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For those of you who think that Cersei is a purely evil, irredeemable psychopath...


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For those of you who don’t know, there are three wikis for villains. One of them is called Pure Evil wiki (which, in short, is about villains with no redeeming or sympathetic qualities), the second is called Near Pure Evil wiki (which, in short, is about villains with almost no redeeming or sympathetic qualities but they still can’t qualify for the Pure Evil wiki for some reason). There is also a third wiki called the Inconsistently Heinous wiki (which, in short, is about characters who have committed awful crimes, but they still have too many redeeming and sympathetic qualities and excuses for their actions to qualify as Pure Evil or Near Pure Evil). The name “Inconsistently Heinous” means that the characters are too inconsistent in their heinousness to be Near Pure Evil.

Cersei is listed on the Inconsistently Heinous wiki because it was decided that she is way too sympathetic to qualify as Pure Evil or Near Pure Evil (to give you an idea, Walter White, Dexter Morgan, Michael Corleone, Darth Vader, Sand dan Glokta, the show version of Daenerys Targaryen, the book version of Tyrion, the Joker from the 2019 film and many other characters like that are listed as Inconsistently Heinous).

There is a user on the Near Pure Evil wiki who wrote some comments in the Discord group about Cersei and why she doesn’t qualify as Near Pure Evil. This is one of them:

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I honestly have no idea why some people think Cersei can qualify as Near Pure Evil when she’s clearly a product of both her abusive environment and her father (who absolutely demolishes her in the heinous standard) and when there are many characters from the same series who have done just as bad and often times way worse than her and some of them are even fan-favorites. In short, rather than being a true psychopath like Ramsay, Gregor, etc, she’s simply a “scheming politician” type who’s too tragic, too insecure, literally trained to be this way by both her father and her environment, raped during her marriage and had to live in constant terror that her kids would die due to Maggy’s prophecy and probably wouldn’t be too far beyond reformation if not for her mental instability. Not to mention that most of the crimes she commits are to protect herself and her family both from being executed and from Maggy’s prophecy and she clearly loves her kids, Jaime, her father and her mother. Oh, and she seemed genuinely affable towards Tyrion and Sansa on a few occasions in the second book before Tyrion kidnapped Tommen to threaten her and Joffrey died which caused Cersei to believe that Sansa had killed him.

Since then, one person has tried to propose Cersei as a possible Near Pure Evil candidate but she was quickly rejected because the people there decided that she has way too many redeeming and sympathetic qualities to qualify as Near Pure Evil (a Near Pure Evil character can have some minor redeeming and sympathetic qualities but Cersei has so many that she can’t qualify as Near Pure Evil) and thus, she doesn’t meet the criteria to be Near Pure Evil.

Also, this is what the same person wrote about Cersei in another comment:

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As a side note, I do think Cersei’s evilness is more hyperbolized by the fandom than anything simply because Cersei antagonizes fan-favorite characters (Tyrion and the Stark family); I don’t sympathize with her at all (nor with any fictional characters in general, frankly) and so I just try to assess such situations rationally, yet I see her somewhat more as a victim than a villain.

 Also, I will list all of Cersei's redeeming and sympathetic qualities that are also written on her page on the Inconsistently Heinous wiki which explain why she can't qualify as Pure Evil or Near Pure Evil: 

  •  She loves her family members except for Tyrion (more specifically, her children, her brother and lover, Jaime, her father, Tywin and her mother, Joanna). She is very protective of her children, doesn't want them to die and constantly fears for their safety.

 

  1. When her son Joffrey dies, she breaks down over his corpse and cries and then she stays with his corpse and mourns it for days. At one point, she has a nice dream where Joffrey is still alive and she marries her brother, Jaime.
  2. She is angry when Tyrion sends her daughter, Myrcella, to Dorn without her permission and starts threatening him. She breaks down into tears when he mentions that if Myrcella stays, she could be killed in the coming battle. She is also shocked when she learns that Myrcella has lost one of her ears.
  3. In the fourth book she gets very protective of her son, Tommen, after the death of Joffrey. When Tommen chokes on his wine, she is afraid that someone had poisoned him, quickly stands up and goes to him to help. When she discovers that no one has poisoned him, she goes away and starts crying. During her imprisonment by the Faith Militant, she constantly thinks about her son and how she wants to go back to him. When she goes back to him, she starts spending a lot more time with him than ever before because she was relieved to see him again after her long imprisonment.
  4. At one point, she had a nightmare where Tyrion has tied her up. She begs him to spare her kids, even though in the dream her own life is in danger.
  5. She also incestiously loves Jaime. While she mistreats him in the fourth book and sends him away, she still thinks often about him and when she is imprisoned, she has a dream about marrying him. When he doesn't come to rescue her, she feels hurt on a personal level and desperately tries to convince herself that her letter for help probably didn't reach him or else he would come back for her.
  6. She loves her father as she wants his respect, constantly thinks about what he would do and is sad when he dies.
  7. She loves her mother. She blames her younger brother, Tyrion, for "killing" her mother because this is what she saw from her father. She also mentions to Sansa that when she was a little girl she prayed to the Gods to give her mother back.
  8. There are a few occasions, where she is even nice to Tyrion. At one point, they share a cup of wine and laugh at a joke and Cersei even hugs him and lifts him after he delivers some good news to her. On another occasion, when one of the men refuses to follow Tyrion's orders, Cersei interferes and the man starts following. On another occasion, she admits that Tyrion is very useful and apologizes for how she had treated him in the past. She ends up subverting this because in the present, she wants to kill Tyrion and has put a bounty on his head. But the reason for this is because she genuinely believes that he wants to kill her remaining kids, has killed Joffrey and her father and is conspiring against.

 

  • Another prevention is that Cersei is a bit too tragic and her tragedy holds up. She lost her mother at the age of 7, she was born in a highly sexist society where women are inferior to men and she had to witness every day how she and Jaime would be treated differently (one example is that Jaime was groomed to be Tywin's heir because he was a boy, even though Cersei was older than him) and this treatment made Cersei extremely resentful of her status.

 

  1.  At the age of 10, Cersei received a prophecy from Maggy that all of her kids would die, that a younger and more baeutiful queen would take everything she holds dear and then Cersei herself would be killed by her younger brother. Needless to say, this made Cersei very paranoid about her life and the lives of her children and made her even more abusive towards Tyrion because she believes that he is the younger brother from the prophecy. A lot of the crimes that are listed above are an attempt to prevent this prophecy from happening and saving her children and herself.
  2.  Another aspect that makes her tragic is that her father, Tywin, was neglectful most of the time and he was a brutal ruler who taught his kids that they should be merciless, that they should care about morality only about the end results and so on. There is enough evidence that Cersei was seriously affecte by this upbringing. For example, on one occasion, while she is torturing the Blue Bard, she feels bad for him and wants to stop the torture. But then, she remembers that her father would probably be ashamed of her sign of weakness and he wouldn't do something like that, so she continues with the torture.
  3.  She was married to Robert Baratheon, who cheated on her and abused her by sometimes even raping her which also has an affect on her because she feels powerless during the rapes and she doesn't want this to happen again.
  4.  In the world of Westeros if it's discovered that she had cheated on her husband with Jaime, she and all of her kids would be executed. The reason why she kills Robert and Ned is because she wants to protect her life and the life of her kids from execution.
  5.  In general, she has suffered from systematic sexism for most of her life starting from childhood where she and Jaime were treated differently because of their gender and Jaime was groomed to become the heir to Casterly Rock while she was groomed to be married off despite being older than her brother. When she was married to her husband, she also suffered from the sexism of her society because her husband was allowed to cheat on her while if she was caught cheating, she and her entire family would be executed. She was also raped because there was no definition of marital rape in Westeros.

 

  • As the above examples show, she also suffers from a lot of insecurities (about being a woman, winning her father's approval, being fit to rule, etc.). She also has insecurities about not having any friends and she immediately decides to befriend the first woman she meets in the fourth book simply because she doesn't want to feel lonely.
  • There is a small moment where she displays a little honor. After Ned gives her a chance to escape with her children from the city before he reports to Robert that she had been cheating on him, Cersei tells him that she because of this she would allow him to go back to Winterfell with his life if he kneels to Joffrey and swears fealty to him. Ned doesn't do it and he ends up dead for this reason.
  • Even though she is rude to Sansa, she still tries to give her advice about how to rule as a Queen, about the specifics of the female body and that she shouldn't love too many people or else she would get hurt. It's implied that the reason for this is because Cersei sees Sansa as a younger and more inexperienced version of herself. She ends up subverting that by desiring to execute Sansa but the reason for that is because she genuinely believes that Sansa was involved in joffrey's death.
  • She is capable of feeling remorse on certain occasions. After the torture of the Blue Bard, she feels bad about it and tries to justify herself. During her Walk of Shame, she sees Sansa Stark and other people she had wronged, remembers about Ned Stark and it's heavily implied that she feels bad about some of the things she has done throughout her life.
  • She is also played for sympathy a lot as shown by the above examples. Aside from the examples that are already mentioned, during the Walk of Shame when she paraded naked through the streets of the city and the common people throw things at her, the story tries to frame the moment as an "Alas. Poor Villain" by presenting it from Cersei's point of view, presenting it in excrusiating detail, showing how it affects her psyche and showing that she feels some remorse during the event. The story clearly tries to make the readers feel bad for her during this chapter.

 I just wanted to let everyone know that Cersei (who is universally hated by the fandom) and Tyrion (who is un universally beloved by the fandom) are listed under THE SAME WIKI (because they have both commited awful crimes but they both have way too many redeeming qualities and excuses for their actions to be Pure Evil or Near Pure Evil which means they both fit the criteria to be Inconsistently Heinous).

 So, do you agree with these opinions or not?

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Cersei commits evil because of love.  It does not lessen the immorality of the things she does.  Martin wants to explore the theme of love as the cause of many evils.  It breaks the often used trope of love being benign and good.  Reason is not justification but it gives her a motivation besides being pure evil.  Pure evil is not interesting.  Gregor is a brute and nothing more.  Cersei and Arya are alike.  They do evil, are evil..  Cersei loves her Lannister family and Arya loves the Starks.  They commit evil to protect and to avenge the ones they love.  Collateral damage be damned.  Catelyn and Jon are the same.  Damn the people who will be hurt or killed as long they help the  ones they love.  It is selfish and should have stopped them from becoming leaders.  A lot of trouble could have been avoided. 

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By the nature of things citing wikis as reliable sources of information can be sketchy. 

When it's as something as subjective as categorizing types of evil well, your cited evidence may as well just be "other people agree with me."

It's great you have your opinion, but I"m sure everyone else can come up with their own. 

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