Empathizing with characters on Game of Thrones is a dangerous game. A funny, relatable, pitiable character like Cersei Lannister both totally gets you and has sex with her brother. Obviously, Cersei Lannister has done a lot of terrible things. She's committed incest, been a terrible mother, ordered the beatings of innocents, schemed, lied, etc. Most of her actions have been motivated by her desire for power, and her words are often inflected with narcissism and disdain for those around her. At the same time, being a woman in Westeros is not easy, especially a woman among the Lannisters.
Cersei was married to Robert Baratheon for years, a marriage that was clearly pretty miserable. The various unfortunate circumstances of Cersei's life have not led her to give up on her ambitious or adopt a defeated attitude; instead, she has a biting, hardened sense of humor and bluntness that gives her some of the best lines on Game of Thrones. You get the sense with Cersei that she knows she doesn't have a lot to lose, so she might as well push those around her to their limits. And haven't we all been there, blustering through our tragedies or setbacks with bitter jokes and pseudo-confidence? Here are some of those times when the very imperfect Cersei said or did what the rest of us usually just think.
1. When You Just Don't Want To Hear Someone's Long Anecdote
Cersei's response to Loras trying to sympathize is the perfect, very rude way to shut down someone's attempt at conversation when that's not what you need right now.
2. When You Just Need More Wine
This moment is so iconic, because it captures that desperate feeling when the only clear path is to continue drinking.
3. When A Guy Is A Little Too Sure Of Himself
Cersei didn't sink to insulting Tyrion's intelligence, instead taking the higher road suggesting that his ego is outsized. Like that guy you know who's smart, but whose overconfidence renders the intelligence unattractive.
4. When Men Get More Respect For No Reason
A lot of Cersei's struggles come from the fact that she's better equipped to rule than the men around her, but will never be given the opportunity because of her gender. While the specifics aren't relatable, the scenario of qualified women not getting the same opportunities is all too familiar.
5. When You Get Mean Drunk
Sometimes, you have a little too much to drink, or are just in a rebellious mood, and start saying things you're usually too polite to say, and might regret later. This is Cersei 90 percent of the time, but she has no regrets.
6. When You Are Not Buying It
This perfect skeptical response is the sign of someone reaching their last straw, no longer able to compose their face in a way that doesn't reflect their disgust and boredom.
7. When Things Don't Go According To Plan
Cersei's look when the marriage between Margaery and her son seems like it's going a little too well is the look of anyone whose brilliant scheme has gone horribly awry.
8. When You Have To Keep Your Emotions Hidden
While known for her outbursts, Cersei is also the master of only subtly hinting at what is going on inside when everything outside is going wrong.
9. When The Only Option Is To Leave
Whether your husband is drunk at a joust, or the party you're at is a mess, sometimes the best option is to make a graceful, pointed exit.
10. When You Just Can't Stand Someone
Cersei's words to Grand Maester Pycelle are mean to say out loud, but kind of sum up what it feels like to be around someone who really annoys you.
11. When An Eye Roll Is The Only Possible Response
Cersei, Liz Lemon, and you all understand that the eye roll is all that you can do around some people.
12. When You Don't Get The Same Opportunities As Men
That biting-your-tongue spasm of anger is familiar to any woman who has wanted to express her rage at how she or another woman have been treated, but worried about the repercussions.
13. When You Wanted To Slap Joffrey
So she slapped Joffrey.
Obviously, Cersei Lannister isn't a character you should emulate, nor are almost any of the characters on Game of Thrones. But, for better or for worse, a lot of her actions, words, and expressions are unapologetically human, and thus surprisingly familiar.
Images: HBO; Giphy (13)