I love her. I am at the beginning of Season 5 of the TV version of Game of Thrones, and she is beginning to use religion to regain her power. (She was recently replaced as Queen by the wife of her son, the King. Now she is merely the Queen Mother, which, of course, she does not enjoy.)
Of all the shit that Cersei has done on this series, using religion is probably the shittiest thing yet. But then, it’s such an obvious tool. There has been no major religion, in the history of humanity, that has never been associated with violence, corruption, and general abuse. This is so in fiction and in reality.
Religion is a thing of man; it is not a thing of God/god. No God/god needs religion. Such a God/god would be no God/god. It’s humans who build religion because they need it, and then proceed to defile their God/god. Even when there is no God/god, religion progresses toward the defilement of its own beliefs in one way or another, because, again: it’s built by man. Someone somewhere always pretends they stand between enlightenment/awakening/wisdom and another human. When such a someone somewhere gets a following, the defilement begins. It’s no different from any common conman’s path. The religious conman merely does it in the name of God/god/divinity.
(Interestingly, many major religions preach that God/god/enlightenment etc is within us. Within each human.
The Kingdom of God is within you. We are all Buddhas. Divinity is in you.
I don’t see any reason not to take this literally. Why should these parts be any less important than the parts that give middlemen power?
I also don’t see why religious middlemen get so much charity, when middlemen in the business sphere seem to get so much disproportional hate. Heck, I love my business middlemen. They make life easy for me. Do religious middlemen do that?
As Littelfinger so eloquently says, “We both peddle fantasies, Brother Lancel, mine just happen to be entertaining.” …)
Anyway, again, religion: such an obvious tool to seize power. Of course Cersei is going to use it.
But the terror she feels.
So far, she’s never admitted it, except for that one time when she thought that King’s Landing was going to be sacked by the enemies. She was about to poison her youngest son (the one who is king now) to death. That was what she was prepared to do, rather than be taken prisoner or be enslaved or be abused in some other way.
Since then, she hasn’t openly admitted fear. She had no opportunity to. But the woman is driven by fear, all the time. And it’s not just fear for her life–which, I believe, anybody would feel if they were in her situation. People are being poisoned, being beheaded, and so on and so forth, all the time. Her father was an asshole who had nothing on his mind except for “the honor of his family” or some such thing–by which I still don’t know what he meant, and by which his own children also didn’t know what the fuck he meant. They repeatedly said so. One of them killed him out of that lifelong frustration.
Most people in Cersei’s situation would be terrified (see Sansa), unless they take the core message of religion/spirituality literally–in which case, they might be able to see their body as mere avatars instead of their entirety. But then, they would just log out of the game. Literally. They’d get forcefully logged out of the Game of Thrones, because they just aren’t interested in the game anymore. Someone will come along and chop off their head.
Besides, even in situations in which characters are able to perceive themselves as larger than the avatar, I doubt that many would enjoy being raped and tortured. Oftentimes, it’s worse to stay alive than to just die promptly. (I envy Cersei for that poison she has ready for herself and her son. Where can I get something like that in the modern age? If I need to die, I would like to be able to die quickly and painlessly, please.)
Yet, Cersei’s terror isn’t just about these factors that would cause terror in most people.
She is terrified that people don’t like her.
That’s why I love her. I love her for being so terrified of being hated. She may appear like the most ruthless bitch ever, but she is so soft. She would never admit it, but if she weren’t terrified of being abandoned–by those who “have” her, such as her brother/lover, but also by those who, outwardly, might seem to have no power over her, such as a common beggar in King’s landing–then I don’t know why she would behave the way she behaves.
She behaves like a person who very well knows that she is nothing, unless she has her title/power/wealth. And by this, I don’t mean that she actually is nothing without those things. I mean that she knows that she is nothing. It’s she who knows that she has nothing if not for her title/power/wealth. She knows, not as a piece of information that is verifiable by a third party, but rather, deep inside her. Her knowing is in the essence of her being.
(Well, the true essence of her being would be fearless–as is the case with all of us, I believe. Nobody is born fearful. But Cersei’s internal walls are so thick, by now, to protect her soft, hyper-soft core, I doubt she will ever find out what it’s like to not be terrified. I doubt she will even get to the point of seeing a non-terrified existence as a possibility. Thus, her walled, barriered, protected core might as well be the essence of her being; the wall/barrier/protection makes the light coming from her true core foggy. Or, well, in her case… Yeah, the wall/barrier/protection makes her core light invisible.)
Not everyone who feels the way she does could do what she did. Not only do most people lack her cunning and willingness to inflict harm, but also, most people aren’t as willing to die as she is.
The lady is terrified of not being loved and, at the same time, she is ready to die.
No wonder she can do anything and everything. I love her. Fascinating person. She is what many of us have in us, only, amplified x 100000000 times.
Yes, I believe many of us have a fear of being hated. I also believe many of us would rather die than be hated too much. But not to the extent of Cersei. I thank for her existence to allow me to see what is inside me. Game of Thrones, overall, is a marvelous work of art.
Someone should have given Cersei a hug (many hugs) a long time ago. A loooooong time ago.