Game of Thrones: See how much the cast has changed since the first season

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Cersei Lannister

Cersei Lannister, played by Lena Headey, started her role on Game of Thrones as a manipulative queen, hungry for any power she could acquire. Of course, anyone who thought Cersei was conniving during the first season of the show will likely agree that Cersei has only gotten worse over the past seven seasons.

While Cersei grapples for control during the first season, she’s still a woman who has plenty to lose. During the early episodes, Cersei has three children she’d do anything to protect—along with a sense of duty toward her family. She also shows mercy earlier in the show, even agreeing to let Ned join the Night’s Watch as punishment for betraying the throne. (Sadly, Joffrey refuses to let that happen.)

But as the seasons continue, Cersei becomes increasingly ruthless. She loses her children one by one, as well as her father. Even her loving relationship with her twin begins to dwindle—leaving her with nothing to hold onto but the crown. And by the seventh season of the show, Cersei certainly seems willing to do anything to hang onto her throne.

Photo: Helen Sloan/HBO

In Cersei’s defense, her time in captivity under the High Sparrow contributes to her current merciless mindset. Cersei’s desire for power has always stemmed from her fear of being powerless, and after her time imprisoned by the High Sparrow, it seems clear that Cersei refuses to be helpless ever again, even if it means taking hundreds of lives to accomplish it.

With nothing but her own life at stake, Cersei has become fearless in her pursuit of power, control, and even vengeance. And that makes her even more dangerous going into season eight.