While even the most ardent Game of Thrones fans can admit that the show’s plotting and planning have not been as precise as it was when following the structure of George R.R. Martin’s books, the behavior of Bronn in this eighth and final season has gone way beyond mere poor writing.
WARNING: MAJOR SPOILERS FOR ‘GAME OF THRONES’ SEASON 8, EPISODE 4 WILL FOLLOW.
Prior to this week’s episode, the last time we saw Bronn — in Season 8, Episode 1 — he was being tasked by Qyburn to kill Jaime and Tyrion with the same crossbow that Tyrion used to kill Tywin in the season four finale.
In exchange for his sell-sword services, Qyburn tells Bronn that Cersei will give him all of the gold and land that has seemingly eluded him during his years serving her brothers. And off Bronn goes, crossbow in tow, headed to Winterfell.
While Bronn doesn’t pop up during episode three, “The Long Night”, he makes his reappearance in the fourth episode, “The Last of the Starks”, leading to one of the most ridiculous and illogical scenes in the final season thus far.
Interuppting Jaime and Tyrion as they share a brotherly moment filled with brown ale and busted chops, Bronn tells the Lannister brothers about Cersei’s offer and asks how they plan to respond. Obviously, Tyrion strikes up a deal — offering up High Garden — and Bronn slips back into the shadows, asking them to both not die before giving him what he’s owed.
And personally, it came across as one of the most contrived scenes of this final season. So, what the hell is Bronn up to, or rather, what the hell are the writers doing with him?
Yes, Bronn is, was, and always will be a sell-sword — there is no changing that — and sell-swords want to get paid, leading to Cersei attempting to leverage Bronn’s desire to be rich against his feelings of friendship towards the Lannister brothers.
But to realistically expect Bronn — the same guy who dove in front of a dragon to save Jaime’s life, taught him how to fight with one hand, told Tyrion “don’t get killed” prior to the Battle of Blackwater and saved his life *multiple* times — to put the Lannister brothers six-feet-under, despite his sell-sword nature, is patently ridiculous.
Yes, while Bronn’s feeling of being short-changed for his years of service does come across as somewhat legitimate, the notion that he would go out and murder his only two friends in the world by the order of CERSEI, someone who he knows as well as anyone his out of her mind, seems just totally out of character for everyone’s favorite mercenary.
Hopefully, all of this Bronn side-plot is just a Red Herring and he does eventually join forces with Jaime and Tyrion heading into the final two episodes, because one of the Lannister brothers meeting their ultimate fate at the hand of their best friend would likely be a pill too out-of-character to swallow.