Cersei Lannister/Jaime Lannister

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Pairing: Cersei Lannister x Jaime Lannister
Alternative name(s):
  • Lannicest
  • J/C
  • Jaimsei
  • Beautiful Golden Fools
Gender category: Het, Incest, Twincest
Fandom: A Song of Ice and Fire and Game of Thrones
Canonical?: Yes
Prevalence: Mid
Archives: JAIME & CERSEI: THE LIBRARY, Archived version
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Cersei Lannister/Jaime Lannister is the het and twincest pairing of Cersei Lannister and Jaime Lannister in the A Song of Ice and Fire and Game of Thrones fandoms. They have a canonical long-term relationship.

if a person wants to understand Jaime's complexity, they need to accept the major impact of his love for Cersei. They have many ups and downs, sure, but to me they are the most interesting couple of the series.

Lord Parker[1]

...what I think is probably the most interesting romantic character relationship in A Song of Ice and Fire — certainly one of the most well-developed, just in terms of how much material there is to look at.

Archmaester Buzzkill[2]


At the beginning of the series Jaime and Cersei have been in a long-term romantic relationship since childhood, on par with a marriage. This has resulted in three children, Joffrey, Myrcella and Tommen, although, Cersei is married to King Robert Baratheon and everyone but the twins believes the children are his. Ned Stark discovers the true parentage of the children, but he is beheaded before he can reveal the secret.


Spoiler Warning: This article or section may contain spoilers. If this bothers you, proceed with caution.

Cersei and Jaime are separated for some time during the War of the Five Kings, because Jaime is captured by Robb Stark. After he returns to King's Landing, their relationship is a rocky place. This is made worse when their brother Tyrion tells Jaime that Cersei has been having sex with out people while he was gone. The context this happened in is omitted, and lacking that, Jaime begins having jealous ruminations. He never confronts Cersei about it.

Jaime leaves the capitol for military reasons, and while he's out there, he receives a letter from Cersei begging for help, which he does not respond to. The latest published book ends there.


Spoiler Warning: This article or section may contain spoilers. If this bothers you, proceed with caution.

Cersei and Jaime are separated for some time during the War of the Five Kings, because Jaime is captured by Robb Stark. After he returns to King's Landing they resume their relationship. Jaime is supportive of Cersei, even though he does not always agree with her actions.

I love Cersei. You can laugh at that if you want. You can sneer. Doesn't matter. She needs me. And to get back to her, I have to take Riverrun. I'll send for your baby boy. And I'll launch him into Riverrun with a catapult. Because you don't matter to me, Lord Edmure. Your son doesn't matter to me. The people in the castle don't matter to me. Only Cersei. And if I have to slaughter every Tully who ever lived to get back to her, that's what I'll do.

Canon 6x08, Jaime

In Season 7 when the threat of the White Walkers is revealed Cersei pledges to help, but backs out of that promise. Jaime disagrees and says he means to keep his word, and they separate.

At the end of season 8, Jaime returns to King's Landing to join Cersei, telling Brienne of Tarth that he is a "hateful" like his sister as he leaves. Cersei and Jaime both die together, in each other's arms, during the destruction of the Red Keep. Tyrion finds their bodies together in the rubble.



  • In 2014, Cersei Lannister/Jaime Lannister was the 5th most popular Game of Thrones pairing on Archive of Our Own.[3]
  • In 2017, Cersei Lannister/Jaime Lannister had fallen just slightly to be the 7th most popular Game of Thrones pairing on Archive of Our Own.[4]
  • In 2019, Cersei Lannister/Jaime Lannister was the second most popular ship for Jaime in the Game of Thrones category in a survey of FanFiction.net, accounting for 17% of sampled fics.[5]
  • In 2020, Cersei Lannister/Jaime Lannister was the 7th most popular A Song of Ice and Fire ship on Archive of Our Own, accounting for 6% of sampled fics.[6]

Beautiful Golden Fools tag

The phrase "beautiful golden fools" is a reference to a pair of correlated quotes that the twins say to one another in canon.

"You great golden fool. He's lied to you a thousand times, and so have I."

Cersei in A Storm of Swords

"I love you too, sweet sister. But you're a fool. A beautiful golden fool."

Jaime in A Feast for Crows

On June 23, 2018, fic author Azdaema wrote a tumblr post complaining that the Cersei/Jaime tag on Archive of Our Own suffered from Bruce Banner Syndrome. She advocated that shippers begin using the tag "beautiful golden fools" to denote fics written by and for shippers.[7] This resulted in a handful of people tagging their fics like that, but did not cause any major shift.

On June 17, 2019, Azdaema wrote another post, this time posted on AO3, advocating for the same thing.

They have the dual problem of:
  1. Being a basic pillar of canon and thus appearing in many fics that are not about them in any meaningful way. This is what I call "The Ned/Cat Problem".
  2. Being deemed by some so offensive that even the slightest mention of them must be warned for. (If someone can't stomach even that, how did they get into this fandom in the first place?)

So once again, I come with my plea: Let's start tagging Jaime/Cersei fics written by and for shippers with the tag beautiful golden fools. It's a phrase I've only ever heard used by fellow shippers, it's affectionate, and pretty damn on-point.


This time it garnered a much larger reaction. That same day, the tag was marked "common" on AO3 by tag wrangler Isis. By the end of 2019, the tag had just over 100 works, and some AO3 shippers using the tag reported picking it up via osmosis, without even seeing the original post.

Damn I was WONDERING where this tag came from I just picked it up second hand I'm glad I stumbled on this [...] Yeah I just noticed it was a pretty common Cersei/Jaime tag so I threw it on my fic but honestly? It's invaluable. The main tag is so fucked.


In October of 2020, it hit the 200 fics mark.[10]

On January 8, 2021, the tag name was updated to "Beautiful Golden Fools | Cersei/Jaime Lannister-centric",[11] as part of an larger AO3 tag change to make fandom-specific tags more explicitly fandom-specific.

Showverse vs Bookverse

Many book fans expect that Jaime and Cersei's relationship will end acrimoniously in the books. Some believe it will end with Jaime killing Cersei due to the prophecy that she will die at the hands of the "valonqar" ("little brother" in High Valyrian). The show's take on the relationship was thus generally well received by Cersei/Jaime shippers, with many viewing their ending (in which they die in each other's arms in the attack on the Red Keep) as more soft and bittersweet than the ending expected from the novels.

You know what I really love? Years and years of being told the character I love for various reasons will get brutally murdered by her own lover/brother/person closest to her and that she deserves that while her brother would come from all this as *good* and *redeemed* and have 7 cute children with someone else. And after years of listening to this it ended with two of them hugging and him saying they are the only ones who matter. Also that small (but sadly deleted) bit of :“You came back for me.” “Of course I did” is going to keep giving me energy for probably the rest of my life.


However, the passion and symbolism are the main appeal of the relationship for many shippers, and thus they prefer the books' take over the show's, as it places greater focus on these elements:

It is hard to convey what Jaime and Cersei mean to each other when they’re not in the same place, because of the internal monologue stuff. I do understand that. But what they’re failing to communicate, and what is so massively important about this ship, is the fact that Jaime and Cersei identify themselves based on their relationship. It’s not just a story of forbidden love. It’s a story of who they are as people.


Ship War

Some fans of this pairing have had skirmishes with shippers of Jaime Lannister/Brienne of Tarth, although not on the scale of a full-blown ship war, such as Jonsa vs Jonerys. There is a decent amount of animosity between the factions, however. Cersei Lannister/Jaime Lannister/Brienne of Tarth and Cersei Lannister/Brienne of Tarth are rarepairs.

One major point of conflict is that Brienne/Jaime shippers commonly tag their fics "Past Cersei Lannister/Jaime Lannister" or similar, and due to AO3 Tag Wrangling, those fics appear in the main Cersei/Jaime tag, contributing to Bruce Banner Syndrome. This was one of the main issue that drove J/C shippers to create the "beautiful golden fools" tag.


  • The Failed Blowjob: Book-only. The time in ASOS when Cersei tries to give Jaime a blowjob in the White Sword Tower, but he says no.
  • The Shell: Show-only. A large shell Cersei keeps in her chambers and is seen gazing at. Theorized to be a momento of childhood days playing together on the beech at the Rock.

Common Tropes in Fanworks

  • Canon Divergence AU: Varies, but may include scenarios in which Cersei never marries Robert, Jaime is in an arranged marriage to Elia Martell or Lysa Tully, etc.
    • Pentos AU: An alternate ending that picks up at the end of show!canon but which in they make it to Pentos alive. Occasional tragic or semi-tragic fics exist, but most are fix-it fic where everything is beautiful and nothing hurts, involving them living their best life together with baby #4 (usually a daughter named Joanna).
  • Gender play: Includes tropes such as crossdressing and pegging. Centers on the idea that gender is the twins' main difference, and may also explore the sexism of Westerosi society. In the books, it is revealed that Cersei and Jaime sometimes swapped places as young children, and that even their father could not tell them apart.
  • Grief: Fics that explore Jaime and Cersei's grief after the deaths of their children.
  • Modern AU: Modern setting, where they know or meet other characters from the series.
  • Pastfic: Exploring their childhoods and how they became romantically involved.
  • Myrcella knows: Myrcella alone among their children knows, usually because she's simply astute, although occasionally because she witnessed something.


  • Anti-Shipping: The ship is sometimes subject to objections that it is problematic due to its incestuous nature (despite its canonicity) or because it is deemed unhealthy or abusive.
  • Sept Scene: Many fans viewed the Cersei/Jaime sex scene in Season 4, Episode 3 as rape, although the showrunners and actors disagreed with this interpretation.[14] Fans were disappointed that the dynamic of the scene was changed from the books, with many viewing it as originally a consensual encounter on Cersei's part. However, some fans still view the scene in the books as rape, since Cersei initially tells Jaime "no" before encouraging him to continue.[15]



(English translation by catmanu, Lions' Gold, Archived version)

Fan Vids




Art Gallery



  1. ^ Lord Parker (December 9, 2015). "Is it bad that I understand and accept Cersei and Jaime's relationship?". A Forum of Ice and Fire. Archived from the original on 22 February 2019.
  2. ^ Archmaester Buzzkill (Feb 7, 2021). "Ep. 7: One Heart, One Flesh, One Soul (ft. Rohanne)". YouTube. Through The Moon Door.
  3. ^ destinationtoast (May 28, 2014). "Let's look at some Westerosi stats!". Tumblr. Archived from the original on 5 November 2015.
  4. ^ destinationtoast (29 July 2017). "ASOIAF/Game of Thrones fandom stats". Tumblr. Archived from the original on 22 February 2019.
  5. ^ Phantom Statistician (Feb 22nd, 2019). "Jaime's FanFiction Shipping Chart 2013 - Present". Tumblr. Archived from the original on July 9, 2020. {{cite web}}: Check date values in: |date= (help)
  6. ^ Phantom Statistician (Apr 14th, 2020). "10 Most Popular Ships in A Song of Ice and Fire FanFiction (AO3) 2009 - Present". Tumblr. Archived from the original on July 9, 2020. {{cite web}}: Check date values in: |date= (help)
  7. ^ Azdaema (June 23, 2018). "Tagging Cersei/Jaime fics". Tumblr. Archived from the original on 23 January 2020.
  8. ^ Azdaema (June 17, 2019). "Beautiful Golden Fools". Archive of Our Own. Archived from the original on 23 January 2020.
  9. ^ yelenavasilyevna (15 Dec 2019). "Comment on Beautiful Golden Fools". Archive of Our Own. Archived from the original on 23 January 2020.
  10. ^ "1 - 20 of 207 Works in Beautiful Golden Fools". Archive of Our Own. October 11, 2020. Archived from the original on October 11, 2020.
  11. ^ "1 - 20 of 251 Works in Beautiful Golden Fools | Cersei/Jaime Lannister-centric". Archive of Our Own. 9 Jan 2021. Archived from the original on 9 Jan 2021.
  12. ^ bronzeblues (Jan 10th, 2020). "You know what I really love?". Tumblr. Archived from the original on Aug 15, 2022. {{cite web}}: Check date values in: |date= (help)
  13. ^ lainelannister (May 31st, 2013). "I totally agree w you bb :( I mean I know it's hard to get those moments bc they're all internal, but it still sucks". Tumblr. Archived from the original on July 30, 2020. {{cite web}}: Check date values in: |date= (help)
  14. ^ Alicia Lutes (April 22, 2014). "Let's Talk About That Cersei/Jaime Scene from GAME OF THRONES". Nerdist. Archived from the original on 16 July 2018.
  15. ^ Samantha Field (April 23, 2016). "Jaime Lannister is a rapist, and let's not forget it". Archived from the original on June 25, 2020.