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(Book Spoilers) The whitewashing of Cersei

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I wrote it on the episode thread, but I'm curious to know everyone else's opinion about it. I'm not show bashing btw, I love the show for the most part, so be nice ;)

The way Cersei is whitewashed on the show feels like a cop out to me. In season 1 they laid the ground to show that Cersei isn't just some cartoon villain, but she's a villain all the same. I actually really enjoyed the scenes they added, as they layered the character very nicely; we know that something brought her to be the person she is now, and that there's a sadness she can't shake because of it. That, however, doesn't change the fact she's generally horrible and quite cruel.

By now, there's no need to continue with that sort of approach though. We already know she's a 3D villain, we already know what she's capable of and the sort of hatred that drives her. Why change things around too much? Provided the show doesn't veer too much away from the books, we also know where Cersei needs to get. For the sake of character development, to see her woobified for 3 seasons and give her bad deeds to Joffrey in my opinion doesn't work, not anymore at least. She's losing grip on everything she wants to control and she's what, defeated? That's not the Cersei I know.

So to sum it up, I think that at this point she should be "owning" her personality way more than the show allows her to do. Thoughts?

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I wrote it on the episode thread, but I'm curious to know everyone else's opinion about it. I'm not show bashing btw, I love the show for the most part, so be nice ;)

The way Cersei is whitewashed on the show feels like a cop out to me. In season 1 they laid the ground to show that Cersei isn't just some cartoon villain, but she's a villain all the same. I actually really enjoyed the scenes they added, as they layered the character very nicely; we know that something brought her to be the person she is now, and that there's a sadness she can't shake because of it. That, however, doesn't change the fact she's generally horrible and quite cruel.

By now, there's no need to continue with that sort of approach though. We already know she's a 3D villain, we already know what she's capable of and the sort of hatred that drives her. Why change things around too much? Provided the show doesn't veer too much away from the books, we also know where Cersei needs to get. For the sake of character development, to see her woobified for 3 seasons and give her bad deeds to Joffrey in my opinion doesn't work, not anymore at least. She's losing grip on everything she wants to control and she's what, defeated? That's not the Cersei I know.

So to sum it up, I think that at this point she should be "owning" her personality way more than the show allows her to do. Thoughts?

I agree. My only real complaint with the show is what they have done to Cersei and Catelyn. Two of the strongest characters in the books. The show has pretty much made them sideline back round characters.

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I agree. My only real complaint with the show is what they have done to Cersei and Catelyn. Two of the strongest characters in the books. The show has pretty much made them sideline back round characters.

They have plenty of time after Joffrey dies to truly establish Cersei as the villain she is, though.

They have underused Catelyn, though, definitely. Maybe they are planning on establishing Lady Stonehart as a more...alive sort of character? A bit Beric like?

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Was it ever confirmed that Cersei sent Mandon Moore to kill Tyrion? I remember tyrion thinking so, but he didn't really investigate it to confirm his suspspicions. And I don't remember her thinking something like "if only mandon moore had killed my brother" when she was at Tywin's deathbed.

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They have plenty of time after Joffrey dies to truly establish Cersei as the villain she is, though.

You're right and yes they could, but it doesn't feel as organic. She should be slowly sliding into the type of person she becomes by now. It doesn't have the same impact if it happens suddenly after Joffrey and Tywin die. She's had no character development at all this season, all she seems to do is... Fret. Which is very un-Cersei.

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They've been doing it since S1, most likely to create a contrast to unhinged Cersie following Joff's death. The show can never make Cersie as cartoonishly evil as she is in AFFC, they can however unhinge her mentally, and ranch up the menace. To achieve the contrast they've decided to soften her until then.

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Was it ever confirmed that Cersei sent Mandon Moore to kill Tyrion? I remember tyrion thinking so, but he didn't really investigate it to confirm his suspspicions. And I don't remember her thinking something like "if only mandon moore had killed my brother" when she was at Tywin's deathbed.

Never confirmed, but it was heavily implied. And it's also never openly attributed it on Joffrey, which is a significant change.

They've been doing it since S1, most likely to create a contrast to unhinged Cersie following Joff's death. The show can never make Cersie as cartoonishly evil as she is in AFFC, they can however unhinge her mentally, and ranch up the menace. To achieve the contrast they've decided to soften her until then.

I did enjoy the softening in the first season or so, it made sense to make her a more rounded character. But like I said, they've established this now so it's surplus to requirements. They're taking much away from Cersei by not making her directly responsible/involved for much that goes on in her life.

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Never confirmed, but it was heavily implied. And it's also never openly attributed it on Joffrey, which is a significant change.

I did enjoy the softening in the first season or so, it made sense to make her a more rounded character. But like I said, they've established this now so it's surplus to requirements. They're taking much away from Cersei by not making her directly responsible/involved for much that goes on in her life.

An you think having her attempt to kill her own brother so stupidly, and without real cause, and failing gives her agency, or control over her own life? I disagree. Don't forget, that by softening Tyrion himself, Cersie's reaction to him has to be softened as well.

Also, we really don't know who attempted to kill Tyrion in the books. It could just as easily have been Joff.

As to her not having control over her life at the moment, with Tywin in KL, that's absolutely in accordance with the books.

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An you think having her attempt to kill her own brother so stupidly, and without real cause, and failing gives her agency, or control over her own life? I disagree.

That's not what I meant. Cersei never really has any control and when she does it usually slips through her fingers anyway. But she tries, every time.

Don't forget, that by softening Tyrion himself, Cersie's reaction to him has to be softened as well.

That's true and we could argue that the whitewashing of Tyrion is a disservice to his character development as well.

As to her not having control over her life at the moment, with Tywin in KL, that's absolutely in accordance with the books.

But the point isn't about her having actual physical control, it's about the fact she would not sit and be defeated. Let alone confess to Tyrion. People are getting the impression those two have an actual loving bond somewhere, and it's very much against what defines them. They hate each other, with an undying passion, too.

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Was it ever confirmed that Cersei sent Mandon Moore to kill Tyrion? I remember tyrion thinking so, but he didn't really investigate it to confirm his suspspicions. And I don't remember her thinking something like "if only mandon moore had killed my brother" when she was at Tywin's deathbed.

Yeah, I don't recall it ever being confirmed that Cersei ordered the hit on Tyrion. I've seen people speculate that it was Littlefinger, but I doubt it. If it hasn't been confirmed in the books, Joffrey would be a good bet.

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But the point isn't about her having actual physical control, it's about the fact she would not sit and be defeated. Let alone confess to Tyrion. People are getting the impression those two have an actual loving bond somewhere, and it's very much against what defines them. They hate each other, with an undying passion, too.

I'm not sure which people you're talking about, but no one in my group of unsullied is under any illusion that those two have a loving relationship. Anyone who reads the scene that way wasn't paying attention last week.

This meeting was a meeting of 2 people in similar predicaments, trying to find a way out, weighing their options. Cersie didn't admit defeat, if anyone is ready to give up it's Tyrion. He said it "I'm fucked". Cersie, to me at least, looked like one who hasn't yet given up.

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Yeah, I don't recall it ever being confirmed that Cersei ordered the hit on Tyrion. I've seen people speculate that it was Littlefinger, but I doubt it. If it hasn't been confirmed in the books, Joffrey would be a good bet.

The kingsguard only take orders from the king or the queen

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Non-corrupt Kingsguard only take orders from the king or the queen. Or their regent.

I guess its possible. There would just be little for a KG to gain from doing something like that.He cant rise any higher and I don't think money would be a motive for a KG, but I guess its possible.

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Cersei was basically a cartoon villain in the novels so I'm fine with this. I suspect once Joffrey dies Cersei will slowly descend into madness.

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You're right and yes they could, but it doesn't feel as organic. She should be slowly sliding into the type of person she becomes by now. It doesn't have the same impact if it happens suddenly after Joffrey and Tywin die. She's had no character development at all this season, all she seems to do is... Fret. Which is very un-Cersei.

She is, very subtly. Her changing started already in the episode with the Battle of Blackwater Bay and her paranoia has continued to grow since. Tywin's presence in King's Landing is also affecting her; he's a source of additional frustration and bitterness, and his presence makes her even more determined to prove herself. I think it's safe to say she's headed straight downhill from here and that it will escalate heavily in season four.

Cersei hasn't had that much space to develop so far this season, I think, but what opportunities Lena has been given she has made use of.

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I'm not sure which people you're talking about, but no one in my group of unsullied is under any illusion that those two have a loving relationship. Anyone who reads the scene that way wasn't paying attention last week.

This meeting was a meeting of 2 people in similar predicaments, trying to find a way out, weighing their options. Cersie didn't admit defeat, if anyone is ready to give up it's Tyrion. He said it "I'm fucked". Cersie, to me at least, looked like one who hasn't yet given up.

BiB: Your group of unsullied is probably smarter than my own or has a better attention span ;) But I think I've read something similar in a review as well. Either way, I do think that the Cersei/Tyrion relationship comes across differently on screen. The sort of understanding they have on the show takes something away from what's at the core of their interaction, and the unspoken humanity between them is part of the whitewashing of both. In this sense, I think The Borgias (if anyone is familiar with it, it proves you can portray that sort of relationship on screen) has set up a much better relationship between Cesare and Juan who have a similar dynamic to Cersei/Tyrion. It's conflicted, filled with hatred and competition, but defined by family ties and a sense of belonging- or wanting to belong, which is ultimately extremely tragic. In the books we get all of this between Cersei and Tyrion, in the show we get a more acceptable version of it, to make them appear more sympathetic, while they could be more daring with such good actors and characters.

As for Cersei not giving in... Well, she's pretty much expecting to be "saved" at this point, while she's all about taking control. And she doesn't just fear being out of control, she hates it.

Cersei was basically a cartoon villain in the novels so I'm fine with this. I suspect once Joffrey dies Cersei will slowly descend into madness.

I very much disagree with this notion. She's a much daring characters in the books in terms of character development, and I speak as someone who loves to hate her. Her faults are what makes her the entertaining character that she is. Like I said, I was fine with softening her too at the start, as it was needed to build the character. But then you move on. Cersei is as much a victim as she is an aggressor, and with the exception of a few glimpses it's not coming across.

She is, very subtly. Her changing started already in the episode with the Battle of Blackwater Bay and her paranoia has continued to grow since. Tywin's presence in King's Landing is also affecting her; he's a source of additional frustration and bitterness, and his presence makes her even more determined to prove herself. I think it's safe to say she's headed straight downhill from here and that it will escalate heavily in season four.

Cersei hasn't had that much space to develop so far this season, I think, but what opportunities Lena has been given she has made use of.

I don't have a problem with Lena and the acting, it's the writing that it's off. We're midway through season 3, her conflicts and extreme personality should be more than subtle by now. I hope you're right and we do get to this point eventually, but so far I haven't liked her this season. And not in the way I'm supposed to - love to hate her- I'm just unimpressed.

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I think that a bond has been established between the two siblings. Yes they hate each other, but there are also moments of - at the very least - respect. There are a few of these scenes dotted throughout the second season.

I certainly find show!Cersei a compelling character. She hasn't had much opportunity to show her later developments yet - but I am expecting her to be more true to her book counterpart in a couple of seasons time.

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My only problem with how the show handled it was that cersei says that joffrey did it. If it were cersei we'd know from one of her povs.

Though,cersei saying joff did it only means that either cersei BELIEVES he did it or WANTS tyrion to believe it, not necessarily that it's true.

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Cersei still has plenty of bad things to do in the future seasons, she will be a villain and hopefully also kind of crazy :). I am a lot more worried about the whitewashing of Tyrion. In the books it's difficult to detect that Tyrion is not a nice guy. The POV structure can be deceptive, we miss Tyrion's evil deeds, we think he is wrongfully accused by the others.... but actually he isn't. In ADWD most of us came to the shocking conclusion that he is also a villain: he kills, rapes, whores, a kinslayer, and many more. In the show he does none of these things. I am sure they will still have him be a kinslayer.... but that's just not enough, most of the viewers will agree with that killing. :(

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