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(Book Spoilers) The whitewashing of Cersei

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It's the shows goal to make watchers invested in the characters. If the show was to portray all the shitty things Tyrion does a lot of viewers would view him as just another Lannister.

You mean they would portray him like his actual character? That is part of the point of Tyrion, while he might be nobler then the rest of his family he is still a Lannister and Tywin's son thus he has inner demons he must face. Here, he doesn't do anything really unlikable and his only flaw seems that he wants to be loved by his father.

Moreover, yes he likes wine and whores but is either of those portrayed unfavorable at all? Not really, seeing how he isn't portrayed as a drunken lecherous chad like Robert instead he is just a man who enjoys a fine drink and seems to have captured a whore with a heart of gold.

If they want to make more likable characters why do they seem content to make Robb a total douche, Blackfish a mean spirited bully, and Jon a total doofus. Seriously, there is no shortage of characters that are likable in ASOIAF nor is Tyrion completely unlikable even with his dark acts. Thus, there is no need to whitewash Tryrion into being Ned's perfect son.

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I didn't really see it as White-Washing of Cersei, as I also believe that it was Littlefinger who ordered the killing of Tyrion.

The Kingsguard at that moment was a joke anyways and just because Tyrion (and Cersei too, as it was implied in this scene) believe they only take orders from the royal family, I'm pretty sure, that the likes of Blount and Trant can certainly be bought as well.

And when it comes to Moore, there were a lot of connections to the vale implied in the books as well. It was mentioned that he came with Arryn, just like Littlefinger... and in the first scene he had a bigger part in (when he blocked a door in front of Tyrion), GRRM deliberately pointed out that he was from the vale, as Tyrion mentioned the death of Ser Vardis to him. Maybe that was already a small hint, that he could be Littlefingers man?

Also, i think, that LF would have a good reason as well. Tyrions trick, when he threw Pycelle into the dungeons didn't only hurt LFs pride but that was the first time, that he realized how dangerous the imp could be for his schemes. After all Tyrion also knew, that he lied about the dagger before.

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Who said I was bothered? I merely find it unnecessary and a little laughable.

When you're done laughing you should really just be fruitful and multiply. And I'm trying to be polite here.

I just hope they leave Cercei's prophecy out of the show. I know it's integral to her character, but that was GRMM's worst bit of writing. This story doesn't need more prophecies, and it certainly doesn't need a catch-all explanation for a character's actions. Cercei going mad because her son and father have been assassinated by Tyrion seems credible to me, we know she's already an unhinged person, she's just less extreme about it than in the books.

They will. They've left them all out, or nearly, as far as I can tell.

Totally get where OP is coming from, but at the same time (call it my projection, if you want), I don't find Lena Headey's portrayal of Cersei to be too different from my interpretation of her in the books. Rather, I suppose I find myself sympathizing with TV Cersei for many of the same reasons that I sympathize with book Cersei, who I've always seen as a character similar to Arya in a lot of ways, but forced unwillingly into the role of Sansa by her father's conservatism. I always understood that Cersei would have preferred the man's role (this is spoken to in the books and in the show), but unlike Arya, she was refused a sword, an opinion, or any sense of control over her future. Having always viewed Cersei's central conflict as being this difficulty reconciling femininity with strength (just as Arya does), I have not been overly concerned with the TV portrayal, because I find that it has maintained the often contradictory nature of that internal struggle (in fact, I would say this season has been very good at showing this, particularly the last two or three episodes where you have seen corresponding interactions with Olenna and Tywin).

You see, my problem is that I don't sympathise much with Cersei, and whenever I do it doesn't last for very long. And I'm totally cool with that; I don't need to sympathise with a character to enjoy it, and Cersei's faults are also what makes her a good reading. Often, there are simply no excuses to how horrible she can be, and this unapologetic nature to "being bad" is part of her charm. If she wasn't as disturbing as she is, she would be the cliche evil queen who's actually not too bad, and I'm so over that sort of character, which is what she appears to be in the show. GRRM's writing is so compelling exactly because most his characters are not boring-ass cliches. Her conflict in the books is interesting because, yes life has been unfair and she is a victim, but she's just as much of an aggressor, and what makes her so tragic is that there's no way out because she can't see it. She's not misunderstood, she's deranged and utterly blind. I pity her, but I don't sympathise in a traditional way.

In this season she's too weak, and I never saw Cersei as weak and defeat, not even in her worst moments. She's resilient, and does not back down. Ever. Show Cersei does, which makes very cliche-y, unfortunately.

As for the lack of agency that as been mentioned, I admit to having been bothered about Joffrey being credited with the murder of Robert's bastards, though I have to say that it is more my issue with the character development of Joffrey, who I feel has been at times too evil (season 2 had some choice scenes) and then remarkably inconsistent this season. Regarding the perceived pawning off of the attempt to assassinate Tyrion, I was given the impression from the episode that it absolutely WAS Cersei who ordered it, and that Tyrion knew it and Cersei knew that he knew it... I interpreted it as Cersei saying that it was Joffrey, with Tyrion recognizing Cersei was lying, and continuing in his usual way of berating his sister by saying "Oh, well "Joffrey" shouldn't have done that, "Joffrey" should have known that that was a stupid idea." Is that not a game of implication that they have played on previous occasions?

Still, would Cersei ever let Joffrey get any blame?

As for character interpretation, the fact many view her differently isn't surprising and I think it happens with many characters, especially when they're complex. Still, there are certain aspects of Cersei, that unless you romanticise her as I've seen some people doing, should be quite blatant for everyone to see. I completely reject the idea that in the books she's "cartoonish" as some have wrote in this thread.

I think that Cersei and Tyrion are more believable characters in the show. It is easier for viewers to relate with these characters now and we will be able to sympathize with them more as they spiral out of control in the later seasons.

Again, why do we need to relate and sympahise with characters to enjoy them? Did you sympathise with Dracula in the books? Do you sympathise with Patrick Bateman in American Psycho? Hannibal Lecter? Norman Bates? Annie Wilkes? Ben in Lost? Heisenberg in Breaking Bad? Humanising characters to the point of making them weak is lazy writing, and takes away much of what makes them interesting to begin with.

Go rewatch Blackwater again and again and again, and think about how wrong you are.

But that was one of the few times Cersei appeared to be the Cersei we know. Not surprisingly, IIRC that episode was written by GRRM. Headey is totally up for the job, it seems that what doesn't allow her to go there is the writing.

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You mean they would portray him like his actual character? That is part of the point of Tyrion, while he might be nobler then the rest of his family he is still a Lannister and Tywin's son thus he has inner demons he must face. Here, he doesn't do anything really unlikable and his only flaw seems that he wants to be loved by his father.

Look, I know they've changed him. The show is going to be different than book, but in truth it works better this way. It especially translates better to television as we would not be privy to his inner dialog.

I don't know that Tyrion's character has a singular point. He a character that the majority of readers rooted for, certainly until the end of ASOS, even though we rooted against his house. I think D&D are doing a great job of generating the same feeling for viewers.

If they want to make more likable characters why do they seem content to make Robb a total douche, Blackfish a mean spirited bully, and Jon a total doofus. Seriously, there is no shortage of characters that are likable in ASOIAF nor is Tyrion completely unlikable even with his dark acts. Thus, there is no need to whitewash Tryrion into being Ned's perfect son.

I don't really agree what you''re saying about those characters either. Robb "You're paying for my sins, I won't forget this uncle," doesn't seem like a douche but a naive teenager who fell in love.

I'm sorry but there is a need to have viewers be invested in the characters. Especially with so many of the other "favorites" being killed. That's my biggest problem with boardwalk empire right now is I don't really know who to root for.

Even In the show, Tyrion is nothing like Ned or any of the other Starks. He has a good heart but that's about where the similarities stop.

We have to accept that the show is not the book and enjoy it for what it is. Still a great television show.

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I've been disliking the whitewashing of Tyrion for some time now, but in a way, it isn't as disturbing as the similar-ish treatment to Cersei. Like so many others here, I liked that the book Cersei was constanty trying to do something, trying to play the game even though she occasionally overestimated her own abilities and/or failed. The show Cersei... what has she done recently expect complain how Joffrey is out of her control or moaned about the role and the prospects of the women in Westeros? D&D are reducing her into a less active character, just like they have done with Catelyn.

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You see, my problem is that I don't sympathise much with Cersei, and whenever I do it doesn't last for very long. And I'm totally cool with that; I don't need to sympathise with a character to enjoy it, and Cersei's faults are also what makes her a good reading. Often, there are simply no excuses to how horrible she can be, and this unapologetic nature to "being bad" is part of her charm. If she wasn't as disturbing as she is, she would be the cliche evil queen who's actually not too bad, and I'm so over that sort of character, which is what she appears to be in the show. GRRM's writing is so compelling exactly because most his characters are not boring-ass cliches. Her conflict in the books is interesting because, yes life has been unfair and she is a victim, but she's just as much of an aggressor, and what makes her so tragic is that there's no way out because she can't see it. She's not misunderstood, she's deranged and utterly blind. I pity her, but I don't sympathise in a traditional way.

She has plenty of time to grow into the evil paranoid Queen we see in AFFC. Only this way her paranoia will make more sense. She'll lose it when her father and son are killed.

We already saw the conniving woman in Season 1 with Ned and season 2 with Tyrion's whore(Ros). She'll start to spiral and become the cartoon you want but give it a season or two.

In this season she's too weak, and I never saw Cersei as weak and defeat, not even in her worst moments. She's resilient, and does not back down. Ever. Show Cersei does, which makes very cliche-y, unfortunately.

How do you mean weak, because recognizes Joffrey is a rotten seed? She always bent to Tywin and Joffrey but never to Tyrion, Robert, or anyone else. I think she holds serve in the show. The only cliche would be an evil queen, driven by a prophesy. But she isn't close to inherently good. She is still a selfish, ambitious, and mean.

Again, why do we need to relate and sympahise with characters to enjoy them? Did you sympathise with Dracula in the books? Do you sympathise with Patrick Bateman in American Psycho? Hannibal Lecter? Norman Bates? Annie Wilkes? Ben in Lost? Heisenberg in Breaking Bad? Humanising characters to the point of making them weak is lazy writing, and takes away much of what makes them interesting to begin with.

You can enjoy them without sympathizing, but I find her humanization more believable and in turn her character more compelling. I don't find book Cersei at all interesting except to watch the train wreck. It would have been much lazy for the writers to create a character as obvious as Cersei was a times in AFFC.

To be honest I didn't like some of those books, shows, or movies at all and I didn't like any of them as much as I like AGOT. She hasn't been made weaker imo, only more sane.

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I think far more people root for the show lannisters minus joff at thos point.

What's not to like, they're pretty much all great people. Tywin's a bit strict, but you need to be to rule the 7 kingdoms.

This ties in with why I dont like her portrayal. I love the prophesy, i love that book cersei is a haunted, paranoid sociopath. I dont want her cowed by Joff and emotional. I have no need for her to be a misunderstood womann acting how anyone would act.

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The Arya/Cersei comparison makes me throw up in my mouth. Cersei was mean spirited and almost evil since birth. Just because they were uncomfortable with their expected roles as women doesnt mean they're comparable really

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I don't think she is whitewashed at all; we still get glimpses of crazy. She is pretty horrible in the Blackwater episode. She was fully prepared to commit suicide and kill Tommen as well (in the episode that George wrote!). She mentions the time she had the servant girl's hand cut off for stealing (she never stole again!). The way she acted so smugly towards Tyrion about marrying Sansa, and then the look on her face when Tywin turned the tables on her; that was a beautiful crystallization of the family dynamic and in my opinion very faithful to the books. We will see her true colors when Joff is killed and when Tywin isn't around to constrain her. And it's going to be some fantastic TV.

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Cersei's real decline will come when Joff is murdered and Jaime is back and then gone again. As with some other things from the books, it's just impossible to show too much of her and have her slow descent heavily featured when they have so much to cram in.

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How do you mean weak, because recognizes Joffrey is a rotten seed? She always bent to Tywin and Joffrey but never to Tyrion, Robert, or anyone else. I think she holds serve in the show. The only cliche would be an evil queen, driven by a prophesy. But she isn't close to inherently good. She is still a selfish, ambitious, and mean.

I mean weak because there's a huge contrast to the Cersei of previous seasons, and season 3 Cersei, who apparently spends her time panicking like a deer caught in headlights, wait for Jaime to save her, and bond with a brother she hates (and said hatred is a major plot point for next season!). Come on, it's like they've shifted her direction completely. There's nothing cliche or cartoonish in allowing a character to have a very black side among the gray, in fact it's quite daring.

I think far more people root for the show lannisters minus joff at thos point.

What's not to like, they're pretty much all great people. Tywin's a bit strict, but you need to be to rule the 7 kingdoms.

This. It's simplified. And in Cersei's case the softening worked fine when Robert was still around; it added a lot of very much needed backstory and it was heartbreaking. In season 2 they still got it right, despite a few hiccups. Cersei in season 3 is a woobie, victim of everyone but no aggressor. In this last episode she was even semi-worrying about breaking the news to Sansa... I mean, Sansa! The same Sansa she was tormenting about being raped at the end of a battle. The same Sansa she drags to get married to Tyrion in the books.

Cersei's real decline will come when Joff is murdered and Jaime is back and then gone again. As with some other things from the books, it's just impossible to show too much of her and have her slow descent heavily featured when they have so much to cram in.

She's the one sending him away because he annoys her and doesn't do as he's told.

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Yea, there's time enough for a recovery, but I'm missing book Cersei now.

One or two accurare inidents in the last 10-15 episodes doesnt do much for me.

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Cersei was pretty reasonable in Book 1 actually and she actually had a rather good grasp on politics I think. She was far from being a good person... but she lectured Jaime, that he didn't have to throw Bran out of the window. She also knew what Ned Starks death would mean

It was getting worse and worse in every book I think and after Joffrey's death, she was a nutcase, not able to comprehend even the most obvious things, not to mention that she was simply doing plain evil things as well. Can't say, that I liked this change too much, but oh well.

However, I liked the Season 3 Cersei so far though... she had a few great scenes as well... she was mocking Joffrey at the dinner with the Tyrells, which was a delight... And it was interesting to see her getting a bit intimitated by her own son as well.

I still think of her as a strong woman, because let's face it... in front of Tywin even the strongest character of the books might look weak and intimitated.

And I never had the feeling that Tyrion and Cersei care for each other. It's just their own misery at the moment, which is stoping them from mocking each other.

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But she IS aggressive. She's the one who sent LF to get intel on the Tyrells. She was the catalyst for that whole chain of events.

She is eyeballing the Tyrells, true enough. But the scenes like the one with Tyrion make me crazy.

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You see, my problem is that I don't sympathise much with Cersei, and whenever I do it doesn't last for very long. And I'm totally cool with that; I don't need to sympathise with a character to enjoy it, and Cersei's faults are also what makes her a good reading. Often, there are simply no excuses to how horrible she can be, and this unapologetic nature to "being bad" is part of her charm. If she wasn't as disturbing as she is, she would be the cliche evil queen who's actually not too bad, and I'm so over that sort of character, which is what she appears to be in the show. GRRM's writing is so compelling exactly because most his characters are not boring-ass cliches. Her conflict in the books is interesting because, yes life has been unfair and she is a victim, but she's just as much of an aggressor, and what makes her so tragic is that there's no way out because she can't see it. She's not misunderstood, she's deranged and utterly blind. I pity her, but I don't sympathise in a traditional way.

In this season she's too weak, and I never saw Cersei as weak and defeat, not even in her worst moments. She's resilient, and does not back down. Ever. Show Cersei does, which makes very cliche-y, unfortunately.

:agree: so so so much!!!

I've only watched clips from youtube since HBO Asia is late and I couldn't keep up..(gotta wait for torrents :P ).. The whitewashing they did in the previous seasons are fine and really interesting, adds more depth to her character.. and btw, I'm someone who has watched the shows first(up to season 2) then read the books(and now frustrated by some uncessary changes of the show)... and had to admit, I find her quite surprising when I got inside her head... I don't know why people could still like the Cersei from season 3, all she does is whine.. I am someone that hates Cersei very much but admires her at the same time for being strong.. But in this season, the lionness in her is not showing!! BRING BACK MY FIERCE CERSEI!!! I don't see how book Cersei is not interesting.. I hate her but there are some of her qualities that I find admirable that's why I find her intriguing.. and yes, the way the show approach Cersei in this season is making her some misunderstood weak cliche, it was better in the previous seasons..

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Again this all sounds like more unnecessary complaining. She IS still a villain.

Not until when she starts getting her own POV chapters. Then she becomes a protagonist just like Jaime and the rest.

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I think she is whitewashed to book readers, but the non-book readers that I have spoken with pretty much hate her. So I get how she comes across differently in the show (and I think some of that is attributed to Lena Headey really humanizing her) but she is still very much a villain.

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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.

You can't view Cercei in a bubble. The present circumstances do not allow her to be the uber-villain. Tywins' return to KL has cramped her style.

Just as Tywin is the only one who can truly dominate Tyrion, so Tywin is the boss of Cercei. She is no match for Tywin Lannister and she knows it, and most of her season 3 plot so far involves Tywin and the effects of his decisions. It is easy to empathise with someone beaten and feeling sorry for themselves after being told to marry someone- but it's exactly how she would have reacted in the books too. She felt she was in charge whilst Tywin was off in the field. When Tywin returns to KL and takes up the reins, his overbearing presence looms over her again and if Daddy says marry someone- she does it, Queen Regent or not. I thought the scene on the show where Tywin puts Cercei down for not being able to control Joffrey was crucial in underlying the fact that Tywin still has the psychological edge over her- she needs to ask daddy to bring her child to heel. Ouch! In the books, she wasn't allowed to have a say in Tyrion's trial, and it makes perfect sense that her hostility towards the Tyrells is kept in check by her father's desire to maintain the alliance.

Hers is not a gradual descent into villainy- that is too simplistic and ignores a crucial family dynamic. Whilst Tywin is around, she needs to stay chaste, uphold the Lannister name, and stay off the sauce. She can still threaten the likes of Littlefinger, bitch about Sansa and Margary, or feel smug at Tyrion's misfortune, but she is living under Tywins' shadow and with skeletons in the closet to boot. The fact is, we all act differently when we are around other people, and an authoritarian overbearing father is a classic example of this.

It also helps to explain Cercei's arrogant backlash when he is not around as she attempts to fill his shoes. All her inherent arrogance, bottled up and bruised in Tywin's presence gets unleashed when he is no longer there. She attempts to impose herself excessively, recklessly, in a hot-headed inexperienced fashion when the opportunity finally comes along. It's classic bullied turned bully, and helps explain more layers to her personality. She is a child let loose.

Another aspect currently is that she is now dealing with a much tougher and more subtle rival than Sansa Stark, one with far more aces up her sleeves. With QofT, Margary, Joffrey, Tyrion and Tywin all in town, she simply doesn't rule the roost. Whatever she does or says to other people could get back to Tywin and as such, she has to watch herself. That doesn't make Cercei any less of a villain, nor does it mean that when Joff/QofT/Tywin/Tyrion clear out, she can't revert back to her reckless ways unchecked without people putting it down to a personality shift.

Its a change in circumstance- no more, no less- and underlined further by the fact that in ACOK, Joffrey and Tyrion stand up to her whereas in AFFC, there is only a gentle Jamie, and Tommen is naturally more compliant, allowing her free reign to do as she wishes due to differing social dynamics- not due to her becoming "a villain" . We all feel sorry for victims, for the repressed, but that doesn't make them a nice person all of a sudden. She demonstrated no remorse or sympathy when confronted by Tyrion about the assassination attempt- only embarrassment when he narrows down the suspects to her or her son, and when she tried being nice to Tyrion in the first scene of the series, it was a desperately poor effort, and only for the purposes of trying to find out if he intended to tell tales on her to father.

No- IMO, Cercei is exactly the same person as ever, but operating under vastly different circumstances. IMO, she was the same person in GOT as she is in AFFC, trying to get rid of anyone who stands in her way. With nobody cramping her style at all in AFFC, she really gets to show her true colours.

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I think she is whitewashed to book readers, but the non-book readers that I have spoken with pretty much hate her. So I get how she comes across differently in the show (and I think some of that is attributed to Lena Headey really humanizing her) but she is still very much a villain.

I dunno why people hate her so much. She really hasn't done anything in the entire series to warrant real hate. She never killed anyone people cared about, nor was indirectly responsible for any such deaths. She was only trying to play the game as much as every other principal character, and she failed miserably at it. The things she ended up having to go through in the books would indicate that she clearly was punished for her deeds, and her current arc can be seen as a redemption arc similar to Jaime's.

GRRM would not have made her a POV character if she was simply a villain like Joffrey.

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