This post contains spoilers for season 7 of “Game of Thrones”
We’re two episodes away from the season finale, and it’s clear showrunners still don’t know what to do with Cersei.
The writers decided to take her in a direction fit for a soap opera: a surprise pregnancy.
While this isn’t a full-on Maury Povich situation—we can be pretty certain Jaime is the father — it’s not immediately clear whether Cersei is truly pregnant or trying to use the pregnancy to manipulate her brother.
Jaime now knows that Tyrion did not kill Joffrey. So Jaime’s full allegiance to Cersei is based on something he knows is false. Cersei, sensing that she may be losing her grip on Jaime, could be throwing out a pregnancy rumor in order to reassert her twin’s commitment to her.
“Never betray me again,” Cersei warns Jaime after telling him she’s pregnant.
Whether she’s pregnant or not, the writers are once again fixating on Cersei’s ovaries above all else. In behind the scene interviews, showrunners have repeatedly indicated they believe Cersei is primarily motivated by her maternal instincts.
Instead of showing Cersei as a successful ruler, the writers offer us dull interactions that tell — rather than show — us who she is. It’s disappointing. Cersei has barely left a handful of courtyards and rooms in King’s Landing all season.
In the first few episodes, Cersei is in the throne room, where she promises Euron she will marry him, but only after they win the war. (Who knows how he will take the pregnancy.) Other than those scenes in the throne room, Cersei is only seen interacting with Jaime and the Iron Bank of Braavos.
As exciting as discussions over debt payments are, Cersei’s scenes with Iron Bank representative Tycho Nestoris aren’t the most dynamic to watch. We see Cersei tell the Iron Bank that she will repay Lannister debts. A short while later, Jaime takes Highgarden in a surprise move that leaves Lady Oleanna dead, the Lannister coffers full and their debts clear.
Tycho tells Cersei that he is impressed that the Iron Bank is being repaid so quickly:
All of the planning for taking Highgarden happens off screen. As the audience, we do not know whether Jaime or Cersei outwitted Tyrion. Neither of them are portrayed as especially intelligent in the books or onscreen. But we do know that Jaime has commanded armies before. It’s logical to think he would be the one to orchestrate a raid, but we don’t know for sure.
Sure, some of the dramatic tension may have been lost if we had seen Cersei planning out the raid on Highgarden. But we never see her in action. Meanwhile, Tyrion is featured in expository scenes where he reveals his plans to Dany. Cersei gets none.
Cersei is seen standing on a map, but not actually going anywhere outside of King’s Landing. She gets praise for paying back Lannister debts, but we don’t see her plotting to make that happen. Cersei’s interesting or revealing moments all happen offscreen.
And when she gets a scene where she is the primary actor, it’s a pregnancy reveal.
As we near the end of the season, we’ll presumably get some answers on Cersei’s pregnancy. But, with only so many episodes left to explore these characters, it’s disappointing that Cersei had such a lousy season.