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brienne is the YMB

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“If you think anyone but [Insert Queen, most commonly Dany] is the YMB then you’re delusional” is something I have seen quite frequently, so I’ve been inspired to explain why that’s uh…well, complete bullshit.

To be delusional, you need to be spewing garbage without any reason or support and lack any sense of reality. But… there is plenty of evidence and reasoning, based in reality, to simply entertain a theory that isn’t [Insert Easy Choice].

Let me state that I’m not saying with total confidence that Brienne is YMB. I am not saying she is or is not. My claim is that Brienne is a perfectly logical candidate, and that being completely sold on a traditional choice, to the point where you’re publicly making asshole cocky comments about it, is risky af. I’m tired of people shutting down any discussion of it.

This is GRRM. This isn’t supposed to be easy (he literally said this, as shown below). There should be multiple interpretations to this prophecy. People who think it’s Brienne or Sansa or Marg or whoever may be wrong, or people who think it’s Daenerys may be wrong. Or maybe this is supposed to be ambiguous and we’ll never get a definitive answer. Maybe it’s multiple people. It all depends on what angle GRRM is going with. He could be going very literal and traditional with this, sure. Or, he could be going a more poetic route, which is also a style of his writing. Obviously by this post, I prefer the latter, but I see different angles. I’m not going to pretend I’m psychic by claiming I’m right and you’re wrong, and I’m not going misuse the word delusional. If you come after me later with, “LOL I TOLD YOU SO” I’m just going to say you missed the entire point of my post and my point is still 100% valid.

SO. Here is why you all have NO RIGHT to a) be so damn confident in your traditional choices and b) put down others for entertaining Brienne.

Hang on tight. This is long as fuck. First, you need to promise me you’ll do two things.

My two rules:

  1. Consider authorial intent when thinking about meaning and trajectory and
  2. Step outside the bubble and look at this story from a professional angle. A good narrative written by a professional author has structure and purpose.

Before I properly dive into this, let’s see what GRRM has to say about prophecies:

Prophecies are, you know, a double edge sword. You have to handle them very carefully; I mean, they can add depth and interest to a book, but you don’t want to be too literal or too easy…

I mean…. That should be enough to shake your confidence. He even gives an example.

In the Wars of the Roses, that you mentioned, there was one Lord who had been prophesied he would die beneath the walls of a certain castle and he was superstitious at that sort of walls, so he never came anywhere near that castle. He stayed thousands of leagues away from that particular castle because of the prophecy. However, he was killed in the first battle of St. Paul de Vence and when they found him dead he was outside of an inn whose sign was the picture of that castle! [Laughs] So you know? That’s the way prophecies come true in unexpected ways. The more you try to avoid them, the more you are making them true, and I make a little fun with that.

So you always want to frustrate our expectations, am I right?

Yes, it was always my intention: to play with the reader’s expectations. Before I was a writer I was a voracious reader and I am still, and I have read many, many books with very predictable plots. As a reader, what I seek is a book that delights and surprises me.  - GRRM

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.

.

..

….

….

-__-

Right.

———————————————————————————-

-Younger, More Beautiful-

Brienne is a possible candidate for the YMB.

…it was always my intention: to play with the reader’s expectations.

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?

Moving on.

“Aye.” Malice gleamed in Maggy’s yellow eyes. “Queen you shall be… until there comes another, younger and more beautiful, to cast you down and take all that you hold dear.”- CERSEI VIII, AFFC

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????”

You can argue, well, does she genuinely love her children, or does she just love them because they’re her children? There’s certainly a great level of narcissism in Cersei. She has an almost sociopathic view of the world and civilization. - GRRM  

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?

you don’t want to be too literal or too easy

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.

“He took Raventree and accepted Lord Blackwood’s surrender,” said her uncle, “but on his way back to Riverrun he left his tail and went off with a woman.”

“A woman?” Cersei stared at him, uncomprehending. “What woman? Why? Where did they go?”

“No one knows. We’ve had no further word of him. The woman may have been the Evenstar’s daughter, Lady Brienne.”

Her. The queen remembered the Maid of Tarth, a huge, ugly, shambling thing who dressed in man’s mail. Jaime would never abandon me for such a creature. My raven never reached him, elsewise he would have come.

- CERSEI I, ADWD

I mean… this right here, imo, is pretty significant, but it’s frequently ignored.

  1. We see Cersei feeling a bit threatened by her rapid fire questioning of what, why, and where.
  2. She places emphasis on Brienne’s looks.
  3. 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.

George R.R. Martin said what he wanted to do was to take the traditional format of Beauty and the Beast and change the roles  and also the genders. - Gwendoline Christie

[GRRM] also said that when he wrote the story of Jaime and Brienne, he was taking the formula of Beauty and the Beast and turning it on its head. He wanted to see what it was like for the man to be the beauty and the woman to be the beast and how that would play out. - Gwendoline Christie

I spoke to George R.R. Martin about this, and he said that it was always his intention with Jaime and Brienne to take the classic Beauty and the Beast story, and turn it on its head. Brienne is not ‘unconventionally attractive’, she’s ugly, and she’s ugly to society. She is the beast.- Gwendoline Christie

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.

”Will I wed the prince?” she asked.

“Never. You will wed the king.”

Beneath her golden curls, the girl’s face wrinkled up in puzzlement. For years after, she took those words to mean that she would marry Rhaegar until after his father Aerys had died.

GRRM straight up telling the readers that Cersei interprets this shit incorrectly.

”I will be queen, though?” asked the younger her.

“Aye.” Malice gleamed in Maggy’s yellow eyes. “Queen you shall be… until there comes another, younger and more beautiful, to cast you down and take all that you hold dear.

“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.

Anger flashed across the child’s face. “If she tries I will have my brother kill her.”

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.

”…another queen, who would take from me all I loved.”

“And you wish to forestall this prophecy?”

More than anything, she thought. Even in the tent. “If she tries I will have my brother kill her.

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.

image

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 -

The more you try to avoid them, the more you are making them true

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)

———————————————————————————-

-Book Structure-

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.

POSSIBLE? Yes.

DELUSIONAL? No.

Also my favorite. Look at this chapter ending. LOOK AT IT. Feel the dramatic pause. DO YOU CLAIM THIS IS RANDOM?

image

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:

image

He would not use the Maid against a mortal man, for she was so potent as to make any fight unfair.

- BRIENNE, AFFC

And shortly down the page

Against a foe eight feet tall mounted on an aurochs, he might well have unsheathed the Just Maid.

Nice catch. I wanted to make an entire post with all potential foreshadowing for this theory, but I feel like I’ll need another re-read for that.

Instead I’ll focus on what I remember and what could lead to this duel.

“Where do you see Jaime and Cersei headed?”

GRRM: “Well, as for the books, I have two more to write. I’m certainly going to be dealing with Jaime. Jaime and Cersei’s relationship is in a very different place in the books than the show has reached now. They are effectively estranged now.”

Notice how he focused on Jaime in his response. Not only that, but he accidentally spoiled outcome of Jaime’s meeting with Stoneheart. l don’t know how much she could be involved in his twow storyline, but I think it’s safe to say she’ll be a big part of it and turning point in his storyline.

By the end of ADWD Jaime is missing for a whole month if not more. He’s clearly not dead. So I’ll focus on his last thoughts about Tommen:

“My place is with my king. With my son. Would Tommen want to know that? The truth could cost the boy his throne. Would you sooner have a father or a chair, lad? Jaime wished he knew the answer.”

Jaime even suggests he doesn’t want to kill Cersei. (rolling my eyes at the readers who think he would) He doesn’t want his son to hate him, but he’s trying to think of another way to put her aside (hmm cast her down???)

“He would need to find some way to winkle Tommen from her clutches before the boy became another Joffrey. And whilst at that, he should find the lad a new small council too. If Cersei can be put aside, Ser Kevan may agree to serve as Tommen’s Hand.”

Now why am I bringing this up? GRRM said some characters that died in the show will survive the series. Maggy never said that Cersei’s children have to die before her. Maybe they will die later in the series, maybe they will die of old age. In Jaime’s prophetic dream, there’s no mention of them. Cersei dies and joins dead Tywin and Joffrey. If Tommen and Myrcella were dead at this point I feel like they’d appear in the dream. 

So before Jaime goes off with Brienne, he realizes that his place is with his king and son, that he must put Cersei aside and select a new hand. Here is one interesting quote. Tommen’s current hand is Mace Tyrell and his next hand could be Jaime which means he could replace Cersei as a ruler for little Tommen:

“And the king is just a boy,” said the oldest of the four septas. “Who is to rule us until he comes of age?” “Lord Tywin’s brother,” said a guardsman. “Or that Lord Tyrell, might be. Or the Kingslayer

YMB coming and taking everything away from her could include her children as well. Or at least Tommen. And without him she can’t rule. So it makes complete sense if she’s connected to Jaime. Why do you think GRRM would give Jaime love interest that is much younger in the first place?

Ok, now back to Brienne. Here are some interesting parallels between her and Sandor. I’ll mention the most suggestive ones:

-  Jaime jokes that Brienne is “the Hound with teats, except she has no teats”.

- Sandor is about 29. Brienne is about 19, but when last seen by Jaime, he remarks that she seems to have aged 10 years.

- Brienne’s eyes are blue, which would appear grey in dim light.  Sandor’s eyes, when seen by Sansa by torchlight, when he was drunk and angry, appeared grey.

 I don’t even know how many times Qyburn and Cersei claimed that Robert Strong cannot be defeated by a living man. Way too many imo and they seem to be pretty confident. Well we all know how things go down for Cersei. lol

Bran’s vision is pretty telling and links The Hound to Jaime. Will he try to defeat Cersei’s champion and Brienne will join him or will it be the other way around? I kinda like the idea that the whole bear pit could actually repeat and Jaime would jump in to help in front of Cersei and the whole King’s Landing. We know that Robert Strong has no head and I believe Brienne will be the one who will knock his visor to reveal the world that Cersei’s champion is not a human and I assume this could get her in trouble and lead to end of her reign:

“He looked south, and saw the great blue-green rush of the Trident. He saw his father pleading with the king, his face etched with grief. He saw Sansa crying herself to sleep at night, and he saw Arya watching in silence and holding her secrets hard in her heart. There were shadows all around them. One shadow was dark as ash with the terrible face of a hound. Another was armored like the sun, golden and beautiful. Over them both loomed a giant in armor made of stone, but when he opened his visor, there was nothing inside but darkness and thick black blood.“ 

Anyway The Hound’s helm is currently in possession of Brotherhood Without Banners and I believe Goldenhand the Just will become their new leader.  

 

 

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Brienne doesn't have skills needed to become queen.  She is a fighting woman and does not possess skills in politics. Nor does she have skills in administration.  Power and the position of queen are among the things valued by Cersei.  So this newcomer will take those things from her.  Brienne has not shown any desire nor ability to run a household, much less a kingdom.  

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I would agree that it doesn't have to be an actual Queen.  The sentence is ambiguous, and when dealing with prophecy, it is best to resolve ambiguity as broadly as possible.  

I doubt it is Brienne, though.  Margaery, Sansa, Daenerys, and Arianne all have better motives and more means available to cast Cersei down.

I like Margaery for it.  She has good reason, and it would make the prophecy self-fulfilling, which sounds like something GRRM would do.

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I don't think any one person is the YMBQ. I like to think that it's a case of poetic justice and points t either:

  • Myrcella, her own daughter
  • Cersei herself
  • a combination of woman (Margaery, Arianne, Daenerys, Sansa, Brienne, Arya)

Younger and more beautiful can actually be very subjective and figurative terms.

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Agree that Queen requirement is from the fandom (Maggy only says "another") and not the books. Agree that it's Brienne.

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This is probably the best argument I’ve seen for a YMB candidate. Very well done.

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We already know one young lady who has taken from Cersei.  Margaery Tyrell.  She would be my pick for YMB.

George is a sports fan and he knows the importance of rivalry to get people invested in one person.  Brienne and Cersei are in different orbits.  A rivalry does not exists between these two.  Cersei is not even on Dany's radar.  I believe Cersei's fate will already have been decided by the time Daenerys makes her arrival.  There is no rivalry there.  However, there is a growing rivalry between Margaery and Cersei.  The room for the number of rivalries is limited because we only have two books left.  One character is not going to have multiple rivalries within their arc. 

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Bringing Cersei down and taking all she holds dear doesn't mean the Beauty will become queen.  The prophecy doesn't say that specifically.  That's projection on the part of the reader.  It only says the Beauty will bring about Cersei's downfall.  Yes, I agree Brienne is a good choice.

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Posted (edited)

I can't stress enough why Sansa as the candidate makes most sense. A major part of Maggy the Frog's prophecy is that Cersei's YMB has to take what's important to her. Since Cersei is a narcissistic person all that she holds most dear is pretty short: Jaime, her children and power. So who could have possibly taken all of this from her? Sansa Stark. 

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Ser Dontos the Fool and Joffrey 

Finally Ser Dontos the Red gave it up for a bad job, sat down in the dirt, and removed his plumed helm. “I lose,” he shouted. “Fetch me some wine.”

The king stood. “A cask from the cellars! I‟ll see him drowned in it.”

Sansa heard herself gasp. “No, you can’t!”

- ACoK Sansa I

If not for Sansa, Ser Dontos would have died. This small act of kindness leads to Dontos becoming an agent of Littlefinger, who would go on to give Sansa the hairnet that contained the poison to kill Joffrey. And the only reason Sansa was able to attend Joffrey’s wedding (thus poisoning him), instead of being in High garden with Willas Tyrell, was because of Ser Dontos:

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When she told Ser Dontos that she was going to Highgarden to marry Willas Tyrell, she thought he would be relieved and pleased for her. Instead he had grabbed her arm and said, “You cannot!” in a voice as thick with horror as with wine. "I tell you, these Tyrells are only Lannisters with flowers. I beg of you, forget this folly, give your Florian a kiss, and promise you’ll go ahead as we have planned. The night of Joffrey’s wedding, that’s not so long, wear the silver hair net and do as I told you, and afterward we make our escape.“

- ASoS Sansa II

This shows just how essential Sansa is to the Littlefinger/Tyrell murder plot and almost every time we hear the story of the Purple Wedding, we’re told Sansa killed Joffrey:

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I dreamt of a maid at a feast with purple serpents in her hair, venom dripping from their fangs.

- ASoS Arya VIII

The Ghost of High Heart sees Sansa murdering Joffrey, not the Tyrells or Littlefinger. 

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The northern girl. Winterfell’s daughter. We heard she killed the king with a spell, and afterward changed into a wolf with big leather wings like a bat, and flew out a tower window.

- ASoS Arya XIII

Again we see that Sansa is responsible for Joffrey’s death. And, most importantly, Cersei views Sansa as the culprit:

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She is not dead … but before I am done with her, I promise you, she will be singing to the Stranger, begging for his kiss.”

- AFfC Cersei IV

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“Help him,” Sansa commanded two of the serving men. One just looked at her and ran, flagon and all. Other servants were leaving the hall as well, but she could not help that. Together, Sansa and the serving man got the wounded knight back on his feet. “Take him to Maester Frenken.” Lancel was one of them, yet somehow she still could not bring herself to wish him dead. I am soft and weak and stupid, just as Joffrey says. I should be killing him, not helping him.

- ACoK Sansa VII

During the Battle of the Blackwater, Lancel suffered an almost fatal wound and he would have died if not for Sansa helping him. Before this, Lancel had been sleeping with Cersei, unbeknownst to Jaime. In ASoS, Tyrion tells Jaime the truth, but Jaime doesn’t believe him. Not until Jaime actually speaks with Lancel in AFFC (Jaime IV) does he actually believe Tyrion was telling the truth. Knowing Cersei was sleeping with other people is what causes Jaime to permanently end his relationship with her. Once again, because of an act of kindness done by Sansa she once more takes something from Cersei. It's because of her Jaime abandons Cersei in King's Landing.

The last thing that Cersei has left that she holds dear is her power. By the end of ADWD she had her walk of shame and lost her regency to Kevan Lannister. How did this happen? It all started with Joffrey's death, planned by Littlefinger and carried out by Sansa and Dontos (who is only alive because of Sansa). This led to Tyrion being accused of Joffrey's murder, he suffers a psychotic break and kills Tywin. This led to House Lannister without a proper leader and Cersei soon began to fall apart. However things really went off the rails when Cersei had the High Septon killed, and replaced him with the High Sparrow, and why did she want him dead? Lancel Lannister:

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“You confessed your sins to His High Holiness, did you?”

“He prayed for me when I was wounded. He was a good man.”

He’s a dead man. They rang the bells for him. He wondered if his cousin had any notion what fruit his words had borne.

- AFfC Jaime IV

Obviously the prophecy hasn't been completed yet, because she is still Queen Mother and Myrcella and Tommen are still alive, but so far Sansa has taken most what Cersei holds dear. Pretty impressive, don't you think? And the best part of all of this is that Sansa accomplished this because she decided to be kind and merciful. Traits that Cersei abhors. This is why Sansa being YMB is so important. It's to prove Cersei is wrong. Love is the surest way to win and its high time Cersei learned that.

Edited by Elegant Woes

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8 minutes ago, Elegant Woes said:

I can't stress enough why Sansa is the only candidate.

I definitely agree Sansa is one candidate, but to claim she’s “the only candidate” is a huge stretch and just plain wrong. 

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Posted (edited)
54 minutes ago, kissdbyfire said:

I definitely agree Sansa is one candidate, but to claim she’s “the only candidate” is a huge stretch and just plain wrong. 

I wasn't completely done with my post. Sorry for the confusion. Read my post again. 

Edited by Elegant Woes

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