Warning: This post contains spoilers for season seven of Game of Thrones.
It seems that Cersei Lannister may think that her status as self-declared Queen of the Seven Kingdoms makes her invincible. During her conversation with Jaime in the season seven premiere, she appeared disinclined to heed his warnings about the vulnerability of their current situation.
“It’s what we’ve been waiting for our whole lives, it’s what father trained us for whether he knew it or not,” she replied when he asked about the Red Keep’s new floor map of Westeros. “It’s ours now we just have to take it.”
This reference to the Lannister patriarch is one of several hints that Cersei seems to fancy herself the new Tywin — who is often credited as one of Westeros’ most effective political leaders. “Seven kingdoms united in fear of Tywin Lannister,” Tyrion once described the realm under Tywin’s Hand of the King guidance.
Even Cersei’s new militant black gown — which she first donned pre-wildfire explosion in the season six finale — bears a striking resemblance to her late father’s style. “I knew it had to be leather and I knew it had to be linked to Tywin,” costume designer Michele Clapton told Vanity Fair of the ensemble. “I wanted a distinct, strong silhouette, so I squared her shoulders. I also wanted the dress to skim her ankles, so that you could see her feet—again, strength.”
However, some fans have pointed out that Cersei frequently makes decisions that go directly against her father’s teachings. Following Sunday’s episode, Reddit user Yeah_dude_its_her called attention to the fact that she broke Tywin’s cardinal rule of sovereignty, referencing the time he explained to Joffrey that, “Any man who must say, ‘I am the king,’ is no true king.”
Tywin himself even once told Cersei that he didn’t distrust her because she was a woman — as she believed — but because she wasn’t as smart as she thought she was.
Now, back to that Cersei-Jaime conversation. While discussing their many enemies, Cersei asserts that their motivation to preserve her reign should be the Lannister legacy, as Tywin always insisted. However, considering the wildfire explosion she orchestrated led to her and Jaime’s last child committing suicide, this seems effectively pointless — as he reminds her.
Jaime then points out that even Lannisters can’t survive without allies, prompting her to reveal that she is considering joining forces with Euron Greyjoy. “You think I listened to father for 40 years and learned nothing,” she says.
But if the consequences of her recent actions are any indication, Cersei’s belief that allying with Euron is the move Tywin would have made may herald a serious threat to any hope for a legacy that remains.
“Stormborn,” the second episode of Game of Thrones‘ seventh season airs July 23 at 9 p.m. on HBO.