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Season 7 of Game of Thrones is only days away and we can’t keep still in all the excitement. Looking back at Cersei Lannister, the new queen from last season.
Spoiler alert, but only if you have been living under a rock and don’t know what the Game of Thrones is.
Quite contrary to the popular opinion, I kinda-sorta-like Cersei Lannister. Yes, she’s the one who killed Lady (Sansa’s dire wolf), was partially responsible for Bran’s fall, had an incestuous relationship with her twin brother, set the faith militant into action…the list is quite long. She may be a ‘bitch’ in every sense of the word BUT I can’t help admire her a little bit after the finale of season 6.
Let’s look at her life history, shall we?
As we are well aware, Cersei Lannister is an extremely ambitious woman who wanted to do a lot of things but wasn’t allowed to by her father – simply because she was his daughter and not his son. She is a victim of gender inequality, definitely not unlike the majority of women worldwide.
She was, instead, shipped off to the new King Robert Baratheon as a peace offering from the Lannisters. We learn from the show that she did try to make their marriage work but Robert just went ahead and destroyed the sanctity of their marriage by cheating on her multiple times. Many people might justify this behaviour as ‘time-appropriate’ and because he had no love for her. But tell me this, did she not deserve a fair chance of a happy and respectful life instead of being trampled upon by a man?
The thing I like most about Cersei is that she is a survivor. She knows that everyone is her enemy and thus, she goes on to do the harshest things to ensure the well-being of her children and herself. She loves her children the most in the entirety of Westeros and will do anything to protect them. We can define almost all her actions to have stemmed from this love and paranoia around her children. She knows that they are a product of a more than frowned-upon relationship in the society and that if the truth comes out about her relationship with her brother, her children will be the ones who would bear the brunt of this revelation the most. Motherly protectiveness – again, not unlike a majority of women worldwide.
Her extreme paranoia is also a major factor behind her actions and that paranoia can be traced back to the time when a witch made a prophecy about how all her children would die one by one and a better, prettier queen would take her place. Childhood impressions are deep, and thus it would be wrong to say that it wasn’t the same with Cersei.
So if oversimplified, we can conclude that Cersei was an insecure mother and an ambitious woman who wanted happiness for herself and her children. Doesn’t sound that bad when I put it like that, does it?
I am in no way justifying all the terrible things that she does. However, she is a well-written character who is am’bitch’ious and knows what it takes to survive in the world that she lives. We don’t have to necessarily like her to appreciate the nuances of her character.
One thing that we should all ponder upon is, would our opinions of Cersei Lannister soften if she had been a man instead? Are we guilty of this hypocrisy? Considering the fact that it was Jamie who pushed Bran down the tower, why is it that Cersei is the one who is hated more for it? She may have done more than her fair share of evil things but to be honest, I did cheer a little bit at the end of season 6 when she finally sat on the throne after she blew up the High Sept with that godawful high sparrow in it.