For years, Game of Thrones fans have regarded Cersei as a cold, ruthless queen who would do anything to stay in power. Aside from her interactions with her children, Cersei has rarely shown that she's capable of even an inkling of compassion or care. But all that changed during an especially emotional conversation she had with Tyrion during the season 7 finale.
It had been a long time since the siblings were face-to-face, and they knew that things would be tense. After all, Tyrion had killed their father with a crossbow before devoting his life and service to Daenerys Targaryen, whom he believes should sit at the Iron Throne.
None of this was lost on Cersei, who berated her brother for making it easier for "the vultures" to attack the Lannister family and leaving her children vulnerable to a devastatingly harsh world that ultimately killed them when he confronted her about joining forces with Dany to fight the Night King and his Army of the Dead.
"You love your family, and I have destroyed it," Tyrion said to his sister after she spewed insults his direction. "I will always be a threat, so put an end to me. If it weren't for me, you'd have a mother. If it weren't for me, you'd have a father. If it weren't for me, you'd have beautiful children. I've thought about killing you more times than I can count. Do it!"
But she couldn't. Rather than allow her zombie protector, The Mountain, destroy her brother, Cersei laid into Jaime, saying his actions "cost us our future." As she spoke, she clutched her abdomen and looked as if she were ready to burst into tears.
"That thing you dragged here, I know what it is, I know what it means," she told Tyrion, referring to the zombie The Hound released in her direction. "And when it came at me, I didn't think about the world, not at all. As soon as it opened its mouth, the world disappeared for me right down its black throat. All I could think about was keeping those gnashing teeth away from the ones that matter most, away from my family."
It was then that Tyrion realized that his sister was pregnant. Though they never hugged, in that moment it became clear that whatever wrongs they'd committed against each other no longer mattered; all that they needed now was to make sure that the Night King couldn't further tear their family apart.
Moments later, Cersei declared that the Lannisters would join forces with Dany and her army, noting that she was doing this out of the goodness of her heart with no strings attached. In that instant, Cersei finally allowed herself to be vulnerable – and dare we say it? – human.
Or so we thought.
It turns out that Cersei played us all like damn fools. Though she really had me convinced that she was willing to be a better person for the sake of her family, during an intense fight with Jaime (aka, her brother/baby daddy) she confirmed her actual intentions: She plans on watching everyone else tear each other apart from the comfort of the Iron Throne, and she doesn't feel an ounce of remorse.
It's hard to believe that Cersei can seriously think she'll survive the deadliest war and winter of all time, especially with Jaime out of the picture and Tyrion fighting alongside Dany, but as Rolling Stone points out, she's hardened after years of abuse, betrayal, and loss. Besides, as she demonstrated tonight, her brutality knows no bounds.