Spoiler for season 3 of GOT:

I realise this is different from the books (which I haven't read), but why is Jamie Lannister's hand cut off? Surely Lord Bolton's henchman who does it knows that Bolton is actually plotting with the Lannisters, so he knows he is mutilating an important member of the King's family; the King that is most likely to win the war once Bolton's betrayal occurs. Why does he do it and why is he not punished by Bolton for doing so once he hands Jamie over to him? Bolton seems most concerned that Tywin Lannister know he did not do the deed, but doesn't seem to be too fussed about the fact that it was still done by a soldier under his command, a soldier he barely reprimands let alone punishes?

3 Answers 3


I'm answering this without spoiler tags, if that's alright. If you haven't seen Season 3 so far, you've been warned.

First, I wouldn't assume that Locke(I think that's who does the deed) would know about where Bolton's loyalties lie. The more people who know, the more someone might let it slip and out Bolton to someone more loyal to Robb. I certainly wouldn't trust that information unless absolutely necessary.

Second, I think that if Tywin presses the issue Bolton can pass the blame on Locke and offer him up to Tywin. In the show, it's not been shown how Tywin will react yet. We'll see what Season 4 brings.

In the books however, it's a completely different matter. The issue is addressed more directly, and it interesting enough to post.

A sellsword company led by Vargo Hoat under the pay of Roose Bolton turned from the Lannister's side to Robb's. After the Lannister's victory at the Battle of the Blackwater, Vargo was worried about Roose Bolton shifting allegiances back to the Lannisters. They captured Jaime and Brienne and in order to prevent Bolton turning sides again, he amputates Jaime's hand so the Lannisters place blame on Bolton(and make Tywin angry, as you suspected would happen).
In the books, Bolton releases Jaime if he absolves Bolton of any blame for the loss of his hand. Jaime agrees and he departs for King's Landing similarly as in the show.

The Books have a more satisfying reasoning behind it all, personally. The TV series doesn't go into much detail, but you expect to have some things left hanging with so much going on. They handled it fairly well as far as I'm concerned.

  • Thanks, interesting comparison to the books. The other thing that is confusing in the series is why Locke isn't perturbed that Jamie is being sent back to King's Landing instead of to Robb. I would have expected him to be a bit surprised by that, assuming he doesn't know of Bolton's plans. The book version, as you've explained it, doesn't have this issue. Commented Jun 13, 2013 at 5:54
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    In the books it's also made clear that amputation is a "trademark" as such of the perpetrator.
    – Dan Kelly
    Commented Jun 13, 2013 at 11:47
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    I would also add that Bolton (ever the schemer) may perceive that a permanently-mutilated Jaime weakens the power of the Lannisters in the long term. After all, Cersei is proving herself completely incompetent in a position of power, and while Tyrion (the one child of Tywin's who is most like him) is competent, Tywin can hardly bear to look at his son, let alone have him become Lord of Casterly Rock. So this could be seen as contributing to Bolton's achieving an even higher ambition than Warden in the North... Commented Jun 13, 2013 at 19:48
  • Great point Giant Of Lannister!
    – Kyle S.
    Commented Jun 13, 2013 at 23:33

We don't get any indication that Locke or any of the Bolton men know anything about their master's plans. In the books Lord Bolton was a man of few words who enforced a strict separation between himself and his underlings. He is also a man who is not prone to display his emotions. So even if he was disturbed by this unexpected turn of events, he was not about to show it.

As for why Lord Bolton didn't punish Locke perhaps like Lord Tywin he believed in the importance of surrounding himself with monsters, savage and violent people whom he could use effectively against his enemies.


Tywin wanted to ruin Jaime's abilities as swordsman to force him to become a politician. So he let him cut off his sword hand. He also let Olenna kill Joffrey to make Tommen King. And he blamed Tyrion, because he refused to impregnate Sansa and conquer the North for Ned Stark's grandson. If he weren't murdered, he would have married Cersei to some minor Lord and governed for King Tommen.

  • Tywin did not know of the amputation until after it had happened and there's no evidence he knew who was behind Joffrey's death. Commented Jun 7, 2016 at 12:28

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