Cersei Lannister

As the oldest child of Tywin Lannister, Cersei Lannister became King Robert Baratheon’s wife after he defeated King Aerys II Targaryen.

The Definitive Glossary for Game of Thrones

Cersei Lannister is a House Lannister member and is the daughter of Lord Tywin Lannister and Lady Joanna Lannister. She is the Queen Regent of the Seven Kingdoms and has a twin brother, Ser Jaime Lannister, and a little brother Tyrion Lannister. With her goal of always wanting to be the one true Queen, Cersei indulges in many adulterous affairs and conspires against her husband and everyone she deems to be out to get her; this lead to paranoia and terrible decisions.

Cersei Lannister Personal Details

  • Name: Cersei Lannister.
  • Year of Birth: 266 AC at Casterly Rock.
  • Parents: Lord Tywin Lannister and Lady Joanna Lannister.
  • Siblings: Jaime, Tyrion.
  • Titles: Light of the West, Queen Dowager, Protector of the Realm, Lady of Casterly Rock, Shield of Lannisport, Queen Regent.
  • Allegiances: House Lannister, House Baratheon of King’s Landing.
  • Husband: King Robert Baratheon.
  • Children: Prince Joffrey Baratheon, Princess Myrcella Baratheon, Prince Tommen Baratheon.
  • Lovers: Ser Jaime Lannister, Ser Lancel Lannister, Ser Osfryd Kettleblack, Ser Osney Kettleblack, Ser Lancel Lannister, Lady Taena Merryweather.
  • Culture: Westermen.
  • Religion: Faith of the Seven.
  • Hair Color: Golden.
  • Eye Color: Green.

Appearance and Personality

Cersei Lannister is a beautiful woman with lush golden hair and sparkling emerald eyes. She is slender-framed, graceful, and is deemed one of the prettiest women in the Seven Kingdoms. She and her twin brother Jaime looked alike and got confused for each other when they were younger, so much even Tywin could not tell his children apart.

For her attire, Cersei wears the best gowns worthy of a Queen. She has a sea-green silk gown with Myrish lace, a fluffy-white linen gown with gold satin lined sleeves, a jade-green dress with Myrish laced sleeves, a low-cut black gown adorned with rubies, a white gown with a cloth of gold, and other exquisite clothes. She also has jewelry, including a golden ring with a large emerald, a golden necklace with an emerald, diamond and emerald necklaces, and a jeweled tiara. She also has a royal double-decked wheelhouse of gilded metal and oiled oak.

Cersei is an ambitiously power-hungry woman who believes she is a political genius. She hates being a woman, stating it excludes her from the politics of men. She hates the customs that prevent women from assuming power because she is an intelligent and capable person fit to rule the Seven Kingdoms, according to her.

Seeing herself as the female version of her father Tywin, she gets salty when people criticize or advise her on her ideologies or decisions. Though Cersei believes herself to be intelligent, she is a deceptive and incredibly untalented leader with a quick temper. She blames everything on her gender but does not forget an offense and is terrible at making administrative decisions.


Early Life

Cersei Lannister was born in 266 AC as the first child of Lord Tywin Lannister. Her brother Jaime came shortly after holding her leg. Upon her birth, King Aerys II sent her weight in gold as a name-day gift. Though he asked Tywin to bring the children to court when they were of age, no evidence showed it happened. Cersei and her brother looked so similar that distinguishing them was almost impossible.

They grew close to each other, and Cersei helped Jaime take lessons from the master-at-arms of Casterly Rock by wearing his clothes and disguising himself as him. The twins also played in the bowels of Casterly Rock and would dare each other to climb the cage housing the lions of Lord Tytos Lannister. Cersei climbed over and touched one of the lions but got pulled to safety by her brother.

Because they were close, Cersei and her brother shared the same bed. However, they began indulging in sexual practices, and when they got caught by a servant, their mother got alerted. Joanna then separated them and warned them to do nothing of the sort. Not long after, she died giving birth to Tyrion.

After her mother’s death, Cersei blamed her little brother and resented him. Later, the Princess of Dorne came with her children, Prince Oberyn Martell and Princess Elia Martell, to Casterly Rock, hoping to make a match with either Cersei or Jaime. However, Tyrion got offered to Elia; this made the Princess of Dorne angry. Cersei later tried showing Elia her little brother. However, she began hurting him and only got stopped by Jaime.

House Targaryen

As the Hand of the King, Tywin told Cersei of his plans to have her betrothed to Prince Rhaegar Targaryen; this made a young Cersei elated as she began daydreaming of her soon-to-be husband. After Prince Viserys Targaryen’s birth, a tourney got held. Believing her dreams will come true, Cersei, with her friends Jeyne Farman and Melara Hetherspoon, entered the woods to meet Maggy the Frog.

After ordering the witch to tell her fortune, Maggy tells Cersei she will marry the King and birth him three children, but everything will get taken by a younger Queen, and the Valonquar will end her. Later when Cersei inquired, she learned Valonquar meant little brother; this made her hate Tyrion more. She later learned that King Aerys had rejected Tywin’s proposal to wed her to Rhaegar.


After Rhaegar’s wedding to Elia Martell, Tywin rejected all offers for Cersei’s hand as he believed the prince’s new bride would die during childbirth. He also hoped to wed Cersei to Viserys. When Jaime came to King’s Landing, she seduced him and convinced him to become a member of the Kingsguard so he could be together with her. When Aerys allowed Jaime to become a member of the Kingsguard, Tywin got angry and resigned, moving to Casterly Rock with Cersei.

Robert’s Rebellion and Marriage

After Rhaegar Targaryen’s death, Tywin Lannister led his troops and sacked King’s Landing for Robert. As a symbol of unity, Robert married Cersei. However, she slept with her brother on the morning of her wedding. Cersei’s spite for Robert began when he screamed Lyanna’s name on their wedding night. Over the years, Cersei’s relationship with her husband deteriorated. She continued her adulterous relationship with her brother and got pregnant for him. 

Cersei had three children for her brother and often rejected having him around for her birth to prevent suspicion. When she discovered she got pregnant with Robert’s child, Cersei asked Jaime to help her find someone to cleanse her. She also continued to maintain her status by killing any bastard child of her husband. When Stannis Baratheon realized what was happening, he confided in Lord Jon Arryn. However, Jon died a night after Joffrey’s name-day tourney, leading Stannis to suspect Cersei even more.

Relevance in A Song of Ice and Fire

A Game of Thrones

After Jon Arryn’s death, King Robert travels to Winterfell to meet Lord Eddard Stark. He asks him to become the new Hand of the King, and Ned accepts. Before leaving, Jaime throws Bran Stark from a tower after he sees Cersei and her brother sleeping together. She mocks her brother for his actions stating they could have intimidated him into silence.

Ned heads to King’s Landing with his daughters Sansa and Arya, but on the way, Joffrey gets into an accident with Arya, Mycah, and Nymeria. For her son’s injury, she has Sansa’s direwolf killed. She also tries to make Jaime find and kill Arya. However, Jory Cassel finds the little girl before him.

On getting to King’s Landing, Ned holds the small council’s meeting. He meets Petyr Baelish and Lord Varys and learns about the mysteriousness of Jon Arryn’s death; this leads him to open an investigation. When Tyrion gets arrested by Catelyn, Cersei insults King Robert for failing to do anything. Ned then discovers that Cersei’s children are illegitimate and confronts her. She admits to the allegations and tries to seduce Ned but fails. After learning of Ned’s plans from Sansa, Cersei makes her cousin Lancel put a potent drink for her husband leading to his death.

Upon Robert’s death, Cersei makes her son Joffrey King and arrests Ned Stark. Though she plans to have him take the black, Joffrey orders Ser Ilyn Payne to behead the Warden of the North; this leads to Robb rising against the Lannister. Later Jaime gets captured during the Battle of the Whispering Woods.

A Clash of Kings

When Tywin learns of Eddard Stark’s death, he sends Tyrion to King’s Landing to serve as the acting Hand of the King. Meanwhile, Stannis sends out a message claiming that Joffrey and his siblings are bastard children father by Jaime Lannister.

Tyrion wrestles for power with his sister and eventually brings her down for some days with poison. He learns from Lancel about Robert’s death and buys some of Cersei’s men. He also makes his sister agree to send her sister to Dorne and arrests Grand Maester Pycell. After sending Myrcella to Dorne, a riot occurs, but Cersei gets taken to safety at the Red Keep. The High Septon gets killed during the riot. Stannis Baratheon marches on King’s Landing.

When the Battle of the Blackwater begins, Cersei invites the noblewoman to a banquet and secretly tasks Ilyn Payne with killing everyone if Stannis wins. When the battle gets intense, she sends for Joffrey, which annoys Lancel as he believes they could have held the gates had she not sent for her son.

A Storm of Swords

After Stannis’s defeat, Joffrey and Margaery are to get married. Cersei plans her son’s wedding. However, her father secretly plots to have her married. When Tywin learns Lady Olenna Tyrell plans on marrying Sansa to Willas, he quickly weds her to Tyrion. In retaliation, Olenna convinces her son to reject an alliance between Cersei and Willas, stating the widow of King Robert Baratheon is unfit to marry the heir of Highgarden. However, Tywin hides the event from his daughter. During Joffrey’s wedding to Margaery, he gets poisoned and dies. Cersei accuses Tyrion of killing her son, and he gets arrested. 

Meanwhile, Jaime Lannister returns to King’s Landing with Brienne of Tarth. He and his sister have sex where Joffrey’s corpse lies, and when he brings up the idea of coming clean with their incest, she rejects his suggestion. Cersei brings many witnesses against Tyrion, including Shae; this angers him as he requests a trial by combat. Though Tyrion’s champion Oberyn gets killed, his brother Jaime frees him. Before leaving King’s Landing, Tyrion kills his father and Shae.

A Feast for Crows

After her father’s death, Cersei becomes paranoid. Tommen climbs the Iron Throne as King, and she becomes the Queen Regent. As Tywin’s eldest child, she becomes the Lady of Casterly Rock. She has the High Septon killed and burns the Tower of the Hand. To get her brother, she offers a reward to whoever brings the head of Tyrion; this leads to the deaths of many dwarfs throughout the known world.

Cersei changes the member of the small council and replaces them with people she believes she can trust. However, her choices are terrible, and King’s Landing plunges into economic chaos. She refuses to pay the debts owed to the Iron Bank of Braavos and the Faith of the Seven leading to more economic ruin. Cersei starts resenting Margaery Tyrell, her son’s wife. She hates the Tyrells and prevents them from being in a place of power. 

Cersei agrees to the revival of the Faith Militant and gets Margaery arrested on charges of fornication. However, she also gets arrested when Lancel Lannister confesses to his sins. With her arrest, Grand Maester Pycell and the remaining ministers seize power, and Kevan Lannister becomes the Lord Regent. Cersei then sends a letter to her brother Jaime in the Riverlands asking for his help. However, he burns her letter.

A Dance with Dragons

While under arrest, Cersei confesses to sleeping with Ser Lancel and the Kettleblack brothers. However, she denies ordering the High Septon and her husband’s death. With Ser Arys Oakheart of the Kingsguard’s death, she has Qyburn make a new champion. To make a walk of atonement, she gets stripped naked and walks to the Red Keep. On the way, she gets mocked by people and breaks down in tears. After her walk, she dines with her son Tommen and Uncle Kevan. Kevan gets killed by Varys.

Appearance in Adaptation

In HBO’s Game of Thrones, Lena Headley portrayed Cersei Lannister. She appeared in seasons 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 and starred in 62 episodes. Lena gave an exceptional performance as Queen Cersei and became a fan favorite. As the primary villain, Cersei lived to season 8, where she and her brother died in each other’s arms during King’s Landing’s destruction.

Cersei Lannister: The Incredibly Untalented Leader

Though she was an intelligent character in the tv series, Cersei Lannister is an incredibly untalented leader in A Song of Ice and Fire. She is the worst leader in King’s Landing history, as her decisions destroyed the city economically. Her delusional thinking made her believe she was as competent as her father when she was nothing but an emotionally-driven cry baby paranoid about a future she could not see.

Cersei never cared about governance or power; she cared about attention, evident in her constant need to be the most beautiful woman in King’s Landing. When she faced antagonization, it was always her gender and not her incredibly terrible character. Cersei was also a manipulator who used sex to get others to do what she wanted.


Why is Cersei such a useless leader?

The Queen Regent was the worst ruler in Westeros’s history because she ruled with emotions and paranoia. Even though King Aerys also governed with paranoia, he could discern people that were incredible leaders. However, Cersei chose people not because of their qualifications and expertise but because of mundane things like looks.

What made Cersei bitter?

As a young girl, Cersei was like Sansa Stark. When her father told her his plans to betroth her to Rhaegar, she started daydreaming of the prince. When she learned of his death, she resented Robert Baratheon. Her hatred for Robert increased when he called out Lyanna on their wedding night.

Is Cersei beautiful?

Yes. Cersei is one of the most beautiful women in the Seven Kingdoms. However, she was paranoid about her beauty and feared that aging would make her beauty fade.

Did Cersei love Jaime?

Though he fathered her children, Cersei was a narcissist who used Jaime as she pleased. She loved him but did not shy away from sleeping with others. She used sex as a tool for control.

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