The Fifth Season of Game of Thrones was the first one to introduce a flashback scene of a young Cersei Lannister hearing her prophecy from Maggy The Frog.
While the prophecy in the show did differ a bit from the one in the books, the scene did keep the essentials which unveil more about Cersei’s character and personality. Her behavior around those around her is a clear result of this prophecy and how it has been haunting her all her life.
Maggy The Frog: Who Is She?
Little is known about Maggy, which could be short for “Maegi”, a High Valyrian name. She is a Fortune Teller that lived near Lannisport in the Westerlands, where the Lannisters are the Liege Lords.
In Cersei’s recollections of her in “A Feast For Crows”, the 4th book, she is described as “squat and warty, with crusty yellow eyes, no teeth, and pale green jowls”. Little did she know that she would haunt the future queen of Westeros through her entire life
After meeting a young Prince Rhaegar Targaryen at a tournament in Lannisport, and after hearing rumors about her betrothal to the Targaryen heir, young Cersei’s curiosity got the best of her. She decided to confront Maggy, accompanied by her friend Melara, and validate the rumors of her powers. And also to know more about her future if true..
Three Questions/Three Prophecies
After giving Maggy a taste of her blood, Cersei was granted 3 questions about her future, the answers “she would not like”. However in the books, the prophecy itself is split into 3 very specific prophecies of their own.
Cersei’s question regarded her potential betrothal to Rhaegar Targaryen and her Queenship:
Cersei: When will I wed the prince?
Maggy: Never. You will wed the king.
Cersei: I will be queen, though?
Maggy: Aye. Queen you shall be… until there comes another, younger and more beautiful, to cast you down and take all that you hold dear
Maggy had already predicted that she will not wed Prince Rhaegar Targaryen, but rather, the Usurper that would become King after slaying him and his family from the Iron Throne, Robert Baratheon.
Cersei: Will the king and I have children?
Maggy: Oh, aye. Six-and-ten for him, and three for you. Gold shall be their crowns and gold their shrouds, she said. And when your tears have drowned you, the valonqar shall wrap his hands about your pale white throat and choke the life from you.
Robert’s many bastards are predicted here, along with Cersei’s 3 children of her own. “Gold shall be their crowns” could relate to either their blonde hair, which all 3 have/had, or a literal crown: Joffrey and Tommen ended up King, Myrcella was betrothed to the Prince of Dorne who accept women in their succession lines.
Their shrouds relate to their deaths. So far there are 2 down (Joffrey and Myrcella in the show), 1 to go…
Melara: Will I marry Jaime?
Maggy: Not Jaime, nor any other man, Worms will have your maidenhead. Your death is here tonight, little one. Can you smell her breath? She is very close.
This portion was completely omitted from the show: Maggy predicts Melara’s death that very same night, and she does indeed by drowning to death in an accident that very same evening. It is what makes Cersei believe in the prophecy afterwards and ends up shaping her character.
The Younger, More Beautiful Queen
It could very well be Margaery Tyrell, who was betrothed to both her children to become queen. This would explain all the hostilities that Cersei has shown Margaery throughout the entire series, even having her framed and arrested by the Faith Militant to eliminate the potential threat she sensed in her.
Cersei at some point believes Sansa Stark might be the younger more beautiful queen to seal her fate, even more so considering she later blames Sansa as an accomplice to Joffrey’s murder. With Sansa on the run in the North, the odds are not in her favor.
Another valid theory, is that it could be Daenerys Targaryen that comes in and take everything she holds dear away from her. Until Daenerys decides to invade Westeros with her Dragons, this is only a plausibility.
UPDATE (SEASON 7): Daenerys has not only reached Westeros, but also given a huge blow to the Lannister forces with her Dothraki horde and her dragons…
Maggy mentions that after all three of her children die, the “Valonqar” (Little Brother) will choke her to death. Cersei always associated the Valonqar to be her younger brother Tyrion, which explains her constant hatred and hostilities towards him.
She firmly believes he will kill her, just as he killed their mother at his own birth. But Tyrion is not the only “Valonqar” to be considered….
The Other Possible “Valonqar”
While Jaime and Cersei are twins, Cersei is the one that came out of the womb first. So technically, Jaime is a little brother to Cersei by a few minutes. Although not covered so much in the shows, in the books, their relationship slowly deteriorates after he returns to Kings Landing missing a hand, and after Joffrey dies.
The only rebuttal to this theory is that Jaime only has one hand. But then he could choke her with the new golden one he now has. Yet there is one other potential candidate for the Valonqar, one that is not a Lannister per se…
A Non-Lannister “Valonqar” – The Hound?
All hints point that Sandor “The Hound” Clegane will return in season 6. With Cersei awaiting Trial with the Faith, she could ask for a Trial by Combat and have Robert Strong, the resurrected Gregor “The Mountain” Clegane as her champion. The Faith could have the “Gravedigger” represent them.
With all the hints in the books, the hints directly points at the Gravedigger to be Sandor Clegane, the younger brother of Gregore. Should Sandor defeat his older brother, he would seal Cersei’s fate, having her die by the hands of a “little brother”. The one rebuttal for this theory is the “choking” portion of the prophecy.
UPDATE (SEASON 6): At the end of season 6, the Hound has indeed returned, but the Faith has been eradicated by Cersei’s plans to burn the Sept of Baelor in place of her trial. It also seems the Hound has joined the Brotherhood without Banners, and is heading north to fight the White Walkers, so this theory is pretty much disproved in the HBO show.
A Non-Lannister “Valonqar” – The Crows Eye?
UPDATE (SEASON 7): The Valoqar could very well be another Little Brother who let it be known that killing siblings can be fun. Of course we’re talking about THIS Guy, Euron Greyjoy.
The Shaping Of A Troubled Queen
Throughout The Books, Cersei regrets having heard this prophecy, as her entire life has been led by the fear that these words have brought upon her. As much as it explains her character, it also gives her a depth that was not understood before. Rather than feel hatred for Cersei, the viewers and readers grow more into feeling sorry for her.