WARNING: This post contains spoilers for both the Game of Thrones television series and The Song of Ice and Fire novel series. It also contains a theory that may spoil Season 7’s finale. Do not read if you don’t want it spoiled!
It’s back! Or at least, it will be back!
What’s back? Cersei’s super-symbolic citrine ring.
Here are some released screen shots of the upcoming Season 7 Finale- The Dragon and the Wolf.
Let’s zoom in a bit.
Alright, now that we’ve clearly seen this druzy citrine ring on Cersei at the parlay between the Westeros factions, we need to back up a bit.
In July 2016, I picked up that this ring meant something and posted here on the blog about that. Now we see it again and it doesn’t bode well for Jon, Daenerys, and company. In fact, it’s an extremely bad omen.
So, let’s go to my original theory:
The first time we see this ring is in Season 2, Episode 9- Blackwater. This is the Battle of the Blackwater in which Cersei has locked herself and all the young women of the Red Keep into a room to wait out the battle. There, Cersei torments Sansa, telling her that should the walls fall, they’ll all get raped, most will be pregnant by the next day, and that Ilyn Payne is effectively there to execute them before any of that could happen. She is a monster within her Lannister colors and false breast plate.
She is also wearing a very distinctive ring while she gets drunker and drunker and more and more vicious.
At the end of this episode, Cersei takes Prince Tommen into the throne room, sits atop the Iron Throne, and tells him a story about a lion in the woods. All the while, her fingers are interlaced with Tommen’s and between their hands a vial of poison. Cersei’s hand, I must point out, bears the crystal ring.
Gradually, she brings their hands and the poison up to Tommen’s lips until they bottle neck is nearly touching them.
Originally, I just thought, “Cool ring.” That was until many season later when it reappeared. I KNEW then that this ring means something beyond a chunky accessory. It’s infused with symbolism.
So flash far forward to its next act- Season 6, Episode 10- The Winds of Winter. This is the episode where anyone who’s anyone in King’s Landing goes to the Sept of Baelor for Cersei’s trial save for a few key people- Cersei, Tommen, and The Mountain. Then Cersei blows it to smithereens killing her daughter-in-law and all her family save her grandmother; her uncle and her second favorite incestous relationship, her cousin Lancel; and a whole slew of Septons and Septas, including the High Sparrow. Much of her court is destroyed as well as anyone else who happened to be too close to the church. It’s mass murder.
What struck me at the beginning of this storyline in this episode, was the attention to how the characters were dressed for this cataclysmic event. Specifically, the tight camera focus on the crystal ring as the handmaiden slipped it onto Cersei’s hand.
So, the ring’s symbolism goes far beyond getting dressed for a trial Cersei never planned to attend.
Going back to the Season 6 finale, we see the ring again.
Cersei has just blown up a good chunk of King’s Landing and its nobility. Rather than go to her son, who’s wife has been incinerated in a blast of green wildfire, she goes to a torture chamber to torment Septa Unella.
And not only is she wearing the ring, the camera distinctly shows the ring as Cersei baits and badgers her.
She runs this hand down Septa Unella’s body as she confesses her darkest secrets, one’s she doesn’t regret in the least.
She rests this hand and its prominent ring on Septa Unella’s face.
So, what does this all mean?
Citrine considered the crystal of “manifestation, imagination, and personal will.” Well, I’m going to knock the last one out of full consideration simply because Cersei gets so drunk during the siege of King’s Landing and doesn’t show too much personal will. At the same time, however, to have the will power to potentially poison your son, have Ilyn Payne execute every young woman in the Red Keep, as well as blow up a good portion of your enemies in one go requires a great deal of resolve.
However, I believe that manifestation is the true symbolism behind the use of citrine in these two portent Game of Thrones scenes. We have ample evidence of Cersei’s character prior to this. Her hatred for her brother Tyrion is nearly palpable. She torments Sansa whenever she gets a chance. She has her husband killed and manipulates everyone she can. When Oberon tells Tyrion about the first time he saw him, he elucidates just how much Cersei hated her baby brother. She is, in essence, the manifestation of maliciousness.
She is also the manifestation of her one true belief. As she says to Ned Stark as early as the first book and season, “When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die.” To prove it Ned- who is too honorable for King’s Landing and the game of thrones- gets his head cut off. As both series progress, more and more of Cersei’s true nature comes to light. She nearly embodies this motto. During the Battle of the Blackwater when it looked like King’s Landing had fallen, she was willing to end that loss with Tommen’s death. When her own losses mounted up after the High Sparrow arrested her and Tommen forbid a trial by combat, she played the game as she saw it, “You win or you die.”
And now going into the Season 7 finale with two released photos where this particular ring is clearly visible, it means something. Cersei is planning to be her true self, her true vicious, malicious, mass murdering self. Cersei donning it for the ring’s third act, can only mean one thing- she plans on a lot of death. The parlay will be a trap of epic proportions meant to kill as many of her enemies as possible. The citrine ring is manifesting Cersei’s true nature and that nature is one of the darkest in all of Westeros. She may not be successful or only successful by degrees. Whatever the outcome, tomorrow’s Game of Thrones episode will be a nail biter.
I just noticed that Cersei is also wearing this ring in Season 7, Episode 1- Dragonstone- when she’s watching the Westeros painting go down on the floor and discussing strategy with Jaime. Her manifestion may be to dominate and rule no matter what.
If you like this, you may also like: