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15th May 2019

How Game of Thrones’ most underwhelming death fulfilled the Valonqar prophecy

One major death in the penultimate episode of Game of Thrones left fans underwhelmed but many have missed the fact that it fulfilled a prophecy

Reuben Pinder

Many Game of Thrones fans were left disappointed by the penultimate episode

We really shouldn’t have to warn you at this point, but SPOILERS AHEAD.

Cersei Lannister has long been the greatest villain in Game of Thrones. Ruler of the Seven Kingdoms with no regard for anyone but herself, her brother (and lover) Jaime and their children, the wine drinking tyrant has fulfilled the necessary role of the bad guy.

Over the course of the show’s almost eight full seasons, viewers have longed for her death, but not in the way we saw in the most recent episode.

As Daenerys rained fire on King’s Landing, burning everything in her site despite the capital surrendering, Cersei’s brave face wore thin, and for the first time on the show, she was truly vulnerable to a coup. Dany was coming for her, but was not afforded the pleasure of turning the queen into a pile of ashes, as many viewers were hoping for.

Instead, her death came as she and Jaime – who had betrayed the Targaryen-Snow alliance to return to his sister having betrayed his sister to fight against the dead – were trying to escape. The pair were trapped down in the red keep with rubble blocking every exit. With nowhere to go, this would be where they uttered their last words and breathed their last breath before being crushed under more rubble. Ultimately, their cause of death was poor infrastructure, although Daenerys did undeniably play a part.

Viewers unleashed fury onto Twitter after this somewhat underwhelming end to Lannister rule. That’s it? They just get crushed? No sick one liner from Dany before getting full on Dracarysed by Drogon? It is worth noting that JOE’s Kyle Picknell accurately predicted Cersei’s death before season 8 started.

And while there are valid criticisms of the show’s final season, Cersei’s death should perhaps not be one of them. It did, after all, fulfil the Valonqar prophecy.

To refresh your memory, cast your mind back to the first episode of Season 5. A younger version of Cersei encounters a witch by the name of Maggy the Frog.

In a nutshell, the witch’s prophecy accurately predicted that Cersei would become Queen, “until there comes another, younger and more beautiful, to cast you down and take all that you hold dear,” – we now know that person to be Daenerys.

The witch also predicted that Cersei would have three children – which she did – before saying that her children all die and that “Gold shall be their crowns and gold their shrouds. And when your tears have drowned you, the valonqar shall wrap his hands about your pale white throat and choke the life from you.”

We know that Joffrey, Tommen and Myrcella have all died, but what exactly does the word ‘valonqar’ mean? Valonqar is the Valyrian word for ‘little brother’, which in Cersei’s case is Tyrion, whom she always suspected would kill her. But Jaime is also Cersei’s younger brother, as she mentions occasionally on the show. She was the first born of the twins.

Now, in season 8 episode 5, Jaime has his hands around Cersei, not so much in an aggressive manner but more an an affectionate one.

So, you can argue that the showrunners did in fact fulfil this prophecy as Jaime held Cersei’s neck during her last breath despite Maggy the Frog’s exact words suggesting a much more violent death.