Will The Real Cersei Lannister Please Stand Up

Posted: March 26, 2015 in ANGERNALYSIS


One of the biggest reasons why fans of the book series, A Song of Ice and Fire, have issue with the TV show Game of Thrones, is due to vast alterations of character portrayals. Alterations which drastically change the calculus for character decisions and ultimately plot outcomes. Throughout the last 4 seasons fans have seen some fairly consistent portrayals of the characters such as Bran Stark or Jon Snow. However there have been some massive problems with character portrayals such as Asha Greyjoy and Loras Tyrell. One of the biggest deviations in is the character of Cersei Lannister. Certainly this is no attack on Cersei fans, or fans of Lena Headey’s sterling performance.Simply, what fans deserve to see is HBO show a more rounded depiction of Cersei be exhibited on this season of Game of Thrones, but sadly, it is unlikely anyone will get to seethe real Cersei.

For many, they love Cersei. They find her sassy and strong. Though those are aspects of her character in each medium, that is not the real Cersei, not every side of her psyche. There is a deeper, more closely-held daughter of Tywin. The real Cersei is a vindictive, nasty, woman who leaves little to be admired. Cersei is a sadistic woman who craves power and manipulates others into doing what she wants.


A comparison of show Cersei to book Cersei and can allow for an assessment of if HBO has given us the true character of Cersei Lannister:

Show Cersei

  • Tells Cat a touching and horrible story about losing a “beautiful black haired baby” as Bran is in a coma. The show watcher immediately says “awww poor Cersei” and sympathizes with the grieving mother.

Book Cersei

  • Visits Maester Pycelle to obtain moon tea to abort her unborn children with Robert Baratheon and has no remorse whatsoever.

Show Cersei

  • Is grievously traumatized when Joffrey orders the murders of all Robert’s bastards throughout the kingdom

Book Cersei

  • Orders the murders of all Robert’s bastards throughout the kingdom

Show Cersei

  • Has the whore Ros roughed up in an attempt to get back at Tyrion for sending Myrcella to Dorne. Ros is eventually freed and returned to the brothel.

Book Cersei

  • Cersei has the prostitute, Alayaya abducted and assaulted in an effort to pressure Tyrion after he has Tommen seized on the Rosby road. This cruel treatment of an innocent woman, presumed to be Tyrion’s whore (it was really Shae) demonstrates the sadistic and cruel nature of Cersei. Even Oberyn Martell remarks in A Storm of Swords that he “bedded the black-skinned girl. Alayaya, I believe she is called. Exquisite, despite the stripes on her back.” Those stripes are thanks to Tywin having her publicly whipped, according to Bronn, “They tied her to a post in the yard and scourged her, then shoved her out the gate naked and bloody.” In an effort to pressure Tyrion into releasing Tommen, who was not in any danger whatsoever, she has an innocent woman brutalized.

Show Cersei

  • Visits the tent of Maggy the Frog in the first ever “flashback scene” on Game of Thrones with her friend. Both leave and tra-la-la-la-la.

Book Cersei

  • Cersei’s friend Melara Hetherspoon is present to hear the prophecy delivered by Maggy the Frog. After hearing the valonqar prophecy and asking if she will one day marry Jaime, she falls into a well and drowns. Hmm, wonder who pushed her in the well?

    Show Cersei

    • Conspires to have Loras Tyrell killed

    Show Cersei

    • Conspires to have Margaery Tyrell, her cousins, as well as Loras

Show Cersei

  • Cersei is raped by her brother Jaime

Book Cersei

  • Sexually assaults Taena Merryweather simply because she wants to know what it feels like to take advantage of a woman since Robert used to do that to her when they were married.
  • tumblr_n3aq9y6FxC1qldetwo1_500

These are just a few examples of how Cersei continues to be portrayed in a more appealing light to the show watcher. In a Feast for Crows, when the reader finally has a POV from Cersei, it is immediately clear that she is a sadist, and a very deranged woman. She is driven by paranoia and hate.

The characters Falyse Stokeworth and Senelle have not been introduced thus far in the show, she knowing and willingly handed them over to Qyburn to be mutilated and tortured for his “experiments” simply because she was afraid of what they might say about her. But it will likely not be in the show.

What HBO needs to do is expand upon the Maggy the Frog prophecy and show how paranoid Cersei and really let the show watcher see her for what she truly is-a psychotic, sadistic, treacherous woman, rather than continue white-washing her character as they have done with Tyrion and Daenerys.

In fact, there should be a test. Here is the challenge: One of Cersei’s most drastic acts as a ruler in A Feast For Crows is her destruction of the Tower of the Hand. She orders the 300 year old structure burnt to the ground and destroyed, with 50 pots of wildfire used to ignite it. Even Jaime attempts to talk her out of it. As she watches it burn and fall, she calls it beautiful.

If the show includes this scene, it is a sign they are showing us the true Cersei. If not, they are just trolling at this point.

By Lady Shelly

  1. Bo Donovan says:

    So very true…HBO does not depict Cercei accurately, as they do not for most of the characters.
    I hate the Cercei we see on the show, she’s a cruel drunk…but, I despise the Cercei in the books as the vicious demonic creature that she is.

  2. Cersei's Wine Goblet says:

    Book Cersei is a one-dimensional villian reminiscent of Wile E. Coyote.

    Show Cersei is a fully fleshed out 3-dimensional character with human flaws and motivations that are relatable, even as her methods are repugnant.

    I’ll take Show Cersei any day.

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