If you’re a Game of Thrones viewer, and you haven’t seen the S5 finale yet, come back later. If you have, please carry on.
Cersei, Cersei, Cerei, Cerei.
I’ve seen a number of posts in the past few days, some loving this last GoT episode, some hating it. One observation has been made that, pretty much every person in power right now (save Jon Snow and the new King of the sea-people, but that may change) in Westeros and it’s surroundings is a woman.
But what I *haven’t* seen anybody notice is that Cersei is now playing a Man’s game.
She has been the not-so-subtle, behind the scenes power since Season One. She has been playing what most of us recognize as the “woman’s game”. You’ve heard this old saw before, “Behind every great man is a good woman.” Cersei has been that woman, she has ruled (with middling effectiveness) though her husband and children as proxy up until the point that the Tyrell family moved in. Then they out-woman’d her.
Over the course of the show we have seen Cersei grind her teeth in frustration at being a woman, at being treated like a woman. When the city is being attacked and she is told she must hide in the tunnels rather than stand on the walls. When her father informs her that she is to be married off again, her only value being in the binding of other houses to his through matrimony. This has been a long time coming.
Once she was cut off from Tommen, she was effectively out of the game. She was relegated to the sidelines, shut out of every meeting, told more or less to her face that she was done. Over. Powerless. No longer worthy of fear.
Sunday night was her fait accompli. It would be easy to say she’s simply gone mad. That losing the last of her three children to this grand Game was the final straw. But I don’t think that’s it. She SEIZED power in a grand and clear gesture. Much like those who sat the Iron Throne before her, she has proven herself to be ruthless. To be willing to blow the h*ll out of a sizeable chunk of the city in order to cow her enemies, take her revenge and seize the throne.
Cersei is the experienced one out of this entire group moving forward. She’s been observing and playing this Game her entire d*mn life and now the gloves are off. She is no longer using men as her proxy, she is WIELDING POWER as she has always seen it wielded. She is a ruler in the traditional sense of the word (the guy who beat up all the other guys to get to the fancy chair).
The really interesting question is going to be whether Dany and her “leave the world better than we found it” philosophy is going to be able to stand up to that when the parties finally meet face to face.