WARNING: Major spoilers ahead for Game of Thrones Season 7. Continue reading at your own risk…
Even though Cersei Lannister looks to be in a stable position sitting on the Iron Throne as the Queen of Westeros, is it possible that her reign could quickly be coming to an end? This is the question that Game of Thrones fanatics have been wondering as several indicators point to her death in the next episode.
Before the fourth episode of this season, “The Spoils of War,” Cersei has been on a hot streak with her strategic decisions. She eradicated the threat from Dorne and the Greyjoys and masterfully overtook Highgarden while Casterly Rock, which was under siege by Daenerys Targaryen’s Unsullied army, was virtually empty.
In episode four, the Lannisters were able to settle their debts with their Iron Bank and essentially secure financial backing for the looming war. Despite all these things going Cersei’s way, some are speculating that this could be her last episode and quite possibly her last season.
During a discussion of what’s to come on Game of Thrones in the next episode, Entertainment Weekly’s Shirley Li and Darren Franich lay out several factors that could point to Cersei’s death.
“If you think about it, what moves does Cersei have left to play?” Li says. “Cersei’s been backed into a corner on that four-dimensional chessboard, and queenslaying may be the only move left. (Unless you can think of something that saves her?)”
It’s possible that the only way to go for Cersei now is down considering she has reached the pinnacle of power in Westeros.
“Here’s someone who strived within a broken system her whole life: controlled by her father, trapped in a loveless marriage, shadow-plotting her way forward until she finally (almost inadvertently) climbed to the throne on the corpses of her enemies and her family,” Franich said.
As Game of Thrones fans are well aware, the storyline is full of prophecies and parallels that seem to echo throughout the histories. One character’s story that seems to parallel to that of Cersei’s is the “Mad King.”
The Mad King is Daenerys Targaryen’s father, Aerys II Targaryen. Much like Cersei, he burnt much of King’s Landing to the ground using wildfire after struggling to maintain his rule over the Seven Kingdoms.
Also, in episode three, “The Queen’s Justice,” Cersei takes revenge against Ellaria Sand, in a way that is unnervingly suggestive of the Mad King’s modus operandi.
Another detail that doesn’t bode well for Cersei is that the “Mad King” was slain by her brother, Jaime Lannister.
One distinct prophecy that has been spoken over Cersei’s life claims that she will be killed by one of her younger siblings and while she always believed that Tyrion would be the one to commit the crime, it’s possible that her younger twin, Jaime, could kill her.
The prophecy states, “You will never wed the Prince, you will wed the King. You’ll be Queen, for a time. Then comes another, younger, more beautiful, to cast you down and take all you hold dear. The King will have 20 children, and you will have three. Gold will be their crowns, gold their shrouds.”
As fans are aware, all of these prophecies have been proven true up to the current season.
It was also foreseen that Cersei would die at the hands of the “valonqar,” or little brother.
“And when your tears have drowned you, the valonqar shall wrap his hands about your pale white throat and choke the life from you.”
This prophecy has yet to come to fruition, but it is possible that it will play out in next week’s episode.
Be sure to tune into the next episode of Game of Thrones, “Eastwatch,” on Sunday at 9 p.m. EST on HBO.