With Game of Thrones Season 7 on the horizon, theories abound as to which direction the show will go next – most especially when it comes to the new Queen of the Seven Kingdoms, Cersei Lannister (played by Lena Headey). Viewers will remember that Season 6 ended with Cersei avoiding her conviction and punishment at the hand of the High Sparrow by incinerating the Sept (and all those in and around it) with an enormous secret stash of wildfire. One of the final scenes of the season finale was Jamie Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) returning from his business at Riverrun to come upon the scene of a destroyed section of King’s Landing and Cersei’s coronation, during which the two Lannister twins shared a tense exchange of looks as Cersei sat upon the Iron Throne for the first time. The scene has been the hotbed of debate since last year when the finale aired due to the ambiguity of each character’s facial expressions in the scene and the possibilities of their respective fates.
Mashable recently reported on Nikolaj Coster-Waldau’s feelings on one of the most popular fan theories of what will happen in Season 7 concerning Cersei and Jamie. Many believe that Jamie will come to resent Cersei for her murder of King’s Landing civilians and will eventually kill her himself, ending her reign. Coster-Waldau admitted he was a fan of this particular theory, acknowledging, that, “…it’s a valid theory. I can see it makes sense, it has a beautiful – it’s a nice circle [that] they are born together in the womb and then he kills her at the end…It makes sense.”
An integral piece to Jamie Lannister’s character in the series is his backstory. According to Game of Thrones lore, in the years before the show’s Season 1 starts off, Jamie Lannister was a member of the Kingsguard during the reign of “Mad King” Aerys Targaryen, whose mental state disintegrated over time until he was rendered completely insane. The Mad King eventually ordered the destruction of the entirety of King’s Landing by wildfire. Jamie Lannister murdered the King before his order could be carried out, earning his infamous nickname “The Kingslayer”. Many fans argue that since Cersei carried out the very plan that Jamie murdered King Aerys over, he will grow to see Cersei as the same monster he thought the Mad King to be, leading Jamie to murder his twin sister.
While Nikolaj Coster-Waldau sees the poetry in this potential character arc for Jamie, he also argues against drawing a firm parallel between the two situations. The actor points out, “You could say that could – that the motivation for doing that would be the same for killing Cersei, but I haven’t seen anything yet before Season 7 that would make me believe that he was capable of doing that.” It is true that Jamie Lannister’s loyalty to his sister has been unwavering over the span of the show, and recently released promotional pictures for Season 7 show Jamie standing next to Cersei on her throne, with Jamie presumably returning to his role of the Commander of the Kingsguard – or rather, Queensguard – indicating his continued support for his twin sister.
At the same time, many fans have pointed to the intense final moment shared between Cersei and Jamie as all the proof they need that the two will grow apart come Season 7. Only time will tell if the theory will in fact turn out to be true, but one thing is for certain – Season 7 will be challenging for Jamie Lannister, who now has to reconcile the love for his sister with the fact that she has done the most unforgivable of acts.
Season 7 of Game of Thrones will premiere July 16 at 9pm EST on HBO.