Who did Cersei loved the most?

Cersei Lannister is one of the most complex and controversial characters in George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series and HBO’s Game of Thrones. As the only daughter of Tywin Lannister, she was raised to understand the importance of family and loyalty above all else. Throughout her life, Cersei formed meaningful relationships with her brothers Jaime and Tyrion, her children Joffrey, Myrcella and Tommen, and other Lannisters like her cousin Lancel. However, her capacity for love was often overshadowed by her ruthlessness and hunger for power. This raises an interesting question – who did Cersei truly love the most?

Jaime Lannister

As twins, Cersei and Jaime shared an unusually close bond since birth. They became lovers at a young age and continued their forbidden relationship well into adulthood, resulting in Cersei’s three children who were passed off as rightful heirs to Robert Baratheon. Their twincestuous connection represented the height of Lannister narcissism and entitlement in their minds. To the rest of the world, it was an abomination. But for Cersei, it defined her greatest love. She hopelessly loved Jaime and saw him as her other half – quite literally. Their fates were intertwined and they repeatedly risked everything to be together.

Evidence of Cersei’s Love for Jaime

Risking their relationship being discovered Cersei and Jaime were intimate even in Winterfell’s tower, endangering their secret.
Trusting no one else with the paternity of her children Only Jaime could father Cersei’s heirs in her mind.
Freeing Jaime after his capture Cersei defied Robb Stark’s orders and freed Jaime to return to King’s Landing.
Her grief at losing Jaime Cersei was distraught, drinking excessively, when she believed Jaime dead.
Choosing Jaime over her ambition In the end, Cersei’s desire was to simply be with Jaime as the Red Keep collapsed.

For most of her life, Jaime was the only person Cersei ever fully trusted and let her guard down around. Their relationship was twisted but nonetheless meaningful to her. Of all Cersei’s human relationships, her love for her other half Jaime was paramount above all else.

Her Children

Though lacking in conventional maternal instinct, Cersei did fiercely love her three children – Joffrey, Myrcella and Tommen. As the only legitimate heirs to the Iron Throne, Cersei obsessed over and coddled her children, seeing them as extensions of herself. She took tremendous pride in their claim and went to extreme lengths to protect them as any lioness would.

Evidence of Cersei’s Love for Her Children

Her attentiveness as they grew up Cersei was very involved in her childrens’ upbringing, grooming them to rule.
Accepting Robert’s abuse Cersei endured Robert’s assaults to provide royal cover for her offspring.
Orchestrating Robert’s death After discovering the truth, Cersei plotted to eliminate Robert to protect her children.
Refusing to flee King’s Landing Cersei stayed in the city under siege because she wouldn’t abandon Tommen.
Her devastation at their deaths Joffrey, Myrcella and Tommen’s deaths left Cersei utterly broken and changed.

Through all the prophecies and trauma, the one constant in Cersei’s life was her commitment to her children. She lived through them and their reigns, only to be left utterly shattered in the end. Of all that she lost in life, Cersei likely mourned her children the most.

Tywin Lannister

As Cersei’s father, Tywin Lannister heavily influenced her psyche and approach to ruling. She spent her life trying to earn Tywin’s respect as his heir and demonstrate that she was worthy of being the Lannister legacy’s steward. Cersei’s complicated relationship with her father was characterized by both admiration and resentment. Still, he shaped who she became more than anyone else.

Evidence of Cersei’s Love for Tywin

Desperately seeking his approval Cersei worked hard to prove herself to Tywin and win his formal recognition.
Her anger at him ignoring her Cersei was furious and hurt that Tywin ignored her inheritance rights.
Missing him after his death Cersei admitted Tywin’s presence and counsel were irreplaceable after he was gone.
Emulating his leadership style As Queen, Cersei tried to rule through fear and military might like Tywin.
Wishing he was there to guide her Cersei believed things may have gone differently if Tywin was alive.

While Cersei outwardly tried to defy Tywin at times, inwardly she was still very much the little girl who idolized her father and wanted his acceptance. She tried to finish what Tywin started in his absence, showing her underlying love and respect for him.

Tyrion Lannister

Of all Cersei’s relationships, her dynamic with her younger brother Tyrion Lannister was perhaps the most bitter. From birth, Cersei resented and was cruel to Tyrion due to him causing their mother’s death. She repeatedly tried to undermine and frame Tyrion as they got older, only tolerating him because he was Tywin’s son. However, there were rare moments where she saw Tyrion’s value and even expressed a semblance of sisterly affection.

Evidence of Cersei’s Love for Tyrion

Momentarily empathizing with his pain When Tyrion married Sansa, Cersei acknowledged it was done against his will.
Occasional laughter and drinking together Cersei and Tyrion were able to momentarily enjoy each others’ company.
Appointing him as Hand Cersei recognized Tyrion was an able administrator and briefly named him Hand.
Warning him at his trial Cersei seemed to show concern for Tyrion, telling him to confess to survive.
Missing his counsel Cersei admitted Tyrion was exceptionally bright and his advice was lacking.

While dominated by loathing and betrayal, the undercurrent of the relationship between Cersei and Tyrion involved a complicated love between siblings. When her guard was down, Cersei saw Tyrion as her little brother and not just a despised foe. Still, the bad blood ran too deep for her to ever fully love Tyrion.

Lancel Lannister

As her cousin and former squire, Lancel Lannister became an unlikely partner-in-crime to Cersei following Robert Baratheon’s death. Cersei seduced the much younger Lancel and used him to ensure Robert’s ‘accident’ during the hunt. For a time, Lancel became Cersei’s insider agent and lover when Jaime was away from King’s Landing. However, it was a relationship entirely rooted in Cersei exploiting Lancel’s loyalty and feelings for her.

Evidence of Cersei’s Love for Lancel

Seducing him after Robert’s death Cersei manipulated Lancel’s affection for her to control him.
Using him as a pawn against Tyrion Cersei used Lancel to spy on Tyrion as Hand of the King.
No affection for him otherwise Cersei only kept Lancel close when she needed to use him.
Casting him aside After the Battle of Blackwater, Cersei no longer had any use or care for Lancel.
Mocking and threatening him later When Lancel joined the Faith Militant, Cersei ridiculed him mercilessly.

While willing to weaponize Lancel’s loyalty for a time, Cersei never loved her cousin. To her, he was merely a temporary pawn to be manipulated and discarded when convenient. She treated him with utter contempt and disregard outside of what she could extract from him.

Robert Baratheon

As her husband and King, Cersei utterly despised Robert Baratheon. Their marriage was forced upon her to cement House Lannister’s alliance with the throne after Robert’s Rebellion. However, Robert was still pining for Lyanna Stark and regularly abused Cersei. For her part, Cersei cuckolded Robert at every turn with Jaime. They had nothing but hatred for each other by the time Robert died.

Evidence of Cersei’s Love for Robert

No fondness even during their engagement Cersei was aloof and distant from Robert from the beginning.
Taking Jaime as her lover Cersei flagrantly cheated on Robert with her brother.
Resenting him for killing Rhaegar Cersei secretly hated Robert for slaying her one-time love Rhaegar.
Engineering his ‘accident’ Cersei plotted Robert’s death on the hunt and showed no remorse.
Celebrating his death Privately, Cersei was joyful and relieved to be rid of Robert.

Perhaps no relationship better captures Cersei’s capacity for pure hatred than her sham marriage to Robert Baratheon. She felt only loathing and contempt for her debauched, whoring husband from start to finish.


Examining Cersei Lannister’s complex web of relationships reveals the nuances to her psyche. While ruthless, power-hungry, and often cruel, she was motivated by the loves in her life. Jaime, her children, her father Tywin – these were the vital ties that drove Cersei. Others like Tyrion, Lancel, and Robert represented both attachments and enemies that factored into her motivations. In the end, Cersei’s one true love likely was Jaime as he was the only man who saw her and loved her true self. Her tender love for her children also highlighted Cersei’s humanity. Though love did not redeem Cersei, it did illuminate the inner forces behind Westeros’ most fascinating and formidable female.

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