This is my Queen Cersei how long may she reign video. It contains spoilers for everything up to this point in both the A Song of Ice and Fire books and through season 6 of the show Game of Thrones. If you are not caught up to date this video is not for you unless you don’t like surprises.
Queen Cersei First of Her Name – Long May She Reign
At the end of Season 6 of a Game of Thrones Queen Cersei of House Lannister took the Iron Throne after the death of her son King Tommen Baratheon. This Queen Cersei video looks at her power moving into season 7, and if she has a real chance of keeping her place on the throne.
Queen Cersei Lannister first of her name, Queen of the Andals and the first men, protector of the seven Kingdoms. Long may she reign, long may she reign.
But how long will she reign? And what exactly is she packing now that she has gone from ruling behind the scenes, to being cut off from her power and confined to the red keep, to finally just taking over altogether as the presumptive boss of the realm.
Before we get started I just want to make a couple disclaimers:
- I am a big fan of TV show Cersei’s character portrayal. In a drama of this scale with so many rich characters she has a way of making every scene she is in memorable. Lena Headey does a great job of being that character you love to hate, but then sort of really just love despite all her obvious shortcomings.
- I don’t think any of what is going on with show Queen Cersei at the end of Season 6 will happen in the books. Even though she is pretty much in the same place after a Dance with Dragons waiting for trial, it is way less likely that her path out is a path to power. We will have to wait and see but as far as I am concerned Queen Cersei I on the show has a completely different story than book Cersei from here on out.
In this video we are going to look at what a Queen Cersei reign might look like, and how long she is likely to stay on the throne. Most will be speculation based on the events leading up to her taking control, and the relative strength behind her compared to the other factions who want to claim the throne.
How Did we Get Here?
So quickly let’s look at how we go to where we are. Cersei Lannister is the eldest child of Tywin and Joanna Lannister. She has a twin – Jaime, who was born shortly after her, and a younger brother – Tyrion, who her mother died giving birth to.
Her father was a powerful dude – He was Lord of Casterly Rock, and Hand of the last Targaryen King Aerys II. He was considered to be a great Hand and held the position for 20 years. Things were strained between Tywin and the Mad King though, and two major events led to him stepping down as hand.
First Tywin wanted to marry Cersei to Arys’ heir Rhaegar. The king refused this match and instead Rhaegar married Ellia Martel of Dorne. As a side note prince Rhaegar also ran off with Lyanna Stark who was betrothed to Robert Baratheon. Rhaegar and Lyanna produced a child – Jon Snow.
To make matters worse Aerys named Jaime Lannister to his kingsguard at age 15 which took away Tywin’s heir to Casterly Rock since the kingsguard can’t marry. Cersei played a secret role in Jaime’s decision to join the kingsguard as the two twin lovers hoped this would keep them close together. Tywin eventually resigned as hand of the King and Robert’s Rebellion broke out.
The Lannister’s mostly stayed out things during the rebellion, but played a pivotal role in the sacking of King’s Landing after the momentum shifted in the Baratheon’s direction. Robert claimed the throne and married Cersei, who continued her incestuous relationship with her brother.
While married to Robert Cersei gave birth to three children. Joffrey, Marcella, and Tommen. Joffrey became the crowned prince, but as readers & viewers we know that Jaime is the father instead of Robert which makes him illegitimate.
Robert’s hand Jon Arryn discovered that the children were Jaime’s bastards so Cersei set a plan in motion to have him killed. Robert then installed Ned Stark as hand, and Cersei decided to move on Robert staging a hunting accident where he was fatally wounded. This set the stage for Cersei to install Joffrey before his legitimacy could be questioned, get rid of Ned Stark who knew her secret and put her in control while her father Tywin was off fighting in the war of the five kings.
Unfortunately, King Joffrey the first was murdered on his wedding day by his bride-to-be’s family due to his sadistic nature and not so luring disposition. This put Cersei’s youngest son Tommen on the throne, and along with her brother Tyrion killing their Father Tywin, made Cersei the behind the scenes ruler of the realm.
At the height of her power she made moves against her enemies by reinstating the faith militant which back fired and landed her in the dungeons facing trial for a number of charges including treason and regicide. To get out she confesses her crimes and is forced to do a walk of shame naked through King’s landing, but gets to go back to the red keep to await trial.
This is where the book storyline is paused until the next book comes out and the TV show continues on, which in my opinion will be a divergence.
Queen Cersei is Crowned
Cersei is dealt a blow in the TV show when the sparrow uses his influence to have King Tommen ban trial by combat in the Seven Kingdoms. To this point she has been confident that her champion – the Qyburn rebooted Mountain can’t be defeated which means the gods can’t find her guilty of her crimes. Banning trial by combat leaves Cersei with few options and she decides destroying the great sept of Baelor with wildfire is the best way to get out of having to face justice.
In this process she kills the high sparrow, her son’s wife Queen Margaery, her uncle and hand of the King Kevan Lannister, and Margaery’s father Mace Tyrell the lord of Highgarden. She also has Grand Maester Pycelle knocked off which clears out all of the remaining resistance against her in the small council.
So everything is going good until Tommen decides that what happened was too much for him, and decides to take a swan dive out his window. This leads to the final King’s Landing scene of Season 6 where we see Cersei get crowned the first Queen of Westeros.
But seriously how is this even possible, and will she be able to keep this power now that she has it?
How Long May She Reign?
To speculate on how good Queen Cersei’s chances of retaining the throne are let’s look at who she has behind her and what she’s up against. Since the show showed her coronation, and that she got rid of her closest enemies we will assume that for the time being she is unopposed and undisputed inside the walls of King’s Landing.
We saw that Qyburn was wearing the hand of the king’s pin when he presented her with the crown, and the zombie mountain appears to be the Lord Commander of her kingsquard. Jaime doesn’t seem to be enthusiastic about the turn of events, but we will also assume that he is behind her with a loyal Lannister Army. Remember in the show the relationship between the two is still going strong.
A quick glance at the show’s version of the Lannister family tree gives an idea of just who might be able to oppose her inside her own family. Everyone is pretty much dead except Cersei and her two brothers. The only other living relative is Kevan’s wife Dorna Swyft. Dorna has never shown any interest in being a part of King’s Landing or going after power so I don’t guess that she will be a problem. In the books Tywin had more siblings but as far as the show is concerned it seems like Cersei only has to worry about her brothers.
Jaime actually would be the more obvious successor since he was removed from the kingsquard but I am not going to go down any rabbit holes based on what would be the sensible line of succession. The show keeps the popular characters in the center of the story even when it doesn’t make perfect sense so like I said before we will just roll with things how they are.
So we will say the Lannister army is behind Queen Cersei, plus the city watch, and assume she can raise a medium sized army from the crownlands. What about the rest of Westeros?
Whether Queen Cersei is sitting on the Iron Throne or not she has major problems. One of them is Danaerys who has departed Dragon Bay and will be heading up the narrow sea. Another problem is she took the throne by force and killed some important members of the other great houses in the process.
Who exactly is on Queen Cersei’s side?
Her inner circle consists of Qyburn, Jaime, and Zombie Mountain.
Qyburn has no ties to anyone that we know of and had his Maester’s chain revoked by the Citadel. Since she killed Pycelle they should send a new Grand Maester from Old Town, but who even knows what they will do in light of his sudden disappearance.
Jaime can command the Lannister army and work with the other allies as we have seen from his recent trip to the Riverlands. It isn’t absolutely clear how he will react to what’s happened in King’s Landing while he was gone though, and he may find himself in some tough situations now that Cersei has lost all of her children. Her love for her children has been her one redeeming quality and now that they are gone she should officially be off the rails.
Zombie Mountain is basically a killing machine who seems more than capable of protecting the Queen.
Of the rest of the great houses and kingdoms that the Lannisters can count on we have:
The Riverlands. Walder Frey might be gone but the Tullly’s are pretty much neutralized on the show as well. The Freys have no reason not to support the crown regardless of who succeeds Walder. In the books Lady Stoneheart is wreaking havoc in the Riverlands with the Brotherhood without banners but in the show they seem to be going north with the Hound.
Based on recent events with the Tyrells and the Boltons being defeated in the north none of the other regions and great houses can really be counted on. Half of the Greyjoys are with Dany which leaves Euron and the other half of the Ironmen, but I kind of expect them to end up battling with Danaerys since his plan on the show is to go and try to marry her. Book Euron is totally different so we can’t really know for sure but we don’t have any strong evidence to put them on Cersei’s side.
Based on rough numbers we can give the Throne 50,000 Lannister soldiers, 2000 gold cloaks from the city watch, there might be around 15,000 troops from the crownlands, and 45,000 soldiers from the Riverlands. That comes to a total of 112,000 give or take.
How About Dany?
Danaerys is definitely on her way to Westeros to claim the throne. This is what a lot of fans have been waiting for since the very beginning and it is finally upon us.
So look at how her forces stack up against the crown. Her inner circle consists of
Tyrion – Her hand who has a wealth of knowledge that will be helpful. He understands his sister Cersei and her motivations, has intimate understanding of how King’s Landing operates from his time as Hand to King Joffrey, and he knows about the vast network of tunnels underneath the city.
Grey Worm – Leader of the unsullied army who is absolutely loyal.
Varys – Varys’ storyline in the show is completely different that in the books but he appears to be wholeheartedly behind Danaerys, and he brings a lot to the table. His connections in King’s Landing are unrivaled from his time as master of whispers. Part of Qyburn’s power comes from the little birds which could easily be swayed back in Varys’ direction.
For someone who has never lived in Westeros Danaerys has quite a bit of support there. Not to mention she has picked up some real military might in her preparation for invasion.
We know that Dany is bringing her unsullied and the Dothraki. She also had Daario and the sell swords but it isn’t clear how many were staying in Mereen or still in her employ so we won’t focus on them.
Yara and Theon Greyjoy have pledged their men and ships, and Varys has brought Dorne and the Reach in with whatever the Sand Snakes call themselves and House Tyrell.
We will look at the North separately in a minute because we can’t say that they will get involved unless they need to.
By the numbers Dany should have 8,000 unsullied, about 50,000 mounted Dothraki, 10,000 Ironborn, 30,000 dornish, and for simplicity 50,000 soldiers from the reach. I say that because according the books the forces from the reach seem to be a lot higher, but at one point on the show it was mentioned that the Lannister army was bigger. If we add it all together it comes out to 148,000.
That is the tale of the tape for where we are in Season 6. In part 2 I will talk about the North, the intangibles like Dany’s dragons, and my predictions on how Cersei’s time on the throne will play out. Make sure you subscribe to my channel so you will know when part 2 comes out in a few days.
Please like the video and leave any questions you have in the comments section. Maybe I will use some of them when I put the finishing touches on Part 2. Be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel. Also check out my Jon Snow dragonrider theory video and let me know how you think that will fit into the story.
Thanks for watching, I will talk to you soon.