In A Feast For Crows Chapter 24, We see Cersei having a dinner with Ser Balman Byrch and Falyse Stokeworth. Following conversation takes place:

“As I feared. Bronn is gathering swords for the dwarf. May the Seven save my little son. The Imp will kill him as he killed his brother.” She sobbed. “My friends, I put my honor in your hands... but what is a queen’s honor against a mother’s fears?”

“Say on, Your Grace,” Ser Balman assured her. “Your words shall ne’er leave this room.”

Cersei reached across the table and gave his hand a squeeze. “I... I would sleep more easily of a night if I were to hear that Ser Bronn had suffered a... a mishap... whilst hunting, perhaps.”

Ser Balman considered a moment. “A mortal mishap?”

No, I desire you to break his little toe. She had to bite her lip. My enemies are everywhere and my friends are fools. “I beg you, ser,” she whispered, “do not make me say it...”

“I understand.” Ser Balman raised a finger.

A turnip would have grasped it quicker. “You are a true knight indeed, ser. The answer to a frightened mother’s prayers.” Cersei kissed him. “Do it quickly, if you would. Bronn has only a few men about him now, but if we do not act, he will surely gather more.

But why would she ask Ser Balman Byrch to kill Bronn?

At that time, Cersei was established as Tommen's regent and Lady of Casterly Rock. She could have formally charged Bronn of being accomplice in murder of Joffrey and send a contingent of Gold Cloaks/Red Cloaks to arrest Bronn with orders to kill him if he resists. Castle Stokeworth is right next to King's Landing so a mounted force could have traveled to Stokeworth and arrested Ser Bronn before the day's end. Then she could have executed him after a show trial.

Nobody would be expected to shed a tear for Bronn as Bronn's only aristocratic link was Lady Tanda Stokeworth, Falyse was heir to Lady Tanda and Stokeworths appeared to think that Bronn was insolent.

But Cersei instead turns to Ser Balman who mucks it all up, gets killed himself and gets poor Lady Tanda killed as well eventually.

Why would she ask Ser Balman to kill Bronn instead of using her authority as regent to dispense justice and govern in King's name? Why choose a riskier way instead of using a surer, safer way to eliminate a potential threat?

Even if Bronn asked for a trial by combat, Cersei commanded swords of puissant warriors like Ser Addam Marbrand and Ser Loras Tyrell. Ser Addam might have refused to take the part but Ser Loras could not refuse a royal command seeing as he was King's Guard and thus was sworn to obey any commands coming from a Royal provided they do not impact his first-most allegiance to the King.

Not to mention, given Cersei's attempt to get Loras killed by sending him to Dragonstone, She should be delighted to send Loras against Bronn because then she would be in a win-win situation. Cersei could even execute Bronn on spot and then let it be known that he refused a command issued in King's name thus proving his treason.

  • 5
    I've said it before, and I'll say it again: Cersei is an idiot! She thinks she's a cunning player, but constantly makes mistakes. Especially from A Storm of Swords onward.
    – Möoz
    Aug 15, 2016 at 21:42
  • They main point here though is that she did not have any evidence to pin against Bronn. There was also the matter of Bronn being hidden in a nice and safe castle, so luring him out for a trial in King's Landing would not have worked.
    – Möoz
    Aug 15, 2016 at 21:45
  • I've copied all the comments on this post to a new chatroom. If requested, I can also move the contents of that chatroom into the existing GoT spoiler chatroom.
    – Rand al'Thor
    Aug 19, 2016 at 13:15
  • 3
    Huh. If you're looking for rational explanations for why Cersei's actions in AFFC were the smart thing to do, you're going to be asking a lot of questions... :-) She's paranoid, lost, out of her depth, afraid, rapidly losing her marbles, is convinced she's surrounded by "enemies" who are manipulating everything against her - and also, as importantly, she enjoys these games where other people do her dirty work. She thinks she's good at it. Aug 21, 2016 at 18:47
  • @user568458 That's what I was going to say :)
    – Möoz
    Aug 23, 2016 at 2:46

1 Answer 1


Bronn may have won a trial.

Cersei may have been able to do what you say and put on a show of a trial, however, Bronn is now a member of House Stokeworth. He would be able to demand a trial-by-combat.

Bronn would have a good shot a winning the trial this way (and let's not forget, has a history of doing just that). With the Mountain not being the man he once was, Cersei would have a pick a more "normal" champion.

It seems to be Cersei's modus operandi to take care of her problems out of the public eye and in a way that could not be linked back to her (after all she had King Robert taken care of in a similar way). She may have believed this way had a better chance at success if done properly.

Cersei picked the right method, just the wrong person to execute it...

  • +1 for good reasoning but Why should she fear if Bronn's murder was linked back to her? Bronn has no powerful brothers or father to avenge him. She could have simply have him executed in Stokeworth and then let it be known that he refused command to surrender in King's Name.
    – Aegon
    Aug 15, 2016 at 13:17
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    Not to mention, there were many notable Knights at her command including Ser Loras Tyrell and Ser Addam Marbrand who could easily hack Bronn to tiny bits. Vardis Egen was one thing, but against Loras or Addam, I would not put my coin on Bronn.
    – Aegon
    Aug 15, 2016 at 13:19
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    Loras was beaten by the she-man, so he can be beaten. Bronn has mad skills and he doesn't fight like a knight is supposed to so i guess Bronn has the upper hand in that encounter.
    – Cherubel
    Aug 15, 2016 at 13:56
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    Because murder is murder, and even queens (especially ones who are queen-regents vs actual queens) have rules and laws they are supposed to follow. The murder of Ned Stark, even with the public "confession" plunged the kingdom into civil war. If she goes to that well, she can expect a dagger slipped between her ribs when she least expects it, if it is common knowledge. If she pretends to not be that much of a manipulator, there are less enemies openly willing to act against her. Aug 15, 2016 at 13:56
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    @Aegon - Excellent knocking down of the straw man. I never said a civil war would start over Bronn. I was pointing out that abuse of power does not go well with the people. Stark was an example because he even CONFESSED, and there was civil war. Trump up phony charges to kill off a lord, even a minor one? Resentment and unrest. Did Cersei actually do any single act to the people to cause them to fling filth and abuse on her, or is she wildly unpopular for being a nasty person and an accumulation of things? It adds up. Please don't attribute arguments to me I didn't actually make. Aug 17, 2016 at 12:58

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