A very nice question.
Finding an answer to this question is difficult.Georg RR Martin attaches great importance to making all his (now more than 2300 named) characters as complex and morally complex as possible. Most of the characters in the song of Ice and Fire elude the traditional roles of good and evil or honorable and vile, which gives us a wealth of complex but also extremely realistic characters from which we can choose.
If we equate complex with imtransparent, we quickly come to Varys and Kleinfinger, the two masterful intrigues for whom the politics of Westeros seem to be no more than a game of chess.
Kleinfinger is an incredibly ingenious manipuator who has taken it from the position of the lowest of all nobles to the king’s adviser, Lord of the RiverLands and Regent of the Green Valley.He is driven and free of any morality. He willingly sacrifices allies, childhood friends and even his own wife on his unstoppable march of violence to the Iron Throne of Westeros.
Varys is also a “self-made man”.Born a slave and mutilated as a child, he and his childhood friend Illyrio Mopatis quickly climb the social ladder of the Free Cities. With the help of a spy network that could rival even a modern intelligence service, he quickly became the most feared man of all Essos. King Aerys eventually summons him to the Small Council, which now encomwinds Vary’s influence around the whole known world. Similar to Kleinfinger, Varys is absolutely ruthless and selfish in his mission to put the last black fire on the throne. He is actively involved in the overthrow of three governments (Tagaryen, Baratheon and Lannister) and does not shy away from killing children and innocent men if they are on the wrong side.
But honestly, I don’t know if I’d really count these two Masters of Game of Thrones among the most complex characters.
Both surround an aura of the unknown.Their past is far in the dark, and both are so many steps ahead of any other character that their next move can never be foreseen. But they are not really complex. Kleinfinger’s ultimate goal seems clear: to kill anyone who has ever done him wrong, even supposedly, and finally claim the Iron Throne for himself. Varys tries to put a member of a certain dynasty on the throne, which is not really a particularly original goal in the world of ice and fire.
Both are more likely to excel in their sophistication than their complexity.
In my opinion, the real complexity is not in the characters who have their ultimate goal.All the kings who chase their claims, the puppeteers with their nets of intrigue or the prophesied heroes who drive away the darkness with swords of light. True complexity can be found in all the people who are just trying to go their own way in this world of lies, blood and betrayal. Complexity lies in the characters who are not convinced that they have always done the right thing. Complexity can be found in Davos, which is always torn between fidelity and criticism of his king, in Brienne, who learns that in real life sometimes the knights are the monsters and the monsters are the knights, and in front of him in Jamie Lannister, the character who is probably the the biggest meter mop hoses of the whole saga.
When we first see Jamie, he seems to be the most grotesque character in the whole series.As an antagonist as he stands in the book, Jamie murders his king and deceives his successor, swears by his own sister, gives out his incestuous bastards as crown prince, and he tries to murder an eight-year-old boy to hide his indecentities. He is truly a monster, not worth wearing the title “man”. A man whose word, reputation and honour are worth no more than the crap in the guts of The dirtiest alley of K枚nigsmund.
Jamie seems to love this life.He condescends and openly mocks Ned Stark for his honorable behavior. He seems to like that when people hear his name and thanks to the power of his family, they have to buckle in front of him as soon as he enters the room. He shows no emotion when he confesses to Lady Stark that he actually had sex with his own sister and that he actually tried to murder her son. He seems to enjoy their hatred. Even later, Jamie shows only contempt for everything and everyone he encounters. He ridicules the death of his own cousin Cleos Frey and tries to murder his companion Brienne at the first opportunity.
But all this, all this persona of the king murderer, of the man without honor, begins to crumble when Jamie loses his hand.
In one fell swoop, Vargo Hoat takes Jamie all that had distinguished him.The hand that made him the best swordsman in the country, the hand with which he murdered his king, now hangs red-redtening around his neck. Jamie loses all will to live and bitterly realizes that he is nothing without his sword hand and the gold of his family. He starts to reflect on his life and we learn what made Jamie the person he was.
Jamie was thrilled as a boy with the stories of honorable knights in shiny armor and admired men like Aemon the Dragon Knight and Brynden Blackfish for their heroic behavior in battle.He had never seen himself as the legacy of the Westerlande and always refused to fit in with the role of the Lord in which his father wanted to squeeze him.
Jamie’s wildest dreams came true when Aerys appointed him to the Royal Guard.He already imagined a life as a knight in shimmering armor when he was confronted with the harsh reality. Aerys had only called him into his guard to rob Tywin Lannister of his heir, not because of his skills as a swordsman. Jamie was disillusioned to discover that nothing is as described in the songs and legends. The king was a madman who liked to burn people alive, and his guard stood idly by when the king raped his wife again. The guard did not protest when Aerys burned Rickard Stark and Brandon strangled himself while trying to save his father. Jamie learned to hate. The unworthy king who was not once master of his senses, let alone of the land. The apathetic royal guard, blinded by its oath to eternal fidelity. The whole rotten, complacent system.
Jamie remembers the exact moment that made him who he was.In the final hours of the day, aerys of the madman Jamie ordered his own father to behead and gave his pyromantics the task of burning down the whole city with all its inhabitants. That was the moment Jamie finally broke. He slew the king he had sworn to protect, saving half a million people from certain death. For a brief moment, Jamie really felt like a knight, but the world saw it differently.
He was accused of being an oppurtunist who murdered his protection order on and the first opportunity.Jamie is punished with contempt for the most noble act he has ever committed. He, to whom he stabbed the Mad King, goes down in history as a monster, whereas Robert, who slain the crown prince, is proclaimed king.
Jamie decides to become what everyone already thinks he is and puts on the mask of the king’s murderer, the man without honor.But behind this mask is still the knight Jamie. Bitter by all the injustice that has returned him.
After All this Jamie realizes, his transformation into his new self begins, that he blots gold hand.For the first time, he seems to feel real remorse for all his past misdeeds and begins to stand up for the weaker. He prevents the rape of Brienne, a woman he had previously wanted to kill, and looks back reflectively on his life. His life as a real man. Jamie begins to build a new identity, as a humble, word-loyal man, with respect for the people he should aspire to annihilating. He admires Catelyn’s sacrificial and unconditional love for her children, and swear to find her children and never raise the blade against the houses of Stark and Tully again. He rejects his father Tywin’s Valyric Sword, the symbol of all the betrayal and sins of the House of Lannister, and instead gives it to Brienne so that she can perform a nobler task. Jamie breaks with his ruthless father and insidious sister and, for the first time in his life, really devotes himself to his role as a Knight of the Royal Guard. He pacifies the riverlands with diplomacy instead of a sword, frees his innocent brother and confesses his past lies to him. He shows grief as his father dies as a result of his actions, even if he bears no real guilt for his death. He even helps his aunt, the mother of his cousin Cleos, over the death of her son.
The man we all hated when we first let “A Game of Thrones” become one of the best characters at the end of “A Feast for Crows.”To a man with whom one can identify.
The author himself was not aware of what a complex character Jamie would mature into.In an early sketch of the Ice and Fire saga, Georg RR Martin planned to make Jamie the main opponent of the protagonists. Jamie was originally supposed to become king of Westeros, murdering anyone who claimed the throne before him. Some hints on this version can even be found in the first book in the series.
Jamie’s character is actually so complex that even his creator didn’t foresee the potential he had.
Jamie is truly the most complex character in the song of ice and fire.