Warning: The following article contains spoilers for Game of Thrones Season 7.
Cersei's prophecies are one of the more intensely debated aspects of Game of Thrones' vast mythology. They have earned the attention due in large part to how big of an impact they could potentially have on not only Game of Thrones' current queen bee, but other characters on the show.
First, a refresher
When Cersei was a little girl she and a friend ventured to see a fortune teller, Maggy the Frog. Using some not-so-gentle tactics, Cersei persuaded Maggy to answer three questions about her future.
While the TV show leaves out one particularly crucial prediction ("the little brother prophecy") the TV series does leave in the foretelling of Cersei becoming queen, all of her children dying, and her being usurped by a "younger, more beautiful" queen. Who is the woman in Cersei's prophecy?
Cersei's "younger queen" prophecy
When asked by Cersei if she will be queen, good ole' Maggy the Frog, replies as follows.
"You'll be queen, for a time. Then comes another, younger, more beautiful, to cast you down and take all you hold dear."
Until the Season 6 finale, many fans had speculated that younger queen was Margaery Tyrell (Natalie Dormer), the vivacious wife of Cersei's son, King Tommen. Cersei might have believed this as well, hence why she had her killed.
Another popular theory is that Maggy was referring to Daenerys Targaryen. When Season 6 ended, the Khaleesi was headed to Westeros with an army, determined to claim Cersei's newfound title for herself.
But what if Maggy was not talking about the Mother of Dragons, either? What if she was referring to Sansa Stark? The beleaguered daughter of Ned Stark has a long and tortured history with Cersei Lannister. Among her many deadly deeds, Cersei played a crucial role in the execution of Sansa's father.
'To cast you down and take all you hold dear.'
Why would Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) be on the warpath against Cersei to the extent that she would take all she holds dear? While Daenerys is known for her take-no-prisoners approach, Cersei is simply an obstacle to the Iron Throne.
There is no personal vendetta to speak of between the two ladies. It makes more sense that it would be Sansa (Sophie Turner) who would want to enact that level of personal carnage.
Given the recent spoilers for Game of Thrones Season 7, it appears that Daenerys' journey to the Iron Throne will not be as clear cut as some might have originally thought. In the meantime, Sansa is said to rule Winterfell, while her brother Jon Snow (Kit Harington) is away on official King in the North business in Season 7.
This spoiler from the alleged Season 7 plot leak on Reddit appeared to be all but confirmed by Watchers on the Wall recently. One of the many spoilers confirmed from the alleged leak, originally posted by user 'awayforthelads,' and later recompiled by 'maureencreates.'
In a world where the likely victor fails and the unlikely succeeds, Game of Thrones could be gearing up for the biggest shocker of all: Daenerys' defeat and Sansa's ascension. Here are the hints interwoven throughout the past six seasons that could foreshadow the Sansa-as-queen theory.
Cersei took Sansa under her wing
Despite Cersei's seething hatred for everyone other than Jaime and her children, she managed to carve out a tiny soft spot for Sansa. During Sansa's time in King's Landing, Cersei spent a great deal of time talking to and advising Sansa.
During Stannis Baratheon's attack on King's Landing in the episode "Blackwater," Cersei gives Sansa the rundown on the in-and-outs of victory, defeat, and the handling of the latter's aftermath. Cersei's advice certainly had an impact. Before the "Battle of the Bastards," Sansa tells Jon that she will commit suicide if he loses on the battlefield.
Sansa learned the "game of thrones" from Cersei
It is Cersei who utters the series' iconic line in Season 1, when she tells Eddard Stark the following.
"When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die. There is no middle ground."
Cersei appeared to see something in Sansa, she saw in no one else, including her own daughter. In Sansa, Cersei saw someone who reminded her of herself. It takes one to know one and Cersei clearly thought Sansa was worthy of her time and attention. An honor few Game of Thrones characters have been deemed worthy of.
Sansa has become more and more like Cersei
In Game of Thrones Season 6, Sansa had her most Cersei-like year yet. In Season 6, she craftily formulates her revenge against her evil husband, Ramsay Bolton, and she coldly distances herself from her little brother's impending fate. She also tosses off a particularly biting one-liner to Ramsay as she rides away from the "Battle of the Bastards" parley:
"You are going to die tomorrow, Lord Bolton. Sleep well."
How could Sansa become a queen?
If Sansa is still married to Tyrion and Tyrion is revealed to be a Targaryen, he could potentially be in line for the Iron Throne, therefore putting Sansa in line as his queen. If Tyrion is the illegitimate son of Aegon "Mad King" Targaryen and Joanna Lannister, then his claim (were he to be legitimized) would supersede both Jon Snow and Daenerys'.
How could Tyrion be legitimized?
It all depends on if Jon wants to take the Iron Throne. He could decide to abdicate. Something that given Jon's reluctance to power is not much of a stretch. If he were to decide he does not want to be king, he could choose to use his temporarily held power to determine who sits on the Iron Throne.
Jon could use his powers as the King of the Seven Kingdoms, to legitimize Tyrion. This would put Tyrion next in line for the Iron Throne, making him the King of the Seven Kingdoms. Let's face it, Jon's philosophies share more in common with Tyrion's than Daenerys', so it makes sense he would be comfortable with that arrangement.
If Sansa's marriage to Tyrion still stands, she would be his de facto queen. Sansa would then be able to fulfill everything in Cersei's prophecy. Find out if Sansa is the younger queen, when Game of Thrones Season 7 premieres, next summer on HBO.
[Image by HBO]