In this episode:

  • Tommen’s had enough
  • Lady Mormont is still the coolest
  • Jon Snow: Targaryen?
  • Jaimie Lannister: Future Queenslayer?

Wow.  What an episode.  “The Battle of the Bastards” was this year’s most hyped episode, but “The Winds of Winter” was simply a Game of Thrones masterpiece.  Unlike some of the more telegraphed plot developments of this season, I didn’t see any of this happening (remember when I predicted that both Cersei and Jamie would die? Good one, right?)  I know I can’t do this episode any justice, so I’ve written a sort of tribute to Cersei.

As the show enters a new phase dominated by zombie ice men, magic, and dragons, it seems an apt moment to pause and look back.  While blackmail and backroom deals will always have their place in GOT, the show’s focus has shifted towards major battles and supernatural forces.  Because of this turning point, I think this as good a time as ever to crown an MVP, if you will, of the great game.  Simply put, which character is the best at playing the “Game of Thrones?” Without question, it is Cersei.

Lena Headey’s Cersei Lannister finally seized the Iron Throne on Sunday, completing the prophecy told to a youthful Cersei in Season 5 Episode 1.  Let’s examine the parts of that prophecy now.  It has three parts.  The first part is ancient history: “You’ll wed a king.” Done (see Baratheon, Robert).  The second: “You will have three children.  Gold will be their crowns, and gold their shrouds.”  With Tommen’s death, the prophecy of her children dying before her is also complete.  The last bit is this: “You’ll be queen, for a time.”  Cersei at least fulfilled half of this already.  And who is to replace Cersei?  Another queen who is younger, more beautiful.  Dany?

We pretty much know that Cersei won’t be on the Iron Throne for that long.  The Lannisters are literally at war with everyone now and her own prophecy is predicting her decline.  Does the prophecy explain why Cersei seemed pretty undisturbed by Tommen’s suicide?  Did her belief in the fate of his death convince her that she was right to pursue her own ends?  Food for thought.

Nevertheless, look at all Cersei has overcome to get herself onto the Iron Throne.  She’s lost her husband, her three children, her father, outplayed Tyrion, survived a challenge from Margaery Tyrell, endured her imprisonment and walk of shame order by the High Sparrow, and avoided showing up at her own trial.  And I’m sure I’m missing a lot.  Yes, Cersei is mean and had Ned killed.  Yes, she’s probably just as bad at Littlefinger.  But I think we should all take a moment and tip our metaphorical caps at Cersei for being so good at what she does.  More than anyone else, Cersei has earned her place on the Iron Throne.  She’s not going to get a lot of time, so I hope she uses it well.