Who Can Take Down Cersei, The Mad Queen?

The Queen of the Seven Kingdoms should keep her friends close and her enemies closer.
Super. Black.
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Who doesn’t love Cersei? Manipulative, cunning, powerful, and unyielding, whenever she is on screen, you wince, just a tad. From her beginnings as Robert Baratheon‘s queen to her rise to ruler, we are always left wondering what terrible plot she plans to devise next. To her credit, she is always plotting, and it’s always terrible.

Sadly, Cersei is not long for this fictional world. Like all good villains (and heroes and regular people) in Game of Thrones, she needs a dramatic, violent end. But who will deal such a blow to the kingdom? Given the high and rising death count, only a few folks remain who are capable of taking down the Mad Queen. Let’s take a look at the strongest candidates in the race to dethrone Cersei.

Prepare for more spoilers from Game of Thrones below.

Jon Snow

Jon Snow - The King in the North looking happier than ever

Jon Snow (Stark-Targaryen) returned to the realm of the living with one goal: stop the Night’s King and his legion of White Walkers. As newly crowned King in the North, Jon does lead a considerable force of chilly people.

However, unlike a lot of characters in Game of Thrones, Jon’s focus is not on the petty squabbles over the most uncomfortable chair in Westeros. He strives to quell the greatest threat to the Seven Kingdoms — the White Walkers. His mind is certainly not on some spoiled psycho with little brother issues. Winter is here, and Jon is our comfy down coat. As for Cersei, Jon would sooner shake her hand than waste troops storming King’s Landing. Anything to unite the Seven Kingdoms against The Night’s King and his army of the dead.

Daenerys Targaryen

Daenerys Crosses the Great Sea

Daenerys finally made her way to the Westeros, with an army that posed a significant threat to not only Cersei but all kingdoms in the Stormborn’s wake. While her assembled cabal of allies was formidable — she was buffed by Tyrion and his intimate knowledge of King’s Landing, the Greyjoys’ naval power, Ellaria and her Sand Snakes, and the sly, deceptive minds of both Lady Olenna and Lord Varys — she suffered setbacks on many fronts. The Greyjoy fleet was sunk, the Sand Snakes all but wiped out, and Lady Olenna died by suicide. Of course, the Mother of Dragons still has her three enormous children.

Despite her complete ability to crush King’s Landing, Dany is sane and merciful when compared to those around her. She is more than willing to take the throne by force, but she isn’t driven by bloodlust. Cersei’s cunning and treachery are unmatched, and if push came to shove, she could talk the Mother of Dragons into some sort of truce – one balanced in the Lannister Queen’s favor, of course.

Jaime Lannister

Jamie Lannister reassures Cersei. Hand close to her throat...

A prophecy from the novels foretells of the Queen meeting her end at the hands of “valonqar”, which is High Valyrian forlittle brother. The easy choice would be Tyrion, as he is the black sheep of the Lannister family.

However, it isn’t far-fetched to peg Jamie as that deceptive little brother. It would fit the bill for a Game of Thrones love affair with betrayal. Lest we forget, Jamie is no stranger to regicide, dispatching King Aerys II Targaryen, a.k.a The Mad King. Despite their recently strained relationship, his love and passion for his twin sister may be enough to keep him firmly in Camp Lannister.

The question is, will Queen Cersei trigger a catalyst that prompts Jamie to wrap his hands around her pale, white throat and choke the life from her?

Arya Stark

Arya learns from Jaqen H'ghar

Arya is now a faceless, stick-fighting assassin — a long way from the little girl training with Syrio Forel. Cersei sits high on Arya’s bedtime list (dead-time list?) for her role in the death of Papa Stark. Arya’s determination to complete that list is the driving force of her character, which is bad news for the Queen.

With the training of Jaqen H’ghar and the Faceless Men, Arya stands the best chance of getting close to Queen Cersei undetected. This could lead her to deal the final blow, a la Walder Frey. Perhaps with the face of one Jamie Lannister, fulfilling the prophecy? However, since Arya diverted to Winterfell instead of King’s Landing, that prophecy may need to wait.

Night King

The Night King commanding his army of White Walkers

This icy fellah is going to kill everyone. We can all agree on that, right? He commands the largest, fiercest army in Westeros. A perpetually staffed garrison of the dead and cold. Able to fell giants and raise the fallen with the flick of a wrist. He is not hampered by petty politics of power. The uncontested king of ice and death simply wants to welcome all of Westeros into his fold.

Winter is here, folks, and if the White Walkers are allowed to make it past that big, beautiful blue Wall, Cersei is the least prepared and least capable of handling such a treat. No amount of mountains could save her from the piercing touch of the Night’s King.

Editor’s note: This article was updated on August 10, 2017 with information from Season 7.

Super. Black.
Host of Super. Black., a podcast about characters of color. Lifetime nerd and video game enthusiast