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Cersei Lannister

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Lannister mini shield
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Cersei Lannister
1, 2, 3, 4, 5
First seen
Last seen
Appeared in
36 episodes (see below)
Mentioned in
Also known as
Approx. 41 in Season 5[1]
Date of birth
{Tywin Lannister} - father
{Joanna Lannister} - mother
{Tytos Lannister} - paternal grandfather
Ser Jaime Lannister - twin brother/lover
Tyrion Lannister - younger brother
{Robert Baratheon} - husband
{Trueborn son with Robert} - died in infancy
{Joffrey Baratheon} - son/nephew
Myrcella Baratheon - daughter/niece
Tommen Baratheon - son/nephew
Ser Kevan Lannister - uncle
Ser Lancel Lannister - first cousin
{Martyn Lannister} - first cousin
{Willem Lannister} - first cousin
Stannis Baratheon - brother-in-law
{Renly Baratheon} - brother-in-law
Selyse Baratheon - sister-in-law
Shireen Baratheon - niece by marriage
Sansa Stark - sister-in-law
Ser Loras Tyrell - betrothed
Portrayed by
Lena Headey
Nell Williams (Young Cersei, flashbacks in Season 5)


"I will do things for my family you couldn't imagine... I love my brother, I love my lover. People will whisper, they'll make their jokes - let them. They're all so small I can't even see them."

Cersei Lannister is a major character in the first, second, third, fourth and fifth seasons. She is portrayed by starring cast member Lena Headey and debuts in the series premiere. Cersei is the widow of King Robert Baratheon and Queen Regent of the Seven Kingdoms. She installed her son Joffrey Baratheon on the Iron Throne under the false claim that he was a legitimate son from her marriage but he was actually the product of her incestuous relationship with her younger twin brother Ser Jaime Lannister.



Cersei is the only daughter and eldest child of Joanna Lannister and Lord Tywin Lannister. Tywin is the head of House Lannister, the richest man in the Seven Kingdoms and Lord Paramount of the Westerlands. The Westerlands are one of the constituent regions of the Seven Kingdoms and House Lannister is one of the Great Houses of the realm. Cersei is the elder twin of Ser Jaime Lannister and the elder sister of Tyrion Lannister. She was raised in privilege in the family seat of Casterly Rock.[2] She is noted for her great beauty.

Cersei's mother died when she was four years old, after giving birth to her younger brother Tyrion. Like her father, Cersei has always blamed Tyrion for her mother's death and deeply resents that her mother died so that Tyrion would be brought into the world.[3][4] Cersei's father Tywin was constantly away from home during her childhood and teenaged years, serving as Hand of the King at the capital, with only infrequent visits back to his seat at Casterly Rock. Coupled with the death of her mother, this meant that Cersei and her two brothers were primarily raised by servants attached to House Lannister. She began an incestuous relationship with Jaime in her youth which has continued despite her marriage.[2] Cersei has had other partners but Jaime has always been faithful to her.[5]

Robert Cersei wedding

Cersei marries Robert Baratheon.

She is the wife of King Robert Baratheon, a political marriage Robert agreed to in thanks for her father's late switching of sides in the civil war which brought him to power. She was aged 19 when she married Robert and became Queen.[6] She has three children: Joffrey, Myrcella and Tommen. She claims that they are Robert's although they are actually illegitimate and a result of her relationship with her brother Jaime, which is not common knowledge.

Season 1

In King's Landing, Queen Cersei watches the silent sisters preparing the body of Lord Jon Arryn, the Hand of the King, for burial. She and her twin brother, Jaime, discuss the situation and wonder if Jon told anyone else about what he had discovered. Jaime tells her not to worry, since if the King knew the truth they'd be dead already. She suggests that Jaime could be the next Hand, but Jaime refuses, citing the position as too much responsibility and danger.[7]

Cersei at Winterfell feast

Cersei at the feast in Winterfell.

King Robert decides to travel to Winterfell and ask his best friend, Lord Eddard Stark, to become the new Hand, as well as proposing that his son Joffrey marry Eddard's eldest daughter, Sansa. Cersei, Jaime, and a retinue of courtiers accompany him. When the royal party arrives at Winterfell (the seat of House Stark) Lord Eddard presents his household to Robert and Cersei. After initial greetings, Robert demands to see the crypts and pay his respects to his former betrothed, Lyanna Stark, stoking Cersei's impatience. After Robert and Eddard depart, Cersei sends Jaime to find their younger brother Tyrion, who has become distracted at the local brothel.[7]

That evening a great feast is held and Cersei and Catelyn Stark exchange cordial words. Cersei seems impressed by Sansa, thinking that she will be a great hit at court. The next morning Eddard and Robert go hunting, leaving the castle largely empty. Cersei and Jaime liaise in derelict tower. Bran Stark climbs the tower and finds them engaged in sexual intercourse. He is caught watching by Cersei, and Jaime grabs him. He asks how old Bran is. When Bran replies "ten", Jaime sighs and pushes him out of the window, musing "the things I do for love."[7]

A month later, at breakfast, Tyrion tells his family that Bran is expected to live and notes his sibling's guarded reactions to the news. Cersei visits Catelyn who is sitting vigil for Bran. Cersei tells Catelyn that her first child, a beautiful, black-haired boy, died because of a fever. She and Robert were grief-stricken and her prayers and tears were for naught. She offers to pray for Bran's survival, hoping that this time the gods will listen. The royal party sets out for King's Landing, now joined by Eddard, Sansa and Arya. However, a minor fracas between Arya's direwolf and Joffrey on the Kingsroad escalates into an argument between Cersei and Eddard. Robert defuses the situation by agreeing that he and Eddard will attend to their own discipline. Cersei insists that the direwolf must be killed. When Nymeria cannot be found (Arya having driven her off to protect her), Cersei has Sansa's wolf, Lady, killed instead. Eddard, furious, attends to the matter himself.[8]


Cersei and her son.

Arriving back at court, Cersei talks to Joffrey about the incident on the Kingsroad. She tells him that when he is king, the truth will be whatever he decides it will be. Joffrey tells her that he thinks there will be trouble with the Starks, and that when he is king he'll double their taxes, force them to contribute to a standing army and, if they should object, he'd crush them. Cersei elucidates that the North is too vast and wild to be militarily conquered by outsiders. She cautions Joffrey that he will need to be cleverer as king. She also advises him to be kind to Sansa to avoid storing up trouble for later, and concludes that "anyone who isn't us is an enemy." A raven arrives in King's Landing with news of Bran's recovery. Cersei fears he will expose their secret, but Jaime comforts her.[9]

Cersei and Robert share a drink and discuss the threat from the Dothraki now that Daenerys Targaryen is married and pregnant. Cersei also tells Robert that at the start of their marriage she truly loved him, even after their first boy died, for quite a while. He says he knows, but could never love her back due to his feelings for Lyanna Stark.[10]

Cersei and Robert

Cersei and Robert visit Eddard.

Cersei and King Robert visit Eddard as he recovers from wounds sustained fighting Jaime and his guards. Cersei is furious with Eddard for having her brother Tyrion arrested and for fighting with Jaime, but Eddard is unrepentant.[11]


Cersei reveals the truth to Eddard Stark.

Eddard confronts Cersei and tells her he knows her children are fathered by Jaime. She does not deny it, instead saying that she and her brother belong together, always. Cersei says she did love Robert, at the start, but on their wedding night he uttered Lyanna's name, which soured their relationship afterwards. Eddard advises her to leave King's Landing before Robert returns from a hunt, as he will then tell Robert the truth. Cersei instead warns him that "In the game of thrones, you win or you die."[12]

Robert is mortally wounded on the hunt. Cersei is concerned that Eddard will tell Robert the truth, but Eddard chooses to spare his friend further pain. Robert names Eddard Protector of the Realm and regent. Upon Robert's death Cersei quickly installs Joffrey on the throne. Eddard tries to reveal the truth with the help of Petyr 'Littlefinger' Baelish, but Baelish betrays him and sides with Cersei. Eddard is arrested and imprisoned, while his guards are killed.[12]

Ned's execution

Cersei, Joffrey, and Sansa watch as Eddard is executed.

Cersei persuades Sansa to write a letter asking her brother Robb to bend the knee to Joffrey in return for her father's life. Sansa agrees, but the plan backfires, as the letter merely encourages Robb to raise an army and march into the Riverlands to confront the Lannister armies directly. In open court, Cersei encourages Sansa to make a new plea to Joffrey for her father's life. Joffrey agrees to spare him and let him join the Night's Watch, if Eddard recants the claims he has made about Joffrey not being the true king. Sansa is sure he will.[13] Cersei is present at the Sept of Baelor when Eddard Stark 'confesses' his crimes, as per their arrangement brokered by Sansa and Varys. She appears to be genuinely shocked when Joffrey ignores the arrangement and demands Eddard's decapitation. The order is carried out by Ser Ilyn Payne, the royal executioner.[14]

War erupts between the Lannister and Stark armies in the Riverlands and Cersei attempts to secure her son's hold on the Iron Throne. She takes a new lover, her cousin Lancel who was King Robert's squire and gave him the wine that made him too drunk to slay the boar that killed him. She also receives a letter informing her of Jaime's capture by Robb Stark.[15]

Season 2

Cersei continues to govern from King's Landing as the Queen Regent to Joffrey. She is driven to defend Joffrey's claim in the face of several challengers in the War of the Five Kings. Facing imminent winter she orders the city gates barred to prevent further refugees from entering the city. She is perturbed by the

Cersei sits in the small council.

arrival of her brother Tyrion who has been named acting Hand of the King by their father Tywin Lannister. She fears that Tyrion schemes to usurp her power and is frustrated when he tells her that since she failed to prevent the death of Eddard Stark she has been viewed as the disappointing child by Tywin. Tyrion wins her temporary acceptance when he pledges to free Jaime from captivity but insists that they need to recover the escaped Arya Stark to facilitate a prisoner exchange.[16]

Stannis Baratheon sends copies of a letter detailing Cersei's incestuous relationship with Jaime and the illegitimacy of her children to high lords throughout the seven kingdoms fuelling widespread rumors. Cersei tasks Petyr Baelish with recovering Arya and is enraged when Baelish dares to reference the rumors. She asks Joffrey to enlist the aid of Tywin in the search but he refuses to involve his grandfather. He provokes an argument with Cersei about the rumors and threatens her life when she slaps him. He then orders a citywide massacre of Robert Baratheon's bastard children so that he will have no rival claimants in case his true parentage is revealed.[16]

Cersei rejects King Robb Stark's peace terms and refuses a request for aid from the Night's Watch, ignoring news of wights attacking the Lord Commander. Tyrion ousts Lord Janos Slynt as commander of the city watch for his part in the massacre as well as his betrayal of Ned Stark. Cersei angrily confronts him for displacing her loyal servant. He warns her to consider the importance of the support of her subjects; she is dismissive of his concerns but becomes upset at the weight of responsibility she has born. Tyrion mocks her relationship with Jaime. She ends the discussion by saying that Tyrion's finest joke was killing their mother when he was born.[3]

Tyrion tests the loyalty of the remaining small council members by feeding each of them a different marriage plan for Myrcella. Pycelle dutifully informs Cersei of Tyrion's plans to marry Myrcella into House Martell of Dorne despite his promise to keep them secret. Cersei confronts Tyrion who insists that the alliance is necessary and that Myrcella will be safer in Dorne. He then has Pycelle arrested for breaking his confidence. Tyrion sends Petyr Baelish to treat with Catelyn Stark leaving Varys as the last member of Cersei's small council in the city.[17]

Robb Stark wins a major victory at the Battle of Oxcross. Joffrey responds by having Sansa Stark publicly beaten, sparing her only because of Cersei's orders, that if Sansa is killed the Starks will exact vengeance on his uncle Jaime. Tyrion intervenes causing further deterioration in his relationship with Joffrey.[18]

Cersei and Lancel

Cersei and Lancel.

Cersei issues a warrant demanding the release of Pycelle. She tasks her lover and cousin Lancel Lannister with delivering it to Tyrion. Lancel arrives in the middle of the night, Tyrion asks why he waited so long to deliver the message. When Lancel says he just came from Cersei. Tyrion noticing Lancel smells of Cersei's perfume, threatens to exposing their relationship to Joffrey, unless Lancel agrees to become Tyrion's spy reporting everything Cersei does.[18]

Cersei refuses to share her plans

Cersei keeps her secrets.

Cersei is pleased when she learns of King Renly Baratheon's death. Tyrion considers it a sign of an imminent attack by his brother King Stannis Baratheon, who has assumed control of Renly's army. Cersei refuses to discuss measures for the defense of the city and remains irate about the marriage pact with Dorne. Tyrion learns from Lancel that Cersei is relying on the Alchemists' Guild to supply Wildfire to defend the city and subverts her relationship with the Alchemists' Guild.[19]

Cersei and the court assemble at the shore of the Blackwater Bay for the departure of Princess Myrcella. Cersei remains livid about Tyrion's arrangements for her daughter. She threatens to one day deprive him of someone he loves. As they move through the city to return to the Red Keep they are confronted by angry crowds of starving smallfolk. Joffrey is hit by thrown excrement and triggers a riot by demanding that his guards kill everyone in the crowd. Tyrion marshals the Lannister guards to lead them to safety.[20]

Cersei learns that Sansa has flowered for the first time, she summons Sansa and offers her advice on motherhood. Cersei tells her to love only her children, since love makes you weak, but it is a mother's obligation to love her children. Sansa asks if she should love Joffrey; Cersei replies that she can try.[5]
Sansa and Cersei

Cersei and Sansa chat following Sansa's first "flowering".

Cersei meets with Tyrion to discuss the imminent attack of King's Landing by King Stannis Baratheon. She admits her struggles controlling Joffrey and openly references her relationship with Jaime. She confides her fear that Joffrey's madness is the price for her sins, including her incestuous relationship. Tyrion tries to comfort her by telling her that Tommen and Myrcella are good, decent children.[5]

Joffrey is keen to fight in defense of the city. Cersei is furious and suspects Tyrion of trying to kill her son. She mistakenly identifies Ros as his lover because of the Lannister necklace Tyrion gave her and seizes the opportunity to deliver on the threat she made when Myrcella left. Cersei has the prostitute kidnapped as insurance against Tyrion placing Joffrey in harms way. She reveals her ploy over dinner and Tyrion vows to free Ros and take revenge when Cersei least suspects it.[6]

Cersei provides refuge for the women of the court in Maegor's Holdfast during the battle. She prepares for the worst by having Ser Ilyn Payne present and obtaining deadly Essence of Nightshade poison from the reinstated Pycelle. She drinks heavily during the siege and torments Sansa Stark when she tries to keep up the morale of the women by praying. She tells Sansa that the gods have no mercy and that Ser Ilyn is there to kill them should the Red Keep be breached.
Cersei and Tommen Blackwater Promo

Cersei and Tommen during the Battle of Blackwater.

Lancel is wounded and returns from the walls to report that Stannis has reached the Mud Gate despite Tyrion's ingenious use of Wildfire to destroy a portion of his fleet. Cersei sends Lancel to bring Joffrey back to the Red Keep, ignoring his protests that it will damage morale. Joffrey willingly leaves the field but his exit is a blow to the men. Lancel begs Cersei to let him return Joffrey to the front, believing the battle is lost otherwise. Cersei pushes him into a stone pillar, aggravating his injury, and storms out. Convinced the battle is lost, and not wanting her children to die by Stannis's hand, she takes Tommen to the Iron Throne room and prepares to poison him. She is stopped just in time by the unexpected arrival of Tywin, who reports that they have won the battle. Tyrion is betrayed and wounded by Ser Mandon Moore of the Kingsguard during the fighting.[21] Tyrion's role in defending the city is not acknowledged and he is left to recover from his wounds, stripped of his power. Rumors circulate that Cersei ordered the attack on Tyrion. No longer considering Tyrion a threat, Cersei releases Ros.[22]

Cersei orchestrates a public ceremony rewarding those who aided the city in the battle. Tywin is officially recognized as Hand of the King, Petyr Baelish is named Lord of Harrenhal for brokering the alliance with House Tyrell and Ser Loras is offered a favor of his choosing. He asks Joffrey to marry his sister, Margaery Tyrell. Joffrey says that he is constrained by his betrothal to Sansa but Cersei intervenes to insist that the treachery of House Stark frees him from any obligation. The court welcome the decision with a round of applause.[22]

Season 3

Some weeks after the Battle of Blackwater, Cersei pays Tyrion a visit accompanied by two of her son's Kingsguard. She only gains entrance to Tyrion's chambers after agreeing to leave her guards outside. Once inside Cersei demands to know how he will "slander" her to their father now that he is here. Tyrion asks when he has ever slandered her before, and she reminds him of a time at Casterly Rock that he got her in serious trouble with their father: when she was nine years old, Cersei discovered that a servant girl (also nine years old) had stolen a necklace, so she had her guards beat the girl, who ended up losing an eye. Tyrion told their father what Cersei'd done and he was angered, but Cersei notes that the servant girl never stole a necklace again. Tyrion quips that it isn't "slander" if it's true, and he only told Tywin what she really did. The queen admits that Tyrion is a clever man but not as clever as he might believe. Tyrion merely retorts that this still makes him a great deal more clever that her. Cersei then leaves abruptly and just in time to prevent Meryn Trant and Bronn from exchanging blows.

At night Cersei and Joffrey are hosting a private dinner party for Loras and Margaery Tyrell. Cersei is surprised that Margaery has been handing out food aid to the smallfolk of the city and visiting orphanages. Unlike Cersei, who only knows how to rule through fear, Margaery is skilled at manipulating the people into loving her, and this concerns Cersei. After trading veiled insults with both her son and future daughter-in-law it becomes clear that Cersei doesn't trust Margaery and fears that the younger woman has come to supplant her as queen.[23]

Margaery and Cersei Second Sons

Cersei threatens to kill Margaery Tyrell in her sleep.

As the court gathers for Tyrion's wedding, Cersei finally snaps when Margaery says she looks radiant. Cersei reminds the queen-in-waiting of the lyrics of The Rains of Castamere and to take a lesson of what happened to House Reyne. Cersei threatens to have Margaery strangled in her sleep if she ever refers to her as "sister" again. Cersei maintains a cool expression during the ceremony, and does not laugh when Joffrey ridicules Tyrion by removing his footstool. During the wedding feast, Joffrey heads off to torment Sansa some more. Fed up with him, Cersei tells him to speak with Margaery instead, but he ignores her. Cersei later retreats to an upper gallery and stares despondently out over Blackwater Bay. Loras sees her and tries to make small talk, but Cersei rudely brushes him off.[24]

Cersei is present at the meeting where Tyrion learns of Robb and Catelyn's deaths. Joffrey comments that he wants Robb's head to present to Sansa at his wedding feast, though Varys reminds him that Sansa is now his aunt-by-marriage. Cersei brushes this off as a joke, though Joffrey denies this. She also reassures Joffrey when he is threatned by Tyrion. She also leads Joffrey to bed after he calls Tywin a coward.[25]

Later, Cersei visits Tyrion and rudely dismisses Podrick. She tells Tyrion that he should give Sansa a son if he truly wants to make her happy, though Tyrion responds by asking her if she is happy as she has children. Cersei admits that she is not happy, but would've thrown herself "from the highest window in the Red Keep" without them, even Joffrey. She recounts of how he was all she had before Myrcella was born and how she would spend hours looking at him, and acknowledges that he is one of the "terrible ones". Tyrion asks her when this will end, and Cersei replies when they have dealt with all their enemies. Tyrion mentions how dealing with one enemy creates two more, and she just says that they will be in this position for a long time.[25]

When Jaime returns to King's Landing, he immediately goes to Cersei's chambers and calls her name. She turns around, shocked and sickened at finding him maimed.[25]

Season 4

Cersei is present while Qyburn is attaching Jaime's golden hand that she commissioned for him because she's so disgusted by his stump. After Qyburn departs from Cersei's chambers, Jaime asks why she drinks more than she used to. Cersei replies that she drinks more because Jaime left the capital, Robert was killed, Myrcella was shipped off to Dorne, they went through a siege, and her son Joffrey is being married to Margaery whom she despises. When Jaime tries to make love to her, she refuses him and says that everything has changed and that he took too long reaching King's Landing.[26]

Cersei is present at the breakfast of Joffrey and Margaery and tells Tywin about Shae being seen leaving Tyrion's chambers. During the Royal Wedding, Cersei sits with the rest of the royal family. When Brienne of Tarth approaches the king and Margaery, she bows and congratulates them on their marriage. Cersei quickly points out that she bowed instead of performing a curtsey. She then thanks Brienne for bringing her brother back and asks her if she loves Jaime, Brienne responds by walking off.[27]


Cersei reacts to Joffrey's death.

After Margaery says that the leftovers were going to the poor, Cersei kisses her on the cheek and says she is an inspiration to them all. Shortly after that she goes over to Pycelle , who is talking to a young woman, Cersei tells Pycelle to leave her alone and says that she should get Qyburn to examine her. Pycelle mocks Qyburn but Cersei responds by ordering Pycelle to go to the kitchens and order the cooks to give the leftovers to the dogs. Pycelle is reluctant to do so, but Cersei threatens to have him killed if he does not. Cersei and Tywin meet Oberyn and Ellaria and the four get into a heated discussion. When Joffrey is dying, Cersei rushes over to her son and is in tears when he dies. In a blind rage, she has Tyrion arrested.[27]

Cersei is mourning Joffrey while Tywin arrives and immediately begins instructing Tommen on the qualities of a good king. After the two leave, Jaime arrives to comfort Cersei. She breaks down into tears and asks Jaime to avenge their son by killing Tyrion. Jaime is not convinced that Tyrion was behind the murder and tells Cersei that there will be a trial, but she does not care. He tries to comfort her through his affections. Cersei refuses initially, but Jaime is aggressive. Cersei insists that the sept during a private viewing of their son's corpse is a highly inappropriate place for sex, and asks Jaime to stop, saying "It isn't right, it isn't
Jaime and Cersei - Breaker of Chains

Jaime tempts Cersei within the Great Sept of Baelor.

right..." and Jaime refuses to stop, saying, "I don't care, I don't care...". They then have sex next to their dead son's corpse.[28]

Cersei calls Jaime to his chambers, but only to know about Kingsguard formations for protecting Tommen. She then asks why Catelyn Stark released him from his captivity. Jaime replies that he swore by all the gods that he would bring back Catelyn Stark's daughters to her. Cersei questions his loyalty to their enemies, but Jaime states that he only did it so he could return to her. She then asks if he could track down and kill Sansa Stark, believing that she schemed with Tyrion to murder Joffrey. Jaime remains silent. He then tries to convince Cersei that Tyrion is innocent, but she refutes that he has always pitied their little brother and firmly believes that Tyrion is the monster that killed their son. After, Cersei asks him to leave, but refers to him as "Lord Commander", showing that their relationship has almost completely deteriorated.[29]

Cersei is present at the coronation of her son, Tommen. Seeing Margaery at the coronation, Cersei tells her that she understands that Joffrey was a monster, but as her first child, Cersei still loved him. She also believes the newly crowned Tommen will make a good and decent king, but he needs guidance. Cersei asks

Cersei testifies against Tyrion during his court trial.

Margaery if she is still interested in being queen. Margaery says she will need to speak to her father about the matter.[30]

Cersei is present at a small council that discusses the threat of Daenerys Targaryen, who they learn has recently conquered Meereen. Cersei doubts that Daenerys is a credible threat to the Iron Throne, a view not shared by the rest of the council. When Varys mentions that Sandor Clegane has been spotted in the Riverlands, Cersei recounts him as being both a coward and a traitor to the crown.[31]


Cersei presides over Tyrion's trial by combat.

At Tyrion's trial, Cersei is verbally confronted by Tyrion, who angrily declares his innocence, but tells her how he wishes he could have been the one to murder Joffrey and that he felt the boy deserved it.[31] Cersei approaches Gregor Clegane and enlists him as her champion in the trial by combat for Tyrion's fate.[32] She watches proudly as he defeats Tyrion's champion, Oberyn Martell, and smiles as their father sentences Tyrion to death.[33] She later sees to the treatment of Ser Gregor's wounds.[34]

Cersei confronts her father and defiantly asserts once again that she will not consent to marry Loras Tyrell. When Tywin insists, she shocks him further by confirming for the first time to his face that the rumors about her relationship with her twin brother are in fact true. Disgusted, she leaves Tywin's quarters and proceeds to find Jaime. Though they still disagree on the fate of their younger brother, she approaches Jaime and kisses him passionately. She reaffirms her love for him and her wishes to continue their relationship regardless of what others may say. She kisses his gold hand as a symbol of her acceptance, and he makes love to her.[34]

Season 5



Cersei is willful, cold, ambitious, and cunning in the sense that she is utterly willing to betray anyone who trusts her, or do anything to protect her own. However, she is also arrogant and self-centered to a fault. While she certainly believes herself to be a master strategist, she is extremely impatient, short-sighted, and prone to displays of poor judgment, resulting in her being unskilled at manipulating enemies who openly distrust her. Cersei's own father Tywin stated to her that he distrusts her because she isn't nearly as intelligent as she believes herself to be.[35] This makes for a dangerous combination, as not only is Cersei unintelligent, but she does not even realize her own limitations.

A mistake outsiders often make when dealing with Cersei is assuming that she has the emotional maturity and wisdom of a queen, or at least an adult, when her real personality is closer to a petulant child inhabiting an adult's body. In public, Cersei often tries to exude a sense of calm and regal control over her surroundings. When things do not go her own way, however, Cersei's usual response is to become extremely flippant, even when the assembled Small Council is trying to give her advice which would genuinely serve her own interests. Cersei's behavior is very mercurial, capable of switching between seemingly true affection for someone to extreme loathing over trifles.

As Tyrion noted, Cersei often uses her honest feelings to dishonestly manipulate other people. For example, her fear for the safety of her children is actually genuine, but she will shamelessly use this to play on the sympathy of other people, to sway them into supporting her.[36]

Cersei despises the restraints placed on her because she is a woman and is jealous of the freedoms that men have in her society. Several of the noble Houses in the Seven Kingdoms have more liberal attitudes when it comes to involving female members of their family in politics. The women of House Tyrell, for example, are expected to be involved in politics and have thus been trained from a young age in the skills of ruling. Unfortunately, Cersei's father Tywin is a staunch conservative, and never envisioned Cersei playing an active role in politics. Instead, her duty was to cement a marriage alliance and raise royal children, nothing more. The practical result is that, right or wrong, Tywin didn't raise Cersei to be skilled in ruling or in political intrigue. While confronted with these shortfalls, Cersei often blames her father or society in general for not giving her the years of training needed to rule, but complaining about it doesn't change the fact that she simply doesn't possess these skills. Cersei hates being a woman in Westerosi society, and scorns other women in general for what she perceives as their weakness: Cersei isn't so much angry at men for mistreating women, as angry that she wasn't born a man.[37]

Cersei's lack of a parental relationship growing up is reflected in how poorly she has served as a mother to her own children. While she certainly dotes on them and genuinely loves them, she does not possess much in the way of wisdom or advice. She is unable to act as a stable moral instructor to them. She considers herself to be obsessed with the welfare of all of her children.[5] However, she has showered so much attention on Joffrey throughout his life that hypocritically, she really doesn't know her other children very well - just as her own father Tywin focused all of his attention on Jaime, while ignoring Cersei and Tyrion.


TV series

Season One appearances
Winter is Coming The Kingsroad Lord Snow Cripples, Bastards and Broken Things The Wolf and the Lion
A Golden Crown You Win or You Die The Pointy End Baelor Fire and Blood
Season Two appearances
The North Remembers The Night Lands What is Dead May Never Die Garden of Bones The Ghost of Harrenhal
The Old Gods and the New A Man Without Honor The Prince of Winterfell Blackwater Valar Morghulis
Season Three appearances
Valar Dohaeris Dark Wings, Dark Words Walk of Punishment And Now His Watch is Ended Kissed by Fire
The Climb The Bear and the Maiden Fair Second Sons The Rains of Castamere Mhysa
Season Four appearances
Two Swords The Lion and the Rose Breaker of Chains Oathkeeper First of His Name
The Laws of Gods and Men Mockingbird The Mountain and the Viper The Watchers on the Wall The Children

Video game

Telltale Game Series appearances
Iron From Ice The Lost Lords The Sword in the Darkness Sons of Winter A Nest of Vipers The Ice Dragon

Image Gallery

Family tree

Tytos tree
Tytos Lannister
Jeyne Lannister
née Marbrand Hose Marbrand
Tywin tree
Tywin Lannister
Joanna Lannister
Kevan tree
Kevan Lannister
Dorna Lannister
née Swyft Swyft mini shield
Robert tree
Robert Baratheon Baratheon mini shield
Cersei tree
Cersei Lannister
100px-Jaime tree
Jaime LannisterKingsguard mini shield
Unknown tree
100px-Tyrion tree
Tyrion Lannister
100px-Sansa tree
Sansa Stark Stark-small
Lancel tree
Lancel Lannister
Martyn Lannister tree
Martyn Lannister
Willem Lannister tree
Willem Lannister
KL baratheon sigil
Unnamed son Joff icon
Died in infancy
Joffrey tree

Joffrey Baratheon KL Baratheon mini shield

Margaery Tree
Margaery Tyrell Tyrell-small
Mycella Season 5 family tree pic
Myrcella Baratheon Joff icon
Trystane Martell Martell-small
Tommen Baratheon family tree
Tommen Baratheon Joff icon
Margaery Tree
Margaery Tyrell Tyrell-small


"Someday, you'll sit on the throne, and the truth will be what you make it."
"Everyone who isn't us is an enemy."
Cersei to her son, Joffrey Baratheon.[src]
"When you play the game of thrones you win, or you die. There is no middle ground."
Cersei to Eddard Stark[src]
"You want to be Hand of the King? You want to rule? This is what ruling is; lying on a bed of weeds, ripping them out by the root, one by one, before they strangle you in your sleep!"
"Sometimes I wonder if this is the price, for what we've done, for our sins."
Cersei to her brother Tyrion Lannister[src]
"The gods have no mercy, that's why they're gods."
Cersei to Sansa Stark[src]
"Tears aren't a woman's only weapon. The best one's between your legs."
Cersei to Sansa Stark[src]
"If I wanted to kill to you, do you think I'd let a wooden door stop me?"
Cersei to her brother Tyrion Lannister[src]
"If you ever call me sister again, I'll have you strangled in your sleep."
Cersei to Margaery Tyrell[src]
"Nobody cares what your father once told you."
Cersei to Loras Tyrell[src]
"Even Joffrey. He was all I had once. Before Myrcella was born. I used to spend hours looking at him. His wisps of hair, his tiny little hands and feet. He was such a jolly little fellow. You always hear the terrible ones were terrible babies. ‘We should have known, even then we should have known.’ It’s nonsense. Whenever he was with me, he was happy. And no one can take that away from me — not even Joffrey."
"Joffrey is dead, Myrcella's been sold like livestock, and now you want to ship me off to Highgarden and steal my boy... my last boy. Margaery will dig her claws in and you will dig your claws in and you'll fight over him like beasts until you rip him apart! I will burn our house to the ground before I let that happen!"
Cersei to her father Tywin Lannister[src]

Behind the Scenes

Actress Lena Headey became pregnant just before Season 1 began filming. However, the production team was so enthusiastic about her performance, and the larger scale concern of having Headey play Cersei for several years, that they didn't recast the role but instead worked around her pregnancy by, for example, keeping the camera frame above her waist or having her sit at a table. For wide shots when Cersei is walking around, notice that most of Cersei's costumes in Season 1 have large billowing sleeves which she carries in front of her to hide her pregnancy. At other times, body doubles were shot from behind in quick-cuts. This may also explain why Cersei's sex scene with Jaime isn't as involved as it is in the books, in which they are both completely naked and have an extended conversation intermixed with lovemaking. In the TV series, Cersei and Jaime are mostly clothed, with Jaime simply pulling her dress up, and Jaime is taking her from behind, so the viewer can't see that the actress is pregnant.

In the books

In the A Song of Ice and Fire novels, Cersei is a beautiful but also somewhat cold woman who does not get along with her husband, whom she considers to be a fat oaf. However, she dotes on and loves her three children. She is not politically skilled, and frustrated that her options for power are limited by her gender. Cersei is close to her brother Jaime, but is cowed by her father and despises Tyrion, whom she blames for killing her mother Joanna, who died in childbirth.

According to the novels, Cersei never gave birth to any children of Robert. As she revealed to Eddard Stark she was only once pregnant with a child of Robert, but had the child aborted out of hatred for him. Robert was unaware to both the pregnancy and the abortion. In the TV series, she revealed to Catelyn Stark that she gave birth to a "beautiful, black-haired boy", (which given her gold-haired children with Jaime, must have been Robert's son), but the infant died of a fever.

According to the TV series official pronunciation guide developed for the cast and crew, "Cersei Lannister" is pronounced "SER-see LAN-iss-ter".

See also


  1. Jaime is Cersei's twin, and thus the same age as her. Tyrion stated in "The Prince of Winterfell" that Cersei became Queen when she was 19, at the end of Robert's Rebellion, and 17 years passed between the end of the war and Season 1. This makes Cersei 36 in Season 1 and 40 in Season 4. In the Season 4 premiere, Jaime is said to be "40", but characters might have been rounding. Some contradictory statements have been made about Cersei's age: see here for more information.
  2. 2.0 2.1 HBO viewers guide, season 2 guide to houses, House Baratheon of King's Landing - Cersei Baratheon entry
  3. 3.0 3.1 "The Night Lands"
  4. HBO viewers guide, season 2 guide to houses, House Baratheon of King's Landing - Tyrion Lannister entry
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 "A Man Without Honor"
  6. 6.0 6.1 "The Prince of Winterfell"
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 "Winter is Coming"
  8. "The Kingsroad"
  9. "Lord Snow"
  10. "The Wolf and the Lion"
  11. "A Golden Crown"
  12. 12.0 12.1 "You Win or You Die"
  13. "The Pointy End"
  14. "Baelor"
  15. "Fire and Blood"
  16. 16.0 16.1 "The North Remembers"
  17. "What is Dead May Never Die"
  18. 18.0 18.1 "Garden of Bones"
  19. "The Ghost of Harrenhal"
  20. "The Old Gods and the New"
  21. "Blackwater"
  22. 22.0 22.1 "Valar Morghulis"
  23. "Valar Dohaeris"
  24. "Second Sons"
  25. 25.0 25.1 25.2 "Mhysa"
  26. "Two Swords"
  27. 27.0 27.1 "The Lion and the Rose"
  28. "Breaker of Chains"
  29. "Oathkeeper"
  30. "First of His Name"
  31. 31.0 31.1 "The Laws of Gods and Men"
  32. "Mockingbird"
  33. "The Mountain and the Viper"
  34. 34.0 34.1 "The Children"
  35. "And Now His Watch is Ended"
  36. "Mockingbird"
  37. "Blackwater"
v  d  e
Lord: Queen Regent Cersei Lannister Heir: (disputed)
Seat: Casterly Rock Lands: The Westerlands
Title(s): Lord Paramount of the Westerlands · Lord of Casterly Rock · Warden of the West · King of the Rock (pre-War of Conquest)
Ancestors:Lann the Clever · Tommen II Lannister · Loren Lannister · Damon Lannister
Current members:Kevan Lannister · Tyrion Lannister · Jaime Lannister · Dorna Lannister · Lancel Lannister · Cynda Lannister · Sansa Stark
Deceased members:Tytos Lannister · Joanna Lannister · Stafford Lannister · Alton Lannister · Martyn Lannister · Willem Lannister · Orson Lannister · Tywin Lannister
Household:Podrick Payne · Bronn · Gregor Clegane · {Amory Lorch} · {Polliver} · {Rorge} · {Biter}
Overlord:House Baratheon of King's Landing
v  d  e
Lord: King Tommen I Heir: Princess Myrcella Baratheon
KL Baratheon mini banner
Seat: Red Keep, King's Landing Lands: The Crownlands
Title(s): King of the Andals and the First Men · Lord of the Seven Kingdoms · Protector of the Realm
Current members:Queen Regent Cersei Lannister
Deceased members:King Robert I · King Joffrey I
Household:Lady Margaery Tyrell · Lord Mace Tyrell · Grand Maester Pycelle · Ser Jaime Lannister · Ser Meryn Trant · Ser Preston Greenfield · Ser Arys Oakheart · Ser Boros Blount · Ser Balon Swann · Ser Ilyn Payne · Lord Gyles Rosby · Ser Lancel Lannister · Ser Aron Santagar · Qyburn · Septa Eglantine

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