Major spoilers follow for Game of Thrones’ season seven finale.
Cersei Lannister ended the seventh season of Game of Thrones much like she started it — at the top, and with a seemingly foolproof plan to hold onto her power. The season finale, “The Dragon and the Wolf,” saw the queen seemingly outsmart Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen by pretending to join their alliance. But Cersei later revealed that she plans to sit out the war against the Night King, and let him decimate her foes.
On one level, Cersei’s plan is smart; everyone else in this fight has at least one dragon on their side, and one could see how Cersei would want to stay out of such a fray. Currently, she foolishly doesn’t seem too concerned about what will happen if the Night King and his undead army best Jon and Dany and come marching into King’s Landing. But until then, her biggest challenge was teed up in the finale’s last moments: Cersei’s plans to renege on her word rankled her closest and most significant ally, her brother Jaime. The episode ended with him leaving her side.
Season seven, which started out so promising for Cersei, ultimately left the queen’s personal life in disarray and her grip on power weakening. Her forces are depleted. Jaime is disappointed and disgusted with her. And on top of that, Cersei is also fighting against a prophecy that foresees impending, inescapable doom. Suffice to say, Game of Thrones’ season eight isn’t looking good for the icy queen.
Maggy the Frog’s prophecy still haunts Cersei — and seems to be setting her up for a depressing future
“The king will have 20 children, and you will have three. Gold will be their crowns. Gold, their shrouds,” Maggy the Frog — a sooth-saying, blood-drinking witch — told Cersei in Game of Thrones’ fifth season, as well as in George R.R. Martin’s books.
That prophecy has been looming like a dark cloud of late, as we’ve watched Cersei amass more and more power while also losing her three “golden” children — Joffrey, Myrcella, and Tommen.
It’s unclear what will happen to the child she’s carrying (although there’s a theory that she might be lying about being pregnant in the first place), but it seems like Maggy’s prophecy foreshadows a tragic miscarriage in season eight. The prophecy suggests that Joffrey, Myrcella, and Tommen, who are all deceased, are and will remain the only children Cersei will give birth to.
(As you may recall, in the first season of Game of Thrones, Cersei talked about having a child with Robert, but said that the child died shortly after birth and before it was given a name; in Martin’s books, Cersei drank a potion that aborted her pregnancy with said child.)
But the deaths of Cersei’s children aren’t all that Maggy foretold.
“You’ll be queen, for a time. Then comes another — younger, more beautiful — to cast you down and take all you hold dear,” Maggy also told Cersei.
Many fans have since taken Maggy’s warning to mean that Daenerys Targaryen is the “younger, more beautiful” threat who will ultimately unseat Cersei. The past seven seasons of Game of Thrones have been building up to a confrontation between the two. And we saw the gears in Cersei’s head cranking in the season seven finale, as they finally met in person and Cersei ultimately revealed her plans to go back on her word, betray everyone, and let the Night King whittle down Dany’s forces so she can hold onto power.
But there are also some lingering questions relating to Maggy’s prophecy. Namely: What does Cersei have left that’s dear to her?
Power is nice, but it’s Jaime who holds Cersei’s heart
Based on the finale, Jaime has reached his breaking point with his sister-lover. He’s absolutely dismayed that she’ll put the world at risk to just to remain on the throne. He walked out on her and their unborn child, and rightly assumed that she wouldn’t have the courage to kill him.
Just a few episodes prior, in “Eastwatch,” Cersei convinced Jaime that the reason they need to maintain power is that they’re going to have a child together. Now, it seems like Cersei’s pregnancy isn’t enough to hold his trust.
In that sense, Maggy’s prophecy could be read not as a hint that Dany will take Jaime prisoner or kill him — two outcomes you might be quick to think of if you’ve been warned that you’ll lose “all you hold dear” — but rather that Dany will steal Jaime’s loyalty away from Cersei. In the season seven finale, he walked out on Cersei, which means that he could easily take Dany’s side. If Maggy’s prophecy holds, regardless of the details, Cersei’s future looks absolutely bleak.