While everyone else was elated last weekend to finally see the nastiest living Lannister locked away, I was gleefully imagining what it will be like when she makes good on that threat to Unella: "Look at my face. It's the last thing you'll see before you die." I already plan on re-watching the moment that happens. And it better happen.
Are there others out there like me? Is there help available? Should there be? Would I want it? What happened in my childhood that led me to this point?
It isn't that Cersei doesn't deserve some comeuppance -- though I do question the method, given the show's increasing reliance on sexual degradation. She wished an innocent little boy dead. She insisted on the death of an equally innocent direwolf. She coddled a psychopath all the way to the Iron Throne, in spite of the fact that she was fully aware of -- and clearly tortured by -- his nature. She doesn't care if innocents are killed in her pursuit of Tyrion, or any of her goals, really. She's petty, she's jealous... She's all the things we love in an evil queen except, perhaps, for cunning.
It's just that I do so love it when she's naughty.
It wasn't always this way. In the books, I liked Cersei well enough. But I felt like she was mostly there to keep things interesting in King's Landing, and because you can't have a fantasy story with this many characters and pages but no evil queen or misinterpreted prophesy. In the first season, Lena Headey's casting did a lot to move the dial, but, let's face it: her introduction wasn't going to win anyone over. At least, not anyone who doesn't have a very specific fetish. But as the character developed and the television portrayal was revealed to be, for the most part, more sympathetic, I really couldn't help but fall in love.
Now, I must see her do evil, and I must revel in it. All of the evil that can be done, I must see done by Cersei Lannister. I can't get enough.
I am aware that this is an unpopular sentiment. Or, at least, it's an uncommon admission.
That is probably as it should be. Let us assume that this story began at its beginning, and will end at its ending. That seems pretty safe. Let us also assume that it is about a rise to power. That's less safe but seems pretty likely. In that case, we are watching the ascent of people like Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen, who started at the bottom. This demands the descent of people like Cersei Lannister, who started at the top. We are supposed to enjoy her fall.
At times, though, I find myself wondering why. Most every major character in this particular fictional universe is a murderer, at least. Including our heroes. How is Cersei any different?
Recently on the TV series, Daenerys fed a likely innocent man to her dragons, simply to frighten his peers into submission. In the books, she has girls tortured in an attempt to gain information from their father. The question surrounding her now is not whether or not she will accrue greater power, but how brutal she is willing to be to do it. Is she ultimately the hero or the villain?
Stannis killed his own brother with magic rather than face him in battle. He recently earned a lot of audience goodwill with the shocking revelation that he loves his only living child. By that standard, Cersei is the nicest person in Westeros. (It is not a good standard.)
Tyrion, Arya and most of our other heroes thus far have been willing to do whatever it takes to survive -- and then some. The Tyrells have been willing to kill for considerably less. Certainly Joffrey's death was for the greater good, but Loras once murdered
Hephaestion's doctor Renly's guards for having somehow allowed his death by demon fog baby.
Ned Stark was nicer. Who was it that warned him that wouldn't end well?
Ironically, we yearn to see the story's few remaining innocents get in on all that slaughter. Would anyone be less than ecstatic if Sansa or Jeyne Poole killed not only Ramsey but also Roose Bolton and some or all of his men, as well? This place is seven kingdoms of hell. It's no place for angels.
Similarly, my disappointments in Cersei usually involve her not being ruthless enough. She has always been defined roughly as smarter than her position allows, but not smart enough to hold the position she feels entitled to. In this environment, doesn't the distinction between smart and not mostly come down to ascertaining who your enemies are and then figuring out how to get rid of them? If she had done away with Joffrey -- or turned her head while someone else did -- she would still have a loyal High Septon, a workable if frosty relationship with the Tyrells and wouldn't be in the predicament she currently is. She certainly wouldn't have landed in a cell if she had killed Lancel as soon as she was done with him. Why, oh why, is that cousin-fucking blabbermouth still alive?
In the end, that's her biggest problem. She's just too nice.