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I do remember that scene, and the short list of swordsmen stronger than Jaime, but he also concluded that his superior speed and skill could overcome their superior strength. I was wondering if there were any warriors whose skill he believed matched or exceeded his own; Benioff and Weiss seemed to imply that there were three, but it sounds like that's their own interpretation of the character, not something they got from you. Maybe I'll ask one of them about it, if I get the chance.

The scene in "Lord Snow" where Robert asks Jaime and Ser Barristan about the first men they killed suggested that Ser Barristan is one of the few knights alive (perhaps the only knight alive?) whom Jaime sincerely admires and respects. He did tell Loras in A Feast for Crows that Ser Arthur Dayne could have beaten both of them with one hand while seated and eating breakfast with the other hand, but of course Ser Arthur Dayne was dead. That Ned Stark was one of the two survivors of the fight where the Sword of the Morning died might have given Jaime pause at the prospect of fighting Ned, but neither the books nor the show have suggested that that prospect worried him any -- although I did read his expression when they fought in "The Wolf and the Lion" as fierce delight at the all-too-rare experience, for him, of crossing swords with a genuinely worthy opponent.

There was a forum thread in which I participated a few years ago, one of those "who would win a fight between..." things where you could propose any improbable match-up you wanted. One of mine was "Jaime Lannister, pre-amputation and armed with a Valyrian steel longsword, vs. Turin Turambar with Gurthang." Not only are they both considered the greatest swordsmen of their respective times in their respective settings, and know it, and are egotistical jerks about it, they also both slept with their respective sisters -- although Turin at least had the excuse of not knowing Niniel was his sister when he took her to bed.

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George R.R. Martin
George R. R. Martin

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