SPOILER ALERT: This article contains major spoilers for Seasons 1 – 6 of GAME OF THRONES.

With only 13 episodes remaining, GAME OF THRONES promises shocking plot twists, gruesome deaths, and one final epic battle. As fans speculate left and right, throw out theory after theory, about how this iconic show will end, I can tell you with great certainty that one of those plot twists will be Cersei’s death. She will not live to see that last battle.

Here’s how she’ll die.

Most fans of GAME OF THRONES will remember the three haunting prophecies Cersei received from Maggy the woods witch. Far fewer, however, will know of the fourth prophecy Maggy foretold, one that was left out of the show. This final prophecy is the foundation for Cersei’s death. Why? Because George R. R. Martin does not fuck around with prophecies.

Three Four Prophecies

In THE WARS TO COME (Season 5), we get a brief glimpse into Cersei’s childhood. In the flashback, she and her friend Melara pay a visit to Maggy the woods witch. Cersei, ever the headstrong and wild one that we love to hate, threatens Maggy and demands to know her fate.

Maggie the woods witch meets a young Cersei.

An amused Maggy provides Cersei with three prophecies:

  1. She will wed the king, not the prince.
  2. She will be queen “until there comes another, younger and more beautiful, to cast you down and take all that you hold dear.”
  3. The king will have 20 children and she will have three: “Gold shall be their crowns and gold shall be their shrouds.

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Though the show cuts off here, Maggy gives Cersei one final prophecy in A Feast for Crows: “And when your tears have drowned you, the valonquar shall wrap his hands about your pale white throat and choke the life from you.

Why the Words Matter

Before unraveling Cersei’s fate, let’s first convince you that G.R.R.M. takes his prophecies very seriously. Prophecies are a constant motif in GAME OF THRONES – they’re even more spectacular in A Song of Ice and Fire – and they are one of my favorite aspects of the series.

To give some perspective on how important prophecies are in the world of GAME OF THRONES, here are a few notable examples. In A Storm of Swords, The Ghost of High Heart, another woods witch, foretells the deaths of Balon Greyjoy and Catelyn Stark, Sansa’s part in Joffrey’s death, and Arya’s murderous future. And for those of you more familiar with the show, you may recall Mirri Maz Duur, who told Daenerys that Khal Drogo would recover his health “when the sun rises in the west, sets in the east when the seas go dry. When the mountains blow in the wind like leaves” and that, due to her spell, Drogo would cause no more suffering (Season 1, Episode 10, FIRE AND BLOOD).

Or you may recall when Melisandre saw the deaths of three kings: Robb Stark, Joffrey Baratheon, and Balon Greyjoy (Season 3, Episode 8, SECOND SONS). In fact, her obsession with the prophecy of the Prince That Was Promised led to the deaths of Stannis Baratheon and his darling daughter Shireen.

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In A Feast for Crows, Maggy also delivers a prophecy to Melara, who inquires after the possibility of marrying Jaime. Maggy informs the girl that she will not marry Jaime, nor any man for that matter. Instead, she warns Melara that “the worms will have your maidenhead tonight.” Melara later “falls” to her death down a well in the company of Cersei.

The first and third of Cersei’s prophecies have come true. She wed King Robert Baratheon, rather than Prince Rhaegar Targaryen. From his frequent brothel visits, Robert fathered many children, and Cersei had three blonde ones. True to the GAME OF THRONES style, they have all died dramatic deaths.

All things considered, this was a rather kind death for Joffrey…

The second prophecy has yet to be fulfilled but has caused fierce debate over who the “another” could be: Sansa, Daenerys, or Margaery (when she was still alive). I’ll leave this theorizing to other fans.

What Does It All Mean?

Now for what we all came for: the final prophecy. It paints a macabre picture of Cersei’s slow death, to take place after her children have left this world and when she has only misery to keep her company. But who or what is a valonquar? The word is high Valyrian for younger sibling. Although many minds might immediately dart to Tyrion, mine goes to Jaime. He is younger, if only by a few minutes.

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But why would Jamie be responsible for her death? In her crazed quest for power, Cersei has begun to mimic the Mad King’s rapid descent into insanity, starting with the destruction of the Great Sept of Baelor by wildfire. Granted, she did use the wildfire purposely — to protect herself and to protect her son (or so she reasoned). Tommen’s subsequent suicide, however, marks the loss of her last true anchor to the world.

If you recall, Jaime killed Mad King Aerys because Aerys called for the use of wildfire to burn down the city. I have little doubt that G.R.R.M will make full use of these narrative parallel between Cersei and the Mad King.

Jamie earns himself the nickname, “Kingslayer.”

Jaime is a man who has spent his life seeking honor. Despite his best efforts to honor all his oaths, when the time came to obey his king or protect the innocent, he chose to honor the latter. In doing so, he earned the name that has weighed on him ever since – Kingslayer.

Jaime’s Dilemma

The rise of the Mad Queen will force Jamie to face another moral dilemma, pitting his heart against his soul. When the time comes to choose between the people and the love of his life, he will choose the people. In one final and grand act, he will attempt to seize the honor that has eluded him for so long. The choice will no doubt be difficult – his love for Cersei runs deeper than most would care to imagine. But it has become increasingly apparent that the two do not view each other in the same rosy light as before. Cersei no longer sees him as her perfect “Knight in Shining Armor” after the loss of his hand, and Jaime recognizes the growing madness within her. Just look at his expression as he watches her take the throne in the Season 6 finale:

So if Jamie does end up killing Cersei, what will happen next?

Jamie’s death shortly following Cersei’s will be inevitable. He’ll either die by retaliation from her guards or by his own hands. In choosing to end Cersei’s reign of terror, Jamie effectively signs his own death certificate, and willingly so.

I cannot die while Cersei lives. We will die together as we were born together.” – Jamie Lannister, A Storm of Swords

Cersei has expressed this same sentiment too,

We will leave this world together, as we once came into it.” – Cersei Lannister, A Feast for Crows.

Despite their waxing and waning love for each other, I believe Jamie and Cersei will follow this pact to the literal death.

Final Thoughts

As for how he will kill Cersei – the deaths in GAME OF THRONES are notoriously creative. I’m sure G.R.R.M or D.B. Weiss and David Benioff will come up with something outlandish.

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The biggest flaw in this theory is that of the final and fourth prophecy – the one that foretold of Cersei’s death at the hand of the valonquar. It hasn’t been shown in GAME OF THRONES thus far (up to Season 6). While this is troubling for the theory, thes prophecy could easily be shown in an episode leading up to Cersei’s demise. That, or the prophecy may not be necessary at all, and won’t ever be aired in the show. The parallels between the Mad King and Cersei may be compelling enough to force Jamie’s hand – heh, get it? – into action, regardless of any prophecy.

Remember, those that fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

Let’s hear your thoughts. Do you think this is how it’ll go down? Do you think Cersei will die another way? Or do you think Cersei will be last one standing?

GAME OF THRONES Season 7 returns to HBO on July 16, 2017.

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One Comment

  1. uldihaa

    July 16, 2017 at 6:18 pm

    I could certainly see this as happening. In fact, it fits so well that it could be the reason that fourth prophesy was left out. It might have been a bit too much foreshadowing.


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