Jon Stans: Jon is the song of ice and fire all by himself. He’s Azor Ahai, he will kill the Night’s king with longclaw, his lightbringer and sit on the Iron Throne because have I mentioned that he is also the rightful heir to the throne?
Dany Stans: Dany is Azor Ahai and Drogon is her lightbringer that will kill the Night’s King.
Jonerys shippers: Theirs is the song of ice and fire. Both of them are Azor Ahai together. (Full disclosure, I also stan Dany & Jon and I’m jonerys trash)
Jamie : Plunges widow’s wail into Cersei’s heart to save the realm once again and lets out a high pitched widower’s wail, fulfilling both Maggie’s prophesy and Azor Ahai prophesy. Both widow’s wail and Oathkeeper(Brienne’s sword) forged from Ned Stark’s sword ‘Ice’ sets on fire.
Writers: Why else do you think we spend all this time making this twincest loving childkiller likable, setting up the JB relationship and repeatedly showcasing their desire to be good knights?
So this episode still upsets me somehow. Everyone around me is just like wow this was an amazing episode and I’m here trying to pinpoint why I still have concerns. And then I think I finally pinpointed what’s wrong. It’s Dany’s storyline. This episode really made me realize how problematic her character is no matter how much I love her.
At the beginning of the show she was introduced as this fragile young woman who awakened and seized her chance at living life on her own terms and she instantly became this symbol of feminism and girl power. All the while she retained her greatest quality: compassion. By season 3 she had become the badass Mother of Dragons everybody rooted for. At this point, I was cheering every time she accomplished something without really thinking about the other side of said something. When she torched Astapor and took the Unsullied I was like YEAH. Like everybody else. When she was celebrated as Mhysa I was like YEAH. Like everybody else. When she freed Meereen I was like YEAH. Like everybody else. Etc etc.
Until the Field of Fire where I should have been like YEAH. Like everybody else. Except I wasn’t. The scene itself was impressive but for the first time it was constructed differently. Instead of an epic and victorious variation of the Dracarys theme - as was used during every single one of her battle scenes (yes I pay much attention to the score) - we got a sad rendition of the Rains of Castamere. And so I realized what was wrong. The show had just gone on the other side for the first time. Apart from Jaime and Bronn who we naturally root for and so don’t wish to see dead, we met Ed Sheeran and his friends three episodes ago and it was a nice scene of humanizing what we still perceived as the enemy because they were Lannisters.
This got me questioning everything backwards. And I realized the show made us root for Dany by never showing us the other side of things. It always painted her storyline as her vs evil men. Plain and simple. Sure the guy in Astapor was a douchebag. He deserved to be torched. And yes the dynamic between masters and slaves is problematic and needs to be changed. But when you think about it the rest of the masters were just guilty of respecting centuries-old traditions. Nothing more. Same in Meereen. When she crucified them as retaliation for the slaves that were crucified I did not think twice about it because the show just identified the masters to bad men. That’s why the Sons of the Harpy storyline never properly worked to me. They were just depicted as rebellious terrorists who didn’t accept Dany’s reign. It would have been more interesting if we could actually go into their reasons. Reasons being they do not accept this foreign ruler who would come and change the way things had been in forever because nobody likes change. And so I did not even notice when she said or did problematic things because I was only seeing her side. She fed masters to her dragons just because they were masters and on the assumption they were guilty of helping the Sons of the Harpy. Those men were potentially innocent… but I only saw the badassery in it.
Now seeing the Field of Fire and how the show established that not all Lannisters are bad I noticed how big of a contrast there is between then and now. What helped during past seasons is that we could still see a soft side to Dany. She genuinely seemed to care for the small folk. When she had to execute one of them we could see she didn’t like it. But Westeros seems like a curse to her because she seems to have lost the last of her humanity since she stepped foot on it. Where is the girl who gave her followers the choice to walk freely and unharmed if they did not wish to go with her ? Compare this to her upcoming ‘Bend the knee or die’ speech. (Although we already got a taste of it before: ‘They can live in my new world or they can die in their old one’.) Some choice she’s giving here…
Where is the wit and the clever strategy we saw during past seasons ? When she conquered all those cities, when she killed the Dothraki chiefs, that was always through a smart plan with a twist. That was part of why we loved her so much. But now she’s reduced to traditional war ? Granted Westeros is not a city. It’s seven kingdoms. Still… And I get that this is war and that she is still a better person than Cersei because she comes with good intentions (at the very bottom of her heart she’s not bad. She just goes the wrong way). Yes war means soldiers will be lost. Innocent soldiers with lives and children and families. So I’m not saying that she did a bad thing in waging war. It is what it is. Dany has always been a conqueror more than she is a ruler. And she’s a beginner. That’s why she surrounds herself with people who are more skilled in that matter yet she does not always listen to them. Sure when she takes matters in her own hands we’re in for spectacular stuff. Most viewers stop at that. But what has she accomplished here on the Field of Fire? Besides weakening the Lannister armies, she’s also weakened her own - albeit significantly less - she’s harmed her most powerful dragon and she flambeed food reserves that would have been very useful. And she didn’t listen to every single one of her advisors. Tyrion was utterly devastated in seeing this massacre. (No matter his allegiance, he cares about Westeros and its people. And he still cares about at least his brother and Bronn). He chose her and he thought that with clever plans he could have her win the throne without too much bloodshed. She didn’t listen to Barristan in the past who once told her to be merciful. She didn’t listen to Tyrion when he told her to be patient in her war. War is not a matter of days, Dany. She didn’t listen to his strategy despite it being smarter than go upfront with the enemy. Or Jon for that matter. Who told her not to do it either. Jon who seems lately to think more about the small folk that she does. Both Varys and Tyrion said they chose her because she is the one who thinks about the people first. But since she’s arrived at Dragonstone all I could see from Dany is teenage-ish behavior of someone who throws a tantrum when they don’t get what they want. ‘Call me by my rightful title’ and ‘bend the knee’ seem to be her new favorite sentences. Bend the knee and I will help you save your people, she says to Jon. Uh you know you said the North is one of YOUR kingdoms so that’s your people as well who are going to be attacked. Where is Tyrion to give her a good wake-up slap ? A good ruler thinks about their subjects first, not about their crown. Wouldn’t it be better if you’d go save everyone in an unselfish way and then maybe perhaps they would be more willing to accept you..? Because so far, again let us go on the other side. The Westerosi just see this foreign queen, the last remaining of a dynasty they consider cursed because of its last ruler… of course they are weary. Of course I can understand Jaime and Bronn going against her and Drogon.
She made Varys swear to tell her to her face when she’s failing her people. Your first failure to do your duty, Varys. Varys? Varys where are you ? Oh over here with Tyrion discussing about maybe you chose wrong again. She used to genuinely care about the well being of the small folk and I believe she still does. She still refuses (for now) to attack King’s Landing and kill innocent people. But it’s not her priority anymore. Her priority is getting people to bend the knee. Meanwhile we have Jon whose new favorite sentences are ‘Help me fight the White Walkers and save the lives of everybody’ and ‘Do not touch my sister’. Jon who was thrust into the role of being King when that was clearly not his wish. Jon who united Wildings with Northmen to save them from the White Walkers. Jon who’s trying to rally everybody to save the lives of small folk and highborn alike. Jon who initially decided to take up the fight again because he could not fathom the idea of harm coming to his sister whether it be from Ramsey or the White Walkers. Jon who left his Kingdom in the care of his sister who’s trying her best to follow in his steps in her own ways - starting food reserves, making sure that the soldiers who will defend them are warm enough against winter, preparing Winterfell as a rallying location. Just Jon and Sansa caring more for the people than the power they were given.
And so here I am. Still liking Dany as much as before but not blind anymore to her faults. I still like her better on the throne than Cersei but really who are the better rulers here I ask you Tyrion and Varys?
A study in creating great characters, by Aaron Ehasz (head writer of Avatar the Last Airbender). A lot of animation lead characters are forced to fit the far right criteria, but think of the many classic characters that are better described by the left: Tony Soprano, Frank Underwood, Jamie Lannister, Walter White, etc.
The queen stood. “And what of my wrath, Lord Stark?” she asked softly. Her eyes searched his face. “You should have taken the realm for yourself. It was there for the taking… Such a sad mistake.” “I have made more mistakes than you can possibly imagine,” Ned said, “but that was not one of them.” “Oh but it was, my lord,” Cersei insisted. “When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die. There is no middle ground.” — Cersei Baratheon and Eddard Stark, A Game of Thrones
If there is one woman destined never to be a hearth-mate or homemaker, she is undoubtedly Cersei Lannister. The Lannister symbol is a lion and Cersei is undoubtedly a lioness, a golden-haired green-eyed feline among queens. Had she been born a whore, she would have been an empress of brothels. She was born noble, however, the first of two bright blond glittering twins fathered by Tywin Lannister and his beloved wife, Joanna. Little brother Jaime came out clutching his sister’s heel, and has been clutching other bits of her ever since.
Jaime would one day become a knight, wild and reckless of reputation. Had she been born male, Cersei would have out-Jaimed Jaime. She lacks no bravery when it comes to conflict, and would happily have slit half a dozen Targaryen throats to sit unchallenged on the Iron Throne. Unlike her brother, it would never have occurred to her to get off it. Unfortunately for Cersei, she was born female, and her path to conquest was never going to be that straightforward.
Cersei is the eldest of the Lannister children. As a male, she would be the heir to Casterly Rock, irrespective of looks, abilities, or any other factors. Because of her sex, however, she finds herself third in the line of succession. Anything she has must be given to her by her father or earned between Robert Baratheon’s bed sheets. It is not a situation designed to breed self-esteem. Kept back because of her sex and because there is room for only one Tywin-shaped ego in the family, it could be no surprise that this volatile, passionate woman’s nature would warp a little.
Under such circumstances, it might be thought that a woman like Cersei Lannister would become a Dacey Mormont or even a Mirri Maz Duur, finding power through arms or the occult. That, however, would not be Cersei’s way. She may crave self-determination, but in the end Cersei accepts the world into which she is born.
Cersei has taken on her culture’s distaste for women, so she both despises and treasures her own femininity. She has to work very hard for the gifts of command and influence given so easily to men of her station. As a result, she has no time for hapless females. At best, she will sneer at them; at worst, she will use them without a shred of pity. The world is harsh to women; to her mind, the sooner they learn how to use the rules to their own advantage, the better. If Cersei gave it a second thought, she might even argue that she does her own sex a favour by teaching them the lessons she had to learn by herself.
Cersei did indeed have difficult lessons to learn. When dealing with Lannisters, all roads lead to Casterly Rock, and the pervasive influence of Tywin. They pride themselves on a tradition of intelligence inherited from their famous ancestor, Lann the trickster. They use every resource they have to get what they want. They are abundant in wits, in wealth and in comeliness.
Like all the Lannister family — with the notable exception of Tyrion — Cersei is lovely to look upon. This alone makes her a treasure. The Lannisters understand the importance of appearances only too well. In a world where a woman’s worth is judged by her beauty, bloodline, and fertility, Cersei is worth a great deal. She may just be another breeder, but her owners can expect a fine price for her — nothing less than a crown.
Unfortunately for Cersei, the death of Lyanna Stark left Robert Baratheon an angry man. All her beauty could never mend his heart — something she could never forgive. Despite this failing, Cersei could certainly take care of his other needs. Sensual and exquisite of form, Cersei is extremely alluring. Robert Baratheon found nothing to object to in her person. This was the beginning of Cersei’s rise to power. Her father can subsidise a king, her brother can kill one, but neither can create one. That task, the creation of a Lannister monarch, came down to Cersei alone.
It would never be easy for someone of Cersei’s ego, already thwarted in ambition and expression, to become the bed mate of a man in love with another woman, though — especially a woman made ideal through death. Cersei could not even have the satisfaction of watching her rival grow old and ordinary. Lyanna Stark is forever the unattainable and tragic love in Robert’s life. The implicit rebuff, both to her status as his queen and her adequacy as his bedfellow, is more than she could possibly tolerate. She gave her royal husband three healthy, beautiful children to inherit his throne and continue his line … but none of them are his. Joffrey, Myrcella, and Tommen are golden children, who resemble both mother and father, Cersei and Jaime Lannister.
It is hard to understand the complex link between twins, but by itself this does not explain the extent of the love between the Lannisters. They consider themselves to be bonded souls, perhaps even the same soul. It is not true. Jaime’s needs are very different to Cersei’s. Jaime may follow his sister’s lead, but he is a warrior; she is a politician.
It could be argued that Cersei’s feelings for Jaime is the nearest she will ever come to making love to herself, for they are so alike, so heroic looking, so beautiful. Whether she would love him so much were he not created in her own glorious image is a moot point. This might, however, explain Cersei’s contempt for her other brother, Tyrion. If Jaime is Cersei made male — a mirror of herself as she would wish to be — what is Tyrion but a grotesque distortion? Jaime is not the only Lannister male Cersei mirrors, though. Cersei inevitably echoes her father, the most powerful and successful being she knows in everything from her manipulation of her children to her personal disdain for Tyrion.
Her love for Jaime, however, is a radical departure from her father’s cool approach to matters of the heart. This alone is all her own feeling, and the intensity of it pulls her. It is dangerous, and yet comforting, for Jaime gives her most of the power in the relationship. While Jamie appears to be devoted to only Cersei, she in turn knows that her body is a weapon, and is willing to use it as needed, whether to deal with Robert’s occasional urges, or to attempt to seduce Eddard Stark. It is hard to tell whether she ever enjoys her lovers, or simply revels in the exercise of her personal power over men.
Incest is considered an abomination throughout the lands of Westeros, but curiously it does have a precedent in the royal house of Targaryen, where brothers and sisters become husbands and wives, kings and queens together. The theory was that it kept the blood pure. Cersei takes that precedent to heart, using it to justify her relationship with Jaime and her denial of her royal husband’s marital privileges. In at least two cases, those of Aerys II and Viserys — styled the Beggar King — the genetic inheritance seems to be mental instability, whatever the state of the blood. This situation repeats itself in the first child of Cersei and Jaime’s union: the heir to the throne of Baratheon, Prince Joffrey.
Cersei is so passionate and vivacious that even Tyrion, long since hardened to her wiles, finds her irresistible when joy overtakes her. When she is truly happy, she sparkles like a diamond. It is almost impossible not to love her. Cersei has not grown in circumstances where this bright side to her could develop, but it still reveals itself from time to time. Cersei Lannister is a brilliant but fickle friend, a proud and cunning foe, and above all, a guardian of her own power.
– A Game of Thrones, Deluxe Edition Role-Playing Game and Resource Book
asoiaf au: Lyonel Baratheon, firstborn son to Robert Baratheon and Cersei Lannister. (part 1/?). Lyonel. He was her honeymoon child. It took barely more time to Robert to conveive their boy than to start cheating on her. And sometimes, while he was kept busy the whole night by his whores, she was alone in her cold bed, she, Cersei Lannister, the Lioness of the Roc, Queen of Seven Kingdoms, was whispering the name of her precious boy. But Robert took him away from her before she could even realize. She was a Queen since less than five years, and yet all was already gone. Happiness. Pride. And now even her motherhood. There was nothing left to Cersei. Robert took everything from her. Lyonel was so much more Baratheon than Lannister. It hurt Cersei. It hurt her way more than what she expected. She didn’t expected anything actually. Certainly not the jealousy she started to feel, deep in her heart. Deeper, deeper than her wrath. What happened to the precious raven-haired-boy she bore once? He became a Baratheon. A stranger. He became his father’s heir. Not his mother’s. Robert had Lyonel, and she had nothing left. Only what she could take by herself. Jaime. Joffrey. Myrcella. Tommen. Robert could have her raven-haired-boy. But the others were hers. Only hers.
Brienne of Tarth discovering that she has a lovely singing voice after being forced into the competition, Jaime Lannister bearing his heart to the whole audience when dedicating that overly emotional ballad to her when both have to compete in the finale, perhaps? Because that’d be just my kind of jam, yo.