30 days of “A song of Ice and Fire”
Day 2: a character you feel the need to defend
Cersei Lannister. Beacuse half the people judge her before they even know her story, purely basing themselves on the incest storyline, or blaming her for Ned Stark’s beheading. Both are not her fault: 1) she lives in a different society, where incest, even though frowned upon, has been an institution the people have lived with for years during the Targaryen dynasty, 2)they often forget Cersei was not the one to give the order for Ned’s execution, Joffrey was, and she did try to stop him, she did what little she could do given her status of woman, therefore considered inferior by the men of Westeros, her son being one of them.
The other half (the readers) judges her for her scheming and plotting during Tommen’s reign, for her spasmodic hunger for power and her paranoid fear of everything, which led her to less than righteous actions. To them, I say: homo homini lupus, which means “Man becomes a wolf when put against other men”. It would be correct however to change the saying, in the case, and say “A woman becomes a lion when put against a pit of men”. Cersei is alone, fighting a war of men, therefore she must try and survive. And yes, she does so by plotting, because of pride, because of fear. A fear that comes from ages of being treated differently from people who were intellectually inferior merely because she was a woman, a fear that comes from the witnessing of her firstborn’s death right before her eyes, a fear that comes from the possibility of losing the only thing she ever got from life: her crown. She is only the Queen Regent at this point, but she is more than she has ever been. All her life she was a daughter (to be sold to the best buyer), a wife (to be abused whenever the King “stumbled drunk into her bed”), a sister (to always be compared and reminded she was not a man, not a knight, not the lawful heir), a mother (to be put aside as soon as her children grew of age).
Cersei is not a saint, but she is what the men who surrounded her since she was just a girl have forced her to be, a lioness ready to do anything, to kill even, to protect what she has earned through years of silence and patient resignation.
But she is the strongest woman in Westeros, and that’s the reason she is a threat to everyone. Strong and fierce, and decided to survive when a world of men, husbands, fathers, sons, decides her time is over. She won’t let them rule her life anymore, this time she is her own ruler.