Making it this far on Game of Thrones is already an impressive accomplishment. It's even more impressive for an individual like Cersei Lannister, who has consistently remained one of the show's most powerful and formidable characters. Cersei's survival and her power have been a product of her unique strengths. These strengths stem from her personality, her actions, and character development, all of which have contributed to her being one of the dangerous and successful players in the game of thrones since the first season.
Sit back and relax in the Red Keep as we explore 10 Reasons Why Cersei Lannister Is The Strongest Character On Game Of Thrones.
10 She Always Fulfills Her Vengeful Promises
Many characters promise they will have sweet revenge and make grand statements about how they will achieve this. Cersei Lannister is one of the few characters who makes these kinds of promises and actually manages to fulfill them. Cersei promised Septa Unella her face would be the last thing seen before she met her end. Not only did Cersei do that, she chanted "Shame!" as the Mountain began to torture Unella into her eventual demise, the same word Unella chanted over and over again during Cersei's public walk of atonement. Cersei has also fulfilled her vengeful promises against other characters like Ellaria Sand, the woman responsible for the demise of Myrcella.
9 A Lannister-Controlled Iron Throne
For almost the entirety of Game of Thrones, House Lannister has controlled the Iron Throne. This an impressive feat, considering how many characters have fought for it, yet House Lannister has maintained control. Cersei deserves the most credit for this accomplishment. After the passing of her husband Robert Baratheon, she took swift action to install Joffrey on the Iron Throne and to discredit Ned Stark and destroy his power in King's Landing. Her father Tywin Lannister was viewed by many as the "real power" behind King Joffrey and later King Tommen, but Cersei managed to keep the Iron Throne in the hands of House Lannister after Tywin's demise and eventually sat on it herself. From the later episodes of season one until this point in season eight, Cersei ensured House Lannister controlled the Iron Throne.
8 No One Can Make Her Vulnerable Anymore
Even the most clever and powerful individuals can be made vulnerable if the people they love are threatened or placed in danger. Tragic as it is, Cersei cannot be made vulnerable in this way anymore as everyone she ever loved is deceased or has forsaken her.
All three of her children met grim ends and her brother Jaime finally abandoned her at the end of season 7. Cersei's enemies can't use anyone against her, a sad fact that makes Cersei an even more indomitable foe. She can endanger her enemies by putting those they love in danger, a tactic that they can't use against her.
7 Arguably The Best Warrior In Westeros Protects Her
Gregor Clegane--normally referred to as the Mountain--was already a fearsome warrior and loyal to House Lannister. Even though he nearly lost his life when fighting for Cersei in Tyrion's trial by combat, Qyburn ensured the Mountain would survive and be more loyal than ever to Cersei. As the newest member of Tommen's Kingsguard--and later Cersei's Queensguard--the Mountain would do anything to defend Cersei. He brutally slew one of the Sparrows sent to bring Cersei to the Sept of Baelor, even took the life of someone on the streets who he heard speaking disrespectfully about her, and he tortured Septa Unella. Following Cersei everywhere she orders and doing whatever she commands, she is practically untouchable with the Mountain around.
6 How She Handled The Iron Bank
The massive debt owed to the Iron Bank was an issue that hung over the Iron Throne and House Lannister for years. The Lannister alliance with the wealthy House Tyrell was largely made to help pay back the debt. Even the masterful Tywin Lannister couldn't pay off the debt, though, and the Iron Bank even resorted to backing Stannis Baratheon at one point. Only Cersei Lannister was able to pay off the debt, using the abundant gold taken after her army defeated House Tyrell and Highgarden for good. In addition, the Iron Bank gave her a new loan that allowed her to hire the Golden Company, the famed sellsword army that could help Cersei defeat her enemies for good--even if they didn't bring any elephants.
5 Destroying Mass Amounts Of Her Enemies At Once
When she appeared to have lost all her hard-earned power and was surrounded by enemies, Cersei orchestrated a plan to eliminate all her King's Landing enemies at once. Gathered for her trial at the Sept of Baelor, Cersei enacted a plan with wildfire which incinerated everyone inside. The High Sparrow, Margaery Tyrell, Loras Tyrell, Mace Tyrell, Lancel Lannister and the other Sparrows, Kevan Lannister, and many others lost their lives in the explosion. A special end for Grand Maester Pycelle involving Qyburn and his "little birds" allowed her to eliminate another enemy on that fateful day. Cersei's plan rivals the Red Wedding in terms of successfully taking out so many enemies at the same time, and how such a bold move changed the power structure in Westeros.
4 Outliving And Learning From The Powerful
Cersei spent a great deal of time around some of the most powerful and influential figures in Westeros. Many of them thought they were cleverer and considered themselves superior to her, yet she outlived most of them and became arguably more powerful than they ever were.
This included the likes of her husband King Robert Baratheon, her father and Hand of the King Tywin Lannister, Littlefinger, and the High Sparrow. Not only did she outlive them, but she learned from their strengths and their mistakes to take power and to hold onto it. How she settled the debt to the Iron Bank and profited in return stemmed from lessons she learned from Tywin, yet she achieved something he was unable to ever achieve.
3 Fooling Her Enemies
Despite knowing how manipulative and clever she is, some of Cersei's enemies are frequently fooled by her. They believe she's changed or accept her word because of how convincing she can be. Tyrion bought her promise that she would send the Lannister army north to fight the Army of the Dead, even though she never had any intention of keeping that promise. The assertion of pregnancy made Tyrion believe that Cersei had someone or something to live for, meaning she would honor her promise. Similar to Tyrion, the High Sparrow was convinced Cersei had repented and truly changed as a result, and was therefore no longer a threat. The High Sparrow made matters even worse by forcing Cersei to go on the walk of atonement and manipulating her son Tommen, mistakes that the High Sparrow paid for very dearly.
2 She Chose The Perfect Hand For Herself
Loyal and resourceful, Qyburn is the perfect Hand of the Queen for Cersei. He never tries to undermine or betray her. Whether it's helping her enact vengeance with wildfire or poison, creating a weapon that can slay dragons, or bringing her critical information, Cersei knows she can always count on Qyburn. In exchange for his unique services, she provided him with a better position and resources than he ever thought he'd receive after being expelled from the Citadel. He's exactly the kind of Hand that Cersei needs and their partnership works well, an advantage that other Kings and Queens haven't had with Hands that threatened their rule.
1 She Doesn't Let Anyone Or Anything Stand In Her Way
Many Game of Thrones characters struggle to get what they want by struggling to balance their own needs against the needs of others. This is something characters like Daenerys struggled with, especially during her time in Meereen. Jon Snow has struggled with this as well during his time as Lord Commander of the Night's Watch and King in the North. Cersei is ruthless and selfish, but she's also wise enough to realize you can't win the game of thrones that way. She always puts her needs first and destroys anyone and anything that stands in her way. She doesn't waste time trying to appease different parties and play nice. This approach has cost Cersei at times, but she's still sitting on the Iron Throne because of it.
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