I didn’t think I would have to write this piece… but I am seeing so much confusion on Reddit and other social media as to the death of Cersei and Jaime Lannister.
I’m seeing a lot of “What the HELL, Cersei died in a building collapse? This is awful!”
Cersei and Jaime’s death is poetic, beautiful, and satisfying. The Lannister Twins die the same way House Reyne of Castamere did. The same Reynes that make up “The Rains of Castamere” that House Lannister has been using to intimidate everyone in Westeros for seven-plus seasons now! Let’s take a look at the scene first:
Now, let’s go on a little Westerosi history lesson:
For the show-only lore, we know that House Reyne is an extinct vassal house of the Westerlands, formerly sworn to House Lannister of Casterly Rock. Their seat was the castle of Castamere until it was torched during the Reyne Rebellion, along with all members of the family. (That sound like what happened in “The Bells?” Cersei’s seat was The Red Keep, and it just got torched along with the only family she still cares about.)
Tywin’s army put Castamere castle to the torch, and had all surviving members of House Reyne put to the sword – man, woman, and child – as an example to any vassals who would dare challenge the Lannisters in the future.
Lore from the Books!
Now, we’ll look at the book lore, with explanation from https://awoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/House_Reyne:
“Roger Reyne, who succeeded Robert, was the Lord of Castamere during the rule of Gerold’s successor, Lord Tytos Lannister. The Reynes had prospered greatly under Tytos’s misrule. Both Roger and Ser Reynard extracted large amounts of gold from Tytos. After the War of the Ninepenny Kings, Tytos’s son and heir, Ser Tywin Lannister, demanded repayment of the gold that was lent out, but Roger reportedly laughed and told his vassals to do nothing. This eventually led Tywin to summon the Reynes and the Tarbecks to answer for their crimes. They chose defiance instead and with it, started the Reyne-Tarbeck rebellion against their Lannister overlords.
Tarbeck Hall was the first to feel Tywin’s wrath and House Tarbeck was exterminated, including Ellyn. After an unsuccessful battle against the Lannister host led by Tywin, Ser Reynard and the wounded Lord Roger took refuge in the mines underneath Castamere. Reynard, once his folk were safe, offered terms to Tywin. Instead, Tywin ordered the sealing of Castamere’s entrances and the diverting of nearby water into the mine, causing the deaths of all within.
The downfall of the Reynes is popularized in “The Rains of Castamere”, a song which Tywin Lannister sometimes uses for intimidation.”
So, we’ve got some really easy tie-ins here.
Tywin was going to crush his enemies, and they sent him terms of surrender. He sealed them up under their house, or torched it and put everyone to the sword, so, they are actually paying off BOTH sets of lore here! It fits with both the show and the book lore, but especially well with the books.
Cersei, at her end, realizes she’s trapped and going to die — just like those hiding in the mines under Castamere. There’s no escape for her, and she would have felt the same fear those people did. The icing on the cake is that they die in the room where the Dragon skulls are kept.
That’s fairly poetic, they’ve intimidated the entire populace with that damn song and that is the end of the Lannister Twins? The writing has been awfully tragic this season, but Jaime and Cersei’s end is beautiful.
It probably isn’t in the way you all fashioned, but they also paid off the books-only Valonqar prophecy with the final acts between Jaime and Cersei.
Let’s rehash what Maggy the Frog said to Cersei in her youth:
“And when your tears have drowned you, the valonqar shall wrap his hands about your pale white throat and choke the life from you.”
Cersei is pleading with Jaime at first… she doesn’t want to die. She wants the baby to survive. She has drowned in her tears over her baby.
Jaime (the Valonqar) puts his hands around Cersei’s throat and makes her realize that the baby doesn’t matter… there were only two things that Cersei ever truly loved, her children and Jaime. Once she realizes the baby won’t survive, Cersei is truly dead, having drowned on her tears. She resigns herself to her fate, ready to die with Jaime.
The Valonqar had choked the life from her, and you see them die together in the collapse.
Sure, it isn’t the violent ending you thought you might see, but I’m not sure how people thought Jaime could ever do violence to Cersei in the first place. Even fully hating her, I don’t think he could have ever brought himself to harm her… as we so plainly see, he was fully prepared to go to the grave with his hateful twin.
I hope this can make you all feel better about what you may have thought was a silly end to Jaime and Cersei. You still may not like it, but at least you can see that they were trying to pay off plenty of foreshadowing and lore, which is definitely more than we can say for some characters right now!
I’m working on another potential Ending Theory, so I’ll see you folks again real soon!
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Thanks so much for reading!