I’ve been meaning to express my thoughts on the brilliance that is Cersei Lannister’s coronation scene in Game of Thrones, so in this edition of “What We Don’t Talk About Enough”, I’ve finally got myself to write it down (after about 8 months LOL).
*Spoilers ahead, definitely.
As anyone who watches GOT would know, Cersei’s coronation is the second to the last scene in the season 6 finale, and it was perfectly sequenced that way. Let’s take note that before that scene, we get to see Bran Stark witnessing in retrospect the aftermath of Lyanna Stark’s birth to a baby who is apparently Jon Snow, confirming theories that he is not Ned Stark’s bastard, and he’s the son of Rhaegar Targaryen (though we have yet to have more details on this part). The camera focuses on the baby’s eyes and it transitions to present day Jon Snow, who is in Winterfell and has just been hailed the King in the North.
It’s a significant detail in the sequencing of events because it made us all too absorbed and engrossed with this new revelation on the real parents of Jon Snow and what makes of his blood, that we totally forgot what was going on in King’s Landing; that we grew unaware of the rest of the story. The writers may or may not have done this on purpose. I say may not because it might have come more naturally than we think.
See the coronation scene below:
When the coronation scene unfolds in the throne room, your mind does not immediately register what is exactly happening. But then the camera shifts to a perfect spot behind Cersei, and you see the Iron Throne at the end of her path, all for her taking.
Actually at that moment I shouted, “SHEEEEETTT!!!!!”
Because I love how that moment sent shivers down my spine and how goosebumps were all over the place.
Frankly, I forgot this was the direction we were headed to. Although the first part of the finale gives away what happens next in King’s Landing (or rather who’s next in line to the Iron Throne, following Tommen’s death), I really did not see this coming.
But only because I am convinced this is what being a Lannister is about. Which supports my point that this might have come more naturally than we think.
You see, my older brother Raffy and I sometimes discuss the character depths of the Lannisters (yes, we actually do that), especially when GOT season is on. Mainly because we associate ourselves as part of House Lannister (you can just guess which of the Lannisters represent us LOL), just like how any GOT fan would associate themselves with the House that they relate to the most.
And in one of our “discussions”, he said that the Lannisters are sort of tragic heroes who have gone through so much pain and struggles, but have stood up and risen to power nonetheless, and the ones who should 100% absolutely win the Game of Thrones (as biased as that can be).
And it’s because they are always misunderstood and underestimated, no matter how powerful they really are. So in the end, you don’t see them coming. Because let’s be honest, nobody is rooting for Cersei to win the war but us (or a few of us).
But let’s delve into her character: Although her “slay” disposition has power written all over it, she has been victim to underestimations, mostly because she’s woman.
Even her father, Tywin Lannister, was unimpressed by her as well, but there she is.
I know a lot of fans do not like Cersei, and I believe it’s partly because Lena Headey portrays her with such a display of unwavering power. Cersei embodies what being a villain is all about, and Lena carries it beyond expectations.
What I want to point out here is that from the very beginning, Cersei has been THAT character who wants to sit on the Iron Throne so badly. She’s that greedy and cruel character who just wants the throne for the power and not for the greater good of the people. And seeing her claim her place on that throne after six seasons has everyone taken aback.
To me it felt like that was the moment everything she went through from the past six seasons has boiled down to; that very moment has come down to this.
And a majority of people do not like it because it feels like she’s the wrong person to sit on the throne because it spells out destruction and disaster for everyone. Even Jaime, her twin brother (and lover and father of her now dead children), looks like he thinks so too.
Have people forgotten that she was the one who said, “When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die. There is no middle ground.”?
She has a deeper understanding of power, more than any other character. She’s a strategist who plays low-key.
At one point in the series when we are introduced to Margaery Tyrell, a sly manipulator in her own right, I thought that Cersei has met her match, and was even convinced that Margaery would win against Cersei.
But heck, look where Margaery is now: dead because of Cersei’s inconspicuous plans.
But the bottom line is,
even if Cersei dies, she has already won the game of thrones. And people don’t even know it.
The fact that she now sits on the Iron Throne means she’s won the game because that was her main goal all this time. If she dies (and I REALLY hope not), it still does not eradicate the fact that she sat on the throne and held the highest power.
Although the game of thrones also has a lot to do with winning battles, winning the war, conquering lands and even other houses, it’s really as simple as who gets the highest power in the land.
I think we don’t really see her coming because she never really had screen time in the battlefield. Unlike these characters:
Daenerys Targaryen always had her dragons to fire up anyone who crosses her. Jon Snow has literally fought every battle out there, and even came back to life. Even Sansa Stark and Arya Stark has more action than Cersei. Also important to mention are Petyr Baylish and Varys. You know how much they can do because they’re the wild cards. So if you think about it, no matter how sneaky and unpredictable they are, you can anticipate them.
But in Cersei’s case, we’ve been used to seeing her “sitting pretty” or locked in a cell until “shame” day, that sometimes we forget what she’s capable of.
Cersei has clawed her way to that throne, laying out and executing her plans in the most subtle ways, all the while doing it in the side lines, that no one even noticed she was always one step ahead of everyone.
And that is power.
At this point, we shouldn’t even be surprised she’s finally sitting there. But then again, those who win in the game of thrones are the ones who keep surprising people.
Long may she reign.