Jaime Lannister and Brienne of Tarth were the ship of dreams, until the TV producers decided to do a rush job on the final season of Game of Thrones. Most of us may be at the point where we have blocked out the last few episodes of Game of Thrones completely and are anxiously awaiting George RR Martin to finish the books and give us the real canon. In the meantime, fanfiction authors have taken up the helm, giving us satisfying endings and alternative universes for the characters that we love.
Still Going Strong
Whether you refer to the ship as Jaime and Brienne, JB or Braime – this mighty fandom is still going strong and writing fic like it’s their job. You can read fics in which Jaime lives and comes back to try to make amends to Brienne, or others where there was a pregnancy as a result of The Bang that Was Promised in 8×04. There are fics that bring in a supernatural element like time travel to undo some of the bad choices made by GoT writers. And there are some that change the characters’ fates in an earlier season, which changes the whole course of the story. And for those who just want a break from tradition, you can enjoy Jaime and Brienne stories in modern Westeros.
While it would be impossible to come up with a “best of Jaime and Brienne fic” list, I can recommend a few. As of this posting, there are more than 6,700 fics on Ao3 in their relationship tag, and climbing. So to make this list, I kept to a few criteria.
First, they had to be written after the show aired (or started during the final season). Braime fics date back to far more than a decade, so I thought it might be best to recommend some fics you missed if you took a break from the fandom after being fed up with the show’s ending.
Second, they have to be complete. There are a lot of great WIPs out there, but for the sake of this list, we don’t want to leave readers hanging.
So without further ado, here are some Braime fics to check out.
- And Your Memory Cannot Keep Me Warm But it Never Leaves Me Cold by janie_tangerine. This was one of the first Jaime lives fics that came out and I still love it to this day. Jaime wakes up after the Red Keep collapse with no memory of who he is or why he is there. He ends up joining a band of performers, but when he starts singing about the lady knight in his dreams, he attracts attention.
- The Unwilling King by Aviss. It was honestly hard for me to pick just one of Aviss’ fics to recommend because I love everything she writes. But The Unwilling King and it’s follow-up, Goldenhand are a good read. This is canon divergent, when Jaime ends up killing Cersei after the end of season 6 when she blows up the sept. He takes on the role of king, insisting it’s temporary. But it doesn’t work out that way when you have a Targaryen coming to Westeros with dragons and the Night King coming in the north. And you can probably guess who he makes his queen.
- Two Halves of a Soul by angel_deux. The soulmate fic to end all soulmate fics! And not only that, it’s a high school AU. You will fall in love with Jaime and Brienne all over again when you read this fic. And what’s better, she wrote another version from Jaime’s perspective. Definitely a great read, and I recommend all of this fic writer’s work!
- Head, Hand, Heart by ddagent. This fic author specializes in amazing one-shots and fic prompts, but this multi-chapter fic is a great read. Who doesn’t want to read about Queen Brienne? Set pre-canon, right after Jaime kills Aerys, Robert dies and Brienne is named queen instead. She is the only person who bothers to ask Jaime why he did what he did. The two become close, and he’s eventually named Hand of the Queen. And well, of course they fall in love.
- Something Good and Right and Real by sameboots. This modern AU is so sweet it will wash the bad taste of S8 right out of your mouth! Brienne has custody of her nephew Pod, and Jaime is his preschool teacher. Adorableness and fluff ensues. Seriously, read this.
- They Make You Swear and Swear by angelowl. Time-travelling Brienne fic! It turns out evil King Bran orchestrated all the terribleness that was Season 8. Brienne transports back in time to just after the Long Night and tries to stop his ascent. Bonus points for other timeline Jaime being legit perplexed as to why the other idiot version of himself acted the way he did. Check out angelowl’s other fics, you won’t be disappointed.
- The Other Side of the Sky by hardlyfatal. Things happen pretty much the same in canon, but in a parallel universe Brienne is the one who dies and Jaime is the one left behind. Three-eyed Brans from both worlds find a way to bring the two together.
- There Was No Other Way by sea_spirit. There are so many Season 8 fix-it fics, and I love a lot of them. It would be possible for me to list them all, so I just chose a few. I picked this one because it’s short and to the point, only six quick chapters. Finally, you honestly can’t go wrong with anything sea_spirit writes. She also wrote a Braime A League of Their Own AU that is amazing.
- Washed up on Your Shores by Primarybufferpanel. This is just the kind of angst with a happy ending we need after Season 8. Jaime rode south to kill Cersei, not die with her, and ends up going to Tarth to find a very pregnant Brienne. He goes through all the ropes to win her back so they can be a family. Just the kind of Braime Bunch read you want to warm your soul.
- East Meets West by BecauseBraime. Why not skip Seasons 7 and 8 altogether and go with something else? This fic takes place after Cersei is crowned queen. She has heard about the Braime’s encounter in Riverrun and orders Jaime to Tarth to conquer and destroy it. Instead, he heads there to pick up Selwyn Tarth and they go North together for Brienne. Look, I didn’t know that I needed a fic where Selwyn was the father figure Jaime was always missing in his life. But it is lovely. The scene where Genna Lannister thanks Selwyn for caring for the Lannister cub that needed it the most, it’s just…*chef’s kiss.
Want more? Beyond the ten mentioned above, there are a few fics that might be worth checking out.
- A popular read lately has been You Can’t Save her by SigilBroken. This writer really has some of the best Jaime and Brienne fics out there. Seriously, go check them out). I’m waiting for this one to finish before I read it, and there is still technically an epilogue left. This is the only reason it’s not included in the list above, because I’m 100 percent sure it’s amazing.
- If you’re in the mood for a fluffy one-shot, you can’t go wrong with anything by ChocoNut. She has three great series of one-shots called Tales of love (Season 3/4), Modern JB Love and Many ways to say I love you. These contain random scenes of our favorite pair falling in love or confessing their feelings. Perfect for a pick-me-up on a bad day.
- I would be remiss not to mention that Ao3’s founder astolat has written several Jaime and Brienne fics. You can find them in a collection here.
There are honestly so many more excellent Braime fics that should have been on this list, but then it would be too long. The best way to find them is by just checking out the tag, or going to some of your favorite fic writer’s bookmarks and see what they love.
Give us Your Recs!
I read a lot of Jaime and Brienne fanfic (okay, maybe I check the tag hourly), but I would love to hear from you. What some of your favorites you’ve read with our OTP this year? Drop a comment and let us know.
Thank you to all the fanfic writers out there who are keeping Braime shippers well fed while we wait for George to finish the books. D&D may have poorly written the last few episodes of Game of Thrones, but when it comes to the power of the pen to create a better ending for Braime – “it’s yours, it will always be yours.”