Why do people say that Cersei is so evil? Spoilers welcome!

Discussion in 'Fantasy / Horror' started by TheIELighten, Sep 20, 2011.

  1. TheIELighten

    TheIELighten Magical Ninja

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    Does she get more evil in the later books? I am only about a third of the way through book two, and so far I would rate her on maybe the very bottom rung on the evil ladder, only because she had an innocent baby killed because it was Robert's bastard. But then again Robert wanted to kill Daenerys and her baby, so that makes her no different than him.

    I don't think it's really fair to blame her for Bran just because Jaime said he was pushing Bran out of the window for her. She didn't do it, and she didn't force him to do it either. Although I think she likely did want him to do it, and she wasn't happy about Bran surviving. But still in the whole grand and evil scheme, that's more human nature/not wanting Robert to skewer her head type of thing.

    She did have 3 kids with her brother and pretend they were her husbands, but Robert was horrible to her and hated her, and she loved Jaime. I can't see any of this as evil behavior, manipulative and scheming, sure. But not evil.

    And Robert pretty much killed himself. Did Cersei kill Jon Arryn? Again if she did it would still only rank her very low on the evil rung in my book, anyway.

    Am I missing things or do other readers simply view these things as more evil than I do? I think Robert was much more evil than she could even dream of being.
     
  2. chokipokilo

    chokipokilo Unreasonable reasoner

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    What's this latter you're talking about and who's on it? I guess you could put Tywin, Gregor and Littlefinger above her. More other evil characters will present themselves later, but she gets worse too from what I remember.

    That said, (SPOILERS) I'd say killing children to cover for incestuous infidelity and treason and then arranging the convenient death of your husband and negating his dying wishes in order to garner more power is pretty damn evil.

    I know this is fantasy and all, but what exactly is your criteria for Evil? Does someone have to orchestrate genocide of the human race and dominion over all life on earth before we consider them evil?
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2011
  3. Twinner

    Twinner Registered User

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    When I think of Cersei I think of a wise thing an old friend used to say about people in real life who were somewhat similar to Cersei's personality....

    "Why would you expect someone who has had their ass kissed all their life to be a good person?"
     
  4. Evil Agent

    Evil Agent Saturn Comes Back Around

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    Since you said spoilers are welcome, I'll say that the reader gets a much deeper look into Cersei's psyche in Book 4.

    She's not exactly evil (well, she does actually do some pretty evil stuff)... but she's incredibly short-sighted, paranoid, vain, narcissistic, incestuous, greedy, power hungry, manipulative, vindictive, and petty. She really has no redeeming qualities at all.
     
  5. saintjon

    saintjon Illustrious Gambler

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    How is Cersei NOT evil? She repeatedly engages in all sorts of abhorrent behavior and is completely devoid of remorse. We're not talking about some tragically flawed product of the times here we're talking about a wicked, broken, hateful, twisted wretch of a human who delights in the worst qualities of people and the shallowest pursuits in life. Cersei is to selfishness as Beavis and Butthead are to stupidity.

    If all she ever did was seduce her young cousin Lancel and manipulate him into committing murder and god knows what else she would be evil in my book but that's only the tip of the iceberg. Just because her upbringing left little room for her to be a better person doesn't make her not evil.
     
  6. KatG

    KatG Effulgent Staff Member

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    Well, it depends on how you view evil. The three young Lannisters were twisted and shaped by their father and as such, they do quite evil things, but are not incapable of love, redemptive acts, etc.

    Cersei aborted Robert's child because it was Robert's. She had Jon Arryn killed and she had Robert drugged in his wine so that he died from the boar. She ordered Jamie to push Bran out the window ("the things I do for love") although later regretted it, mostly because it caused way too much trouble. She had Lady killed in order to drive a wedge between Robert and Ned. In the books, she really didn't care that much what Robert did. It was a power grab of her family, not revenge for ill treatment. She has various others killed, including children. She has the incestuous relationship with Jamie, although culturally this is not that weird from their viewpoints, as the dragon kings married their sisters and cousins frequently marry among the nobility. She tries to kill Tyrion, if I remember right. She's basically Lucretia Borgia. Was Lucretia Borgia worse than her father? Enh.

    So you'll have to see if you think her actions are evil as you go. As a woman who is not attempting to be an actual warrior in the culture, Cersei is not going to slaughter people herself. But she has no problem with ordering mass slaughters, assassinating people, killing babies, etc. She is very dedicated to her family.
     
  7. saintjon

    saintjon Illustrious Gambler

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    I would like to point out that I don't feel being capable of love or redemptive actions makes you not evil. Also outside of the Tagaryens the only ones who are into this level of incest that we are aware of are Jaime, Cersei and Craster. Not exactly within bounds of "acceptable to their society" IMO.
     
  8. PeterWilliam

    PeterWilliam Omnibus Prime

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    I guess I can see your point there. Cersei does seem to trot out the excuse that, "the Targaryens did it too!" Furthermore, they (she and Jaime) did attempt to murder a child to keep the matter from being discovered, although that act clearly had multiple reasons for motivation (i.e. political inconveniences and not just the shame). IIRC, some of the Night's Watch characters seemed to express disgust with Craster for the same behavior, so while it does exist, it seems to be rather frowned upon.
     
  9. KatG

    KatG Effulgent Staff Member

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    It's expected by the Targaryens, and close kinship and spread out Targaryen blood is common among the nobility because they constantly intermarry from a small group. It's less acceptable among the common folk because it's supposed to be a matter of special noble dispensation. And the Seven religion, which is not the Targaryen religion but which they tolerated, frown on it. But incest is not technically a taboo in the Westeros culture. The problem for Jaimie and Cersei is that Cersei is the married queen and that she cuckholded the king, giving him heirs that aren't his and wrongly rule. And that Jamie is supposed to be the chaste Kingsguard. The incest is really the least of what they do, but it is the reason the country gets plunged into war.
     
  10. Chelleychelle

    Chelleychelle New Member

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    You said spoilers welcome so... She didn't actually have anything to do with Jon Arryn's death. I won't tell you who did if you haven't gotten that far but it is one of the better twists of the series. She didn't actually order Jaime to push Bran out the window either. That said, I agree with all of the rest. I don't know if I would call her evil, but she is definitely ruthless. And she does not get her own hands dirty. She is a woman living in a man's world who sees her sex as a handicap, but is not above using it to get what she wants. I like Cersei's character. Although capricious and selfish, when you get right down to the bottom line she is doing it all for the benefit of her family.
     
  11. TheIELighten

    TheIELighten Magical Ninja

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    *giggles muchly* Sorry it's taken me so long to get back here. I guess the ladder begins with simple acts of selfishness/disregard for how your actions will hurt others and ends with genocide and species extermination. When I compare Cersei to someone at the top of the ladder her actions seem quite minor. But then again I never did get any further along in book two, and so just looked up Cersei wiki to see what happens to her. I think I feel sorry for her more than anything.


    If this was Facebook I would "like" this post. (sunny smiles)
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2012
  12. N. E. White

    N. E. White Moderator Staff Member

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    I didn't like Cersei at first, but after her public humiliation, though I still don't like her, I definitely understand her motives and where she is coming from much better. She still has a huge hand to play in all this. I can't wait for the next installment.

    I haven't seen the HBO TV series (yet), who plays Cersei?
     
  13. Wilbur

    Wilbur New Member

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    Women of Thrones

    Interesting analysis from The Women of Thrones:

    http://youtu.be/PgwO9Oq2j04

    This is a well-reasoned criticism of the criticism of Cersei.
     
  14. TheIELighten

    TheIELighten Magical Ninja

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    Lena Headey plays Cersei.
     
  15. TheIELighten

    TheIELighten Magical Ninja

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    Love this!!!! Thank You for posting :)
     
  16. KatG

    KatG Effulgent Staff Member

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    Oh that's right on Jon's poisoning, isn't it. One forgets all the threads.

    While Cersei didn't directly order Jaime to push Bran out the tower, she did indicate to him that he needed to do something about the situation, but she wasn't thrilled certainly with his solution, largely because Bran doesn't die.

    Jaime has overall done more bad things than Cersei, but Jaime tends to be seen as less "evil" because he's going through remorse. While Cersei has felt remorse about a few minor things, she regards herself as justified in her actions, along the rationales that her father set for the family. For Jaime, it was less about justification than family and pride. Tyrion has also done evil things, but tends to be given a pass. He obviously has the most perspective on his own and others' actions and the most remorse. Cersei is currently in the series staging a comeback, but she's doing it by becoming the pawn of other forces, so we'll see what happens to her.

    For me, there are many, many more much more evil characters in the story than Cersei. I wouldn't put her at the bottom, certainly, but in many ways she is not the badass she thinks herself to be, which is why she makes some huge mistakes.