Things aren't looking too good for Cersei Lannister on Game of Thrones. After taking her naked walk of shame towards the end of Season 5, she's now set to stand trial for her indiscretions. She had a plan, and a good one at that, to use her Frankenstein-esque Mountain servant to fight for her in a trial by combat, but since her son King Tommen, likely convinced by the High Sparrow, outlawed trials by combat, it looks like Cersei will have to actually stand trial before seven septons. Or will she? There's no question that Cersei has a trick or a plan up her sleeve, and it may have to do with the "rumor" Cersei asked Qyburn about in Episode 8 — specifically, with the wildfire that may lurk beneath the city walls.
Wildfire, you may recall, was a favorite substance of the Mad King Aerys II, Daenerys' father, who was stabbed by his supposed protector, Jaime Lannister, during Robert Baratheon's rebellion. Back in Season 3, when Jaime and Brienne were recovering at Harrenhal, he revealed that the real reason he murdered the king wasn't because he chose to betray him, but because Aerys was planning on burning the entirety of King's Landing to the ground, rather than let it be taken by the rebels.
As Jaime told Brienne:
"You heard of wildfire? The Mad King was obsessed with it. He loved to watch people burn. They way their skin blackened and blistered and melted off their bones. He burned Lords he didn’t like, he burned Hands who disobeyed him. He burned anyone who was against him. Before long half the country was against him. Aerys saw traitors everywhere, so he had his pyromancer place caches of wildfire all over the city. Beneath the Sept of Baelor and the slums of Fleabottom. House, stables, taverns. Even beneath the Red Keep itself."
Jaime's story lines up with one of Bran's recent visions, in which audiences saw the Mad King scream "Burn them all!" But viewers of the show first found out about wildfire back in Season 2, when Tyrion made use of it. Acting as the Hand of the King, Tyrion learned from the Alchemists' Guild that Cersei had been commissioning a large amount of Wildfire from the pyromancers, and Tyrion, ever the schemer, ordered the Alchemists to continue making the wildfire, but for him instead. He then used it during the Battle of the Blackwater against Stannis' fleet of ships.
But did Tyrion use all of the wildfire? Perhaps not. And maybe Cersei plans to use it to get herself out of this trial mess. In Episode 7 of this season, right after Tommen declared trial by combat to be out of the question, Cersei and Qyburn shared the following exchange:
Q: “That old rumor you told me about — my little birds investigated."C: "Tell me, was it a rumor or something more?" Q: "More, Your Grace. So much more."
Could it be wildfire they're talking about? It's definitely a possibility. In George R.R. Martin's novels, when Cersei thinks Tyrion is guilty of murdering her son, King Joffrey, she uses some wildfire to blow up the Tower of the Hand. She hasn't gotten to do anything like that on the show yet, so maybe this will be her chance. And as Thrones fans have seen, Cersei sure does enjoy burning things to the ground, figuratively or literally. Furthermore, Cersei's use of fire would also factor into the major theme of the series: the conflict between hot and cold, or, if you will, the Song of Ice and Fire.
So what if Cersei uses the hidden wildfire to burn down the great Sept of Baelor, or even the entirety of King's Landing? That would mean killing her own son, thus fulfilling the Season 5 prophecy that all of her children would die, and it might even mean killing herself. But something tells me that Cersei would rather go out in a blaze of glory than lose herself to the High Sparrow's devoted septons and backward punishments. Besides, she's already lost two children, so she may have resigned herself to the fact that the awful prophecy may just come true no matter what she does. Even more, the explosions of wildfire seen in Bran's vision may not have been something that happened in the past, but perhaps something that is still to come.
But if Cersei does blow up the Sept or the city, she'd be doing the very thing that her beloved brother/lover prevented from happening. Should she survive, how will Jaime feel about her decision? Fans will have to wait to find out, but if Cersei does use the wildfire, it will surely make for an explosive season finale.
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