On Sunday night, the start to one of the longest-running peripheral mysteries of Game of Thrones will be revealed.
As Game of Thrones moves into season 8 and the conclusion of its epic story, the prophecy Cersei Lannister's received as a young girl has been set up throughout the series to have a major impact on the final events of Thrones.
Of course, with many big Game of Thrones mysteries, the exact nature of how this prophecy will play out is still unknown, and could come with a major twist. Before heading into the final season Sunday night on HBO, we explore why Cersei's dark prophecy is important for Game of Thrones season 8.
Game of Thrones' final season premieres Sunday, April 14 at 9 p.m. ET.
In the season 5 episode "The Wars to Come" we got a flashback to Cersei's youth when she went to woods witch Maggy, to have her fortune told. Despite the Witch's warnings, Cersei uses threats to get her fortune told, and ends up getting a prophecy that will haunt her the rest of her life.
The three main points of the prophecy (i.e., the answers to Cersei's three questions) are this:
- Cersei wouldn't marry "the prince" (Rhaegar Targaryen) but would marry "the king" (Robert Baratheon).
- That Cersei would be Queen - until "there comes another, younger and more beautiful, to cast you down and take all that you hold dear."
- That "The King" would have dozens of children (Robert's bastards), but Cersei would only have three (her Joffrey, Myrcella, Tommen).
In the books, when all of the questions were done, Maggy sealed the prophecy by describing the fate of Cersei and her children:
"Gold shall be their crowns and gold their shrouds. And when your tears have drowned you, the valonqar shall wrap his hands about your pale white throat and choke the life from you."
The translation of "valonqar" from High Valyrian is then revealed to mean "little brother." And, in the context of where the Game of Thrones season 7 finale left things, this prophecy is going to play a huge part in season 8:
The first thing that Game of Thrones has done is set up a false hope for Cersei's prophecy being broken - but that false hope could end up leading to an even darker doom.
Cersei has revealed in the final episodes of Game of Thrones season 7 that she is pregnant with another one of her and Jaimes' children (the fourth). If that pregnancy is real, then the baby inside her is facing a slim chance at living, as Cersei is only prophesied to have three children - all of whom have died, as predicted. Since the other predictions have also seemingly come true (more on that in a moment), the odds are that Cersei's baby isn't going to make it.
Cersei losing the baby woudl be a horrible thing to see, but that karma is already built up, since Cersei had a direct hand in orchestrating the murder of Robb Stark's unborn child, during The Red Wedding.
As for how her prophecy may affect other characters on the show:
The two big questions (and potential bombshells) looming over Cersei's prophecy are: Who is the young queen? And who is "The Valonqar?"
During Game of Thrones season 5, Cersei was convinced that Margaery Tyrell was the young queen who was going to replace her - which was big motivation for her to ruin the Tyrells, by setting them at odds with The High Septon. After Cersei blew up both the Septon and the Tyrell family, it seemed the young queen portion of the prophecy had been avoided... that is, until Daenerys Targaryen landed in Westeroes.
At this point, it seems fairly certain that Daenerys is the "younger and more beautiful" queen who will cast Cersei down and take all that she holds dear. Plus, if Dany ends up pregnant with Jon's baby, somehow? Well then, The Iron Throne would definitely only be big enough for one heir...
Of course, a twist would be Sansa being named Queen of the North if Jon dies again and/or is unable to serve. After the threat of The Great War is over, it could be Queen Sansa who finally gets to exact her revenge against Cersei...
This part of the prophecy is the biggest and most ominous by far, and the one that has kept fans guessing. Based on the unfolding of events in GoT season 7, it seems that one of three possibilities will be Cersei's undoing:
Tyrion - This has been the most popular theory all along: that Tyrion will ultimately be the one who chokes Cersei to death. Tyrion currently is suspected of possibly conspiring with Cersei, but if Cersei's betrayal in The Great War causes Dany and/or Jaime to be killed, then Tyrion's shame could quickly to turn to murderous rage (see: Shae and Tywin) and he could finally end the Lannister family like everyone knew he always would...
Jaime - There have been subtle but numerous hints all along that Jaime and Cersei will die together in Game of Thrones - especially in the books. Both Jaime and Cersei have made reference tot he fact that they are connected in life, and will be in death as well (i.e. they will die together). Ever since it was revealed that Jaime was actually born second, after Cersei, fans knew he was qualified as "the valonqar." This is one twist fans really want to see; the GoT season 7 finale set up a schism between Jaime and Cersei over their role in The Great War, and after the horrors of that war, Jaime could feel compelled to return to King's Landing to slay an even bigger monster than The Night's King. After all, Jaime's sense of greater good made him betray The Mad King, so killing Cersei (another monstrous ruler) would be a full circle arc for him. The only problem is: he only has one hand to complete the job...0comments
Baby Lannister - Since fans of the books and Cersei's prophecy never knew there would be a fourth Lannister child until Game of Thrones season 7, this theory is just now coming into focus. Basically, it says that "The Valonqar" is a play on words, meant to mask the idea that Cersei will die in childbirth. The trick is that Cersei indeed never has ore than three children, but that "the valonqar" is the 'younger brother' of Cersei's other children, even though he's never actually born, technically. This route of prophecy fulfillment would be fitting, in that Cersei has tormented Tyrion all his life for killing their mother in childbirth. Having that karma revisited upon her due to her incestuous relationship with Jaime would be both an unexpected twist and thematically fitting. No one kills Cersei Lannister... except Cersei Lannister.
Game of Thrones returns for season 8 in 2018.