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(Book Spoilers) The whitewashing of Cersei

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I do think she has some grey. But she's mostly black, and a very very dark character. Which is her strength. You feel for her because her story is tragic, not because she has some good in her, and that's why she's so complex and good to read.

Cersei is far to irredeemable to call her story tragic, as she has gone from insane to more insane. There is not that much complexity to Cersei, she really is just narcissistic and paranoid, and wishes she were a man, and that pretty much sums it up. At least in the show there is something to feel sorry for.

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Cersei is far to irredeemable to call her story tragic, as she has gone from insane to more insane. There is not that much complexity to Cersei, she really is just narcissistic and paranoid, and wishes she were a man, and that pretty much sums it up. At least in the show there is something to feel sorry for.

I thought book Cersei was complex even though she was not tragic and to me, a totally black character, she still had a very, very complicated set of emotions, triggers and delusions. TV Cersei is more sypathetic but then most of the main characters except the really 'evil' people are more sympathetic in the show.

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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.

I do and I don't mind the whitewashing since in the book she doesn't really do much in SOS and I like her increased presence. I do think her movement after Joffrey dies is will be organic but not for the same reasons that it was in the book, i.e. same destination but a slightly different path. She's spent this whole season warning everyone who will listen to her about they Tyrells and getting no where, she can't control her son and she knows he's a monster though hates confronting that because she also loves him at the same time, every bit of power she did have is slowly slipping through her fingers. With Joffrey's death not only does she have the conflicted grief of losing the monster she loves (and the fact that it does make her a tad crazy - though understandably), but that is the point her power starts to slowly come back, first as a trickle then after Twyin in a torrent. At that point she is free from restraints and I think her embracing villiany in that freedom will be very organic when all is said and done.

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Cersei is far to irredeemable to call her story tragic, as she has gone from insane to more insane. There is not that much complexity to Cersei, she really is just narcissistic and paranoid, and wishes she were a man, and that pretty much sums it up. At least in the show there is something to feel sorry for.

Why does tragic = redeemable? Why do we need to feel sorry for every character? Especially when there are lots of examples on screen and literature which completely disprove this notion. Good writing is good writing; a character can be complex and irredeemable, and that's one of the things that makes their story tragic. What makes Cersei tragic is the fact that her paranoia and delusion makes her so completely blind, but she's fierce and a very dynamic character. How can you even compare a character who "wants a storm to match her rage" to a character who's "just sitting here being pwned, waiting for my bro to fix it"?

I thought book Cersei was complex even though she was not tragic and to me, a totally black character, she still had a very, very complicated set of emotions, triggers and delusions. TV Cersei is more sypathetic but then most of the main characters except the really 'evil' people are more sympathetic in the show.

Precisely. And unless you're watching a children's show not all characters need to be inherently good. It's bollocks to imply so.

[snip]

At that point she is free from restraints and I think her embracing villiany in that freedom will be very organic when all is said and done.

I don't see how though. How do you woobify a character to that extent and take her to the character she needs to be? Unless they're changing her story completely, which I'm starting to wonder.

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Cersei, in the books and on the screen, has never done one clean, generous thing for one single person, and that includes her children. Not one good, nice or kind thing -- or spoken so of anyone. She whines about herself endlessly though, and because she's never committed one fine act in her whole life, we don't care.

She may be fiercely devoted to her children -- her family -- but she treats them all badly too, and twists and deforms them. It's too late for Joffry, but the sooner she's gone the better for her remaining children. This is a woman who, as she herself suspects, should never have been a mother. She should have been allowed the scope in the world that a man of her rank would have had -- she might have been a better person. But then, there's that father of hers -- and theirs. Down through the generations cruelty and selfishness rides, creating ever more disturbing and twisted individuals.

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I don't get why people are up in arms about attributing blame to events, when even the books haven't been 100% about them.

I'm hoping she's sidelined now so she can be a more central character in season 4. Once Joffrey it out of the way the KL really rests on her and season 5 (if it ends where I assume) will be overflowing with Cersei.

I don't really see that many bad changes from the books, she's such a simple cartoon character in the books. I'm glad she's more 3D and the things getting blamed on Joffrey don't make much difference to me because she could be lying, which she could reveal later.

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Cersei didn't confirm it was Joffrey in that scene, did she? That seemed like Tyrion just jumping to conclusions to me, unless I missed something. I wouldn't call it whitewashing so much as setting up potential motives for Tyrion and the PW - first the attempted murder, now Ros. Even in the books it was never confirmed one way or another whether she sent the Kingsguard after him.

Having Joff be responsible for the bastard killing just makes more sense to me. It's exactly the kind of evil, dumb, short-sighted thing he would do (like mother like son, right??) and since it's one of his first 'official' actions in S2 it helps a precident and establish him as not being entirely within his family's control.

The AFFC material is really Cersei's time to shine like the crazy diamond she is, so if they're still portraying her in the exact same way then as they are now I'll probably agree with you on whitewashing. Until then I think they're doing a good job at giving us more subtle glimpses at her bitterness and cruelty from time to time, which'll make it even more effective when she starts to unravel into full-blown anger and paranoia.

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I actually think they are doing a good job setting up her future arc, she has made reference just this season to be the only one of Tywin's children who paid attention to him and who cares about the Lannister legacy...this is spot on Book Cersei...what you are seeing this season is a Cersei who is thwarted on all sides...by her father, by the Tyrells...so when she ultimately gets power we will see all of that pent up frustration exercised....the same as in the book.

The one thing that may come off as a little unreaslitic because of how they've shown Tyrion and Cersei really trucing it up is how totally she turns on him...

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This is one thing I sincerely hope they "get right" next season. After Joffrey dies, I want to see Cersei go completely batshit and off the deep-end, as she is in the books. Lena has done such an amazing job with the character, and we saw quite a bit of book!Cersei in the Red Keep scene during last season's 'Blackwater' episode - - I can't wait to see more of that!

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Cersei didn't confirm it was Joffrey in that scene, did she? That seemed like Tyrion just jumping to conclusions to me, unless I missed something. I wouldn't call it whitewashing so much as setting up potential motives for Tyrion and the PW - first the attempted murder, now Ros. Even in the books it was never confirmed one way or another whether she sent the Kingsguard after him.

Having Joff be responsible for the bastard killing just makes more sense to me. It's exactly the kind of evil, dumb, short-sighted thing he would do (like mother like son, right??) and since it's one of his first 'official' actions in S2 it helps a precident and establish him as not being entirely within his family's control.

The AFFC material is really Cersei's time to shine like the crazy diamond she is, so if they're still portraying her in the exact same way then as they are now I'll probably agree with you on whitewashing. Until then I think they're doing a good job at giving us more subtle glimpses at her bitterness and cruelty from time to time, which'll make it even more effective when she starts to unravel into full-blown anger and paranoia.

The thing is that Varys said it was Cersei. Cersei did not deny it but like Tyrion said there were two people who could order the Kingsguard to kill him, Joff and Cersei. The stupity of the attempt, having it done in front of the army is what seemed to convince him that it was Joff. I suppose Tyrion should have another conversation with Varys about this, its not impossible that Joff ordered Varys to lie to Tyrion about it. If Varys is manipulating the situation then his machinations have been uncovered by Tyrions and Cerseis reconciliation/cease fire. Even in the books Cersei refrained from killing Tyrion because Jaimie was fond of him. Joff makes more sense to me.

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Cersei wanting Tyrion dead during the battle of Blackwater made some sense given that he had sort of kidnapped Tommen and threatened Tommen with beatings and rape, in addition to getting her house guard captured as POWs, sending Myrcella away, and putting Joffrey on the battlefield. Since Tyrion wasn't as threatening on the show, Cersei had no good motive. I think the show is right in giving Joffrey more agency and making him more threatening because he's been aged up.

I like the softer versions of Cersei and Tyrion better - I don't know if it is better art or whatnot, but I like it better. I do appreciate the OP's argument that softer Cersei is weak and robbed of her vitality, but all three Lannister siblings have been squelched this season under Tywin's influence.

Varys agreed with Tyrion's assessment that Cersei ordered the execution, but he didn't contribute any information. I suspect he'd have said exactly the same things if Tyrion had thought Joffrey or LF was behind the attempt.

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Cersei's struggle to come to terms with the monster she's created draws some parallels between Joffrey and Nero, and I personally enjoy it. It makes more sense than the books, where Cersei seems to love Joffrey the most despite everyone being able to see what a monster he is. With Joffrey having outgrown his mother, and even threatening to have her killed, it serves a sense of karmic justice in the same way that Roose gets hit with karma when Ramsay kills his trueborn son.

To be honest, her guilt over Joffrey humanizes her a great deal and makes her far more realistic than an insane mother so blind as to think her peasant-killing, sadistic son is the bees' knees. Villains are generally more interesting when they have redeeming or human qualities, and I think it's a good step by the show to display Cersei's love for her children to be legitimate. In the books, Cersei doesn't love her children as much as the loves the need to feel validated by their existence. Her love for her kids in the books is pretty much like her love for Jaime- a narcissistic extension of the love she has for herself.

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Cersei's struggle to come to terms with the monster she's created draws some parallels between Joffrey and Nero, and I personally enjoy it. It makes more sense than the books, where Cersei seems to love Joffrey the most despite everyone being able to see what a monster he is. With Joffrey having outgrown his mother, and even threatening to have her killed, it serves a sense of karmic justice in the same way that Roose gets hit with karma when Ramsay kills his trueborn son.

To be honest, her guilt over Joffrey humanizes her a great deal and makes her far more realistic than an insane mother so blind as to think her peasant-killing, sadistic son is the bees' knees. Villains are generally more interesting when they have redeeming or human qualities, and I think it's a good step by the show to display Cersei's love for her children to be legitimate. In the books, Cersei doesn't love her children as much as the loves the need to feel validated by their existence. Her love for her kids in the books is pretty much like her love for Jaime- a narcissistic extension of the love she has for herself.

I agree with this statement somewhat, as the show's Cersei does seem at times vastly more interesting then the book's Cersei who at times comes off as cliche. Through, I do wish they still had her kill the bastards and so forth.

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The thing is, in the books our only hint that Cersei is behind the bastard murders comes from Varys. Slynt never named the person who gave him the orders. The attack on Tyrion has even less proof with Tyrion assuming that Cersei was behind it. If she'd wanted him dead, there was plenty of time for her to have him killed as he lay unconscious.

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Villains are generally more interesting when they have redeeming or human qualities, and I think it's a good step by the show to display Cersei's love for her children to be legitimate. In the books, Cersei doesn't love her children as much as the loves the need to feel validated by their existence. Her love for her kids in the books is pretty much like her love for Jaime- a narcissistic extension of the love she has for herself.

No, that's just not true. It might come down to personal preference obviously so I can't really argue with that, but there are of tons of incredibly interesting villains with little to none redeeming qualities. I feel that many times to give a villain something to make them looking humane is more of an excuse to justify people liking the "baddie", not because it's necessary to make them more 3D. Either way, there's a massive difference between making a villain appear human and making them a woobie.

Cersei has been humanised plenty in season 1, when they gave her that backstory with Robert, which I loved btw. What I don't like it's the fact they continue with woobiefying her even now; the fact the she has a human side has already been established with Robert, her feelings, and how she feels in her position. By giving all her deeds to Joffrey they go to that extreme which is beyond humanising, like I said it's making her a woobie. Poor Cersei, victim of the situation might be more likeable for some, for me she's sparkless and uninteresting.

Take Ben from Lost, which for me is the best example of how you can be disgusted and despise a character, while finding them compelling and feeling thrown off by their tragic situation. He lies, kills, manipulates and generally has no mercy. You want to sock him in the face most of the time because of how he acts. But as he unravels and he shows how deluded he is, and you witness what he ends up losing in his quest for power, you can't help but loving to hate him, feel fascinated by him and sympathise too. In the books Cersei is a Ben; there are some chapters in AFFC where she's mourning Joffrey, where her pain is overwhelmingly raw and heartbreaking. But she's not a woobie, and while I feel her pain, I feel her delusion too and I pity her for being so paranoid and blind. That's what makes her interesting. Cersei looking sad and being wishy-washy is just boring. This season I would happily skip her scenes and not regret a bit, I really do hope they fix her for next season because it's totally possible to write a not whitewashed villain (Cesare in The Borgias is another examples; he's a monster I despise and with no redeeming qualities at this point, but damn if his ride into darkness isn't extremely fun).

The thing is, in the books our only hint that Cersei is behind the bastard murders comes from Varys. Slynt never named the person who gave him the orders. The attack on Tyrion has even less proof with Tyrion assuming that Cersei was behind it. If she'd wanted him dead, there was plenty of time for her to have him killed as he lay unconscious.

The point isn't whether it was Cersei or whoever. The point is that in the books we can guess all we like and never know, in the show it has been explicitly blamed to Joffrey, which changes all characters and their dynamics.

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The thing is, in the books our only hint that Cersei is behind the bastard murders comes from Varys. Slynt never named the person who gave him the orders. The attack on Tyrion has even less proof with Tyrion assuming that Cersei was behind it. If she'd wanted him dead, there was plenty of time for her to have him killed as he lay unconscious.

Isn't there a line in the books in which Robert's bastards in Casterly Rock are killed on the orders of Cersei that predate the massacre in A Clash of Kings? I think the inference that she has done it in the past so it is not a stretch that she would do it again.

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Isn't there a line in the books in which Robert's bastards in Casterly Rock are killed on the orders of Cersei that predate the massacre in A Clash of Kings? I think the inference that she has done it in the past so it is not a stretch that she would do it again.

LF mentioned that story to Ned, who points out that such stories were told about all great families.

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For me the issue isn't so much assigning the blame to Joff which was never confirmed in the books (I am of the mind that LF whispered in Joff's ear to have it done as we have seen he has a lot of influence over Joff and hates Tyrion). It's the fact that Cersei let's Tyrion believe it was Joff that I find out of character for her. She always covered for every despicable thing Joff did in the books.

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The reason why the show is showing that Joffrey did it, is to make Cersei believe that Tyrion killed Joffrey in the PW (at least to normal to viewers).

That's brilliant, actually: Whether Joff truly did it or Cersei framed him, it works anyway: If Cersei believes Tyrion killed Joff because she framed her own son for the earlier attempt on his life... Reason enough to go bonkers.

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