One of the things that make Game of Thrones such an incredible show is the complexity of its characters. Revisiting the show is always refreshing. There’s no purely good nor purely evil character (except maybe for Ramsay Bolton). Each character has their good and bad moments which exactly makes them human and relatable. One of the characters I’ve always felt conflicted about is Cersei Lannister. She’s definitely one GoT character we can’t help but love and hate at the same time. So if you know what I’m talking about, check out the 12 reasons below to love and hate this iconic character.
Love: She’s one badass woman
In a world dominated by men fighting over the iron throne, Cersei is one of two powerful, female characters who played the game so damn well. The Lannister coat of arms is a gold lion with the words “Hear Me Roar!”, and it matches Cersei’s unwavering strength and bravery. If you hurt her, she will strike back ten times over as proven by her use of wildfire to kill everyone at the Great Sept of Baelor.
Hate: She instills fear instead of inspiring loyalty
Cersei’s leadership style is the complete opposite of Daenarys’ or Jon Snow’s. She buys the people’s loyalty with her family’s money and instills fear to get people to do her bidding. This strategy may work for a while, but we all know how fickle people’s loyalty is in Westeros.
Love: She’ll do anything to protect her children
You have to admire Cersei’s unparalleled love for her children. She may be selfish and manipulative, but when it comes to her children, she would die for them. In fact, everything she does comes from her desire to secure her children’s future and safety. This is one Cersei trait that you have to love without question.
Hate: She created Joffrey
Whatever selfishness and ruthlessness Cersei had, she definitely passed it unto her children, well, one child, rather. It’s probably karma that Cersei bore a child as evil and sadistic as Joffrey Baratheon. I don’t even know who’s more despicable – him or Ramsay Bolton.
Love: She speaks her mind
Cersei has some of the best (and cruelest) lines on the show hands down. I guess you can’t expect anything less from such a smart, cold, and calculating character. Throughout eight seasons, she was able to come up with numerous ways to talk down to others.
Hate: You’ll never gain her respect nor sympathy
If you think you can get Cersei to sympathize with anyone that’s not her children or Jaime, prepare to be disappointed. There may have been moments on the show where she’s shown kindness to others, but really, it’s just part of a bigger plan to ultimately get what she wants. Just think, this is the woman who ordered to kill Robert’s innocent bastards, turned Shae against Tyrion, blew up the Great Sept of Baelor, AND killed her best friend.
Love: Her facial expressions are on point
This one is all thanks to the incredible Lena Headey. She manages to make each scene so memorable even with the subtlest movement of an eyebrow, tilt of her head, and hint of a smirk. Heck, her stare alone already conveys so many emotions.
Hate: She uses sex to manipulate men
Cersei’s beauty is well-known around the kingdom. It’s one of the reasons why she was deemed fit to be a queen in the first place. She’s stunning, and she knows it – and she uses it to control lustful men. She’s manipulated her brother Jaime, her cousin Lancel, and Euron Greyjoy.
Love: She’s relatable and flawed
In spite of her evil tendencies, there were (very few) moments on the show when Cersei showed some bits of humanity and genuine emotion. It broke my heart to see her grieving as she lost all her children in pursuit of the iron throne. I also felt sorry for her during her walk of shame. It didn’t last very long though because she did end up blowing up a whole building full of people as revenge.
Hate: She’s unapologetically ruthless and evil
It’s probably obvious at this point that she doesn’t care who gets hurt or dies, as long as she gets what she wants. And what she wants is power. By the end of the final season, she totally lost her sanity when Tommen killed himself (because of her, BTW). She took it upon herself to sit on the iron throne, having nothing else left to lose.
Love: She loves wine
I guess a lot can relate to Cersei’s love for wine. I cannot count how many times I’ve seen Cersei drinking. I’d drink all day too if I had her crazy and depressing life.
Hate: She loves her family so much she fell in love with her brother
As Cersei puts it, “Everyone who isn’t us is an enemy.” I guess this is why she prefers to keep it in the family if you know what I mean. When you think about it, her and Jaime’s sordid affair is what prompted all of the chaos brought upon the Starks and Westeros in the first place.