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The rulership genius of Cersei Lannister


Alyn Oakenfist
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So I did a thread a while back about Dany's mistakes as a ruler. However in terms fo bad rulership, Dany has nothing on the genius that is Cersei. For the purposes of not spending an hour writing this, I'll limit myself to AFFC and ADWD. Because even so there are countless, I'm breaking them off by chapters

Cersei I

- Cersei's first chapter focuses on the immediate aftermath of Tywin's death. Instead of trying to see exactly how he was murdered, who helped Tyrion and who is innocent, Cersei uses most of her time destroying evidence, from killing the sleeping guards, to removing Shae's body, because what evidence could there be on a dead body, and removing the quarrel from the body. Good way to start.

- When treating Tywin's corpse he makes not Pycelle, the Grandmaester, but Qyburn treat the body, a chainless master kicked out of the Citadel. Good way to start your reign, openly insulting a member of the Small Council and one of the most powerful institutions on the land.

- Next she immediately asks Jaime to be her hand, a man despised by most of Westeros, with no skill or experience in rulership. All this in public, resulting in him openly scorning her. All great ideas Cersei. And all this is in just her first chapter. The only sane thing she does in it is realize that Varys not spawning in at the scene of the crime is pretty suspicious.

Cersei II

- Up next at the funeral despite smelling the foulness emanating from Tywin ever since he died (probably Oberyn poisoning him, but that's another matter), thinks that Pycelle is to blame for not doing the proper procedures. Again, Cersei why are you actively striving to push away one of the few die hard Lannister loyalists in the Council?

- Next he gives Qyburn free reign to do as he will with Clegane, despite any sane person just beheading him on the spot. Also in conspiring with Qyburn, Cersei is just inviting all kind of rumors, not to mention the possibility of destroying her reputation if anything gets out about what Qyburn is doing (fun fact, it probably will if FrankenGregor loses his helmet at the Trial by Combat)

- Finally after publicly asking Jaime to be hand she next asks Kevan, insulting him by making him her second choice. When he refuses for a variety of reasons, especially because of her and Lancel, she concludes that he's a traitor that sold out to the Tyrells. He further gives her good advice, telling her to weaken the Tyrells by allying the two strong Reach houses not tied to the Tyrells by blood, Rowan and Tarly. She takes this as further proof of treachery.

Cersei III

- Cersei thinks a lot about how bad it is that Tommen has to marry Margery. Cersei you do realize that without the Tyrells you probably can't even defeat the Vale, yes?

- Cersei also decides to trust the totally trustworthy Taena, just because she told her that one of her handmaidens is a spy, with no proof what so ever. Sure let's trust her, what could go wrong?

- She also spends some time fantasizing about Aurane Waters and how he looks so similar to her Rhaegar. Cersei you do know this is exactly the kind of thing Robert did concerning Lyanna. It's one of the reasons you hated him. Speaking of Robert Cersei also begins to drink and gain weight, always signs of a good ruler.

- Finally she burns the Tower of the Hand with wildfire, because nothing says stability to your subjects like looking like the Mad King as you burn a traditional symbol of stability

Cersei IV (oh boy)

- Cersei names a small council made out of the dumb, the weak and the disloyal. I could go into all of them, but of particular note are Waters and Qyburn, the councilors with the most power, both of whom of uncertain loyalty, with Cersei having no reason whatsoever to trust them. The rest, while more loyal are downright incompetent, but who cares, Cersei's genius will make up for it. The only good council member is Pycelle, so better use the meeting to further belittle, humiliate and ignore him.

- We also hear that he send Balon Swann to Dorne to get Myrcella and lead Trystane into an ambush, because if removing her from Dorne doesn't sever all ties and make them more likely to rebel, then killing Trystane surely will. Good plan Cersei.

- After killing the High Septon we also see her not caring who succeeds him, or about the Sparrows, it's not like Tommen's legitimacy hangs by a thread and any move by the faith could seriously fuck them over. Eh, who cares, can't see this going anywhere relevant.

- When discussing the matter of Littlefinger and the Lords Declarant, rather then support her ally against people that have definite Stark and Baratheon loyalties and probably hold a grudge, she just let's him be. What's the worse that can happen? It's not like the Vale is one of the strongest Kingdoms that has gone untouched by the war.

- Then Cersei defaults on the Iron Bank so she can't build a fleet simply because she doesn't trust the Redwynes. Words cannot begin to describe how stupid this is. Were it not for the Others Cersei would have handed the Throne to Stannis on a silver platter with this move.

- Up next she hatches a plan to kill Jon Snow in a very obvious manner. Is she actively supporting Stannis? Killing the Lord Commander of the Nights Watch would guarantee that the North will side in it's entirety with Stannis.

- Next comes her plan with Osney Kettleblack, and it's just... beyond retarded doesn't cover it. First she plans to have him bed Margery so she can kill her. Yes, because Margery is a moron. Next she wants to send Osney to the Wall to lead those men sent to kill Jon Snow. Always a good idea to put all your plots in one basket. I'll give her the benefit of the doubt and say she had no intention to pardon him after, thought I'm not sure. Just to hurt her position even more she fucks Osney. Yes I'm sure he'd never use that at a trial.

- She then includes the clearly trustworthy and definitely not a Tyrell double agent Taena into her hairbrained scheme. Good idea.

Cersei V

- When Margery moves to grant more authority and visibility to Tommen she actively refuses, because what better idea then to hide the King under her mother's skirts. Even better to never let him learn how to rule.

- She then openly rejects the Iron Bank envoy, because at this point why not?

- She then involves even more people in her plot against Margery when she makes Osmund a part of it. Remember Cersei, the more people in a plot the better.

- Then comes the jousting debacle. Not only does she yet again try and keep Tommen under her skirts, she blurts out that Jaime is the father, because why not, and finally refuses to name Loras as master at arms, a position that is inherently powerless, and for which Loras is more then qualified for, making him the perfect fit, buttering up the Tyrells without giving them any power and having a good master at arms. So of course she rejects the idea.

- Up next Cersei is more interested in a puppet show then what goes on in Dorner, because at this point I'd be surprised if she did do something sensible.

- Then after Bronn names the whelp Tyrion she reaches the obvious conclusion. She needs to kill him using the most incompetent people imaginable. Well second most incompetent people imaginable, after he small council.

- She also seems she doesn't fit her gowns anymore and reaches the obvious conclusion that it's the servants fault.

Cersei VI

- To pay the debt to the Faith, Cersei does the sensible thing. She pulls back some of her spending and slowly pays the interest. Just kidding she reestablishes the Faith Militant, an organization that had to be snuffed out after fighting for decades against incest. Good thing there's not even a suspicion of incest in the Royal House. Especially a good idea, given how angry and despondent the people around the Sept are.

Cersei VII

- When the Ironborn attack Cersei's most important ally her natural reaction is let them burn. Surely this won't cause any rebellious sentiments.

- She also reaches the obvious and clear conclusion that Stannis is working with the Ironborn, and that the North rejects him based on what Manderly did. Because obviously house Manderly is the same thing as te whole North.

- Then she sends Loras to Dragonstone in the clear hope that he will die. Pycelle tries speaking reason to her, but what does he know?

- If all goes well for Cersei Loras will die and Marge will be executed, and then she'll have won and the Tyrells will truly have nothing stopping them from sacking King's Landing and planting her head on a spike. Truly brilliant.

- Cersei gets an inkling of sanity when she questions what Taena is telling Marge but after Taena promises she isn't doing anything wrong so she puts that away.

- She also beds Taena, because why not at this point?

Cersei VIII

- Cersei is all surprised when the armed fanatic zealots start harming brothels. Truly a shocking twist.

- When Rosby finally kicks the bucket, she naturally concludes that it wasn't the illness, but the Tyrells poisoning him, and he orders Pycelle to keep him alive, because that' show there things work.

- Finally after a dream about Maggi, she decides she needs to kill Margery. Now that Loras, he only other tie to the Tyrells is dead, I'm sure that will work out just great. No needs to worry about the Tyrell armies at Maidenpool and Storm's End.

Cersei IX

- She finally launches her hairbrained scheme against Margery and decides to also give the Faith right of judgement. Truly a brilliant idea. I already talked about why this is stupid, so I won't go into it again. Of note is her fucking Kettleblack, surely that won't instantly backfire, as well as how flimsy her case is. She does know that if (or given the evidence, rather when) Margery is acquitted, there will be hell to pay from the Tyrells.

Cersei X

- Finally after the Faith have arrested Margery, adn she knows they have Lancel she decides the obvious best course of actions. She goes to teh Sept after Margery. What can go wrong? Ah yes, everything?

And so her reign comes to an end as all her idiocies unravel around her, from Aurane to the Faith. Given that she will return to power in TWOW, all I can say is, Gods save King's Landing, for no one else can.

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22 minutes ago, The Young Maester said:

Cersei always makes my head hurt.

I think Westeros is on the brink of the Industrial Revolution, powered by how fast Tywin is spinning in his grave from seeing Cersei's stupidity.

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1 hour ago, Alyn Oakenfist said:

I think Westeros is on the brink of the Industrial Revolution, powered by how fast Tywin is spinning in his grave from seeing Cersei's stupidity.

Tywin was lucky to die without seeing this,,, imagine if he had stayed in a situation like Hoster Tully, incapable to rule, forced to watch their sucessor f#ck everything that he worked for.

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2 minutes ago, Arthur Peres said:

Tywin was lucky to die without seeing this,,, imagine if he had stayed in a situation like Hoster Tully, incapable to rule, forced to watch their sucessor f#ck everything that he worked for.

Tywin was lucky to die from the crossbolt as opposed to the poison eating his guts

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1 minute ago, ShimShim said:

I love rereading the Cersei chapters in Feast and Dance. Cerseis stupidity is the greatest comedy GRRM has provided us in this story.

Probably. Though Jon in ADWD comes second. I dunno why but I always read it like a sitcom. There is a lot of humor in the interactions there, especially with Val.

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Also this probably isn't the right thread to mention this, but I don't feel like making a proper thread on it myself. But I have to give Arianne the silver medal for stupid political plays. It seems Feast really is the book for politically inept female characters.

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1 minute ago, ShimShim said:

Also this probably isn't the right thread to mention this, but I don't feel like making a proper thread on it myself. But I have to give Arianne the silver medal for stupid political plays. It seems Feast really is the book for politically inept female characters.

Thing is Arianne isn't completely stupid, just uninformed. Doran kept her in the dark, and the conclusions she drew with limited information were the most likely. It did look like Doran was a useless coward and that he wanted Quentyn to usurp her. In that context what she did wasn't that stupid, just sloppy and desperate.

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1 hour ago, Alyn Oakenfist said:

Thing is Arianne isn't completely stupid, just uninformed. Doran kept her in the dark, and the conclusions she drew with limited information were the most likely. It did look like Doran was a useless coward and that he wanted Quentyn to usurp her. In that context what she did wasn't that stupid, just sloppy and desperate.

Well Doran is weak, pathetic and useless, just imagine what mayhem Oberyn would have done at the end of AGoT or at the start of ACoK, if he was the prince of Dorne... It was the moment that the Lannisters were more vulnerable.

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8 minutes ago, Arthur Peres said:

Well Doran is weak, pathetic and useless, just imagine what mayhem Oberyn would have done at the end of AGoT or at the start of ACoK, if he was the prince of Dorne... It was the moment that the Lannisters were more vulnerable.

Still, Doran kept his people from dying in a useless war, choosing a side too early in the WOT5K could've easily destroyed Dorne.

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8 minutes ago, CamiloRP said:

Still, Doran kept his people from dying in a useless war, choosing a side too early in the WOT5K could've easily destroyed Dorne.

Unlikely. Don't get me wrong, Dorne would have suffered, but due to their geography they are uniquely positioned be unbowed unbent unbroken.

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8 minutes ago, CamiloRP said:

Still, Doran kept his people from dying in a useless war, choosing a side too early in the WOT5K could've easily destroyed Dorne.

You never know, had doran joined the war against the lannisters, it might force mace tyrell to rethink his options after renlys murder. Joining the lannisters means you’d have a dornish force on your rear.

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13 minutes ago, Alyn Oakenfist said:

Unlikely. Don't get me wrong, Dorne would have suffered, but due to their geography they are uniquely positioned be unbowed unbent unbroken.

But Doran wants to prevent as much suffering as he can, he's proud that no dornishman died in the WOT5K.

 

13 minutes ago, The Young Maester said:

You never know, had doran joined the war against the lannisters, it might force mace tyrell to rethink his options after renlys murder. Joining the lannisters means you’d have a dornish force on your rear.

Yes, but he doesn't know either, what if he joined Renly and Stannis won, or if he Joined Stannis and Renly won? He has no way of knowing, so he waits, lets them destroy themselves and acts when he knows he can win.

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Just now, CamiloRP said:
15 minutes ago, Alyn Oakenfist said:

Unlikely. Don't get me wrong, Dorne would have suffered, but due to their geography they are uniquely positioned be unbowed unbent unbroken.

But Doran wants to prevent as much suffering as he can, he's proud that no dornishman died in the WOT5K.

All true, and in that he's one of the best lords in Westeros, I was just pointing out that it wouldn't have been that bad for Dorne in defeat.

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7 minutes ago, Alyn Oakenfist said:

All true, and in that he's one of the best lords in Westeros, I was just pointing out that it wouldn't have been that bad for Dorne in defeat.

It could have been bad tho, if the Tyrels 100k would have marched against Dorne, they would have been toast.

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Just now, CamiloRP said:
8 minutes ago, Alyn Oakenfist said:

All true, and in that he's one of the best lords in Westeros, I was just pointing out that it wouldn't have been that bad for Dorne in defeat.

It could have been bad tho, if the Tyrels 100k would have marched against Dorne, they would have been toast.

Not really. There would have been no way logistically to support 100k men in Dorne. With it's deserts, low population density, distinct and proud (and warrior) culture, Dorne is perfect for Fabian strategy with mainly guerilla warfare. It's nigh impossible to hold against it's will.

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4 minutes ago, Alyn Oakenfist said:

Not really. There would have been no way logistically to support 100k men in Dorne. With it's deserts, low population density, distinct and proud (and warrior) culture, Dorne is perfect for Fabian strategy with mainly guerilla warfare. It's nigh impossible to hold against it's will.

Not hold, burn.

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