(Spoiler Warning: Please don’t read this until you’ve seen the latest “Game of Thrones” episode.)
Cersei has suffered humiliation after humiliation this season. This week, the latest terrible fate to befall her was the declaration made by her own son that trial by combat is now outlawed. Tommen did have a point. Putting aside the fact that demanding a trial by combat allowed Tyrion to escape a guilty verdict at the hands of a kangaroo court, isn’t it pretty stupid that any and all laws can be swept aside and replaced with a fight to the death to decide whether someone truly committed a crime?
At any rate, Cersei has again been outsmarted. She had been planning on using her mind slave Gregor Clegane to win her freedom in a trial by combat. Instead, she played her hand too early by siccing Clegane on a member of the Faith Militant to keep them from forcing her to leave the Red Keep and meet with the High Sparrow. It’s pretty clear that the High Sparrow figured out what Cersei was planning and got in Tommen’s ear to make sure Cersei couldn’t use Clegane as a loophole.
And yet…Cersei seems to have yet another backup plan that could help her. She received news from Qyburn that a certain rumor she asked him to investigate was actually true. It wasn’t made clear what exactly this rumor could be, but considering Qyburn’s taste for shady and unspeakable acts, there’s a good chance that Qyburn could be referring to the wildfire plot set by the Mad King, Aerys Targaryen.
When the tide turned against the Targaryens during Robert Baratheon’s rebellion, Aerys, deep in the throes of a possibly Bran Stark-induced insanity, decided that if Robert did indeed win the war, he was going to burn this mother down. He ordered the Alchemists’ Guild to secretly set up massive stockpiles of wildfire and hide them beneath major areas in King’s Landing, including the Red Keep. If the Baratheon forces broke through Aerys’ last defenses and attempted to take the Iron Throne, Aerys planned to ignite the wildfire and create an unquenchable firestorm that would run wild through Westeros and take everyone down with him.
Aerys kept this plan a secret from everyone aside from the alchemists. He even had his Hand executed when he got wise to the plan and refused to help, replacing him with a pyromancer. But there was one other person outside of Aerys’ circle who knew about the plan: Jaime Lannister. When Robert Baratheon and Ned Stark reached King’s Landing, Aerys moved to blow up the city. Jaime intervened, first killing Aerys’ pyromancer before slaying the king himself.
From that day on, Jaime became known as the reviled Kingslayer. But despite the disgust people felt towards him, Jaime kept the wildfire plot to himself for years. He revealed the truth for the first time to Brienne earlier in the series, but he hadn’t even told Cersei before then.
It may very well be possible that Cersei is preparing to go further than ever before to take back power for herself. One of the wildfire stockpiles Aerys set up was located under the Great Sept, where the High Sparrow and his forces are based.
Cersei and Qyburn could be planning to destroy the Great Sept to take out the Faith Militant in one swoop. However, Loras and Margaery are still in the Great Sept too. If they get caught in the crossfire, Cersei’s plan could cost her the love of Tommen… and possibly his life.
Cersei is currently at the bottom of our “Game of Thrones” power rankings, but her wildfire plan could send her rocketing up the list…if it doesn’t take her son’s life in the process. See where her fellow Lannisters stand on our rankings below.