Warning: This post contains spoilers for both the Game of Thrones TV show and George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series.
After a season that has seen Cersei Lannister only become more intent on exacting revenge on all those who have wronged her, many Game of Thrones fans believe the Queen Mother is destined to follow in the footsteps of the Mad King — a road that will eventually lead to an attempt to burn King’s Landing to the ground. While to some this theory may seem like it comes out of nowhere, there is actually quite a bit of evidence to support it.
First, let’s back up to the opening of the season five premiere, a flashback sequence that saw a young Cersei having her future told by a witch named Maggy the Frog. “Everyone wants to know their future, until they know their future,” Maggy told her. “You will never wed the Prince, you will wed the King…You’ll be Queen, for a time. Then comes another — younger, more beautiful — to cast you down and take all you hold dear.”
These predictions, of course, have all already come true. While Cersei was promised to Prince Rhaegar Targaryen as a young girl, he ended up marrying Elia Martell before being killed by King Robert Baratheon — Cersei’s eventual husband. And as for that younger, more beautiful Queen, the name Margaery Tyrell comes to mind.
But there’s more. Cersei also asked Maggy if she and the King would have children. “No, the King will have 20 children, and you will have three,” the witch replied. “Gold will be their crowns, gold their shrouds.”
As we know, Robert had many bastards — including Gendry — while Cersei’s three children were fathered by her brother Jaime. Joffrey and Myrcella have already met their ends, leaving only Tommen to die before Cersei’s fate is complete.
However, the show’s version of the prophecy left out one ominous line from George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series. In the books, Maggy adds, “And when your tears have drowned you, the valonqar [High Valyrian for “little brother”] shall wrap his hands about your pale white throat and choke the life from you.”
Now, here’s where the “Mad Queen” speculation comes into play. Cersei has grown increasingly unstable as Thrones has gone on, meaning the death of her last child — which many believe will be either directly or indirectly caused by her upcoming trial by combat — would no doubt push her over the edge of insanity. Some fans posit that once this occurs, Cersei will lose all sense of reality and attempt to destroy King’s Landing with the stores of wildfire that still exist underneath it. Jaime, her younger twin brother, will then be forced to murder his sister — who he has sworn to protect — to prevent the destruction of the city, just as he was forced to do with the Mad King.
If you’re still not convinced, YouTube user Throne Talk does a great job of laying out the theory in all its detailed glory in the video below.
“No One,” the eighth episode of Game of Thrones‘ sixth season airs Sunday at 9 p.m. EST on HBO.
- TIME's Top 100 Photos of 2021
- Inside Frances Haugen's Decision to Take on Facebook
- Why We Should Stop Freaking Out About Inflation
- Austria's Plan to Make COVID-19 Vaccines Compulsory Is Dividing Citizens — and Experts
- Inside the 80-Year Quest to Name Pearl Harbor's Unknown Victims
- Buying a House Feels Impossible These Days. Here Are 6 Innovative Paths to Homeownership
- 'They're Very Close.' U.S. General Says Iran Is Nearly Able to Build a Nuclear Weapon
- A Charter School's Racial Controversy Reveals the Real Battle For America's Classrooms