I love Cersei Lannister. She is far and away my favorite character from Game of Thrones because she is so different from the usual female characters we watch or read about. Fully aware of who she is and completely unapologetic about it, Cersei never hides the fact that she lusts for power, or that she is a woman who believes she is better than all the men around her. Naturally, because of all this, I decided to share some of my love for the Lady Lannister and rank her best moments.
EDIT: It’s a shame that Game of Thrones retconned one of Cersei’s best, most emotional moments.
5. “If I wanted to kill you, do you think I’d let a wooden door stop me?”
Season 3 Episode 1
Oh, Cersei. Classic Cersei. Is there anyone in the realm who makes better threats than she? Tyrion makes more subtle, intelligent threats, sure, but Cersei doesn’t hide the insult. If she hates you, you know it, and the fact that she’s unpredictable makes her all the more terrifying.
Note: I don’t think of Cersei as a liar. Littlefinger is a liar. Cersei doesn’t go through the effort. Whenever someone makes a snide remark about her relationship with Jaime, she doesn’t deny it. She may twist the truth to get her way, especially with her father, but when she says something, whether it is the actual truth or not, SHE believes it to be true. Her misguided opinion of Tyrion as a liar and murderer is true in her mind.
4. “The price we pay for our sins”
Season 2 Episode 7
Most people see Cersei as despicable, cruel, and manipulative. I won’t deny she is those things–she most certainly is–but she also has her vulnerable moments, and even though she claims to hate him, they’re almost always in Tyrion’s presence. He sees beyond her rage and control issues and instead pities her. As Tyrion states, “You love your children. It’s your one redeeming quality–that and your cheekbones.” And I’ve always agreed with that sentiment. Much like Catelyn Stark, Cersei will do anything to protect her children, including defend the sadistic Joffrey.
Note: I almost included Cersei’s moment in the Sept of Baelor after Joffrey was murdered instead because her grief over her son’s death has been the most powerful in the show. Don’t worry, Catelyn Stark, you’re second.
3. “When You Play The Game Of Thrones You Win Or You Die”
Season 1 Episode 7
This is probably the moment when people started to take Cersei seriously. In the early parts of the first season, Cersei had a much more redeeming personality. She empathized with Catelyn Stark after Bran is thrown from the window (even though it was her fault), telling the story of her lost son (in what I believe was a true story, not one made up by Cersei to throw Catelyn off her trail). Her conversations with Robert Baratheon were raw representations of a couple still married only for the sake of appearances. And even in this pivotal scene with Ned Stark, Cersei manages to come across as likable, announcing that she did love Robert and tried to make it work, only his drunken whoring and fake affections destroyed her image of him. Then she drops the mic and all hell breaks loose, leading to another OH SHIT moment in the series:
2. “If you ever call me ‘sister’ again, I’ll have you strangled in your sleep.”
Season 3 Episode 8
Margaery you tried to befriend a lion and got mauled. By now, the sweet Tyrell girl with the worst marriage luck should know that the innocent school girl act doesn’t work on Cersei, as I’m sure that was a ploy she used once or twice in her many years of manipulation. Cersei knows just how crafty women can be because men don’t expect such things from the gentler sex (as she describes in detail to Sansa during the Battle of the Blackwater). Besides, look at her face. Look at it. Would you want to anger that sweetly sinister grin? Not I.
1. “Power is power”
Season 2 Episode 1
Who shouted at the TV, “OH SNAP” when this moment first aired? HM? You’re damn right all of you did because that was a beautiful display of who Cersei is as a character. Or rather, who she desperately thinks she is. As we’ve seen of late, that certainly is not the case, but in this moment early in the second season when the Lannisters were still riding high, Cersei shocking Littlefinger into submission was wonderful to behold.
Honorable mention goes to moment when Cersei slaps Joffrey, because any time that little twat is hit a direwolf has puppies.
Game of Thrones returns this Sunday on HBO. Squee with me, people. Squee with me.