From “George R.R. Martin: The Rolling Stone Interview”
I don’t know if somebody like Jaime or Cersei can be redeemed. Cersei’s a great character – she’s like Lady Macbeth.
Well, redeemed in whose eyes? She’ll never be redeemed in the eyes of some. She’s a character who’s very protective of her children. You can argue, well, does she genuinely love her children, or does she just love them because they’re her children? There’s certainly a great level of narcissism in Cersei. She has an almost sociopathic view of the world and civilization. At the same time, what Jaime did is interesting. I don’t have any kids myself, but I’ve talked with other people who have. Remember, Jaime isn’t just trying to kill Bran because he’s an annoying little kid. Bran has seen something that is basically a death sentence for Jaime, for Cersei, and their children – their three actual children. So I’ve asked people who do have children, “Well, what would you do in Jaime’s situation?” They say, “Well, I’m not a bad guy – I wouldn’t kill.” Are you sure? Never? If Bran tells King Robert he’s going to kill you and your sister-lover, and your three children…
Then many of them hesitate. Probably more people than not would say, “Yeah, I would kill someone else’s child to save my own child, even if that other child was innocent.” These are the difficult decisions people make, and they’re worth examining.
This is an instance I am constantly trying to defend. Not many people realise what Jaime’s doing, he’s doing for Cersei, Joffrey, Myrcella and Tommen. Though because people do not yet know these three children at all (unlike Bran, especially book readers as this happens from his POV), people immediately assume the worst of Jaime and Cersei, they are both given a kind of villain status. To too many, all they see is a man harming a young boy. But there is so much more to it than that.
You can read the entire article here, it’s an excellent interview!
Article contains spoilers including Joff’s killer, so non-book-readers should beware!