Cersei Lannister is Tywin Lannister’s eldest child by mere moments and the twin sister of Jaime Lannister. After Robert’s Rebellion she married the new king, Robert Baratheon, and became Queen of the Seven Kingdoms. She becomes a POV Character in A Feast for Crows. In the TV series she is played by Lena Headey.
Character and Appearance
Cersei is a willful, ambitious and, in her opinion, politically astute. She likens herself to “Tywin Lannister with teats”, and feels slighted when people do not jump to her erratic commands. She resents the customs and conventions put on her because of her gender, not realizing it that is because she is so ineffectual that people do not come to her. Cersei despises her youngest brother Tyrion, whom she blames for killing their mother Joanna, who died in childbirth. As a child she pinches him when she hears something she doesn’t like and Oberyn Martell recounts to Tyrion that Cersei treated him cruelly in their presence. She is very close to her twin brother Jaime, with who she fell in love when they were both young. For years they carried on an incestuous relationship, and Jaime is the real father of her children. She is always concerned for the safety of her children and stops at nothing to protect them, but stops far short of genuine motherhood. She often acts hypocritically and is cruel to people she meets.
Cersei has gained more power as the series has gone on, though she is shown to be a bad decision-maker and a very poor ruler. She does not have the patience or judgment for the tedium of leadership. She fails to understand how her actions carry responsibilities and consequences, for example, causing the rout of King’s Landing when she recalls Joffery from the front. She surrounds herself with a lickspittle council, who only tell her what she wants to hear. To her peril, she ignores news from abroad, including the momentous discovery of Daenerys’ dragons. She generally prefers using court intrigue to get rid of her imagined enemies. Littlefinger once stated that Cersei lusts for power but does not know how to wield it, and also stated that while Cersei believes she is a player in the Game of Thrones she is actually just a piece who thinks she’s a player.
Cersei is is a classically beautiful Lannister, with curly golden hair, bright green eyes, and a slender figure. She has a fair skin. Nevertheless, motherhood and years have taken its toll on her body. She is getting fatter, due to heavy drinking and many royal dinner courses, but she blamed the laundry woman for shrinking the gowns. She seems to have phrophetic dreams, a remnant of her prophesy from Maggy the frog, or perhaps just nightmares.
Jaime Lannister, known as the Kingslayer, is the second child and first-born son of Lord Tywin Lannister of Casterly Rock and his wife Lady Joanna, also of House Lannister. Raised to the Kingsguard of the Mad King Aerys II Targaryen at the age of fifteen, Jaime became the youngest member in the history of the prestigious knightly order. He earned the derogatory nickname “Kingslayer” when he treasonously slew King Aerys near the end of Robert’s Rebellion.
For most of his life, Jaime has had a secretly incestuous relationship with his twin sister, Cersei. He has fathered three children by her: Joffrey, Myrcella, and Tommen, though most of the realm believes their father to be Cersei’s husband, King Robert.
In A Storm of Swords, Jaime becomes a POV Character.
Jaime is a tall, sinewy man, with long, curly, golden hair, “flashing green eyes and a smile that cut like a knife.” He is widely considered to be an extremely handsome man, and is often perceived to be either charming and quick-witted or callous and conceited.
During Jaime’s time in the Kingsguard, Aerys’s growing insanity and attendant cruelty became more and more apparant, and Jaime found himself conflicted and troubled by many of the King’s actions. One night, he and Ser Jon Darry stood guard outside Queen Rhaella’s bedchamber while Aerys raped and ravaged her. Jaime commented to Darry that they were sworn to protect the Queen as well, to which Darry replied “We are, but not from him.” He had a similar reaction to the execution of Brandon and Lord Rickard Stark, and was reminded by Ser Gerold Hightower that he swore a vow to guard the king, not to judge him. Jaime coped with much of Aerys’s cruelty by “going away inside”, advice he would later pass on to Brienne, when Vargo Hoat’s men were considering raping her, and to his son, Tommen when the boy is upset by the smell of Tywin rotting. He genuinely believes this advice, as a way to deal with a harsh reality and making an appalling task tolerable.
As Robert’s Rebellion grew, Aerys refused to let Jaime join the royal army, instead keeping him in King’s Landing to be used as a potential hostage against Lord Tywin, who had yet to choose a side in the conflict. Aerys appointed several Hands throughout the war, but never invited Tywin to take up his old office. Eventually Jaime was the only White Cloak in the capital.
After Prince Rhaegar’s death at the Battle of the Trident, it became apparent that the rebellion might be successful and that King’s Landing might be lost. Aerys devised a plan with the help of his chief pyromancers that involved placing caches of wildfire all throughout the city. The plan was to burn the entire city to the ground rather than lose it to Robert. His new Hand, Lord Qarlton Chelsted, who had been elevated to the position after the exile of both previous Hands (Lord Owen Merryweather and Jon Connington), confronted Aerys about his plan, removing his chain of office in protest and flinging it to the floor. For that, Aerys burned him alive, and raised his favorite pyromancer Rossart to the Handship. All the while, Jaime guarded the King, blankly observing the details of his plan and keeping his secrets.