Cersei, the Mad Queen

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Artist unknown, taken from here

Repost of a theory I posted to /r/asoiaf

Superficially, Cersei is the Mad Queen. Paranoid, with delusions of grandeur, and meeting more than enough criteria from the DSM to get a diagnosis of narcissistic personality disorder, Cersei appears to be Westeros’ answer to the cliche “absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

As Queen Regent, she has – or thinks she should have – absolute monarchical rule over Westeros and, more importantly, over the Great Houses and families that she thinks are beneath the glory of House Lannister. However, she lacks the skills, tools, and intelligence to be the effective ruler she wants to be, and her plans are all undone by her own paranoid attack on Margaery Tyrell, resulting in her own fall from grace and naked Walk of Shame forced by the High Sparrow’s crusade against the sexual and other largesse that Cersei represents.

But what else does Cersei represent in the world of Westeros?

How can we assess femininity in Westeros through Cersei’s warped world view?

And where does her madness come from?

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Mothers in ASOIAF 1: Cersei & Catelyn

Mothers in A Song of Ice and Fire range from the overly loving to the point of smothering Lysa Tully Arryn, to the total narcissism of Cersei Lannister.

According to the Faith (itself representative of medieval Catholicism) and the medieval style gender-based roles for society, being a mother is the sole purpose of noble ladies. Breed and get out those heirs and spares, and raise them to be great lords and supple brides for other lords.

But what can we see in various mothers in ASOIAF? I might come back to this line of analysis in the future, but for now, have some thoughts on Cersei and Catelyn. Cersei’s is truncated a bit as I later adapted some of this for a more complex and nuanced analysis of Cersei herself, so bear with it…

Continue reading “Mothers in ASOIAF 1: Cersei & Catelyn”