Not caught up on Game of Thrones? Then turn around right now because this post is dark and full of spoilers up to the season six finale. You’ve been warned.
“Piss on your prophecy, old woman.”
The story of Cersei Lannister has been one of triumphs and failures. She carefully plots and pulls every string at her disposal, achieves a victory, celebrates her win for a minute, and then usually suffers a blow of some kind. The kick in the face has varied in severity, ranging from Ned Stark being appointed as Hand of the King to losing all three of her beloved children. And now, Cersei has successfully claimed the Iron Throne—but at what cost, and how long can she hold the seat of power?
Probably not long.
Cersei is going to die. That’s not a revelation; all of us are going to die at some point. But the murder of Cersei is forthcoming. It’s not wishful thinking, it’s prophecy. Season five of Game of Thrones showed a young Cersei visiting the witch known as Maggy the Frog. So far, Maggy’s predictions have all come true.
Maggy told Cersei she would wed the king. Check. She also confirmed Cersei would become queen. Check. But Maggy added, “Queen you shall be… until there comes another, younger and more beautiful, to cast you down and take all that you hold dear.” Hello, Daenerys Targaryen.
When it comes to the deaths of Cersei’s children, Maggy was on point, “…three for you. Gold shall be their crowns and gold their shrouds.” Another check. In sum, Maggy has been correct on enough points to assume this last part of her prophecy will come to pass: “And when your tears have drowned you, the valonqar shall wrap his hands about your pale white throat and choke the life from you.”
Valonqar is High Valyrian for “little brother.” Cersei learned the meaning of the word from Septa Saranella in A Song of Ice and Fire, and we don’t have a reason to believe the Septa intentionally lied to Cersei about the translation—although there is a case to be made for the word to be interpreted as genderless. Still, going with the “little brother” classification, who could be responsible for killing Cersei? I think these are the most likely options:
The obvious choice is Tyrion. He fits the little brother qualification in more ways than one, and hey, he’s already killed one family member. Cersei has been nothing but terrible to Tyrion for the entirety of his life, so Tyrion’s motives aren’t in question. And hey, he happens to be sailing into Westeros as the Hand of the Queen alongside Dany. He’s in a position to take his older sister down.
But if you want to get specific (and we do), Maggy said THE valonqar, not A valonqar. Cersei technically has two little brothers–Tyrion and Jaime. There’s a theory floating around about Tyrion being half Targaryen, half Lannister, and if it’s accurate, it might remove him from the equation. Or, perhaps Tyrion or Jaime will die, leaving only a single little brother to fulfill the prophecy.
Jaime is Cersei’s twin, yes, but he’s technically younger by a matter of minutes. Given the intense, not exactly loving look Jaime gave Cersei when he saw her take a seat atop the Iron Throne, I believe he could come to a place where he would consider taking Cersei’s life. He had to make the hard decision before when he killed The Mad King Aerys, the king he was supposed to protect. Jaime was able to weigh the benefit of taking out the king before he burned everything against his honor, and I believe he made the correct choice.
Jaime and Cersei have been through some shit. He’s watched all their children die because of Cersei’s actions. He’s been put in a hard place again and again because of her. And now she’s gone and done what Jaime killed Aerys to avoid: Can his love for his sister overcome all her mistakes if she goes even crazier? Having Jaime take Cersei out would be meaningful and have interesting repercussions on the story—maybe it would become a murder-suicide situation.
In the category of little brothers who have a reason to want Cersei dead, how about the Hound? Sandor Clegane is the younger brother of Gregor Clegane, so he fills that requirement of the prophecy. Sandor’s path back to King’s Landing isn’t clear right now, but unless he pulls a 180 and goes back to attempting to lead a peaceful life, I have no doubt he’d like to work out some feelings upon his brother—and his anger could extend to Cersei. Actually, what if the Hound is horrified by what Cersei’s done to Gregor and decides it’s enough of a reason to end her?
It became clear in “The Winds of Winter” Arya learned the face-changing skill during her time at the House of Black and White. Cersei is on Arya’s kill list, and the Stark girl is certainly determined to work her way through it. This is more of a stretch, but she could easily don a mask of some little brother and pull a sneak attack on Cersei. Melisandre also made a prophecy of her own about Arya back in season three, episode six, saying she’d kill people with eyes of blue, green, and brown. (Guess what color Cersei’s are.) With that in mind, I’d be perfectly okay watching Arya exact revenge upon the woman that basically caused everything to go south for the Starks.
Now that we know for sure Jon is not the son of Ned Stark, Bran is the only male Stark still alive—and he’s the little brother of Sansa and Arya. Bran isn’t physically strong, but he also is at the same time. With his abilities to warg and take action in visions, he’s a threat to consider. Unlikely? Perhaps. But, besides the fact Cersei has done generally terrible things to the Stark family, she was responsible for Bran being pushed out a window.
I could keep spinning. For example, remember Brother Ray? What if someone in that order was known as The Little Brother? However, it would be disappointing to watch a new character take down Cersei. The story practically demands Cersei’s death be intimate.
Who do you think is the most likely candidate to be Cersei’s murderer? Sound off in the comments or come share your theories with me on Twitter–@amy_geek.