This post contains spoilers for Game of Thrones up to and including season six.
Here are a few of the strange things Game Of Thrones’ resident badass Cersei has done over the past six seasons:
• Slept with her twin brother Jaime
• Encouraged throwing a child out of a window to prevent anyone knowing about her sleeping with her brother Jaime
• Slept with her cousin Lancel while her brother Jaime was away
• Put her mad son on the throne
• Campaigned against her first and second son’s wife, accusing her of adultery and stirring up dangerous religious zealots in a bid to get rid of her
• Blew up the Sept of Baelor to ‘protect’ her son from the faith (and his wife, brother-in-law and father-in-law).
As her brother Jaime puts it: “The things I do for love…”
The thing is, Cersei has apparently not been acting in the name of love at all. According to Redditor Rain12913 – a clinical psychologist – she’s been doing all these things because of her underlying narcissistic tendencies.
Prior to her assessment made on Reddit, Rain12913 gives a disclaimer: “Diagnosing fictional characters with psychiatric disorders is kind of silly. Psychiatric disorders are complex and mysterious classifications of human minds, and the minds of fictional characters are not real. Therefore, what I’m doing here is just loosely applying these terms to a character who simply displays the behaviors and characteristics of a particular diagnostic label that we use for real people.”
Still, that doesn’t mean the diagnosis isn’t interesting. It seems to account for everything Cersei does. Take a look at some extracts below and read the whole thing on Reddit here.
– “People seem to be falling into the trap of thinking that Cersei really does genuinely love her brother and her (late) children. While she certainly says that she does quite a bit, and while her behaviour may seem to suggest that she does, it is highly unlikely that such a narcissistic character is capable of true love.”
– “Cersei doesn’t view others as real, complete people. Instead, she views them as either “all good” or “all bad” (this is known as splitting, and it is a defense mechanism).”
– “Her tendency to split is reflective of her inability to view herself as a person who has both good traits and bad traits… Cersei must either embrace the belief that she is a worthless, damaged, and hopeless person, or the belief that she is impeccable, gifted, and perfect… Deep down, [narcissists are] certain that they fall into the former category, so if they don’t embrace the latter (that they’re perfect), then they will be “destroyed,” in the sense of facing psychological collapse.”
– “There is a sort of narcissistic love in which the narcissistic person loves others as an extension of him/herself… the narcissistic person experiences a fragmentation of the self in which the other becomes a part of the self. This is almost always seen with family members or lovers… You see this in the way that Cersei thinks about Jamie and her children. They are her blood… As such, they must be perfect, like she is.”
– “Cersei isn’t even capable of loving someone who isn’t herself. Her one true love in life is her twin, who looks just like her. Loving one’s twin is the ultimate form of self-love, and it is sort of a perfect embodiment of what it means to be narcissistic.”
– On Tommen’s death: “In [Cersei’s] mind, she is all that exists. People are either “her,” or they’re “not her.” At that point, Tommen had become “not her.” He had joined the Faith and forsaken his family. He showed weakness, gullibility, and stupidity, and he even abandoned her. From that point on, he was no longer a part of her. The scene when Cersei saw Tommen’s body was very poignant… While we had previously seen Cersei go completely hysterical at the loss of Myrcella and Joffrey, she is cold and emotionless during this scene.”
Read the whole post here and let us know what you think of the diagnosis below: