Warning: This Game of Thrones article contains spoilers through the Season 8 premiere.
Game of Thrones is a story that cares a whole lot about lineage. You thought your aunt who always asks you if you’re planning on getting married/having a baby/just generally continuing the familial line in a traditional way cares the most about baby gossip? Game of Thrones cares more.
Parentage and babies within the ruling families can rock the very political foundation of the Seven Kingdoms, so, even with the White Walkers set to potentially make it all irrelevant, the fact that Cersei may be pregnant is kind of a big deal. (Not as big of a deal as that Jon Snow development, but certainly not nothing.)
Is Cersei really pregnant?
Way, way back in Season 7, Cersei told her brother/lover Jaime that she was carrying his child. She repeated the happy news to Tyrion in the Season 7 finale. On any other TV show, or perhaps with any other character, this would be enough to confirm the pregnancy. On Game of Thrones though, and dealing with later-seasons Cersei? The “pregnancy” could just as easily be some sort of ruse to manipulate her brothers.
“It’s a little bit of a poker game they’re playing there,” showrunner David Benioff said about the Season 7 finale moment between Cersei and Tyrion, “because it seems like she’s bluffing and he reads her bluff, but she wanted him to read her bluff—this was all part of her game. Cersei’s become quite good at playing this game. She wasn’t in power but she was on the edges of power, and she learned how to operate in that environment. She plays Tyrion pretty beautifully here.”
It sounds like David Benioff doesn’t think Cersei is pregnant (even if the Season 7 scripts confirm that she is—it doesn’t count if it doesn’t make it to the screen).
However, fast forward to the Game of Thrones Season 8 premiere, and Cersei is touching her stomach in the age-old pregnant TV character tradition and looking off smarmily into the middle distance when Euron Greyjoy grossly tells her he is going to get her pregnant. Let’s not forget that there is always the possibility that Cersei believes herself to be pregnant—as this The Ringer article on the subject points out, the onset of menopause can have similar symptoms to pregnancy.
Personally, I don’t think Cersei is pregnant. Not only did fortune teller Maggy tell Cersei when she was a child that she would only have three children (and Maggy has been right about a lot of shit, though I suppose a pregnant Cersei could die before having the child and that would still fulfill Maggy’s prediction), but I don’t believe Cersei would let herself get pregnant.
All of Cersei’s children have died terrible deaths: murder, murder, suicide. Cersei is a pragmatist, but also a pessimist (wouldn’t you be?); I don’t think she would have another child. In fact, I think she would take any and all measures to ensure that it doesn’t happen, just so she doesn’t have to watch another one of her children die. But that’s just one interpretation of her character.
Does it matter if Cersei is pregnant?
I mean… it probably matters to Cersei. It should probably matter to her enemies too. While Cersei certainly goes all-in when the life of her child is at stake, she is willing to straight-up burn it all down—or in this case, ice it all down, with a heavy assist from the White Walkers—if she doesn’t have a kid to consider. (Then again, at this point, given all of the trauma she has suffered and how poorly she has dealt with all of it, she may just ice it all down, regardless.)
Politically, it matters if Cersei is pregnant but not as much as other Cersei pregnancies have. Cersei’s claim on the Iron Throne isn’t strong. She strong-armed her way onto the throne following the deaths of her husband-king Robert Baretheon and children (who actually didn’t have a rightful claim to the throne anyway, given they were all Jaime Lannister’s biological children, not Robert Baratheon’s). Furthermore, many would and have argued that Dany or Jon, as Targaryens, have more of a claim to the throne than Cersei.
But the White Walkers are probably just going to go full-on Elsa on King’s Landing anyway, so…
Do you think Cersei is pregnant? How do you think either outcome could affect the story? Let us know in the comments below…