Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey) may have moved up in the world, but she seems to have regressed when it comes to her personality. In fact, day by day, she starts to resemble another spoiled and power-hungry despot that we’ve seen on “Game of Thrones” before: Her late son, Joffrey (Jack Gleeson).
This would explain so much, though. While her kids Myrcella and Tommen were kind of sweet (perhaps taking after Jaime, who is a fool for love and shows signs of a conscience), Joffrey was the bad egg, rotten to the core, and without any redeeming qualities. At the time, he had seemed like an anomaly, the twisted result of the DNA lottery that comes with inbreeding. But now that Cersei the Queen Mother has become the sole monarch, Queen of the Andals and the First Men, Protector of Westeros, she’s been exhibiting signs that make it clear that Joffrey’s sadistic ways truly made him his mother’s son.
Popular on IndieWire
Here’s a look at all the times that Cersei has been giving off Joffrey vibes, and what ultimately that might mean for her fate:
1. That Hair
Although Cersei had to go short out of necessity — she was forced to shave her head out of “Shame! Shame! Shame!” — her hair could’ve grown out to bob-length by now. (Daenerys has crossed the sea, Jon traveled South, and Sam has emptied 10 thousand bedpans.) But after getting a taste of what it’s like to have a face-flattering pixie cut, it looks like Cersei has decided to fully embrace “The Joffrey” in all of its choppy, short-banged glory. Incidentally, it seems that devoted house servant Bernadette (Sara Dylan) has as well.
2. Getting Rid of Enemies, Wholesale
Neither Joffrey nor his mom are subtle when it comes to eliminating the competition. When Joffrey had heard his so-called father King Robert had fathered numerous bastards and that he himself might not be legitimate, he sent out his brutes to snatch and kill all of the Robert love children. The death of innocents did not give Joffrey pause or loss of sleep for one second.
Similarly, Cersei decided to “burn them all” when she unleashed wildfire on the Sept of Baelor, wiping out all of her enemies, their followers, and quite a few innocent bystanders. The only death she mourned was that of her younger son Tommen, who committed suicide after witnessing the depths of his mother’s cruelty.
3. Dangerous Toys Give Them Joy
In Season 2, Joffrey is thrilled, nay, turned on when using his crossbow; both when showing his fiancee Margaery (Natalie Dormer) how to shoot, and when he trains it on two whores, forcing him to do his sadistic bidding.
This season, Cersei’s session with Qyburn (Anton Lesser) gave us major deja vu after she released the shaft from the ballista down in catacombs of the Red Keep.
4. No Respect for Rare and Precious Objects
Mother and son’s mindless destruction extends to revered objects. At his wedding, Joffrey took his new sword and hacked up the rare books that his uncle had given him as a gift. Later, when Cersei tries out the dragon-killing ballista, she destroys the giant skull of Belerion the Dread, a valuable artifact of a time when dragons were plentiful.
5. Hurting a Person Through Their Family
Why stop at physical torture when psychological torture is just as fun? After Joffrey has Ned Stark (Sean Bean) beheaded, he forces his betrothed Sansa (Sophie Turner) to look at her father’s head on a spike later and thinks that’s great fun.
As for Cersei, her anger at Ellaria (Indira Varma) is well-earned since the Dornish woman had killed Cersei’s daughter using a poisoned kiss/lipstick. But Cersei takes the revenge a step farther by forcing Ellaria and her daughter Tyene (Rosabell Laurenti Sellers) to share the same dungeon cell, shackled and helpless as the poison slowly and painfully works on Tyene.
6. Their Bad Behavior Spells Their Doom
Someone killing Joffrey was a foregone conclusion because his unchecked, power-mad ways and casual cruelty landed him on many characters’ (and viewers’) most-hated list. Lady Olenna (Diana Rigg) killed him by poisoning his wine because he was far too monstrous to be married to her granddaughter Margaery.
Similarly, Cersei is not destined for any sedate or accidental death. That is not the “Game of Thrones” way. No, she will perish in a horrifying manner, one that will not only be be personal, but very likely psychologically disturbing as well.
In George R.R. Martin’s novels, Maggy the fortuneteller had predicted “the valonqar shall wrap his hands about your pale white throat and choke the life from you.” While “valonquar” means “little brother” in High Valyrian, the obvious culprit would be Tyrion (Peter Dinklage), who had choked his lover Shae to death once. But Jaime (Nicolaj Coster-Waldau) is technically younger then Cersei since he was the second twin to be born. Adding to the confusion is that High Valyrian has been proven to be tricky and certain words may be gender neutral (e.g. the prince who was promised could refer to a princess instead). Therefore, any younger sibling of any gender could qualify as a potential Cersei killer.
One other thing to note is that “choke the life from you” may not mean death by strangulation or hanging, but could mean causing to choke. With all of these parallels between Joffrey and Cersei, could the high and mighty queen also die by poisoned wine? She does have a taste for the beverage, and the show just recently showed an example of a new poison, one that is more merciful, that was added to wine…by Jaime.
“Game of Thrones” airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on HBO.