Spoilers for Game of Thrones, season 7 below.
In the aftermath of the immensely satisfying Game of Thrones finale, the top post on Reddit's must-read r/ASOIAF forum is surprisingly not a theory, or a recap, or a rant against the show runners. It's a bit of excellent symmetry in a post titled, "Who else caught this parallel?"
Via a user named Ownageman247, the massive fan community on Reddit celebrated the exquisite parallels in the conclusion of Jaime's season six and season seven storylines:
S6 Finale: Jaime returns to King's Landing on a horse alone with everything in flames
S7 Finale: Jaime leaves King's Landing on a horse alone right as snowfall begins
Winter is here bitches
Jaime, riding towards King's Landing in the season six finale:
Jaime, riding away from King's Landing, in the season seven finale:
At the end of season six, Jaime returns to King's Landing after taking Riverrun from Edmure Tully and the Blackfish, ready to rejoin his sister in the capitol for the battles to come. At the end of season seven, the battles have come, and Jaime's sister is lost to him.
The two scenes are an excellent visual metaphor for a character that's spent the entire series on a redemption arc.
"Out of all the characters," wrote one fan, "I think his growth has been portrayed the best."
"Poor Jaime," lamented another. "But at least he's finally realized that Cersei is batshit insane." Congrats Jaime, it only took you one last excruciating, season-long plot line to figure out that your queen sister is a psychopath!
The fan community also pointed out that the season seven moment is an excellent nod to the books. While the television show deviates in many ways from the written series, HBO just finally caught up to Jaime's book-arc. In the fourth novel, A Feast for Crows, Jaime Lannister turns on his sister, seemingly for good, before ever returning from Riverrun:
Here's the moment in the books. Cersei has just sent him a letter, beseeching her brother for help back in King's Landing:
Qyburn’s words were terse and to the point, Cersei’s fevered and fervent. Come at once, she said. Help me. Save me. I need you now as I have never needed you before. I love you. I love you. I love you. Come at once.
Vyman was hovering by the door, waiting, and Jaime sensed that Peck was watching too. “Does my lord wish to answer?” the maester asked, after a long silence.
A snowflake landed on the letter. As it melted, the ink began to blur. Jaime rolled the parchment up again, as tight as one hand would allow, and handed it to Peck. “No,” he said. “Put this in the fire.”
As winter comes, and snow falls—whether show or book—Jaime turns his back on his sister-wife. Thank god.