:

the mountain is invincible, he's numero uno.

I didn't count UnGregor in this list, nor will I in the next one that I make.

why not? he's a "fighter"

Yeah, well so are Wun Wun and the Night King, lol. Nah, he doesn't belong in this list. It's like fighting a White Walker.

Besides, I made this list even before season 7. UnGregor had basically one on-screen appearance back then, and it wasn't really a combat feat.

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#107 Posted by BladeOfFury (3311 posts) - - Show Bio
  1. Arthur Dayne
  2. Barristan Selmy
  3. Sandor Clegane
  4. Brienne of Tarth
  5. Ned Stark
  6. Jaime Lannister
  7. Oberyn Martell
  8. The Mountain
  9. Jon Snow
  10. Grey Worm
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#108 Posted by the_red_viper (12863 posts) - - Show Bio

  1. Arthur Dayne
  2. Barristan Selmy
  3. Sandor Clegane
  4. Brienne of Tarth
  5. Ned Stark
  6. Jaime Lannister
  7. Oberyn Martell
  8. The Mountain
  9. Jon Snow
  10. Grey Worm

Wait, you have Ned ABOVE Jaime? Why?

I mean, I can understand why one would see them as equals, even though I really don't see them as such. But having Ned above him?

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#109 Edited by JediXMan (42879 posts) - - Show Bio
  1. Arthur Dayne
  2. Barristan Selmy
  3. Jaime Lannister (prime)
  4. Oberyn Martell
  5. The Mountain (pre-zombie)
  6. The Hound
  7. Grey Worm
  8. Brienne of Tarth
  9. Jon Snow
  10. Bronn
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#110 Posted by the_red_viper (12863 posts) - - Show Bio

@jedixman said:
  1. Arthur Dayne
  2. Barristan Selmy
  3. Jaime Lannister (prime)
  4. Oberyn Martell
  5. The Mountain (pre-zombie)
  6. The Hound
  7. Grey Worm
  8. Brienne of Tarth
  9. Jon Snow
  10. Bronn
@jedixman said:

I applaud the fact that Jon Snow isn't on this list.

đź‘€

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#111 Edited by BladeOfFury (3311 posts) - - Show Bio

@the_red_viper: The writer's explanation can't possibly get any clearer.

"Ned Stark is a famous warrior, so Jaime sees him as a natural opponent."

This suggests that Jaime considered Ned to be a worthy opponent even before the fight.

"I'm going to open your lord from balls to brains."

This suggests that Jaime originally intended to go for the kill.

"He just wants to get him out there, on the field, so they can test each other's mettle and see who's the better man."

This doesn't prove that Jaime was toying or anything like that. "See who's the better man" means that Jaime was actually trying to win... to see who's the better man.

Then there is this:

"When the fight starts to happen, Jaime realizes than when Ned fights a man for real, he fights a man for real, and Jaime starts to realize that his life is in danger here and it becomes a fight to the death."

"They're pretty evenly matched, and it's anyone's guess who would have won if they fight hadn't been abruptly terminated."

First, notice that Jaime realizes that Ned is fighting serious when the fight starts to happen, meaning that Jaime was already aware of the danger he's in for most of the fight.

Notice that "they're pretty evenly matched" comes after "it becomes a fight to the death," meaning that they are evenly matched once it already becomes a full out fight.

"It's anyone's guess who would have won if they fight hadn't been abruptly terminated," eliminates all doubt. You yourself admitted that Jaime began taking Ned seriously before the end of the match, so the fight could have gone either way even after that point.

Jaime lets a smile on his lips in the first part of the fight, which could show that he's pleased that he gets to fight a worthy opponent. The rest of Jaime's facial expressions indicate effort and strain.

@the_red_viper said:

Wait, you have Ned ABOVE Jaime? Why?

I mean, I can understand why one would see them as equals, even though I really don't see them as such. But having Ned above him?

Ned was far past his prime when he fought Jaime, and he didn't fight in decades. Considering how close old Ned is to Jaime, young Ned would be better.

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#112 Edited by godzilla44 (7590 posts) - - Show Bio

@the_red_viper:

I don't think Arya is top 7. Her only combat feats other than killing wights, are against the Waif and against Brienne, and I do maintain that Brienne was severely holding back even after she kicked Arya, and I did get the impression that Brienne had more of an advantage in their "stalemate".

I had the opposite impression with the Brienne & Arya fight, I saw Arya schooling her at first then Brienne gets pissed and kicks her, then Arya gets up with no problem, showing Brienne she can take a hit, allowing Brienne not to hold back. You also have to factor in Brienne was using (I think) Oathkeeper while Arya was using Needle, that's a massive advantage for Brienne. Also Arya was able to stalemate her with just her dagger, once she lost needle.

I do agree though that Jon should probably be above Daario. I originally put Daario above Jon because he's more versatile, but all things considered Jon should probably take a majority on him, however small. Jon VS Bronn is still a toss-up for me, and my gut still says Bronn's better.

I'm not going to argue much here because these 3 are really toss up but I think Jon deserve to be over Daario at least.

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#113 Edited by JediXMan (42879 posts) - - Show Bio

@jedixman said:
  1. Arthur Dayne
  2. Barristan Selmy
  3. Jaime Lannister (prime)
  4. Oberyn Martell
  5. The Mountain (pre-zombie)
  6. The Hound
  7. Grey Worm
  8. Brienne of Tarth
  9. Jon Snow
  10. Bronn
@jedixman said:

I applaud the fact that Jon Snow isn't on this list.

đź‘€

... I'm sorry. Replace him with... anybody. Idk what I was thinking.

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#114 Posted by the_red_viper (12863 posts) - - Show Bio

@the_red_viper: The writer's explanation can't possibly get any clearer.

"Ned Stark is a famous warrior, so Jaime sees him as a natural opponent."

This suggests that Jaime considered Ned to be a worthy opponent even before the fight.

"I'm going to open your lord from balls to brains."

This suggests that Jaime originally intended to go for the kill.

"He just wants to get him out there, on the field, so they can test each other's mettle and see who's the better man."

This doesn't prove that Jaime was toying or anything like that. "See who's the better man" means that Jaime was actually trying to win... to see who's the better man.

Then there is this:

"When the fight starts to happen, Jaime realizes than when Ned fights a man for real, he fights a man for real, and Jaime starts to realize that his life is in danger here and it becomes a fight to the death."

"They're pretty evenly matched, and it's anyone's guess who would have won if they fight hadn't been abruptly terminated."

First, notice that Jaime realizes that Ned is fighting serious when the fight starts to happen, meaning that Jaime was already aware of the danger he's in for most of the fight.

Notice that "they're pretty evenly matched" comes after "it becomes a fight to the death," meaning that they are evenly matched once it already becomes a full out fight.

"It's anyone's guess who would have won if they fight hadn't been abruptly terminated," eliminates all doubt. You yourself admitted that Jaime began taking Ned seriously before the end of the match, so the fight could have gone either way even after that point.

Jaime lets a smile on his lips in the first part of the fight, which could show that he's pleased that he gets to fight a worthy opponent. The rest of Jaime's facial expressions indicate effort and strain.

@the_red_viper said:

Wait, you have Ned ABOVE Jaime? Why?

I mean, I can understand why one would see them as equals, even though I really don't see them as such. But having Ned above him?

Ned was far past his prime when he fought Jaime, and he didn't fight in decades. Considering how close old Ned is to Jaime, young Ned would be better.

Or, you could look at it from another direction: Ned is a famous warrior because everybody knows he killed Arthur Dayne. But we all know what really happened back there, because we saw the fight. Ned made it sound like he beat Dayne fair and square which earned him his reverence as a great swordsman (as Bran said: "My father beat him, I heard the story a thousand times").

Jaime wanted to test Ned's mettle: i.e, he wanted to assess him. If you want to test someone you don't play it serious from the get go, you let them come at you to see what they can do. Which Jaime did, and found out that Ned is in fact good, so he started to get serious. He smiled in his face to taunt him, because he knew Ned was as angry as one could get; he just witnessed Jaime kill one of his closest confidantes in cold blood with one contemptuous move. Jaime was smiling in his face to irk him, not because he was glad to be fighting him. He only fought him in the first place because Catelyn took Tyrion prisoner. The writers said Jaime wanted to get Ned out on the field so they can test each other's mettle. The only problem was that Jaime was the only one who saw it this way. He wanted the sport, Ned wanted to kill him from the get-go. Jaime might have gotten serious somewhere in the middle of the fight, but when the fight started he wasn't really fighting to the best of his ability. Jaime fighting to the best of his ability is taking out Jory Cassel, who showed equal performance to Ned, with one move. When Jaime fought Ned, he wasn't fighting to the best of his ability, he was fighting for kicks. Seriously, why even bother fighting when you can let the dozen men you brought do it for you, if not for the fun of it.

You say:

"I'm going to open your lord from balls to brains."

This suggests that Jaime originally intended to go for the kill.

But you neglect the fact that right afterwards, Ned tells him: "If you kill me, your brother's a dead man", and Jaime responds with: "You're right, [to his men] take him alive". First of all I'd point out that Ned knew he couldn't win this fight so he tried to "buy" his way out of it by convincing Jaime it wouldn't be wise to kill him. Then, Jaime explicitly states that he wants Ned alive. Why would he even fight him in the first place if he had about a dozen men with him who could have just grabbed him instead? Why bother? Because he wanted to have some sport, that's why. He was eager to fight Ned. Ned was bloodlusted, or at least as close to bloodlusted as he could get due to having just witnessed Jaime kill Jory Cassel like he was nothing more than fodder, and having heard from Caitlyn not long before this scene, that Jaime and his family is responsible for trying to kill Bran... twice.

Jaime only takes the grin off his face when he and Ned cross blades and he realizes that Ned is out for blood and that he could be dangerous if Jaime isn't fighting serious. That is actually a good strength feat for Ned, considering Jaime has very impressive feats on that front, and Ned matching him is pretty nice. I'll give you that - Ned was strong. But by that point, Ned gets speared in the leg and the fight stops. Point is, we don't get to see Jaime really fighting seriously.

"See who's the better man" means that Jaime was actually trying to win... to see who's the better man.

Trying to win, yes. Trying to kill him, no. He was fighting for fun, for sport. Ned was out for blood. That makes a difference.

First, notice that Jaime realizes that Ned is fighting serious when the fight starts to happen, meaning that Jaime was already aware of the danger he's in for most of the fight.

Jaime was still smiling until 20 seconds before the fight ended:

Loading Video...

You don't smile when your life is in danger. Jaime realized Ned is not someone to toy with sometime after the 2:01 mark, we can only guess when, but that still only leaves us with about 15 seconds, at most, of Jaime being serious. I mean, Jaime not killing Ned in 15 seconds or less doesn't mean he isn't better than him, only that Ned isn't so far below Jaime that he's registered as fodder.

Plus, do note the footage we see when Weiss says that Jaime realizes Ned is serious:

Loading Video...

The footage we see is Ned and Jaime crossing blades, as I suggested earlier. That's fine, but it's really when the fight practically ended.

"It's anyone's guess who would have won if they fight hadn't been abruptly terminated," eliminates all doubt. You yourself admitted that Jaime began taking Ned seriously before the end of the match, so the fight could have gone either way even after that point.

"Anyone's guess" practically means that the fight was inconclusive, which is obviously true. It ended with neither man even wounding the other, neither had any sort of actual advantage. But then again, we never got to see Jaime fighting seriously. Also, as another note, do you really think that the showrunners would tell you that Ned, the hero of the series, would lose to the ultimate bad guy? Of course not, they'd wanna hype up their hero. It wouldn't be politically correct for them to say otherwise, but if Ned really had been on Jaime's level, it would have been mentioned at some point. It wasn't though, while Jaime's skill was referenced too many times to count throughout the show.

Ned was far past his prime when he fought Jaime, and he didn't fight in decades.

You do realize Jaime and Ned are roughly the same age right? And who said Ned didn't fight for decades? Warriors train, you know. It's even mentioned in the books that Sansa recalls seeing Ned sparring with other noblemen who came to visit Winterfell (namely Bronze Yohn Royce).

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#115 Posted by TheSuperor (6943 posts) - - Show Bio

Everyone knows that Jon is superior to Ser Arthur Dayne, c'mon now.

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#116 Posted by the_red_viper (12863 posts) - - Show Bio

@the_red_viper:

I don't think Arya is top 7. Her only combat feats other than killing wights, are against the Waif and against Brienne, and I do maintain that Brienne was severely holding back even after she kicked Arya, and I did get the impression that Brienne had more of an advantage in their "stalemate".

I had the opposite impression with the Brienne & Arya fight, I saw Arya schooling her at first then Brienne gets pissed and kicks her, then Arya gets up with no problem, showing Brienne she can take a hit, allowing Brienne not to hold back. You also have to factor in Brienne was using (I think) Oathkeeper while Arya was using Needle, that's a massive advantage for Brienne. Also Arya was able to stalemate her with just her dagger, once she lost needle.

I do agree though that Jon should probably be above Daario. I originally put Daario above Jon because he's more versatile, but all things considered Jon should probably take a majority on him, however small. Jon VS Bronn is still a toss-up for me, and my gut still says Bronn's better.

I'm not going to argue much here because these 3 are really toss up but I think Jon deserve to be over Daario at least.

Brienne was actually using a blunted practice sword while Arya was using live steel, so Arya had the gear advantage. I don't think Brienne was fighting to the best of her ability after kicking Arya, she obviously wasn't treating her negligently like she did beforehand but she still didn't put in everything she has. And she still disarmed her, and even gave her a couple of seconds of relief before attacking again. Had she been more serious, she would have ended the match then and there. I think her position at the end of the match was more advantageous too. In a real fight she would have been able to just stab forward and end it, while Arya on the other hand would have had to step forward in order to actually reach Brienne's throat, while trying to avoid an inevitable stab in the eye.

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#117 Posted by the_red_viper (12863 posts) - - Show Bio

@jedixman said:
@the_red_viper said:
@jedixman said:
  1. Arthur Dayne
  2. Barristan Selmy
  3. Jaime Lannister (prime)
  4. Oberyn Martell
  5. The Mountain (pre-zombie)
  6. The Hound
  7. Grey Worm
  8. Brienne of Tarth
  9. Jon Snow
  10. Bronn
@jedixman said:

I applaud the fact that Jon Snow isn't on this list.

đź‘€

... I'm sorry. Replace him with... anybody. Idk what I was thinking.

Hot Pie it is, then.

Or Sam Tarly maybe. He did survive the battle of Winterfell, after all. Sam > Jorah confirmed.

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#118 Posted by BladeOfFury (3311 posts) - - Show Bio

@the_red_viper:

First of all, you're assuming that fighting angry (or "bloodlusted," as you said) gave Ned some kind of advantage against Jaime, who was not in the same state of mind. That is not the case in a contest of skill, and it is common consensus that anger actually prompts the fighter to make mistakes. Both in fiction and in real life, cunning fighters try to induce rage in their opponents to cloud their judgement. An example in Thrones is how Ramsay manipulated Jon before the Battle of the Bastards, and sure enough, Jon's anger immediately caused him to make a mistake (he charged without his army). Ned's bloodlust was actually been disadvantageous in that scenario, especially considering that pain tolerance (something induced by adrenaline) was of no relevance in the fight.

Or, you could look at it from another direction: Ned is a famous warrior because everybody knows he killed Arthur Dayne. But we all know what really happened back there, because we saw the fight. Ned made it sound like he beat Dayne fair and square which earned him his reverence as a great swordsman (as Bran said: "My father beat him, I heard the story a thousand times").

It doesn't matter if Ned actually deserved his reputation, or that he didn't beat Dayne in a fair fight. What matters is that Jaime thought he did, meaning that he knew Ned was someone he shouldn't mess with. This invalidates the "toying" argument. Do you really think that Jaime would "toy" with someone who defeated Arthur Dayne, the Sword of the Morning, the greatest swordsman in Westeros?

Jaime wanted to test Ned's mettle: i.e, he wanted to assess him. If you want to test someone you don't play it serious from the get go, you let them come at you to see what they can do.

Ceteris Paribus, it is possible that Jaime wanted to test Ned, but still went full out. I mean, you can still see how good your opponent is even when you try to win, which you admitted Jaime did:

Trying to win, yes

Now, when taking into consideration all the other factors, such as Jaime's opinion of Ned before the fight and his facial expressions, this possibility becomes the only logical one. In other words, it would have simply been illogical for Jaime to toy with Ned, and the writers' "mettle" statement doesn't disprove the possibility that he wasn't toying.

Seriously, why even bother fighting when you can let the dozen men you brought do it for you, if not for the fun of it.

Jaime definitely wanted to fight Ned for the fun of it, but I also play Ping Pong for the fun of it, and yet I still go full out. I can still have fun without toying with my opponents.

But you neglect the fact that right afterwards, Ned tells him: "If you kill me, your brother's a dead man", and Jaime responds with: "You're right, [to his men] take him alive". First of all I'd point out that Ned knew he couldn't win this fight so he tried to "buy" his way out of it by convincing Jaime it wouldn't be wise to kill him. Then, Jaime explicitly states that he wants Ned alive.

That's why I said "originally."

This suggests that Jaime originally intended to go for the kill.

The phrase shows that Jaime was willing to do anything to Ned but kill him, which is far from toying.

Jaime only takes the grin off his face when he and Ned cross blades

No, in a 35 second fight, Jaime grins for 1 second. 1 smile, when he narrowly escapes Ned's sword. To me, it seems like he smiled because he was pleased to finally face a worthy opponent. To you, it seems like he smiled to taunt/provoke him. Doesn't matter which we go with. Either way, the smile is not indication of "toying," and Jaime doesn't smile again.

You don't smile when your life is in danger.

I mean, the writers literally said that "Jaime starts to realize that his life is in danger here." His life was in danger whether he smiled or not.

He could have smiled for two reasons:

  1. He wanted to provoke Ned, try to lead his opponent into making a mistake
  2. He was pleased to see that Ned is highly skilled, as he has been longing for a good fight. Jaime loves sword-fighting so much, that I can see him smiling, even when he's in danger

Plus, do note the footage we see when Weiss says that Jaime realizes Ned is serious:

The footage we see is Ned and Jaime crossing blades, as I suggested earlier.

And then when the writers say "it becomes a fight to the death," they show footage from the beginning of the fight.

"Anyone's guess" practically means that the fight was inconclusive, which is obviously true. It ended with neither man even wounding the other, neither had any sort of actual advantage.

I'd say that "anyone's guess" implies that the fight can go either way. If the writers had a guess, they would have said their guess.

Also, as another note, do you really think that the showrunners would tell you that Ned, the hero of the series, would lose to the ultimate bad guy? Of course not, they'd wanna hype up their hero. It wouldn't be politically correct for them to say otherwise, but if Ned really had been on Jaime's level, it would have been mentioned at some point.

This isn't a fairy tale. This is Game of Thrones, a show where the hero of the series gets his head chopped off in the first season, where a father watches his daughters burn to death, where a wolf's head is sewed onto a good character's body. Saying that Jaime would have beaten Ned if the fight ensued isn't that bad.

You do realize Jaime and Ned are roughly the same age right? And who said Ned didn't fight for decades? Warriors train, you know. It's even mentioned in the books that Sansa recalls seeing Ned sparring with other noblemen who came to visit Winterfell (namely Bronze Yohn Royce).

Throughout those decades, Jaime was a Kingsguard, a job entirely based on combat. Ned was primarily a father, and I don't see him training that often.

In conclusion, we have to assume that Jaime took the fight seriously from the beginning because

  • He thought that Ned defeated Arthur Dayne
  • The show-runners stated that he saw Ned as a natural opponent
  • He originally wanted to kill Ned. Once he realized that he can't, he simply went for the next best thing: incap
  • The "mettle" statement doesn't disprove the possibility that Jaime went full out, as you can still gauge someone's abilities while going full out. The above factors make this possibility extremely probable

Does this look like toying to you?

No Caption Provided

How about this?

No Caption Provided

As for the fact that Eddard was actually "bloodlusted" while Jaime wasn't, that would actually benefit Jaime's skill more as far as I'm concerned.

And what about the order of the directors' sentences, which you didn't counter. "They're pretty evenly matched" comes after "it becomes a fight to the death," which means that they were evenly matched after it already became a fight to the death. Simple, really. No need to over-complicate.

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#119 Posted by buildhare (8758 posts) - - Show Bio

Any list with Grey Worm, Daario and Bronn but not Jon is pretty silly. Of the three he has by far the best feats and is notably the only one to actually fight superhumans. Even if we want to go purely off hype (which is all Daario is) he has the most of it by a country mile (the entire north praised his skills).

Biggest issue with this season apart from the writing is we never got to see him and Grey Worm fight.

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#120 Posted by the_red_viper (12863 posts) - - Show Bio

@bladeoffury:

First of all, you're assuming that fighting angry (or "bloodlusted," as you said) gave Ned some kind of advantage against Jaime, who was not in the same state of mind. That is not the case in a contest of skill, and it is common consensus that anger actually prompts the fighter to make mistakes. Both in fiction and in real life, cunning fighters try to induce rage in their opponents to cloud their judgement. An example in Thrones is how Ramsay manipulated Jon before the Battle of the Bastards, and sure enough, Jon's anger immediately caused him to make a mistake (he charged without his army). Ned's bloodlust was actually been disadvantageous in that scenario, especially considering that pain tolerance (something induced by adrenaline) was of no relevance in the fight.

I disagree. Jon at the BotB is probably the worst example you could give tbh, because while it's true that his anger made him take rash tactical decisions, it only boosted him as far as personal fighting prowess goes, which is what matters in our discussion. Jon's performance at the BotB is most probably his best on-screen melee performance, the amount of people he killed on-screen at that episode alone rivals his entire kill-count during the rest of the entire 8 seasons.

It doesn't matter if Ned actually deserved his reputation, or that he didn't beat Dayne in a fair fight. What matters is that Jaime thought he did, meaning that he knew Ned was someone he shouldn't mess with. This invalidates the "toying" argument. Do you really think that Jaime would "toy" with someone who defeated Arthur Dayne, the Sword of the Morning, the greatest swordsman in Westeros?

Probably because Jaime knew that he didn't deserve this reputation. He's one of the only people who got to watch both Dayne and Ned fight in their prime, on separate occasions. Jaime idolized Dayne, and seeing Ned fight, he probably knew that there's no way he beat Dayne in a fair one-on-one.

Ceteris Paribus, it is possible that Jaime wanted to test Ned, but still went full out. I mean, you can still see how good your opponent is even when you try to win, which you admitted Jaime did:

Now, when taking into consideration all the other factors, such as Jaime's opinion of Ned before the fight and his facial expressions, this possibility becomes the only logical one. In other words, it would have simply been illogical for Jaime to toy with Ned, and the writers' "mettle" statement doesn't disprove the possibility that he wasn't toying.

Considering Jaime's facial expressions isn't something that helps you here considering he was still smiling about halfway through the fight. Even if you stick to the notion of Jaime smiling because he finally found a worthy opponent (which I disagree with, he could have sparred with people like Barristan and the Hound practically whenever he wanted to), it still means that Jaime didn't feel like he's in danger at that point. "He realized his life is in danger", you don't smile if your life is in danger even if you're really excited to be fighting someone you wanted to fight for a while. Jaime isn't an adrenaline junkie who smiles when he's in serious danger like a stereotypical Viking. Even the Red Viper, in his fight against Gregor (and we would both agree that he was toying with Gregor like a Lego figure), only stopped smiling and taunting him after Gregor dropped him to the floor and almost hacked him in half, which is the point Oberyn realized that - to quote Tyrion - "The Mountain is too damn big to be anyone's toy".

Jaime definitely wanted to fight Ned for the fun of it, but I also play Ping Pong for the fun of it, and yet I still go full out. I can still have fun without toying with my opponents.

I don't think you can compare a game of ping pong to a swordfight. Worse that can happen if you lose a game of ping pong is, well... nothing (unless you bet money on it I guess). Worse that could happen if you lose a swordfight (against an opponent who reeeeally wants to kill you) is death, mutilation, dismemberment, and other such lovely things. Ping pong is fun because it's a game played for the purpose of amusement. Swordfights aren't supposed to be fun, and when you do want to make a fight "fun", you seek to prolong it so you can actually enjoy it.

That's why I said "originally."

The phrase shows that Jaime was willing to do anything to Ned but kill him, which is far from toying.

It limits him. It means he can't fight like he would any regular opponent, he can't really go all-out. Same cannot be said for Ned. As Weiss said, "Jaime realizes that when Ned fights a man for real, he fights a man for real". We can only conclude that up until this point, Jaime wasn't fighting "for real", i.e not to the best of his ability.

No, in a 35 second fight, Jaime grins for 1 second. 1 smile, when he narrowly escapes Ned's sword. To me, it seems like he smiled because he was pleased to finally face a worthy opponent. To you, it seems like he smiled to taunt/provoke him. Doesn't matter which we go with. Either way, the smile is not indication of "toying," and Jaime doesn't smile again.

Jaime smiles that one smile midway through the fight. That means that at least up until this point, he didn't really feel like he's in danger. The notions of smiling because you're excited to be in danger is quite silly if you'll excuse me for saying so, as I explained above. And also about the notion that he can "finally" face a worthy opponent - also false, again I'll say, Jaime was living alongside people like the Hound and Barristan Selmy (both of whom you rated above Ned in your list, I should mention), and probably other good fighters who lived in King's Landing like Stannis, Thoros of Myr and likely others that I'm forgetting, and could spar with them whenever he wanted. You yourself said that Jaime was likely training often, which I totally agree with. We can only assume that some of his training involved sparring with other people who keep a steady training routine, among them being other great fighters, who also had to keep that same training routine.

I mean, the writers literally said that "Jaime starts to realize that his life is in danger here." His life was in danger whether he smiled or not.

His life was in danger when he wasn't yet being serious. Not really a showing of Ned's skill.

He could have smiled for two reasons:

  1. He wanted to provoke Ned, try to lead his opponent into making a mistake
  2. He was pleased to see that Ned is highly skilled, as he has been longing for a good fight. Jaime loves sword-fighting so much, that I can see him smiling, even when he's in danger

Again, the 2nd option simply doesn't correlate with the character of any sane human being. Nobody loves being in danger. Tormund loves fighting, he comes from a warrior culture, but we never saw him smile in life-threatening situations like the Battle of the Bastards or the Battle of the Frozen Lake. Even at Castle Black, which was a very close fight, we don't see him smile. Daario loves fighting, he literally made a career out of it. We never see him smile when he feels he is in actual danger, look at the fighting-pits scene against the Sons of the Harpy for example. The Hound loves to fight, he even explicitly says so in season 3, but we never saw him smile during the battle at the inn, or when he fought Brienne. Or Styr, who smiled throughout most of the fight at Castle Black, and even grinned as he was approaching Jon Snow, but stopped smiling after he saw Jon actually makes him work for it. People don't smile when their lives are in danger, Jaime included. Also, Jaime was never really characterized as someone who particularly enjoys fighting, like Daario or the Hound or Styr. He's just described as being very good at it while being woefully cocky.

And then when the writers say "it becomes a fight to the death," they show footage from the beginning of the fight.

What? No they don't. They show footage of them locking their blades and then they show some footage that happened literally 5 seconds before they crossed their blades. Look at the videos again.

I'd say that "anyone's guess" implies that the fight can go either way. If the writers had a guess, they would have said their guess.

Your interpretation of this phrase is fine, I still stick with mine - that they meant neither fighter seemed to be getting the upper hand, which is true, but kinda speaks for itself when Jaime wasn't being serious throughout pretty much half the fight if not more so.

This isn't a fairy tale. This is Game of Thrones, a show where the hero of the series gets his head chopped off in the first season, where a father watches his daughters burn to death, where a wolf's head is sewed onto a good character's body. Saying that Jaime would have beaten Ned if the fight ensued isn't that bad.

Very evil things happen in GoT, true enough, but it's still not "politically correct" for the writers to say so in a behind-the-scenes footage. Also remember, it was still the naive beginning of the series when we thought Ned is the main hero and would end up winning the throne.

It was just a side-note anyway.

Throughout those decades, Jaime was a Kingsguard, a job entirely based on combat. Ned was primarily a father, and I don't see him training that often.

Jaime was probably in better shape, on that much I agree. But any highborn lord with a speck of self dignity has to keep himself in at least a decent shape in case he's needed, especially one as dutiful as Ned.

In conclusion, we have to assume that Jaime took the fight seriously from the beginning because

  • He thought that Ned defeated Arthur Dayne
  • The show-runners stated that he saw Ned as a natural opponent
  • He originally wanted to kill Ned. Once he realized that he can't, he simply went for the next best thing: incap
  • The "mettle" statement doesn't disprove the possibility that Jaime went full out, as you can still gauge someone's abilities while going full out. The above factors make this possibility extremely probable

We really don't because:

  • He saw both Ned and Dayne fight in their prime and must have known that Ned could never have beaten Dayne in a fair fight.
  • The writers also stated that Jaime wanted to test Ned's mettle and that he wasn't fighting him "for real" at the beginning.
  • Jaime not being able to kill Ned limited him. Ned wasn't limited in any way.
  • Jaime wanted to see how good Ned is, something he wouldn't be able to do if he defeats him too fast. He wasn't trying to let Ned win of course, but he also wasn't fighting him as he would have fought a man on the battlefield (as in, "for real").
  • Jaime was smiling halfway through the fight. You don't smile when you're in danger of death unless you're some sort of unhinged adrenaline junkie, which Jaime isn't. Again I'll use the Red Viper as an example, he was taunting and laughing at Gregor all throughout their fight, until Gregor tossed him to the ground and nearly killed him. That's the point at which Oberyn realized he might actually be in danger and should start fighting seriously. It also just happened to be the point where he stopped smiling.

Does this look like toying to you?

No, it looks like someone exerting physical force. Which Jaime did regardless of how serious he was - he was engaging in a physical activity, after all. I still maintain that up until his smile, and likely at least a while after that, Jaime wasn't fighting "for real", because trying to explain it as a smile of genuine pleasure or happiness while Jaime feels like his life is in danger really goes against all sense. So we have, at most (and I'm being generous), 15 seconds of Jaime being serious. 5-6 seconds of which they were standing with their blades locked together and weren't really fighting. So we have at most 10 seconds of Jaime fighting seriously. I'm wholeheartedly willing to accept that Ned is good enough to hold his own for 10 whole seconds against Jaime, even if Jaime is serious. I just don't expect him to last too much longer. And that's really not an insult to Ned, I would say the same for most characters in the show really, I still rate 2-handed Jaime the 3rd best fighter in the show. There are but a handful of characters who would have been able to survive against Jaime more time than Ned would, but I don't see Ned winning this. At all. Maybe 1/10 and he would still take some serious injuries. He isn't fodder to Jaime, he's someone who's good enough to force Jaime to fight seriously, but still not in Jaime's pay grade.

And what about the order of the directors' sentences, which you didn't counter. "They're pretty evenly matched" comes after "it becomes a fight to the death," which means that they were evenly matched after it already became a fight to the death. Simple, really. No need to over-complicate.

I didn't feel the need to counter it because I already told you what my interpretation of the phrase "evenly matched" means: neither fighter had gained any sort of advantage, the order at which the phrases were said doesn't matter, but if you wanna get nitpicky I'd also mention that it's Weiss who said that it becomes a fight to the death while Benioff says they're evenly matched. The order of the phrases could be the way it is because they didn't want to cut Weiss mid-sentence maybe?

Anyway, if you're willing to agree to disagree, cool. Frankly nothing short of D&D themselves telling me in person that Ned is a better fighter than Jaime would make me believe that it's even close. You really don't realize how much time I've spent researching show-Jaime's prowess as a fighter, and especially this specific fight. My conclusions were drawn long ago.

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#121 Posted by lubub55 (12982 posts) - - Show Bio

@bladeoffury: Lmao, those stills of Jaime's face are hilarious.

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#122 Posted by the_red_viper (12863 posts) - - Show Bio

Any list with Grey Worm, Daario and Bronn but not Jon is pretty silly. Of the three he has by far the best feats and is notably the only one to actually fight superhumans. Even if we want to go purely off hype (which is all Daario is) he has the most of it by a country mile (the entire north praised his skills).

Biggest issue with this season apart from the writing is we never got to see him and Grey Worm fight.

You're more than welcome to make your own list, if you think this one is silly. I will say that looking back, I probably should have put Jon above Daario, but him being better than Bronn is fairly arguable in my eyes and my gut still says Bronn should win with difficulty, and as far as I'm concerned, Grey Worm is just better than him.

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#123 Posted by silkyballfro94 (8688 posts) - - Show Bio

1. Sir Arthur Dayne

2. Barristan Selmy

3. Oberyn Martell

4. Jaime Lannister

5. The Mountain

6. The Hound

7. Ned Stark

8. Brienne of Tarth

Honorable mentions: Daario, Jorah, Khal Drogo, Jon Snow, Bronn, Grey Worm, Arya, and Stannis Baratheon. Meryn Trant, Sir Loras, and any others are not worthy. They lack displays of battle.

I considered leaving out Barristan Selmy because it seemed he was old and his final fight wasn't very impressive. But, he was said to be the greatest fighter of Westeros has ever had or something like that. He gets #2 for me. Characters like Jon Snow, Grey Worm and Arya are left off the list because they never really fought another character for comparison. Yeah Jon Snow defeated White Walkers and Arya was a great assassin. But they're not really measurable. Who else killed a white walker? Samwell Tarly who got lucky. If I had to list Jon, I guess he could have #9.

Also, Brienne did defeat Sandor. But, I think it was a situation similar to her fight with Jaime. Sandor had something wrong with his neck.

I can't remember if I heard right, but I think it was said somewhere that Robert Baratheon almost killed Barristan Selmy. I'm not sure though.

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#124 Posted by BladeOfFury (3311 posts) - - Show Bio

@the_red_viper:

My conclusions were drawn long ago.

That's alright, I think we can make at least some progress here.

First, there are some things you said which are factually incorrect:

What? No they don't. They show footage of them locking their blades and then they show some footage that happened literally 5 seconds before they crossed their blades. Look at the videos again.

No u.

This is the footage shown by D&D after they show the blade lock. This is the same footage, which takes place in the first 5 seconds of the fight.

So, the footage shown by D&D doesn't indicate the moment in time when Jaime began taking Ned seriously. Agreed?

If so, then we are left with this phrase:

"When the fight starts to happen, Jaime realizes that when Ned fights a man for real, he fights a man for real, and Jaime starts to realize that his life is in danger here and it becomes a fight to the death."

With no footage counter-point, we must assume that Jaime's realization occurred "when the fight starts to happen," because that's what the director said. So, Jaime went all out from the beginning.

I won't counter the rest so far, I'm going to go piece by piece.

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#125 Posted by the_red_viper (12863 posts) - - Show Bio

@bladeoffury:Well, I'll admit you got me there. But, that doesn't change my point whatsoever. We still have the fact that Jaime was smiling halfway through the fight. Here are the possible reasons why that happened:

  1. He's an unhinged adrenaline junkie who literally enjoys fighting even if he knows his life is in danger. Doesn't stand to reason - not even the biggest adrenaline junkies in the show kept smiling after realizing they're in danger; that includes Oberyn Martell, Styr and Daario Naharis. And Jaime isn't even an adrenaline junkie to begin with.
  2. Jaime was glad to finally have a worthy opponent - also wrong. He had top-tier swordsmen to train with all around him in King's Landing, such as Barristan (Lord Commander of the Kingsguard) and the Hound (Joffrey's personal sworn shield) who would have kept the very same regular training routine that Jaime did due to their positions in the king's court.
  3. Jaime was seeing the fight as sport. That is, he was pretty much playing around. That's the only option that stands to reason and also correlates with D&D's commentary, regardless of what footage was shown when. As they said, Jaime wanted to test Ned - when you test someone you don't go all-out on them.

Other than that smile, which is a big indicator all in itself, we have the fact that Jaime didn't even have to fight Ned, because he had about a dozen men around him who could have taken Ned instead of him. The only logical reason why he would want to fight Ned, is for fun. He saw it as sport. When you do something for fun, you don't seek to end it quickly. So yes, Jaime realized at some point that if he keeps messing around, Ned just might kill him. So he started to get serious. But we had all of 10 seconds at the very most of Jaime being serious against Ned. I'm fully willing to accept that Ned is good enough to last that long against a serious Jaime. Would he have survived much longer? Nope, I really believe he wouldn't have.

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#126 Posted by BladeOfFury (3311 posts) - - Show Bio

@the_red_viper: The fact that the footage shown in D&D's commentary is irrelevant eliminates one of your counter points to one of my arguments. This one:

First, notice that Jaime realizes that Ned is fighting serious when the fight starts to happen, meaning that Jaime was already aware of the danger he's in for most of the fight.

One of your counter points was the footage, which supposedly made the writers' intention unclear:

Plus, do note the footage we see when Weiss says that Jaime realizes Ned is serious

The footage we see is Ned and Jaime crossing blades, as I suggested earlier.

Without this counter point, the writer's intention become clear: Jaime began fighting for the kill at the beginning of the duel.

Now, your other counter point (the smile) is a good one, in and of itself. Weiss' statement, however, undoubtedly holds more weight than our interpretations of Jaime's facial expression. I mean, what if I say that Jaime was purposely smiling to anger Ned? Even if there is a 1% chance that that's the case, we have to take it with absolute certainty, as we know for a fact that the writers intended for Jaime to go for the kill even before smiling.

Do you agree that it was already a fight to the death before the smile?

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#127 Edited by the_red_viper (12863 posts) - - Show Bio

@bladeoffury:

The fact that the footage shown in D&D's commentary is irrelevant eliminates one of your counter points to one of my arguments. This one:

Oh, well honestly, I checked the video again, and turns out I wasn't wrong after all; I would have checked it more carefully earlier, but I was too busy with my studies. So, I will point out that when Weiss says the phrase "the fight starts to happen" what we actually see is this footage (4:04):

Loading Video...

You see, it does start with Jaime smiling and attacking Ned again. I knew I wasn't making this up, but you had me doubting myself there, so you get a thumbs up for that at least (not easy making me doubt myself, I'm pretty strong-headed). I re-checked now, and turns out I wasn't wrong; they happen to cut back to the beginning of the fight afterwards (which is the part you conveniently picked), but as it stands, when Weiss says: "when the fight starts to happen Jaime realizes that when Ned fights a man for real he fights a man for real..." we see footage from after the point Jaime was smiling. When Weiss finishes his commentary, it's right after we see Jaime and Ned crossing swords, a moment before the fight was interfered. I guess they probably cut back because it was the beginning of Benioff's commentary on the scene.

So, my point still stands.

However, the major part of my argument is still the smile.

No Caption Provided

I had to.

Seeing as what you said here:

as we know for a fact that the writers intended for Jaime to go for the kill even before smiling.

has just been countered again, I will repeat my point that the smile is the biggest indicator that Jaime wasn't fighting to the best of his ability at least halfway through the fight. You don't smile when you actually feel like you're in danger. I will again use the battle between the Red Viper and the Mountain as my parallel: the Red Viper was obviously toying with Gregor all throughout the fight, smiling from ear to ear all the while. The moment Gregor put him on the ground and almost killed him is the moment that Oberyn stopped goofing around, and also happens to be the moment where he stops smiling. You can use the duel between Brienne and Arya for example, as well. Arya was smiling all the while up until the point Brienne kicked her to the curb, and she realized that Brienne wasn't really doing her best up until that point. At that exact moment, Arya stops smiling until the fight ends. There's also Jon Snow and Styr which I mentioned in one of my earlier posts. Take your pick, the examples are all out there for you to choose from.

Do you agree that it was already a fight to the death before the smile?

Regardless of the footage, I do not, because I don't think we should attribute the writers' commentary more weight than we do the things we see on screen. And that smile, that damned smile, for me terminates any possibility that Jaime was being serious until halfway through the fight at least. Once again, I don't think Ned would be easy for Jaime to beat, but he's not gonna beat Jaime for a majority even on his best day. Even if we take this duel out of the equation and see it as a complete stalemate, which I really don't see it as, Jaime still has the better feats and accolades. Better than almost everybody else in the show.

As a side note, do you mind not tagging me when you respond in this thread? Since it's a blog, I get a notification every time someone comments here anyway, and when you tag me I just get a double notification which kinda clogs up my notifications.

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#128 Posted by IAmTheLaw (858 posts) - - Show Bio

I think it's obvious watching the scene that Jaime is a better swordsman, or at the very least has an upper hand on Ned. But the fight was left inconclusive, which angers Jamie. You think he would have been pissed at his own guy if he was going to lose that fight?

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#129 Posted by BladeOfFury (3311 posts) - - Show Bio

Oh, well honestly, I checked the video again, and turns out I wasn't wrong after all; I would have checked it more carefully earlier, but I was too busy with my studies. So, I will point out that when Weiss says the phrase "the fight starts to happen" what we actually see is this footage (4:04):

This is what I said:

And then when the writers say "it becomes a fight to the death," they show footage from the beginning of the fight.

This is what you replied with:

What? No they don't. They show footage of them locking their blades and then they show some footage that happened literally 5 seconds before they crossed their blades. Look at the videos again.

You were wrong. In the commentary, right after they show footage of them locking blades, they show footage from the beginning of the fight, not "5 seconds before they crossed their blades."

Here is an outline of what footage was brought up at which point in the commentary:

Director's commentsTime into the fight
When the fight starts to happen, Jaime realizes that when Ned fights a man for real, he fights a man for real,12 - 14 seconds
and Jaime starts to realize that his life is in danger here,28 - 30 seconds
and it becomes a fight to the death.3 - 5 seconds

As you can see, the footage bounces around from the first part of the fight, then to the end of the fight, and then to the beginning. It's random, as far as I'm concerned.

If you're not convinced, then consider this: if your logic is true, and the footage indeed corresponds to D&D's statements, then you will have to apply it on all statements. For instance, you will have to assume that "it becomes a fight to the death" in the first 3 - 5 seconds of the fight, which directly contradicts the idea that Jaime realized the danger 28 - 30 seconds into it. Even if you attribute this cut back to Benioff taking the mic (which is already speculative), you will also have to assume that "the fight starts to happen" almost halfway into the fight, and you can see why that's wrong just by reading this sentence.

I am not sure why I had to analyze this so much, it's really quite clear that the footage is all over the place. It cannot even be used as evidence, much less as something to cross out the writer's words.

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#130 Posted by the_red_viper (12863 posts) - - Show Bio

@bladeoffury: The footage doesn't "bounce around", it goes from start to finish and then goes to the start once again when Weiss finishes his commentary and Benioff starts his. Hardly something you'd describe as "all over the place", its flow was perfectly natural. When D&D talk about a certain scene in the episode, then the footage shown is from that scene. Making their comments match what we see in the footage itself only stands to reason.

The way I see it is this: Jaime realizes he has to stop goofing about halfway into the fight, which means ~15-20 seconds from the beginning of the fight, a bit after that damned smile. Objectively, 15-20 seconds into the fight is a fair description of "when the fight starts to happen", as in, they only fought for a very small while before Jaime started getting serious. The problem is, we didn't get to see Jaime being serious for more than 10-15 seconds, tops, if any at all. It only makes sense that Jaime would need to trade a few blows with Ned before realizing that "when Ned fights a man for real he fights a man for real", he couldn't have jumped to that conclusion before they started hammering at each other. So it took Jaime about 15-20 seconds to realize that (which could easily and objectively be described as the "start" of any fight, fights usually last a lot longer than 15-20 seconds), and then he started to fight more seriously... for all of 10-15 seconds, until Ned got speared in the leg. That's what I've been suggesting all along, and it's really the only reasonable answer for our question, that doesn't negate neither D&D's commentary, nor the footage shown in the behind-the-scenes video, nor the scene itself when we take into consideration Jaime's smile which neither you nor I really have any reasonable explanation for, other than Jaime not fighting Ned "for real". There's also the point that was raised in the post above you; why would Jaime punch his own man to the middle of next week if he really felt like he is in danger of losing, after becoming serious? No reason for that, really. Any way you twist it, Jaime wasn't fighting "for real" for at least half of the fight, and therefore there's no reason to believe that Ned would have won. When you go on comparing their accolades and feats, I think it eliminates any doubt as to what have happened had the fight not been terminated.

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#131 Posted by BladeOfFury (3311 posts) - - Show Bio

Objectively, 15-20 seconds into the fight is a fair description of "when the fight starts to happen", as in, they only fought for a very small while before Jaime started getting serious.

Objectively, the fight starts to happen when the fight starts to happen. The fight doesn't start to happen at the halfway point.

So it took Jaime about 15-20 seconds to realize that (which could easily and objectively be described as the "start" of any fight, fights usually last a lot longer than 15-20 seconds)

We are not looking at how long other fights usually last. We're not talking about Obi Wan vs Anakin, or Cap vs Iron Man. We're talking about Ned vs Jaime, a fight that lasted 33 seconds. 20 seconds into the fight is already past the halfway point. There is no way you can twist "when the fight starts to happen" into something else, at least not without gymnastics even Oberyn can't replicate.

That statement makes the writers' intention crystal clear: Jaime was aware of the danger he's in for most of the fight. Now, the idea that the smile somehow overrides the writers' intention is plain ridiculous.

I don't think we should attribute the writers' commentary more weight than we do the things we see on screen. And that smile, that damned smile, for me terminates any possibility that Jaime was being serious until halfway through the fight at least.

SPOILER: Jaime doesn't exist. He is just Nikolaj Coster-Waldau. In the scene we're discussing, Nikolaj swung a sword around because Weiss wanted him to. Nikolaj threatened Ned because Weiss wished it so. And guess what? Nikolaj let a smile on his lips because Weiss told him to. So, if Weiss himself states that the smile doesn't mean that Jaime was toying, than the smile doesn't mean that Jaime was toying. Period.

Also,

when we take into consideration Jaime's smile which neither you nor I really have any reasonable explanation for, other than Jaime not fighting Ned "for real".

Yes or no, is it possible than Jaime smiled to purposely anger Ned, cause him to make a mistake? It obviously is, so there is no reason to discount the writer's statement. Heck, even if we couldn't make up another reason to why Jaime smiled, we should still put more weight in the statement, as the GoT writers are known to do some extremely illogical things with the story (think S8).

There's also the point that was raised in the post above you; why would Jaime punch his own man to the middle of next week if he really felt like he is in danger of losing, after becoming serious? No reason for that, really.

The reason is that Jaime wanted to fight and beat Ned himself, in a fair match. His life could have still been in danger.

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#132 Posted by BladeOfFury (3311 posts) - - Show Bio

Anyways, if you still think that "when the fight starts to happen" is the same as "when the fight passes the halfway point," and if you still think that Jaime was immediately toying with someone he considered to be a "natural opponent," there are other things to fix in the list. Sandor should definitely be above Syrio, now that he beat 4 Kingsguards. Did Syrio do anything I missed, or is there a statement I don't know about?

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#133 Edited by the_red_viper (12863 posts) - - Show Bio

@bladeoffury:

First, regarding Sandor/Syrio: as I said, that is a list corresponding to the first 6 seasons. When I make a new one, I will most likely make some changes and maybe Sandor will climb up a tier, he didn't have the Kingsguard feat (which is arguably his best, skill-wise) back then. Regardless, Syrio's feat impresses me not only because of the speed/efficiency in which it was done, but also the fact that he had only a wooden practice sword. Other than that, all we have is scaling from the Water-Dancer that Jorah fought in the pit at Meereen. It was a random dude, so Syrio being the First Sword of Braavos should be categorically above him, and he stomped Jorah to the point of humiliation. And while Jorah isn't among the best fighters in the show, giving him a humiliation to such level isn't something that I see most fighters in the show doing.

Now, regarding our business: you seem to revolve your entire argument, or most of it at least, around the word "Starts", which can be interpreted in several ways. The first is the "naive" interpretation, which you take, which means that "starts" refers to literally the point at which Ned first swung his sword. As I explained in my previous post, that doesn't make a whole lot of sense, given that for Jaime to realize Ned is serious they would have to trade some blows at least so that already nullifies your point of view on that matter. The other way to interpret the word "starts", is to take it as a relative term; it refers to the fact that Jaime just didn't take long to reach the conclusion that Ned is fighting him "for real" and that if he doesn't stop goofing around he just might die. That is, in my humble opinion, a far more reasonable interpretation for one word in an entire video that Weiss probably didn't even notice that he was saying.

Regarding the smile: did Jaime smile to anger Ned? Hell, probably. That doesn't mean that he felt like he's in danger of losing. As I listed in the examples above, people don't smile when they're facing a genuine challenge or danger: Oberyn and Gregor, Arya and Brienne, Styr and Jon. Oberyn was smiling at Gregor's face and taunting him for the sole purpose of annoying him. When did he stop smiling? The moment Gregor almost killed him. Styr was smiling and laughing all throughout the battle at Castle Black due to the genuine amusement he was getting from killing Crows. When did he stop laughing? When he faced Jon who actually made him sweat. Arya was smiling in Brienne's face at the beginning of their duel to annoy her. When did she stop smiling? When Brienne finally snapped and kicked her to the curb. People don't smile when they're in danger. Jaime smiling is the perfect proof that he wasn't feeling like he's in real danger up until some point in the middle of the fight and we can confirm that when we see that he looks angry and far more aggressive after they lock swords, by which point the fight ended. You don't go all-out on someone when you wanna test their mettle. And as I said, the whole discussion started with whether Jaime should be above Ned on the list, which he should regardless of whether he was being serious throughout the entire fight or not.

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#134 Edited by BladeOfFury (3311 posts) - - Show Bio

I can see how “when the fight starts to happen” can refer to a time period in the first several seconds of the fight, but the halfway point (which is when you said Jaime smiled) doesn’t apply at all.

You also mentioned that Jaime saw Ned fight, so he knew that Ned’s reputation of beating Arthur Dayne was underserved. When did Jaime see Ned fight?

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#135 Edited by the_red_viper (12863 posts) - - Show Bio

@bladeoffury: The Greyjoy Rebellion.

The halfway point is like 10-15 seconds in.

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#136 Posted by BladeOfFury (3311 posts) - - Show Bio

@the_red_viper: How do you know that Jaime saw Ned fight in the rebellion?

The halfway point is 16 seconds in, and it’s not “when the fight starts to happen.” They also showed footage from the very end of the fight in the same sentence as “when the fight starts to happen,” and I think you can agree that the fight doesn’t start to happen when it ends

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#137 Posted by BladeOfFury (3311 posts) - - Show Bio

Sorry for tagging, my bad

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#138 Posted by the_red_viper (12863 posts) - - Show Bio

@bladeoffury: Because they were both there. Jaime fought alongside Jory (they talked about it at some point in season 1), and Jory was Ned's right-hand man.

And look, we can keep arguing on whether "starts" refers to 5 seconds into the fight or 10 or 15 or whatever. The smile remains where it was and frankly there's no other explanation to the smile other than Jaime not feeling like he's in danger. Regarding the footage, didn't you say that they don't really hold much importance anyway? What changed? In any case, I don't think either of us is going to convince the other so by this point we might as well agree to disagree, even though my initial point on Jaime being a superior fighter to Ned still stands. It's been nice debating with you, and I wish you good fortune in the wars to come.

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#139 Posted by BladeOfFury (3311 posts) - - Show Bio

@the_red_viper: Thanks for the info.

Just one last thing, you already admitted that it is likely that Jaime smiled to irk Ned. If that’s the case, how does the smile prove that Jaime didn’t feel danger at that point? Why can’t Jaime purposely try to anger Ned, perhaps to get a tactical advantage, while being in danger?

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#140 Edited by the_red_viper (12863 posts) - - Show Bio

@bladeoffury: Judging by other fights that involved people smiling to anger their opponents and stopped smiling once they realized they're in danger. Oberyn and Gregor being the best example, but also Arya and Brienne or Styr and Jon. The smile that Jaime made halfway through the fight comes in complete dissonance to his face after their blade-lock, just before Ned got speared.

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#141 Posted by BladeOfFury (3311 posts) - - Show Bio

@the_red_viper: Alright, I can see why you would think Jaime was toying based on the fight on screen, but I strongly disagree about the writer’s intent. I don’t see how Jaime would toy with someone he considers a natural opponent for instance, and while it seems possible that Jaime saw Ned fight, I don’t believe the writers intended Jaime to know about Ned’s undeserved reputation based on “Jaime knew that Ned is a famous warrior.” I also believe that “evenly matched” means that their skills are equal (which is the definition), not that they are unable to get an advantage on each other, and “it’s anyone’s guess who would have won” as another indication that the fight is a close one. I guess our difference in opinion lies in semantics. Agree to disagree it is.

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#144 Posted by BladeOfFury (3311 posts) - - Show Bio

What do you think of Jon’s reputation in the North? Him being considered the greatest swordsman who ever walked.

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#145 Posted by the_red_viper (12863 posts) - - Show Bio

@bladeoffury: I dunno. I find it kind of weird given that Ramsay said it despite never meeting Jon, or even anyone who's seen Jon fight. How would he know? Who did he ever meet to tell him of how Jon fights? It's also worth noting that all the great houses of the North refused to follow Jon, other than the Mormonts and it wasn't even Jon who convinced them to follow (it was Davos). I think it was mostly one of Ramsay's psychological tactics to make Jon either angry or overconfident or something. Or just find an excuse not to fight him one on one.

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#146 Posted by BladeOfFury (3311 posts) - - Show Bio

I mean, Ramsay did explicitly say that he heard rumours about Jon’s unparallelled skill, not that he witnessed this skill himself. That’s what I was referring to - Jon’s reputation in the North.

Who did Ramsay meet to tell him of how Jon fights? Could be anyone. Jon lived almost his entire life in the same castle Ramsay had ownership of. The people of Winterfell or other noble houses of the North could have seen Jon sparring and training. Just one possibility.

How does the North’s refusal to follow Jon into a losing battle (likely because Jon dishonoured himself by letting the Wildlings through) translate to poor combat reputation?

Ramsay tried to anger Jon by... complimenting Jon’s swordsmanship skills? Ramsay openly stated his reasons for not fighting Jon - he doesn’t know if Jon will lose, but he knows that Jon’s army will. Ramsay statement about Jon’s skill was clearly honest. Arguing that it’s not is like saying that Syrio is a fraud and he only called himself “The First Sword of Braavos” to attract customers. Clearly not what the directors intended.

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#147 Posted by the_red_viper (12863 posts) - - Show Bio

@bladeoffury:

As I said, Ramsay hearing these rumors makes little sense since there's nobody that Ramsay ever met in person who saw Jon fight. That would only be wildlings and other NW men and Ramsay met neither. You suggested he might have heard it from the people of Winterfell but they were all dead by that point, and the best that they would have seen anyway would be Jon practicing with wooden swords as a boy. These "rumors" obviously didn't refer to Jon practicing with sticks as a boy, they referred to his battles beyond the Wall, Hardhome, the battle of Castle Black, fightingthe mutineers at Craster's Kepp, etc etc. There's just nobody who was there and could have told these things to Ramsay.

House Glover didn't follow Jon because Lord Glover didn't want to risk the lives of more Glover men, he didn't trust Jon could win this. He said so himself before there was mention of any Wildlings. I dunno, when the greatest swordsman who ever lived comes and offers you to join his army, most people would agree, is what my gut tells me.

Ramsay probably was trying to mock Jon (cynically, you know). That's very much like him. Or he just tried to find an excuse not to duel Jon 1v1, which was, I agree, the better choice, regardless of who would have won a fight. Regardless, I think we can agree that even if Jon did have this reputation, it was undeserved and blown out of proportion.

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#148 Posted by BladeOfFury (3311 posts) - - Show Bio

First, there’s intention. Once again, the characters on Thrones (or any fiction) aren’t actually separate entities, and their words are simply the writer’s words. So, do you really think that the writers intended for that Ramsay phrase to be a lie, for the reason that Ramsay couldn’t have met Wildlings or men of the Night’s Watch, who were the only witnesses of Jon’s success beyond the wall? See, that seems like a huge over-complication for a phrase as simple as “I’ve heard you’re a great fighter.”

Next, there are several ways Ramsay could have heard of Jon’s skill. The one I first brought up is still one of them. My bad, by the people of Winterfell, I meant the North in general. In this very thread, you have stated that Ned Stark had the chance to train with other Noblemen who arrived in Winterfell. Being Warden of the North, Roose or Ramsay could have heard from some of those Noblemen about Jon’s skill. A better possibility is Theon, who spent most of his life alongside Jon. Reek, being the loyal servant he is, told his master about Theon’s friendly rivalry with Jon, and perhaps Jon’s amazing skill. You mentioned that the statement wasn’t referring to Jon’s training with wooden swords as a boy, but Jon already obtained most of his fighting skill when departing to the Watch, so Theon or the Noblemen could have told Ramsay of Jon’s skill when he was already grown up. Another possibility, off the top of my head, is Locke. Locke was the Boltons’ best hunter, he served Roose Bolton, and was good friends with Ramsay. He was sent to the Night’s Watch (by Roose Bolton) specifically to spy on Jon. Not only could Locke have heard about Jon’s skill from other men of the Night’s Watch, but he witnessed it himself in training. It is probable that Locke delivered this information to the Boltons. The Noblemen, Reek, and Locke. All plausible explanations of how Ramsay found out about Jon’s skill. I do think that this theorizing process goes way beyond the writer’s intention, but this is me playing by your rules.

Your gut is wrong. Jon’s army was badly outnumbered, and was composed of untrained Wildlings. Any sane House would reject this suicidal invitation even if it was Arthur Dayne making it. There were also other reasons why the Glovers refuses Jon, such as their reluctance to go against the House that freed them from the Ironborn, as well as hate for the Wildlings. Taking into consideration these three factors, Jon’s swordsmanship skill becomes irrelevant.

Solely based on Ramsay’s conversation with Jon, do you really believe that Ramsay was complimenting Jon’s skill to mock him? Please be honest. If so, then what do you think of Euron’s statement about Jaime’s reputation? Just like Ramsay, Euron isn’t the most reliable character, and he could have praised Jaime to mock him (which he did again a minute later), or to suck up to Circe. Should we also discredit Euron’s statement about Jaime’s skill, due to Euron’s dishonest nature?

As for Ramsay making an excuse, this excuse is actually extremely logical, and any person, in Ramsay’s place, would have rejected Jon for that exact reason. Ramsay didn’t know how good Jon was. Perhaps Jon is an amazing fighter. Perhaps Jon is trash tier. This information was out of Ramsay’s grasp. He knew for a fact, however, that there is no way Jon could win the battle, regardless of his skill. It’s very similar to Robb Stark rejecting Jaime’s offer to a duel. Robb simply said that Jaime would win, and if he simply added “I’ve heard great things about your skill” it would be exactly like Ramsay’s claim.

Now, I do think that the statement doesn’t actually prove that he’s the best swordsman ever because the people who likely started this rumour are unreliable. In and of itself, however, the statement undoubtedly shows that Jon’s reputation in the North is unmatched.

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#149 Posted by the_red_viper (12863 posts) - - Show Bio

@bladeoffury: you can't really go the "that's what the writers intended" path because that would nullify our use of feats by saying "that isn't what the writers intended". Like when Jon blocked Ramsay's arrows, do you really think that the writers intended for Jon to be an arrow-timer like CW Oliver Queen or something? Probably not, but he did block these arrows so it's an arrow-timing feat. When Jon blocked the White Walker's sword strike at Hardhome, did the writers intend for Jon to have the same level of strength as a White Walker? No, probably not, but the feat is still there. We can't pretend to know what's legit and what isn't because of what the writers may or may not have intended. Fact remains that Ramsay Bolton said something with very questionable reliability and whether or not the writers thought of it as genuine or not is irrelevant. Fact remains that there was no plausible way for Ramsay to hear of Jon's feats. He wasn't a "legendary swordsman" before his time at the Night's Watch because all he did was fight with sticks. You don't become the world's greatest swordsman by practicing with sticks, you do it by winning actual fights which Jon never really did prior to the end of season 4 (by which time Locke was dead, by the way. The only thing Locke saw Jon do was train with rookie NW recruits which Locke also did himself). Plus, the other nobles of the North witnessing Jon's skills with a stick doesn't really hold water given that Ned used to "hide" Jon away when guests came to Winterfell. So we're left with Theon who could barely even remember his own name while he was with Ramsay so him remembering Jon's skills with a stick is really far fetched. And either way, even if Ramsay was actually told of Jon's skills at the training yard, people wouldn't praise Jon to the level Ramsay was describing if all they saw was him fighting with a stick.

As for Euron, well I think we will both agree that the fact Euron actually saw Jaime fight, and was describing what he saw, is pretty significant here. He was describing Jaime killing his friends and family during the Greyjoy Rebellion, while Ramsay was reciting a rumor that he may or may not have heard. Euron mocking Jaime afterwards actually solidifies that it was a genuine compliment, as well as, you know, Jaime's entire reputation regardless of that statement. And Robb's statement was actually the very opposite of Ramsay's. What Ramsay said was "I don't know if I can beat you but I know my army will beat yours", while Robb said "I know I won't beat you but my army can beat yours". Those two statements negate each other almost mathematically.

Solely based off Ramsay's statement, I don't know why Ramsay said what he said. Ramsay is a psychopath, I don't pretend to understand what psychopaths think like, especially ones who specialize in manipulating and toying with their enemies by making them angry (like when he killed Rickon) or overconfident (like when he pretended to rescue Theon in the woods). What I do know is that we can either be naive and say "hey, that's gotta be what the writers intended so it's gotta be legit" or we can look more into things (like we always do in the world of fan-battles and such) and see the very big logical problems with Ramsay's statement there. Maybe Ramsay really did hear rumors, maybe he didn't. But we shouldn't assume that he did just because he said so, that's the bottom line. Regarding the Northern houses, I think they would have at least mentioned Jon's reputation if he did have one. Or maybe they just forgot about it, like Dany forgetting about the Iron Fleet? Best option I see is someone in Ramsay's army throwing some word like "I heard Jon Snow beat Mance Rayder" or some other sort of campfire talk and it grew like a snowball into Jon being the greatest swordsman who ever lived. Maybe it was a rumor among Ramsay's men. Not in the entire North. And that's also questionable.

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