[This week’s post is a special bonus, a guest post authored by the lion-hearted Shannon Jelle from Geekly Press. I’m delighted to feature her observations on Cersei Lannister. — Pat ]
It’s not easy being a lone direwolf flying solo… and by that I mean it’s not easy sporting fan swag that reads “Hear Me Roar” in a family of Stark and Targaryen supporters. It’s even harder when I let loose that I’m not just a fan of house Lannister, but one specific member. No, not Tyrion, who drinks and knows things. And not Jaime, the gilded knight who’s had one of the most redemptive arcs in all of fantasy. Oh, and yeah, not Tywin the very strategic and manipulative patriarch. I’m talking about Cersei. Yeah, you read that right. All Hail Queen Cersei, Long May She Reign.
Regardless of the likelihood that Cersei’s reign is probably going to be pretty short (converging ice zombies and dragons and all), I really hope it lasts.. She’s earned it. Now some might argue that Dany would be a much better ruler, or that little Lady Mormont could show her a thing or two about leading. However, I’m going to argue that Queen Cersei deserves much more respect and sympathy than she gets.
Cersei, for no reason (other than her gender) was groomed by her father to be two things. The first, unintentionally, to be a cunning leader. The second, quite directly, and frustratingly to be a dutiful wife. Being the first born she should have had all rights to Casterly Rock. But no! Being a woman she has rights to nothing, not her future, not her love, and not even her children.
Now if I can find one fault of Cersei’s it’s who she loved, Jaime. However it doesn’t change the fact that she shouldn’t have been forced into a marriage that she didn’t want. The books do a good enough job showing that she would have been happy married to Rhaegar Targaryen, and who knows how well they may have ruled together. But no! The men decide to go to war, and instead she ends up with Robert, who after years of poor leading, drinking and whoring got what he deserved. Who can blame Cersei for wanting out of a loveless and emotionally abusive marriage when she had no free agency? And let’s take a look at her children. No, I’m not going to defend her children, (not even Tommen… can we all agree he would have been an adorable but lousy leader), but I will declare that Cersei as their mother should have had more of a say in where they ended up or who they married. But no! They were raised and shipped off as the priorities of others deemed necessary.
Cersei’s a capable woman who should have had no problems running the Seven Kingdoms. Instead at every turn in life Cersei was told that despite her cunning and determination that she couldn’t have the things she wanted, only because she was a woman. She was brilliant and strong and fierce, and resorted to watching the world burn because the world told her no. Now after scratching and clawing her way to the literal top, she’s finally in control of things and she deserves to sit there for a while. The patriarchy in Westeros has had things their way for long enough.
In some ways with the Lannister house words of “Hear Me Roar”, and hearing interviews where George RR Martin has talked about being raised by strong women; It now seems almost obvious that Cersei, despite everyone trying to put her in her place, would end up (at least temporarily) on top, considering “I am woman. Hear me ROAR” was such a feminist slogan.
Unfortunately, given the aforementioned ice zombies, dragons and the fact that everything in King’s Landing is a game of thrones I doubt she’ll stay queen for long. I however, will certainly enjoy it while she does.
[ Shannon kindly suggested that she contribute her Cersei Lannister post to my site – since my blog is so heavily weighted to Game of Thrones opinions. I’m honored to feature her as my first guest writer.
If you like her style, I recommend you check out her excellent site, Geekly Press.
Thanks Shannon! Defending Cersei is a bold choice, and I respect your appreciation of the lioness while you’re surrounded by dragons and direwolves at home. — Pat ]
Images from HBO’s Game of Thrones (obviously.)
© Shannon Jelle 2017 Some Rights Reserved