Character Summary – Cersei Lannister

Image by Magajaga

Today we will go into the life of Cersei Lannister, Queen Dowager of the Seven Kingdoms.

She is the elder of the twins Lannister, her twin being Jaime Lannister, of whom she is very close to – I mean, really close.  Basically too close.  However, she resents her youngest brother, Tyrion Lannister, and blames him for their mother’s death since she died giving birth to Tyrion.  She is the mother of three blond-haired children, all from her incestuous affair with her brother Jaime, but having claimed that Robert Baratheon, her husband and King of the Seven Kingdoms, is their father.

Cersei is quite the manipulator, and tries to influence her husband often.  After her son Joffrey got into a slight melee with Arya, Arya’s direwolf Nymeria attacked him, injuring his hand.  Because of that, Cersei  insisted on having Arya Stark’s hand cut off because of Joffrey’s injury.  Luckily for Arya, the King refused.  Cersei then requested that the direwolf be killed, but since Arya had driven Nymeria away after the attack, the King allowed Sansa’s direwolf, Lady, to be killed in her place.

Image by Daenerys-mOd

She, along with her brother Jaime, were also responsible for Bran’s fall from the tower that caused Bran to become paralyzed from the waist down, because he had caught them having sex in an abandoned tower during one of his climbs on the wall. She became fearful that they would be revealed once Bran were to awaken from his coma, and when she went to speak with Catelyn about it, she pretended to have sympathy for Catelyn, all the while hoping that he would die.

Being that she’s very smart, she tries to teach her son Joffrey on the strategies of ruling a kingdom harshly but successfully.  Joffrey listens at first, but later on, we see she doesn’t have as much influence on him once he takes over the Throne.

When Eddard discovers her and Jaime’s secret affair and their children, she actually tries to defend her actions and her love for her brother as being acceptable, similar to that of the Targaryens, whose customs were to marry brother and sister together.  He insists upon her and her children leaving the capital, stating that he will not tell King Baratheon as long as she goes.  But she retorts, saying, “When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die. There is no middle ground.”

And she eventually arranged for her husband, Robert Baratheon, to be killed during a hunting party, before Eddard Stark could tell him about Cersei and Jaime’s affair.  Fortunately for Cersei, her ploy was successful.

With Robert out of the way, Joffrey took over the throne, but not without Eddard speaking aloud that the will Robert had left said that the throne would go to the “rightful heir,” something that Eddard wrote instead of writing Joffrey’s name.  Cersei took the will and tore it up in front of him and court and ordered the Barristan to seize Eddard instead of the other way around.  Littlefinger sided with the Lannisters and betrayed the Starks at this point, having Eddard thrown in prison for treason.  He no longer had the advantage over Cersei.

Cersei again uses her manipulative ways to convince Sansa Stark to call her brother, Robb, to King’s Landing and swear fealty to King Joffrey in order to save their father’s life.  She does so, but Robb refuses, knowing that she’s being coerced by Cersei.

Image by ArgosArt

Cersei did, by all accounts, did mean for Eddard Stark to be spared execution and have him serve the rest of his life at the Night’s Watch after he swore fealty.  Unfortunately, even her influence couldn’t persuade King Joffrey to think as wisely as her, and Eddard was executed after all.

It is also revealed that with Jaime Lannister taken prisoner by the Starks, she takes on an affair with another relative: her cousin Lancel Lannister.

Cersei is played by Lena Headey.  Her credits are extensive, with a couple of her most popular roles in recent times being Sarah Connor in the television series Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, and as another queen in the graphic movie 300, opposite Gerard Butler.  She’ll also be appearing in the upcoming 2012 film, Dredd.  Some have found Lena’s performance of Cersei as somewhat underperformed and not as vindictive.  But in regards to everyone else on the show, I believe her portrayal is perfectly fine, walking the thin line between evil and not-so-evil, being that her character apparently has a care for her children, but still wants to have control in a way that most women cannot.




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