Cersei Wouldn’t Crumble Like That

Spoilers herein.

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Cersei Lannister is (spoiler, was) literally always that bitch. A hard-cased evil demon carved of lava rock. So who, tell me who the actual hell was that wet tea towel we watched die in her brotherlover’s arms beneath a romantic pile of rubble last night? I’m incensed.

Cersei wouldn’t have, forgive me, crumbled like that. There are so many moments in last night’s fairly shitty penultimate episode that had me confused to the point of doubting those at the helm, but Cersei’s weeps perplexed me most of all.

We’re talking about a woman who, upon realizing her impending doom once before, was entirely ready to poison her own son rather than let him die by the hands of the enemy. A woman who trademarked cold, heartless emotion and that’s in a show with frozen zombies. She would not have broken down into schoolchild sobs, I don’t care that Jaime came back to share her fate. She wouldn’t have begun leaking from the eyes and fallen into his arms. She would have shot her perfect posture and glacial stare at him and said, “you’re late” and then marched to the throne. That’s the hill she should have died on with a Grey Worm spear to her black heart, like a champion. (She wouldn’t die by dragon fire on the throne, that’d melt it.)

Apparently, we as an audience are fickle tweeting beasts. All it takes is one nonsensical, frankly a little annoying episode to turn us against you after eight years of hanging on your every dragon scale, but hear me out. Last night was the penultimate episode of one of the most entertaining spectacles to ever grace the human living room. And that’s how they’re gonna play it? Giving two of the meanest (grossest) characters in series history an emotional death while embracing? Really? Their deaths were outshined by all three of their offspring. Not even Myrcella cracked.

We knew she was going to die. That baby subplot was useless and we know it, we remember the witch in the woods. When you know a terrible character is going to die, you anticipate their demise with a certain level of expectation. Remember Joffrey? Ollie? The fucking Night King? Yeah, like that. While I’m on subplots, why did we ever need Euron Greyjoy? Like ever? Anyway.

When you’re tying up the ends on one of the most beloved works of art in television history, you do it right. My mind wanders back to Six Feet Under, a great ghost of HBO past. That show’s ending was the most perfect I’ve ever seen—not because it had surprise and awe, but because it gave the people what we needed after years of commitment. The Game Of Thrones audience is a fervent crowd. We needed to see this horrible person die in a horrible way, in character, and we simply didn’t.

Cersei was bad. We loved her badness. Every time she was in frame we expected some entertaining shit to go down. So to introduce me to Sad Cersei moments before the audience should have received fitting closure surrounding the death of an epic character who stirred the pot for eight seasons and then snuff her out like a Yankee Candle was just plain weird.

Where was the death of the Cersei I knew? Where was the end that matched the life? This defeated, fragile damsel? She wouldn’t have been that. She wouldn’t have done that. A quiet, accepting, runny eye makeup death tucked underneath a man’s arm? I don’t know that bitch.

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NPR once called me a humor essayist, let’s go with that. Host of A Single Serving Podcast. shanisilver[at]gmail

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