In Game of Thrones Tywin Lannister has the following conversation with Arya Stark. Though the point of the conversation is mainly to pry into Arya's secret identity the following sounds like Jaime Lannister has dyslexia.

Tywin Lannister: Who taught you to read?
Arya Stark: My father, my lord.
Tywin Lannister: Hmm. I taught my son Jaime to read. The maester came to me one day, told me he wasn't learning. He couldn't make sense of the letters. He reversed them in his head. The maester said he'd heard tell of this affliction and that we simply must accept it. Ha! After that, I sat Jaime down for four hours every day until he learned. He hated me for it, for a time. For a long time. But he learned.
Game of Thrones, Season 2 Episode 6, "The Old Gods and the New"

This story is then reiterated by Jaime himself although the amount of time spent is different.

Jaime Lannister: I hated to read as a child, but my father forced me to study the books every morning before I could practice with sword or horse. Two hours every day holed up in the maester's chambers. I learned a lot of fancy words.
Game of Thrones, Season 3 Episode 3, "Walk of Punishment"

I've had a look around to see if Jaime is supposed to have dyslexia in the books too but haven't turned anything meaningful up yet that could point to him having it. My gut feeling is this is a show only story, especially because it initially occurs between Tywin and Arya.

However, I would like to know if anything in the books points to Jaime having dyslexia? If not what evidence is there that this is a show only event?

2 Answers 2


During Jaime's time in King's Landing as Lord Commander of the King's Guard, he is described to read and look through the White Book pretty frequently. He also is more worried about having to write with his left hand specifically, than having to write at all. As such, it seems to me that it is mostly that when he was young, he just wasn't interested in books.

Within the White Book was the history of the Kingsguard. Every knight who'd ever served had a page, to record his name and deeds for all time. On the top left-hand corner of each page was drawn the shield the man had carried at the time he was chosen, inked in rich colors. Down in the bottom right corner was the shield of the Kingsguard; snow-white, empty, pure. The upper shields were all different; the lower shields were all the same. In the space between were written the facts of each man's life and service. The heraldic drawings and illuminations were done by septons sent from the Great Sept of Baelor three times a year, but it was the duty of the Lord Commander to keep the entries up to date.

My duty, now. Once he learned to write with his left hand, that is. The White Book was well behind. The deaths of Ser Mandon Moore and Ser Preston Greenfield needed to be entered, and the brief bloody Kingsguard service of Sandor Clegane as well. New pages must be started for Ser Balon Swann, Ser Osmund Kettleblack, and the Knight of Flowers. I will need to summon a septon to draw their shields.
A Feast for Crows - Jaime VIII


He took his own good time about it, though, or else the Knight of Flowers proved hard to find. Several hours had passed by the time they arrived, the slim handsome youth and the big ugly maid. Jaime was sitting alone in the round room, leafing idly through the White Book. "Lord Commander," Ser Loras said, "you wished to see the Maid of Tarth?"
A Feast for Crows - Jaime IX

  • I believe Jaime was shown reading and writing in the show. However, the question is mainly on the premise that was "unteachable" as a child but Tywin then taught him. i.e. he may have struggled learning but he now knows how to read/write.
    – TheLethalCarrot
    Apr 13, 2018 at 9:51
  • I think this is as likely the best answer you'll get,as it's hard to prove the lack of existence of something. But none of what you quoted from the show happened in the books (in fact, those scenes didn't exist), and I don't recall any mention of Jaime's reading ability either for or against. The fact that he doesn't make comment during extended scenes when he's reading and thinking about his past does seem to imply it's not an issue, however.
    – Paul
    Apr 13, 2018 at 11:44
  • 1
    The distinction here is that I would assume dyslexics to read reluctantly, because of their struggles. I see no indication of that here. On the contrary, in the second quote he had been reading for several hours already.
    – JAD
    Apr 13, 2018 at 12:39

While nothing is ever stated that he is Dyslexic in the books, there is some evidence for it.

  • Dyslexic People are generally more intelligent to make up for their difficulty reading, but also don't enjoy academic activities due to fear of seeming stupid In Jaime's Case, he could very well be Dyslexic and distanced himself from Accademia due to him being bad at reading in his youth. This, coupled with the fact that he is repeatedly shown to be both witty and intelligent internally, yet is always viewed as being stupid, despite his intelligence
  • Another symptom of Dyslexia is immaturity and high levels of frustration, both traits Jaime shares.
  • Most Dyslexic people are also very self-deprecating, and while Jaime has other reasons to hate himself, it could be extrapolated that part of it could be his difficulty reading.

And, as a counterpoint, there are different degrees of Dyslexia. As a Dyslexic-Dysgraphic person, I can in fact, read. So Jaime reading the White Book isn't evidence of against Jaime being Dyslexic.

  • 1
    I wouldn't take it as given that the effects of dyslexia would manifest themselves the same in a medieval setting as in our culture. Jun 12, 2019 at 22:37

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