I mean…. That should be enough to shake your confidence. He even gives an example.
A physically beautiful Queen, or physical beauty in general, would essentially be the Lord being correct of his fate and dying in that castle. The Lord expected to die in that castle. Cersei’s only expectation to YMB is to be “cast down and take all you hold dear” by a literal beauty, literal Queen. That is obviously the reader’s expectation as well. Hello fandom! Cersei doesn’t know who this literal beauty/literal Queen is. She constantly obsesses over WHO, but is always wrong, maybe because it isn’t surface level obvious and it’s her incorrect interpretation, just like lord’s interpretation was wrong. He didn’t die in a literal castle.
See, I’m obviously so delusional for thinking GRRM might be doing, um… exactly what he said? There’s nothing from reality to support an idea that GRRM may not go the easy, literal route. There’s absolutely no reason for me to think this may not be so simple.
-Younger, More Beautiful-
Brienne is a possible candidate for the YMB.
For both Cersei and the readers (again hello Freefolk, Twitter, Tumblr), Brienne as the unexpected YMB is a twist to the literal interpretation, fitting GRRM’s idea on how prophecies should be written.
“But everything that has happened about the prophecy was literal so duh this has to be literal!”
The literal parts of the prophecy were marrying the King and the number of children she’ll have. Yeah… there isn’t anything subjective to that, so it’s not surprising that it’s straightforward. She asked a question, Maggy gave her an answer. Besides the part with the children dying, the bit we’re talking about was stuff Maggy added in. Also, is there like a prophecy rule book somewhere I’m not aware of? Maybe consider that we got easy literal bits mixed in so we (and Cersei) are misdirected by the actual focus? Maybe consider that it’s possible for a prophecy to have some literal elements and some not? Maybe consider that a way more subjective (-cough-beauty-cough-) part of the prophecy isn’t as straightforward?
It’s common to see “younger more beautiful QUEEN” (YMBQ) floating around fandom. Technically, Maggy never says the person is a Queen, whether literal or symbolic. She says “another.” An equally valid interpretation of that can be, “someone else who is younger and more beautiful than you.”
“Um no, it definitely implies a Queen because the words after and because of the context.”
If you really want to argue that GRRM definitely implies Queen, well, here’s something to chew on.
I’m not going to describe how Brienne’s arc is definitely not ending as her being someone’s bodyguard for the rest of her life. That’s for another time. But that doesn’t even matter really, because it has been made intentionally clear that Brienne is her father’s only heir. Once Brienne’s father dies, even if she’s still active on the battlefield, someone’s bodyguard, or still fucking off somewhere, she will still technically be the Evenstar.
- The Evenstar -
The Evenstar was a title given to the Tarth Kings. That title is still used. Why? It’s interesting to think that GRRM gave random minor House Tarth a specific title used for Kings, and that he allowed the House to continue using that title. Because he created that title for that House and allowed them to keep it, that title becomes symbolic of their previous kingdom. This is similar to our real world where some nations or groups retain titles from their history as more of a symbol. Selwyn Tarth is still known as the Evenstar. Selwyn Tarth is a symbolic King. When he dies (which will probably happen soon), Brienne automatically inherits that title, making her a symbolic Queen. And we all know how much GRRM loves symbolic meaning.
“I still think it’s a LITERAL Queen.”
I mean, a possible theory is that the throne will be destroyed at the end of this and the realm will split back into separate kingdoms. Sooo, if that happens……………………….
- What does Maggy mean by beautiful?-
I have a really hard time believing that GRRM wants everyone to sit down and argue over who is physically more beautiful between his characters. In every story there are themes explored and messages woven within, so each character with an arc is going to have themes and messages associate with them. One of the themes being explored with Cersei is beauty. (This theme is explored through both Jaime’s and Brienne’s arcs as well, which isn’t a coincidence.)
Cersei’s interpretation of beauty lies on the exterior This is an element of her narcissism (word by GRRM).
(“Cersei isn’t narcissistic????”
Don’t even go there)
In her eyes, a person’s worth is tied to how physically attractive they are. She is obsessed over being beautiful, and her twin being beautiful. Her attitude towards her twin changes when he returns handless. Cersei’s interpretation of the prophecy is that she will be cast down by a physical beauty, which is why she goes after Margaery (Dany most likely later on/Dany in the show). But remember this?
It’s possible GRRM isn’t talking about physical beauty here. a) too literal and b) Cersei is being taught a lesson, and the readers are being sent a message. Like, you know… what good quality literature does. This is important to understand. Maggy probably realizes this about Cersei (like any classic Beauty and the Beast Witch), thus fulfilling the prophecy on her own, her own downfall being caused by her inability to recognize power with inner beauty.
“But Cersei is bringing her own downfall by obsessively trying to avoid the prophecy. As GRRM said, ‘The more you try to avoid them, the more you are making them true.”
And by obsessively going after her interpretation of what beauty is, she’s missing what’s right in front of her face.
I mean… this right here, imo, is pretty significant, but it’s frequently ignored.
We see Cersei feeling a bit threatened by her rapid fire questioning of what, why, and where.
She places emphasis on Brienne’s looks.
The use of Her. That’s rather strong. GRRM could have taken “Her” out and started her thoughts with, “The queen remembered” but there’s something forceful - as if making a point- to use Her. GRRM also made sure the readers knew that Cersei knows of this woman, and knows what she looks like. From a narrative standpoint, if Brienne’s inner beauty contrasting her outward appearance isn’t an important element in the downfall of Cersei, then there’s literally no reason why Cersei needed to have seen Brienne before. Remember my rules? Yeah, apply them to this one.
“Er, Brienne’s appearance is mentioned so that Cersei knows to not be jealous.”
…I think, “Jaime would never abandon me for such a creature” is basically saying “LOL well he did.” It’s GRRM telling Cersei, and the readers, that her answer is right there, right under her fucking nose, but she’s too dense and superficial to see it, which is the point of the Brienne theory.
“It’s there just to show that Brienne is taking Jaime away even though she’s ugly, but it has nothing to do with YMB.”
Yes, that is also the point. Again, an interpretation of a key message of the prophecy is that beauty isn’t literal, and beauty lies within. If we’re looking at the prophecy as a lesson to both the readers and Cersei, similar to The Witch in Beauty and the Beast - a tale and theme GRRM has been confirmed writing, then… why wouldn’t that be connected? “Brienne the Beauty” is literally the only character to challenge Cersei’s superficial perceptions, and the only one who has been set up to do so. In other words, for this particular theory, narcissism and superficiality drives Cersei’s downfall.
Also, I find it curious that instead of saying, “Lord Selwyn Tarth’s daughter, Lady Brienne” which would have been way more straightforward and which he could have easily done, GRRM instead used his other title, “the Evenstar’s daughter” which basically translates to, “the Princess.” A possible nod to the future Evenstar, the future symbolic (or even potentially literal) Queen, if Cersei and readers want to interpret the person as a Queen.
Reminder: that’s a fact. Not wishful thinking. Regardless of what Brienne is doing or where she is, she will literally inherit the title the Evenstar.
- Brienne the Beauty -
BRIENNE IS AN INNER BEAUTY. This has been intentional and made crystal clear over and over. Brienne is the Beastly Beauty. A… beauty who gives a lesson by challenging Cersei’s perception of beauty and…. She is intentionally written as younger and….. she will have a title that’s a symbolic Queen and… her story is tied to Cersei’s lover? :O
Look, it’s no secret that one of GRRM’s favorite narratives is Beauty and the Beast. As mentioned above, he is writing an adaptation of Beauty and the Beast.
He’s taking the traditional format (a romance) and switching the genders and roles. The entire point of BatB is to destroy the idea that love and beauty are determined by superficial qualities.
Guys again, I’m so delusional. There is nothing to see here. None of this is from anything real.
“But that’s just for Jaime.”
There can be other characters in a Beauty and the Beast adaptation. It’s an adaptation, not word for word. Other characters can be used to deliver the message, especially if the character is uh… linked to and romantically involved with one of the BatB inspired characters. For example, in the Disney adaptation we have Gaston (who… now that I think about it, actually has a similar Cersei way of thinking, ngl lol).
Brienne is the one character who has the actual name of Beauty associated with her. She is Cersei’s opposite. Brienne is the epitome of what Cersei cannot understand. A theme explored through Cersei is beauty, which is a theme that’s heavily explored through Brienne as well. Brienne’s character has been shaped around rejection due to her appearance. Literally every page in her POV is about how ugly and undesirable she is. Therefore, it’s very possible their characters are connected by a shared beauty theme.
- The Prophecy -
Okay, the rest of this stupid thing for YMB. Here we go.
GRRM straight up telling the readers that Cersei interprets this shit incorrectly.
“But ginmo, -sigh-, Cersei doesn’t hold Jaime most dear. The thing she holds most dear is power.”
Is she not always jealous and bitter over how Jaime is born to be heir and she is not? Does Jaime not represent the Lannister legacy she craves? Does Ms. “my brother is worth a thousand of your men” not lose any amount of power if Jaime stops doing what she wants? Is Jaime’s identity shift not influenced by Brienne the Beauty? Where is Jaime in both books and show? Couldn’t Brienne’s influence on Jaime mean Cersei loses power, a lover, her legacy? Jaime is power.
And then, again, there is also the straightforward route with the Kingdom splitting up possibility and Brienne the Evenstar….
Then we get this perfect little nugget.
I WILL HAVE MY BROTHER KILL HER I’M DYING. This is something that is repeated TWICE. Here in the prophecy and later in the chapter when she’s talking to Qyburn about the prophecy.
This is another moment to apply my two rules. There is literally no point to this being thrown in there if Jaime is not connected to the YMB, and definitely no point to emphasize a second time that she’d have her brother kill her. The words are not, “I will have her killed,” which could have left it ambiguous and easily been done. No, she (which is GRRM) specifically uses “my brother will kill her.” The irony is that, JAIME IS IN LOVE WITH HER. HE’S IN LOVE WITH THE BEAUTY.
Originally posted by danks-gif
“No, the irony is that by that time Jaime won’t listen anymore to her.”
I mean, that’s possible obvioiusly, but… yawn? That has practically zero emotional weight attached to it. I personally lean more towards this being a massive hint, that Jaime is the LAST person to kill the YMB, because he lost his heart to her, which makes it so delicious and juicy. GRRM is essentially having a massive evil laughing fit.
Another small note, during the Maggy the Frog scene, after delivering the YMB message to Cersei, Melara asks if she’ll marry Jaime. When they leave, Cersei kills Melara for wishing to marry Jaime, which is GRRM telling the readers that Jaime most certainly represents something Cersei holds dear, or else she wouldn’t be killing her. It’s not a coincidence this was right after she learned about the YMB.
- Cersei is her own downfall -
In the show Cersei is threatened by Dany as YMB (since it’s possible she incorrectly interpreted the prophecy, wow what a concept that’s not possible at all). This was made clear by the script notes. Apply my rules here as well.
But what’s the meaning of Cersei being taken down by a physical beauty? That just… proves her right? That would be the Lord dying in the literal castle? It just supports Cersei’s superficial world view by sending absolutely no message to her character? From a narrative standpoint, there’s no point to have YMB be a literal beauty. Again, is it possible he’s going the literal route? YES. But considering GRRM implements a ton of metaphor and symbolic meaning in his work, that he literally said he’s writing a BatB narrative so Beauty Within is definitely present, and he straight up said he doesn’t like his prophecies to be entirely literal, I’m going to at least have fun and entertain the non-surface level interpretation, and I’m therefore not delusional for doing so.
And since Cersei is bringing her own downfall, how would Dany even fit? Dany would have been going after that throne regardless of whoever’s ass was sitting on it. Dany’s pursuit of the throne has absolutely nothing to Cersei, and everything to do with what she believes is her right. My point is, if Cersei’s butt wasn’t there, Dany would still be doing exactly what she’s doing. So how is Dany taking the throne a consequence of Cersei bringing it upon herself? Cersei and Dany are completely separate from one another. Even if AU Cersei was nice to all of her allies and Jaime, Ned knew the identity of her children, and therefore a fractured Westeros would still exist. She wouldn’t have had enough men to fight off Dany. None of that really matters anyway, because Daenerys still would have converted Houses through the use of her dragons. In the show, it’s been made clear that she thinks it’s now Dany so…… going back to my points outlined above, if she thinks it’s Dany, maybe it’s possible she’s wrong.
You know the one character Cersei will NEVER see as a threat, due to her narcissistic inability? Brienne the Beauty.
(Also for show!Cersei, I love how fandom is like “Valonqar can’t be Tyrion because Cersei thinks it’s Tyrion” and then in the same breath they go, “DO YOU SEE? Cersei thinks Daenerys is the YMB so it’s Daenerys!”…………………………………………….. Like I said, GRRM and D&D could be going that way, but to use that logic is just…… what)
Hey did you guys know that there’s actually thought and technique that goes into the formatting and structure of a book, especially a book series? That the structure of chapters and the format aren’t just randomly thrown together? DEFINITELY apply my two rules here.
When was this prophecy introduced? AFFC, the book Cersei AND Brienne conveniently got a POV, the book that is mostly Jaime, Cersei, and Brienne centric. Who has a POV chapter immediately after Cersei’s prophecy? Brienne. Why is it structured this way? Was it random that the book was mostly a Lannister twin + Brienne book? No…
What can that possibly imply?
The main story running through each of those characters is the same. In other words, those three are connected to the same subplot - BatB- and are therefore connected through the same themes.
Also my favorite. Look at this chapter ending. LOOK AT IT. Feel the dramatic pause. DO YOU CLAIM THIS IS RANDOM?
I dare you tell me that there is no thought that goes into a chapter end.
I dare you to tell me that the Cersei chapter following is meaningless, like the structure of a book doesn’t go through an editing process, that chapter ends aren’t significant and the structures aren’t another element in the story telling process.
I dare you to tell me that “Brienne the Beauty” weren’t words intentionally chosen by a professional author.
We first hear about “younger, more beautiful” in CERSEI III - AFFC, and then Brienne is referred to as, “Brienne the Beauty” shortly after in BRIENNE III - AFFC. The only other time Brienne’s nickname of “Brienne the Beauty” was mentioned was when Catelyn made note of it. It wasn’t in ASOS when there were plenty of opportunities, and it only came up again (…four times) right after Cersei thinks about YMB for the first time.
yEAH GUYS, DElUSIOnAL, wHat IS naRraTive StrUcTuRe AnD pROfESsIONAL fOrMAtTiNG? nOt rEaL LMFAO bRiEnNe’s nOt pOsSIbLe aT aLL
I’ll just add this here. She’ll cast her down by killing her champion:
And shortly down the page