Cersei’s Pregnancy Might Play a Bigger ‘Game of Thrones’ Role Than You Thought
Amid the myriad bombshells and returns of Game of Thrones’ “Eastwatch,” the revelation of Cersei’s pregnancy perhaps raised the most eyebrows. Some were quick to deem it a ploy against Jaime, but if there really is another li’l Lannister on the way, Daenerys might be the one with the biggest crisis of faith.
First and foremost, it’s worth noting the comparison between suspicions of Cersei faking the pregnancy for Jaime and last year’s predictions of Sansa carrying Ramsay’s child. Both feel inherently fueled by mistrust and a desire to see female characters punished for their pregnancy, but in Cersei’s case, there’s better reason to question her successfully giving birth than becoming pregnant at all.
As Nikolaj Coster-Waldau himself put it to IGN, there’s little-to-no suggestion the character would lie, even if a pregnancy has the benefit of securing Jaime’s loyalty:
I was like, is this just her way of manipulating or is it real, or what's going on? I think Jaime believes her. He's shocked, of course, but he believes her because I think, when you look at Cersei, she actually seems surprisingly happy. She hasn't been like this for as long as he can remember. There's actually a real glow in her eyes. She seems very believable. […]
Do I believe? Well, I think that she believes it. I actually do believe that. She's clearly a great manipulator. You'll have to watch the rest of the season to find out.
That said, there are at least two issues working against Game of Thrones following Cersei’s pregnancy to term, or a successful birth. Most prominently, the books’ “Maggy the Frog” prophecy (which itself was partially stated in Season 5) claims that Cersei would only have three children, all of whom would die in her lifetime. There’s nothing to preclude her getting pregnant with a fourth, but a more pressing question asks what possible narrative space Game of Thrones has for another Lannister child, with only eight episodes remaining in the series, and a looming White Walker war.
The sixth and seventh seasons have seen fit to condense months of travel in the span of a few scenes, so it’s at least plausible Cersei could come to term before the series’ end. Even then, Cersei could die in childbirth, which itself might bend (but not break) the three children prophecy, and even fulfill the “Valonqar,” or “little brother” portion stated in the books (if the child was a boy):
And when your tears have drowned you, the valonqar shall wrap his hands about your pale white throat and choke the life from you.
All the same, the question stands what Seasons 7 or 8 might do with a pregnant Cersei. As of yet, only Qyburn and Jaime appear to know of the child, so who else might have the strongest reaction to the news? Perhaps Tyrion, whose sympathy for his siblings has already come into question, or – better yet – Daenerys?
Not only would a Lannister heir pose additional threat to Daenerys unseating Cersei from the Iron Throne, but Season 7 has twice now reminded us that Robert Baratheon sought to have Daenerys killed; once as a baby herself, and again when news of her own pregnancy reached King’s Landing. Most every Game of Thrones season seems to have errant bits of dialogue that retread key moments from the past (see: repeat wildfire mentions in Season 6), and we’ve seen Daenerys remind Varys of past assassination attempts in “Stormborn,” and reiterate her survival to Jon Snow in “The Queen’s Justice.” One could also read mention of Daenerys’ inability to have children (or the vulnerability of her dragon “children”) pressing on this theme as well.
Given the refreshers on Robert Baratheon’s attempt to stamp out baby Targaryens, it might follow that Daenerys finds herself with the same choice, especially as Tyrion and Varys have called into question their queen cruelly disposing of enemies. What if by some circumstance, Daenerys had to weigh killing the biggest threat to her reign – a pregnant woman – just as she herself had been targeted? There’s little time or suggestion that Season 7 could reach a point where Dany actually ends up in that position, but it makes a lot more dramatic sense than a test of Jaime’s loyalty.
Well, what do you think? Will Cersei really give birth to another Lannister child before the series is out? Will Jaime or Daenerys end up having a change of heart? Check out all the easter eggs from Sunday’s “Eastwatch,” and stay tuned for more from this coming weekend’s (leaked) sixth hour.