but cersei lannister’s pussy can’t taste like pepsi cola. the point’s not only that it’s a soft drink ha ha cersei drinks a lot of wine; it’s about commodification and the female body being sold like a soft drink, and it’s about wanting the world to eat her out. cersei lannister has no interest in the world eating her out she wants to be the one doing the fucking, destroying the world from the inside, making them scream, whilst jaime fucks her.
lol anon, I detect the scent of straw in the air.
Let me walk you through the basics, because there is, in fact, room for grey in this very grey series. Here are some things a person who hated Cersei could say in my vicinity that wouldn’t make me want to eat a person’s head:
These are okay because they’re, well, true. If you can’t stomach her, like—whatever. She is a vicious, nasty piece of work, she is not asking for your apology, and if you can’t take her, she doesn’t need you. Also she’s a narrative creature playing in a web preexisting tropes that I personally find wonderful forever but if you don’t, whatever, there are enough tropes in this series for everyone to pick a favorite. If Cersei is not For You, I am not going to force her on you. The shittier side of fandom has this straw man about how YOU HAVE TO LOVE CERSEI OR YOU ARE A PARIAH, I AM SO OPPRESSED WHEN I DO NOT LOVE CERSEI, and: please. Loving Cersei is a self-selecting game, and if you don’t invite yourself in by choice, you are not asked in. Talk about the ones you love enough to be enthusiastic about and shut up about how people are oppressing you for not loving evil queens.
And don’t cry when someone DOES eat your head for the following:
It is not that hard to rationally discuss not being into a character without going into gendered slurs. It is Not Hard, and somehow the people who are most indignant about Hating Cersei Is Not Sexist! are the quickest on the cunt-slut verbal trigger.
It is not that hard to rationally discuss the rest of the Lannisters without dragging Cersei down to prop them up (it is kind of an extra fucking effort, IDK if you have tried), and if you are exclusively into one of the dude Lannisters because of his moral superiority to his sister, I am seriously questioning what exactly of value you are bringing to this party. It is not hard to love Jaime Lannister, as he is a wonderfully constructed morally apathetic fuckup with a singularly charming inner voice, but it is real hard to love him and hate Cersei, given how much space she takes up in his head, and without fail people who do that use her as a sort of flat demonshadow to excuse all his ills. Which: putting all your work into writing a morally complicated woman out of the narrative to make room to force in a dude’s narrative grace is sexist, yeah. Defaulting to his good at her expense is a narrative lie that is, whoops, sexist. ”Jaime would be a good man if he didn’t have Cersei” is sexist, but it’s not as sexist as it is stupid. He is a grown-ass man and is more than capable of fucking up without her help xoxo talk to Edmure Tully about a baby and a trebuchet some time if you want a testimony. ”He deserves better”—like the fuck what, exactly? Cersei deserves a cliff and Jaime deserves the healing vagina of a good woman: sexist.
Speaking of Good Women: that shit does not exist. This series is full of women. Some of them are more morally upright than others, some will ask you to murder a baby. Cersei Lannister is the latter. This does not make her a bad woman, it makes her a bad person. (Key difference, and easy to spot, because somehow, shockingly, people who talk about what a bad Woman Cersei is always talk about the sex thing. There are two problems with this: one, Cersei’s sexuality is a horror story about male-codified power, and that goes right out the window when people talk about what a slut she is (like, if you did not feel sick to your stomach reading the Kettleblack ‘keep the crown on’ moment, I do not want to talk to you about it, let’s do us both the courtesy), and two, it goes into Good Women Don’t Fuck. And I do not have time for that.) This approach is prescriptivist and (hey!) sexist. Defining female characters’ morality solely on the basis of how good they are at embodying their gender is a disingenuous shitbag’s game that unfailingly makes for a boring story. A female villain is vilified through her actions, not through letting down the sex.
So: I am sorry that Cersei Lannister was probably mean to all of your faves. I am not going to put myself out if you hold that against her. But if you use her as a means of proving how super awesome morally sound your favorites are, whether those favorites are Badass Men or Good Women, I don’t trust your narrative input as far as I can throw you, and I can’t throw you at all because it’s the internet and not a physical space.
i had a dream about cersei lannister ~eating robert baratheon’s heirs
no really he was going to make heirs out of brownies and you better believe she was like ‘i am going to eat all of that brownie batter while the fucker sleeps’
Essentially: the whole thesis of HBO’s Cersei, in writing and in acting, is restraint. HBO’s Cersei bites back her sadness, clenches her anger into her hands, and generally speaks softly while carrying a kingdom-sized stick. When her mask slips, as it sometimes does—weeping in front of Tyrion, slapping Joffrey—she’s horrified. She recoils from herself, from her loss of control, because this woman is profoundly controlled. Her marriage was about biting back her unhappiness, her queen-regency is about furiously observing more-powerful less-deserving males undermine her, and she’s good at the game because of both her power and her restraint.
Book!Cersei is wildfire. Textually: Cersei is all wildfire, Cersei is a lion in a cage. (The show understands the cage, but I’m not sure the show’s ever met a lion.) She’s a force of nature. She takes up a huge amount of space, her feelings and her fury are at a constant overboiling simmer under her skin, and she’s bad at biting them back. She’s furious and her fury exists like a driving force within her at all times: she’s fire, she burns where she walks, she’ll burn you just so she won’t be the only one in pain and because she knows she can get away with it, because she’s cogent of her power both in terms of familial privilege and of hungry ambition and of what women are supposed to be and also of what men fear. On that note, she’s also sexual—consciously sexual—in a way that is completely not present on the show—it’s an unsettling, scary sexuality that they are probably not smart enough to write, tbvh. She thinks of gender differentiation as this arbitrary anatomical construct (she grew up with Jaime, she understands that the only discrepancy of power between the pair of them socially is straight up about anatomy) and she deals with men cock-first because she’s going for what she sees as both their greatest weakness and their greatest advantage on her (it’s incredibly physicalized: she understood male v. female body before she understood social differences, she was a child and knew herself her twin’s equal and was surprised when it mattered)—she’ll fuck whenever it gives her the power/control edge and she’ll be angry the whole time and she’ll walk away a little more powerful and a little more angry. She loves and it consumes and it makes her angry how consumed she is; she’s terrible in peacetime but made for war and personal tight corners because she fights best when you burn her until she ignites, because she will, because she won’t back down (this is specifically why she’s bad in peacetime: she won’t back down, and the war keeps going because she’s her own war), and because she doesn’t give a fuck how many casualties there are. She is scary. People are scared of her. Not by her position over them, but by her.
Basically, she’s incredibly vicious and incredibly visceral and the text around her is gorgeous in directly vicious/visceral terms, whereas the show is about the literal opposite of that. It succeeds in doing what it’s doing, it succeeds more reliably than most other places, but it’s not the books’ thesis on her, and it’s the one in the books that has my emotional investment.
The queen was drinking heavily, but the wine only seemed to make her more beautiful; her cheeks were flushed, and her eyes had a bright, feverish heat to them as she looked down over the hall. Eyes of wildfire, Sansa thought
oh, for a sword and the skill to wield it
Cersei Lannister - Season 2
“jaime always said that the hardest part of any battle is just before, waiting for the carnage to begin. when she stepped outside, cersei saw that the sky was grey.”
(a feast for crows, chapter 35)