Game of Thrones: Even Cersei Lannister deserves better than Euron Greyjoy


Cersei Lannister has done some truly terrible things over the years on Game of Thrones. But even the depraved Lion Queen deserves better than Euron.

The season 8 premiere of Game of Thrones is chock-full of long-awaited developments. There are Stark reunions left and right, Daenerys’ army arrives in Winterfell, and Jon finally finds out his true parentage. (And rides a dragon in the bargain.)

But one season 8 reunion is decidedly less appealing.

Euron Greyjoy, the Walmart costume version of Jack Sparrow that controls the Iron Fleet and captains the Lannister navy, returns to King’s Landing with the Golden Company’s mercenaries in tow. And while he looks happy enough to see the Lion Queen, Cersei definitely doesn’t seem to feel the same. Particularly when Euron demands that his compensation for crossing the sea include a little premarital sexual congress. (Remember, Euron’s quest was originally about proving himself so Cersei would agree to marry him.)

After all, he might not have brought her an elephant, but he did come home with 20,000 men, horses and a fighting chance against whatever side manages to emerge victorious from the battle in the North.

Cersei, however, isn’t having it. Or him. At least, not at first. “If you want a whore, buy one.,” she snaps. “You want a queen? Earn her.”

This is such a Cersei moment. No one has as firm a grasp on their own self-worth as she does. Whatever her current situation, there’s no way she possibly thinks she’s sunk low enough to bang a dissolute pirate who looks as though he maybe hasn’t showered in a while.

Which is why the fact that she does sleep with Euron is so upsetting and, quite frankly, depressing.

Euron certainly implies that she doesn’t have much of a choice – not if she wants him to stick around and support her in the upcoming fight against Daenerys. And as much as we want to believe that Cersei has reached the point where no one can touch her anymore, she kind of doesn’t. She’s still a woman in a man’s world, trying to hold power in her own right. And for all that we want her to go it alone, to tell Euron exactly where he can put his army if he can’t respect her, she’s kind of stuck.

Even the great Cersei Lannister can only accomplish so much on her own.

That Cersei chooses to sacrifice her body for power is an uncomfortable decision, but one that’s easy to understand. She’s come so far – and lost so much – that her determination to hold on to the throne come hell or high water means pretty much anything is possible. Because if she doesn’t, then everything she’s done and everything she’s become is all for nothing.

Yet, just because it’s easy to understand, doesn’t mean that her capitulation is easy to watch. Especially since it’s so obvious that Cersei would like Euron to stop breathing her air much more than she would like to see him in her bed.

Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, Lena Headey herself admits that she initially felt some trepidation about this storyline.

"“I kept saying, ‘She wouldn’t, she wouldn’t, that she would keep fighting,’” Headey says. “But [showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss] obviously know what they’re doing and were adamant Cersei would do what she had to do.”"

On some level, this makes sense. Cersei has always been willing to do anything to get what she wants – whether that means betraying her own family members, murdering hundreds of people, or sleeping with a man she doesn’t love.

In fact, as Headey herself points out, the situation is only made “more powerful [and] sad” because of Cersei’s well established feelings for her brother Jaime, and the fact that the two are apparently expecting another child together. (A bit of news which Walmart Jack Sparrow here remains unaware.)

Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister. Photo: Helen Sloan/HBO

And even though her hookup with Euron apparently wasn’t totally terrible — she herself admits he’s “not boring,” sexually speaking — one still has to wonder what exactly she’s getting herself into.

After all, basically prostituting yourself to a gross pirate seems to be opening a pretty sketchy door. Will Euron be content with mere sexual favors? Will he want something more? How much more will Cersei have to sacrifice to keep him happy? And is it wise for her to tie her future to a man who doesn’t respect her wishes this way?

Would he ever be content to let her rule on her own? And how quickly would he betray her to seize power for himself?

Cersei, once more, is going to have to keep her wits about her.

Next. Game of Thrones season 8 premiere: Questions we have after “Winterfell”. dark

Game of Thrones airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on HBO. 

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