There’s a lot of speculation about how Cersei will die with the prophecy of the Valonqar commonly connecting her demise to Tyrion and possibly Jamie Lannister. One can only imagine that if she is killed by her brother, it’s because she’s pushed him to his limits in what he can accept from her, which might result in some horrific deed. With Season 7 Episode 1, we see that their relationship is shaky at best with Jamie not exactly trusting her. But what is her deal? And how will she react ultimately if and when she ever sees the undead?
One thing about Cersei is that she keeps her cards very close to her chest. While many people bash her for lacking intelligence (which in reality is more of lack of self-awareness), she still remains very cunning and combined with her ruthlessness has been able to make short work of her enemies. Her recent move to acquire the services of Euron Greyjoy is explained by her as being something that father had taught her, which seems to shock Jamie to a degree.
And that’s the thing with Cersei in that we do not exactly know her plans. The only evident thing is that she wants to build a dynasty at least with Jamie now that their children are gone. Any threat to her power is something she wants to eliminate.
But what about the army of the dead? Cersei is a skeptic but what would empirical evidence do to her belief system? It’s been said that she would sacrifice her living competitors to the forces of the army of the dead, which seems to imply that she will simply stand back and do nothing. That might be the final straw that breaks Jamie into turning against her as the real threat eventually will reveal itself to everyone.
Yet again we need to look at history in the Game of Thrones to figure out how Cersei may play things out. The thing is that she’s a Lannister still and she has learned well from her father. One of the most critical moments for Cersei is when she nearly poisons Tommen at the end of the Battle for Blackwater Bay. She only stops because Tywin’s forces along with the Tyrells break through the throne room in claiming victory against Stannis.
But Tywin pulled a similar move in the past when Jamie was about to slay the Mad King. In both cases, Tywin made himself look like the hero by showing up at the last second as the cavalry, thus sealing his position. Although others such as Tyrion and Joffrey knew the truth of the Battle of Blackwater Bay, Tywin still managed to take a good deal of the credit for himself, which in turn made it seem he “earned” his position as Hand of the King.
I do not doubt that these lessons will fall deaf on Cersei. Jamie too has told her that the Lannisters “look like the losing side,” which is why they only have the support of three kingdoms at best. Thus, I predict that Cersei will join the fray once she determines whom the winners will be. If she pulls off the move correctly, then she might be able to retain power, despite the fact that everyone predicts she’ll fall sometime as a result of her hubris.
Of course, the real question is which side will she join eventually? I doubt she’ll remain completely neutral in this course. With the way history repeats itself in the Game of Thrones, I’m willing to bet that she’ll eventually come to the aid of the rest of the realm fighting the dead. Maybe she’ll do so if the dragons end up dying, which would give her more confidence in having a fair shake at retaining her remaining power.
Another possibility is that Sansa takes Cersei’s place but uses a similar tactic. Sansa’s personality is completely split this season. She seems like half Stark and half Lannister (with Littlefinger mixed in). If Sansa rises in power herself and manages to unseat Cersei somehow, maybe she’ll use a similar tactic. She’s already pulled off this type of plan at the Battle of the Bastards. The thing is that she did not receive the full credit she desired. But with Sansa admitting to having learned a great deal from Cersei, she might eventually take up her place down the road.