Why are folks so upset about Jamie?

The internet and Jim and A.Ron in particular are very upset about the ending of Jamie's ark. I'm a little perplexed, because I don't see how his decision to go die with Cersei negates his character growth or his love for Brienne. To me most of these criticisms are rooted in the idea that you must be either good or bad, and you could love only one person, or that Brienne was somehow tricked out of her virginity. 
I don't think this ending has negated Jamie's growth or turn to the good side. Jamie has done nothing evil this season. He came North, he fought the white walkers and defended humanity. He saved Brienne (and was saved by her during that battle). Yes, it is kind of shitty that he slept with Brienne and then decided to run off in the middle of the night, but it's not like he Barney Stinsoned her and put on some sort of false identity - he had genuine feelings for her and acted on those feelings. I don't think the series is giving us any indication that he was just trying to get in her pants, it seems like he genuinely cared for her and loved her.  
The fact that Jamie also still loved Cersei doesn't mean he didn't love Brienne. The show indicated that he had feelings for them both, and there is nothing inherently bad or evil about that. Cersei may be a monster, and Jamie has done monstrous things on her behalf in the past, but in this season he did nothing monstrous on her behalf. He wasn't going back to KL to fight for Cersei, he was going back to die with her. I think since we heard from Arya and the Hound that they were going to KL without any plans to return - they understood from the onset that they were likely going toward death, it is safe to assume that Jamie had a similar understanding. 
I agree that the line "I never cared for the innocent" is annoying, and that technically could be taken as an "evil" act, but if the worst thing he's done this season is saying something mean, I think we don't need to write-off his turn to the good side. Also, despite what he said, he agreed to Tyrion's plan, and I don't think there is any indication that he wasn't genuinely trying to get in there and ring those damn bells. 
The surprise-Euron sucks, I agree.
I found Jamie and Cersei's death in the rubble fitting and beautiful. You can argue whatever you want about how you wanted Cersei to die and whether she got what she deserved, etc. But I just don't think this ending negates Jamie as a good man, he fought for the army of the living, he was on the side of good. And in the end, he died in the arms of the woman he loved, as messed up as that woman and that love are. 
Re: Jamie/Brienne - I think they had a meaningful relationship, a real love, and a well earned sexual encounter, which Brienne seemed to be excited for and enjoy. Yes, Jamie hurt her by leaving, but Brienne is a strong, intelligent person, this is not going to ruin her life. And I think she's smart enough to see that what her and Jamie had was real too, it's just that humans can love multiple people and have multiple complex emotions and motivations driving them at the same time. 
Sorry for the rambling, it's just that some of the commentary on this particular ark feels very centered on black/white-good/evil, and monogomous love, and the passive unsuspecting woman giving up her virginity to the clever deceitful man, which I think misses the point of this story and the complexity of the characters.  

majjam0770SanguinePenguingguenotchuck1991JoeAlbaDoubleTCeciliaMHartParkridge
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Comments

  • I think there is a lot of Jamie arc issues because of something a lot of people forget. The Double D's made TV Jamie a lot more likeable than book Jamie so when it was time for him to get to his bullet point ending it was a bit jarring.

    They knew it was coming and should have started to make changes to him a few seasons ago. I don't know how, maybe having him pay a bard at night to play emo songs while crying to a picture of Cersei.
    SanguinePenguingjames80
  • edited May 15
    I thought Jaime's story was perfectly fine. Disappointing, but not from being poorly written or inexplicable. It was entirely forseable and in character for him to return to Cersei, as much as I hoped he was going back to kill her, in retrospect that was me (and others) writing fan fiction on top of a character and denying the character his truest self.

    Had Jaime grown and become a better man? yes.
    Did he respect (and probably love) Brienne? yes
    Was he ever truly going to leave Cersei forever? no
    Was he ever going to kill Cersei? also no.

    "His arc was a circle" isn't a valid complaint when it reflects so many people in toxic relationships. Yeah, it sucks, but abused women (and men) go back to their abusers over and over. People do irrational things.

    Jaime's story and death were sad for those of us who wanted him to emerge as a hero.
    But that's not who he was deep down. He loved Cersei above all else and always would.
    chuck1991gjames80
  • I don't really have much of a problem with it.  It's not what I wanted for the Jaime I grew to love but I agree that it doesn't erase everything.  It can be both than he did noble and kind things and also had a love for his horrible sister.  He may have been "done" with her at the end of season 7 but lets not forget that it has been a pretty short period of time!  If he had been away from her for two years like it's been for the rest of us but in the show universe, it's what... 2 months?!  Not shocking for someone to return to an abusive relationship in a couple of months.
    SanguinePenguingjames80
  • As someone who is fine with this ending for Jamie (people with toxic relationships or behaviors often fall back into them, even if everything seems fine or it seems like they are on the right path), I certainly understand NOT being happy with it.

    From, what, season 3? on they've been telling the story of Jamie becoming a better person. He becomes less flippant, tries to do the right thing whenever he can, and seems to realize how toxic Cersei is. If you were hoping to see him ultimately redeemed, if not forgiven, his actions this episode would be incredibly disappointing. 
    blacksunrise7
  • I mostly agree.  I just don't get the vibe Jaime went full circle.  Rather, after they defeated the 'others' and turned the target on Cersei, he decided he didn't want to see her and their unborn baby die, and wanted to make sure Cersei didn't do anything stupid to allow for that.  He blew off Brienne because he didn't want her to follow him on a foolish errand.  But by the time he got to Cersei, it was already over.  So like ARon suspected on the podcast, at that point he decided all he could do was hold her and die with her, there was no point wasting their final moments squabbling over who did what.  It was actually quite touching, as if both had a moment of clarity while staring down death.

    IF one of George's bullet points was that Jaime would go back to Cersei out of some perverse addiction to her or desire to be evil, the show did an awful job of telling that.  But that's highly unlikely, as the book portrays Jaime as very level-headed, and by the end of book 5 he knew she was nuts and was done with her.
    SanguinePenguinMurderbear
  • "His arc was a circle" isn't a valid complaint when it reflects so many people in toxic relationships. Yeah, it sucks, but abused women (and men) go back to their abusers over and over. People do irrational things.
    You're right, and I acknowledge that I'm an asshole, but the truth is I don't want to hang out with those people and listen to their relationship troubles when I know they're going right back to it.  Waste of time.  Similarly, I don't want to waste my time watching Jamie's pointless journey if he's gonna end up where he started.  It's a valid complaint as an audience member to a story, who expects their investment of time to pay off in some emotionally meaningful character developments.  Among other reasons, Jamie's circular arc is the main reason why I can't imagine ever re-watching this series.
    PangsTravis
  • hisdudeness915hisdudeness915 Atlanta, Ga
    edited May 16
    They didn’t ruin Jamie’s arc in this episode, they ruined it in in S7E1.The terrible writing for Jamie’s character started then for me when he went right back to her after she destroyed all those innocent people by blowing the sept. The very thing that the Mad King was threatening. If that didn’t turn him against Cersei, nothing would, rather nothing “should.” So, he forgave her for blowing up the sept but lying to Dany about joining them I’m the war vs the dead was the straw that broke the camel’s back? Doesn’t make sense. However, since that’s the route they chose back then, the ending we got does make sense. Also, they defeated the Army of the dead and she was pregnant with his child. Makes total sense why he would go to try and save her, IMO 
    ken haleTravisDoctor_Nick
  • Doctor_NickDoctor_Nick Terminus
    edited May 16
    Jamie’s ultimate destination: Totally Fine

    Show’s ham handed overnight flippity floppity: Not very good. 
    GredalBeeTravis
  • I saw nothing whatsoever inconsistent in the Jamie story line. He loved his sister. Intensely. Even as he realized over time how toxic and evil she was. But he still loved her like he loved no other thing in his life. When it was clear that she very well may die he went to her, not to fight for her or take her side but to be with the person he loved so deeply. Anyone that thinks this is some bad writing really doesn’t understand human nature. 
    awookieesizzlebarkizzleCeciliaMSanguinePenguingjames80
  • @hisdudeness915 That's a really good argument.  I don't know what else to say or how it changes my view on the character.

    @GredalBee Hilarious, makes me think of those little Kurt Vonnegut plot structure sketches.  Surely there's a sharper dip where his damn hand got chopped off?

    Tangential question*: How's everyone going to feel about the Brienne pregnancy reveal next week?

    *I'm kidding, of course.  I know there was another discussion about how sex=instapregnancy on television and if they actually did that I would die laughing.
  • TravisTravis CA
    edited May 16
    I have a couple of problems with it, and it really is indicative of the big underlying problem of the show. Too much is left for assumption. You can tell the story that they told, but the stakes are so high in how she has manipulated and emotionally tortured Jaime and done things that he abhors (like doing precisely what he killed the Mad King for threatening to do and killing thousands of her people) to not actually give us any window into him aside from his staring pensively into a fire before he makes the call. You can tell how poorly they constructed that moment and the arc leading to it because so many people were left in the dark to what his intentions were. They told the story, and it's a story that you can certainly tell, I'm not saying it doesn't make any sense, but they left the audience behind. It's the same thing as the relationship with Jon and Dany and it's falling apart (dude can't say "but you're my aunt?" We can't have a single conversation about that? I mean it could also possibly come down to him being afraid of her. It could be both. We honestly can't say for sure. We are left to make assumptions about something this incredibly crucial). It's the same thing with Dany's descent. Varys' treason. They needed more time. They needed more scenes. I'm 100% with A.Ron on the fact that it is insane that they turned down the offer for a 10 episode season, and the show is suffering for it. What they've done is chosen vague storytelling and spotty character development and these rich arcs and these characters who are so complex and beautifully sketched and stopped showing us who they are. You can tell all of these stories and have them make perfect sense, but they've rushed it and cut corners and it diminishes the notes they're trying to hit and made it feel contrived. It's also really jarring because the foundation that the show is built on is in doing just the opposite. We've really come to understand these people, but that took a lot of work. Work that they don't seem to choose to do anymore.

    The only problem that I have with Cersei's end is that I feel like the show wanted us to pity her and that is troubling. Given the mechanics of where the story was, literally the castle was crumbling around them and it's not like there was time to give Jaime a spine, but it was just not satisfying. I mean, they set that stage. That was their choice and this character whose journey we have become so invested in just felt like it was all for nothing. Once again, you can tell that story, but they told it in a really unfulfilling way. His journey to end his journey, if you will, came down to a pensive moment staring into a fire, and that sucks.
    majjam0770CapeGabeGiovanni
  • Listen if George ends it the same way, I'll blame him. 

    Ultimately, its not that he dies with Cersei or that he doesn't kill her that bothers me about the end of his arc. It's that he goes back because he's in love with Cersei.

    Here's what I would've preferred. That he no longer loves Cersei but his feeling of responsibility towards his child and his honor/duty as a father & brother is what brings him back to her. That, for me, wouldve ended his tragic arc but also keep his redemption arc primarily intact. 

    I will say though I have a problem with D&D having Jaime say he didn't care about innocents. That's probably far worse than what the end of the arc was.
    Travisken haletelephoneofmadnessgjames80
  • LordByLordBy Utah

    If Jamie had Knighted Brienne, not slept with her, and then announced he was going back to King's Landing having fulfilled his obligation to fight the dead with an ensuing argument with Tyrion and Brienne where he explains his obligation or feelings or whatever it was that drove him back, that would have flowed better.

    If they let him leave Winterfell without talking to Danny and she was livid about it, then you could still have the scene with his capture/release outside King's Landing and it would be another betrayal by advisors, and lover presuming Jon would have to okay it, for Danny on her path to madness.

    A lot of the clunky transitions that have folks upset about Ep 5 could probably have been resolved with maybe 30min of additional dialog scenes and you could cut the Bronn stuff (serves no purpose even though I love the character, seems fan-servicey), the Jamie/Brienne bedding (not good for his arc or her arc anyway, seems fan-servicey), the Jamie/Euron "battle" (served no purpose just fry him on the deck of the ship), etc. to fit a better version into 6 episodes anyway.

    The rush is real, but they could have served the story better with better prioritization.

    TravisGiovanni
  • TravisTravis CA
    edited May 16
    This isn't an original thought, but I'm listening to Binge Mode and they have been talking about the issue of "what story are you trying to tell?" This may not be important to many viewers. I'm honestly not sure if it's all that important to me, but I find the question itself interesting. I'm sure in an overarching way that they will do something to redeem the world and the story arc as a whole. I'm guessing that "good" triumphs over "evil" and we will reach some sort of conclusion that has a satisfaction to it. When examining Jaime though, what was the point? Was it to just entertainingly move an interesting piece around the board? Is he a cautionary tale? They undercut the notion of his story being one of any sort of triumph. Redemption I'll still give him, but they even did their best to undercut that by his choosing the woman who slaughtered thousands and having him say that he "never much cared for the small folk." I know it's been addressed, but what was that? So, I guess the question is: what did it all mean? You can agree or not, but it seems to me that stories are better when they are entertaining and say something as opposed to just having interesting people do some stuff. Maybe they were saying that we are weak and human. OK, but they had an opportunity, the table totally set to say more.

    Like I said, this is just sort of thinking into a computer, and I'm not sure how much I even put into it as a major reason that the Jaime thing annoys me, but I do like the question being applied to the situation. They made a very bold decision with Dany too, and I wonder if examined under not so much whether the story made sense but if they told "the best story possible" how that all pans out too. Like I said, just kind of riffing off the top of my head.
  • edited May 16
    Travis said:
    I have a couple of problems with it, and it really is indicative of the big underlying problem of the show. Too much is left for assumption. You can tell the story that they told, but the stakes are so high in how she has manipulated and emotionally tortured Jaime and done things that he abhors (like doing precisely what he killed the Mad King for threatening to do and killing thousands of her people) to not actually give us any window into him aside from his staring pensively into a fire before he makes the call. You can tell how poorly they constructed that moment and the arc leading to it because so many people were left in the dark to what his intentions were. They told the story, and it's a story that you can certainly tell, I'm not saying it doesn't make any sense, but they left the audience behind. It's the same thing as the relationship with Jon and Dany and it's falling apart (dude can't say "but you're my aunt?" We can't have a single conversation about that? I mean it could also possibly come down to him being afraid of her. It could be both. We honestly can't say for sure. We are left to make assumptions about something this incredibly crucial). It's the same thing with Dany's descent. Varys' treason. They needed more time. They needed more scenes. I'm 100% with A.Ron on the fact that it is insane that they turned down the offer for a 10 episode season, and the show is suffering for it. What they've done is chosen vague storytelling and spotty character development and these rich arcs and these characters who are so complex and beautifully sketched and stopped showing us who they are. You can tell all of these stories and have them make perfect sense, but they've rushed it and cut corners and it diminishes the notes they're trying to hit and made it feel contrived. It's also really jarring because the foundation that the show is built on is in doing just the opposite. We've really come to understand these people, but that took a lot of work. Work that they don't seem to choose to do anymore.

    The only problem that I have with Cersei's end is that I feel like the show wanted us to pity her and that is troubling. Given the mechanics of where the story was, literally the castle was crumbling around them and it's not like there was time to give Jaime a spine, but it was just not satisfying. I mean, they set that stage. That was their choice and this character whose journey we have become so invested in just felt like it was all for nothing. Once again, you can tell that story, but they told it in a really unfulfilling way. His journey to end his journey, if you will, came down to a pensive moment staring into a fire, and that sucks.
    I agree with most of what you said. The difficult thing to do is to portray Jaime's headspace during this time through a visual medium rather than a book.  In a book you see things through Jaime's perspective and GRRM has done an amazing job using this form of storytelling.  On a show you see Jaime from a 3rd person point of view and there's no way to visualize his thoughts on to the screen.  Also in Winterfell Jaime has absolutely nobody that he can talk to regarding what's going on and what he's feeling.  I think it was a very difficult scene to put to the screen and I'm not sure how they could have done it better but clearly with as many people as there are that have a problem with the Jaime turn, they should have found a way. 
    Travis
  • @letrbuck2006 I will grant you that, totally. I honestly don't know how they do it either. That said, and like you said, regardless of the challenge the result was the result. The problem was much more easily solved in the other 3 situations that I laid out than Jaime's, but somehow I feel like we just needed more if they were going to land that turnaround effectively. 
    awookiee
  • LordBy said:

    If Jamie had Knighted Brienne, not slept with her, and then announced he was going back to King's Landing having fulfilled his obligation to fight the dead with an ensuing argument with Tyrion and Brienne where he explains his obligation or feelings or whatever it was that drove him back, that would have flowed better.

    If they let him leave Winterfell without talking to Danny and she was livid about it, then you could still have the scene with his capture/release outside King's Landing and it would be another betrayal by advisors, and lover presuming Jon would have to okay it, for Danny on her path to madness.

    A lot of the clunky transitions that have folks upset about Ep 5 could probably have been resolved with maybe 30min of additional dialog scenes and you could cut the Bronn stuff (serves no purpose even though I love the character, seems fan-servicey), the Jamie/Brienne bedding (not good for his arc or her arc anyway, seems fan-servicey), the Jamie/Euron "battle" (served no purpose just fry him on the deck of the ship), etc. to fit a better version into 6 episodes anyway.

    The rush is real, but they could have served the story better with better prioritization.

    I wish I could do more than just click "insightful" on this. Great post!
  • The way I read the story was not that Jamie made a conscious decision to shoot-and-scoot with Brienne. I think he honestly wanted to stay with her, and was going to do so. Then, it suddenly became very real that Cersei was going to die, and he found he reacted in an unexpected way. 
    TravisHartParkridgeSanguinePenguin
  • LordByLordBy Utah
    edited May 16

    There was no need for him to shoot with Brienne period. Their relationship was more of a growing mutual admiration and respect thing to me and not a romantic one (that's what made the Knighting such a great scene, if he Knighted her because he wanted to bang her that's not nearly as affective). Turning it into a one-night-stand cheapens the several seasons of interaction between the two and was an unnecessary error on the path toward his death with Cersei. It's similar to the line about never caring for the small folk, it had nothing to do with the plot and served to cheapen his developed character so why the hell is it in there?

    I didn't track the transformational realization that Cersei was going to die. He'd already seen the Dragons in action before he decided to stay so her demise was on the table before his announced decision to stay in the north. He already knew that Danny was not-cool with her double-cross about not sending the army north to fight. He already knew she was pregnant with his child. He already knew that Cersei would never kneel to anyone. He already knew that Danny roasts people alive in public if they don't kneel.

    What actually changed?

    Giovanni
  • Aren't we meant to think (and this speaks again to the problematic ambiguity) that it wasn't a one night stand, but that they were together for at least a period of time? Didn't some measure of time elapse?

    Doesn't change things all that significantly, but I had completely thought that it was more than a one night stand time wise. I thought we were looking at at least a few days, if not a bit more. 
  • LordByLordBy Utah

    Huh...

    It never occurred to me that it wasn't a one-night stand, but yeah there could have been days or even weeks in there I guess?

    I don't know if that would make his leaving her crying without a real explanation better or worse?

    Travis
  • LordBy said:

    Huh...

    It never occurred to me that it wasn't a one-night stand, but yeah there could have been days or even weeks in there I guess?

    I don't know if that would make his leaving her crying without a real explanation better or worse?

    A bit of both, I think. Ultimately though, I get that this ambiguity isn't the end of the world, and I can be dissatisfied with Jaime's end and still really enjoy the show but if people are looking for a train of thought for why all this Jaime stuff and some of these shortcuts are vexing, this is a piece of evidence for how they were kind of sloppy with it given that they tried to tell the story that was probably more emotionally complicated.
  • MurderbearMurderbear Cold Spring, Ky
    I would also love to know how much Brienne was crying over what Jaime was leaving to do (and I'm sure likely dying in her eyes) vs her being sad about being dumped. I saw a lot of complaints about them doing her dirty by having her cry over him. I feel like she was crying more for what he was GOING to do then what he HAD done.
    TravisAww_PHuuCk
  • TravisTravis CA
    edited May 16
    @Murderbear for what it's worth, I took it as a combination of both but more heavily weighted to what you're saying. That he was turning his back on who he was becoming/had become and throw it all and ultimately his life away. I do believe that he cared for him deeply and watching him turn his back on her specifically as well as a big part of the equation too. In essence, I took it as all of it. She played it fantastically. 
    Murderbear
  • LordByLordBy Utah
    I would also love to know how much Brienne was crying over what Jaime was leaving to do (and I'm sure likely dying in her eyes) vs her being sad about being dumped. I saw a lot of complaints about them doing her dirty by having her cry over him. I feel like she was crying more for what he was GOING to do then what he HAD done.

    We didn't really know what he was going to do, do you think she did? We had pretty sizable factions arguing that he was going down to kill her to save the lives of all of the people who would die fighting her (you know: the small people that he cared about until this week), and that he was going to join the love of his life in her moment of peril.

    I stipulate that his ultimate end may have been a bullet point from GRRM, or at least a strategic decision that they made before the season was written, but the way they got there valued surprise/spectacle over character/story. Not like the Red or Purple Wedding or the beheading of Ned type of surprise, which seemed inevitable in retrospect, but surprise for surprise's sake.

    Travis
  • MurderbearMurderbear Cold Spring, Ky
    LordBy said:
    I would also love to know how much Brienne was crying over what Jaime was leaving to do (and I'm sure likely dying in her eyes) vs her being sad about being dumped. I saw a lot of complaints about them doing her dirty by having her cry over him. I feel like she was crying more for what he was GOING to do then what he HAD done.

    We didn't really know what he was going to do, do you think she did? We had pretty sizable factions arguing that he was going down to kill her to save the lives of all of the people who would die fighting her (you know: the small people that he cared about until this week), and that he was going to join the love of his life in her moment of peril.

    I stipulate that his ultimate end may have been a bullet point from GRRM, or at least a strategic decision that they made before the season was written, but the way they got there valued surprise/spectacle over character/story. Not like the Red or Purple Wedding or the beheading of Ned type of surprise, which seemed inevitable in retrospect, but surprise for surprise's sake.

    I mean, he pretty much told her. He showed examples of how much of a terrible, hateful person he is and how she is as well. Believe me, I was in the "He's going to go kill Cersei, right??" camp. But given what he said to her, I don't think she would think that he was doing that.

    I also think that while he probably has genuine love for Brienne, maybe being with her cemented his love for Cersei even more. She is the only one he ever has or ever could truly love.

    As far as this being a bullet point from GRRM, I am skeptical. Jaime still being in love with her after everything could be part of it but I would be surprised if they die in each other's arms like they did in the show. But I also wonder if Cersei blows up the Sept in the books. And if she does, does Jaime know? And does Jaime know on the show? Maybe he suspects it deep down but it was never even a question. And that sucks.
    Aww_PHuuCk
  • Listen if George ends it the same way, I'll blame him. 

    Ultimately, its not that he dies with Cersei or that he doesn't kill her that bothers me about the end of his arc. It's that he goes back because he's in love with Cersei.

    Here's what I would've preferred. That he no longer loves Cersei but his feeling of responsibility towards his child and his honor/duty as a father & brother is what brings him back to her. That, for me, wouldve ended his tragic arc but also keep his redemption arc primarily intact. 

    I will say though I have a problem with D&D having Jaime say he didn't care about innocents. That's probably far worse than what the end of the arc was.
    Fully agree ... it also seemed weird that he's motivated to go back to her in a moment that he hears she's winning, as opposed to a situation where he hears she's losing and feels some responsibility to save her (and by extension the baby)
    MurderbearTravisAww_PHuuCk
  • Travis said:
    Aren't we meant to think (and this speaks again to the problematic ambiguity) that it wasn't a one night stand, but that they were together for at least a period of time? Didn't some measure of time elapse?

    Doesn't change things all that significantly, but I had completely thought that it was more than a one night stand time wise. I thought we were looking at at least a few days, if not a bit more. 
    From my take on the scene there was clearly some time that took place between the initial night that Jaime and Brienne slept together (the after funeral party) and the point in time that Sansa had learned the news that Raegal and Missandei were killed.  Dany was at that party the night they first hooked up so it's however long it takes for Dany and her traveling group to travel to Dragonstone and then for a raven with the news to leave from Dragonstone to reach Winterfell.  
    Travis
  • edited May 16
    Travis said:
    @Murderbear for what it's worth, I took it as a combination of both but more heavily weighted to what you're saying. That he was turning his back on who he was becoming/had become and throw it all and ultimately his life away. I do believe that he cared for him deeply and watching him turn his back on her specifically as well as a big part of the equation too. In essence, I took it as all of it. She played it fantastically. 
    It could also go beyond her feelings romantic or otherwise to Jaime. She stood before everyone and vouched for this guy. Him leaving like this tarnishes her honour, which is arguably more important than anything to Brienne.

    He makes a fool of her, and it's gross.
    Travisbudesigns
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