Why I think Cersei is the best female character in history
An example to follow besides the crazy parts
Although all of us were pretty disappointed on how the Game of Thrones ended we need to still appreciate the journey that this sensational novel took us on and how important the visual representation of the characters was to emphasize on their nature and tendencies.
What people also liked about the Game of Thrones is it’s “not very biased” representation of females in high society. Sure they were mostly represented as fragile beings so as to present them as less than men, but we always need to remember that the Game of Thrones is about wit and not brawn.
In that case, I believe that Cersei was a woman’s character or at least something that should be idealised by most today. Well, maybe not the crazy “I’m going to kill everybody” part but let me dissect the idea behind her character and try to emphasize what I mean.
The evolution of Cersei
Before we move to the individual characteristics that make Cersei such an amazing female character, we need to first look at the evolution that she went through over the years. Naturally, evolution is part of every great character’s story arch, because if they were to remain the same, they’d immediately lose the spark that made them so great.
With Cersei we see somebody evolving from a timid, to free to authoritative state over the course of the last 8 seasons.
First, we get to see her very careful about her husband’s wishes and tendencies. She keeps a very neutral persona around other women so as to assert her dominance. But when it comes to her father as well as Robert, she is very timid and does not resist too much.
However, soon after that, we see her become a bit more “cheeky”. She starts challenging Robert in his decisions and ideas, simply because there’s a disproportion of loyalty to her family and to her husband.
She makes her choice on who she wants to support completely and unshackles herself from the bonds of a wife’s loyalty. With this newfound freedom, she is able to challenge Robert on a more extensive level but oversteps her boundaries as she’s just getting her feet wet in this freedom. Robert physically smacks her, thus helping Cersei learn to not be as upfront about her ideals, but to mask them until the perfect moment, or to be a bit more quaint.
We see this lesson materialize when she’s confronting Eddard Stark as there’s very few information coming from her, thus sending Ned in a confused state of trust, which ends up costing him his life.
The same tactic is used when Tyrion comes back from Essos, as he’s forced to confront his sister. By masking her intent, Cersei is able to play with Tyrion’s mind and make him believe that she wants to pursue peace when the reality is the complete opposite.
After this characteristic of relative freedom, Cersei moves onto a more authoritative state. This is due to her grabbing power almost unilaterally and having almost nobody to answer to. This is cut short by only three characters. Margerie first, then Tywin and finally Danaerys. Margerie due to a more personal relationship to what Cersei holds most dear, her children, and Tywin due to a natural father-daughter relationship.
With Danaerys, it’s a full-on power struggle as there is nothing to hide.
I especially enjoy Cercei’s struggle with Margerie as she finally understands that she has something to lose, thus being a lot more careful and mischievous in her plans. Although this slows her down, it makes her even more unpredictable and cunning, thus giving us the perfect scene where Cersei is drinking wine as she watches the Sept burn in green flames.
However, this victory also taught her a valuable lesson of keeping everything dear to him as close as possible, mostly due to Tommen’s suicide. This is then materialized in her clinging on to Jamie as much as possible.
Now, let’s try to see what characteristics make her the perfect female character.
A mother’s love
Say what you want about Cersei, but you can’t say that she is an unattentive mother. We get reminded time and time again in the series that Cersei is ready to destroy the world as long as that means her children and Jamie are safe.
In some cases, we even see Jamie taking the background role, while Tommen, Marcella and yes, even Jeoffrey are her sole motivators to be who she is.
This is very reminiscent of how most mothers feel about their children. They want them to be as best as they could possibly be, but when it comes to some kind of danger for them, they’re ready to give up all of their own perceptions about the child and focus completely on their well-being.
It’s a natural mother’s instinct, which is laid bare right in front of us. Killing Ned Stark was to protect the children as it would be an uproar in the kingdom asking for Jeoffrey’s removal or even worse, death.
The removal of the Tyrell family due to their increasing influence over her child and the suspicion of their participation in Jeoffrey’s poisoning.
And finally, the no mercy shown to the Martells for killing her daughter Marcella.
Although some of them are pretty much overboard for today’s standards, it’s still a very accurate representation of the unconditional love of a mother.
How women handle power
Cersei’s method of handling power is an amazing representation of human history. You see, men are usually displayed at the head of armies, charging into battle and being more of an inspiration.
However, a large part of the state-building process was handled by women. This was mostly done through political intrigue, negotiations, marriages and various other ways of participation.
But whatever the time or situation may have been, it was always emphasized that the power of women in politics was mostly due to the possession of immense amounts of information. Through this information, women were able to come up with better strategies and tactics, thus earning them victories without even trying.
However, most history teaches and glorifies a direct confrontation with a problem, thus distorting the role of women in politics and state-building.
With Cersei, we get a perfect view of actual politics, and how they would have been handled in the past. In fact, it’s one of the best representations of modern politics. Information-based, ruthless and effective.
Self-worth and self-respect
One of the many reasons that female GoT fans like Cersei are due to the way she carries herself among her peers.
She always considers herself worthy of any arbitrarily unworthy audience and makes her presence as well as her values known with minimal effort.
The amount of self-worth is what usually creates so much respect for Cersei. She knows exactly what a potential negotiator would want from her, simply because she has experience of it. Once she has this information, she immediately identifies herself in the driver’s seat and acts on it without hesitation.
And the self-respect resonating from her may usually come across as arrogant, but for a woman of her position, it’s quite relative.
Overall, Cersei’s self-awareness is one of her best characteristics, which is why she either distances herself from challenges she knows she can’t win, such as Jamie’s affection, but gets herself closer and closer to challenges where she has the potential to win, such as fighting Daenerys and Tyrion.
This is my subjective understanding of these characters though. Cersei may have a very different perception from other people, which shouldn’t necessarily be judged.