Maggy the Frog's prophecy of Cersei having and losing three children seems to be right on the money but for one thing:

Either Cersei is lying to Cat in the 2nd episode about the "little black-haired beauty" who died in infancy, or Maggy was (wrong?)

The "You win or you die" scene in the eponymous episode (Season 1 episode 7) doesn't provide any hints. Cersei cops to all of her living children being Jaimie's, but neither confirms nor denies any dead children between her and Robert.

My best guess is that since it was Robert's custom to be away on a hunt during his wife's childbirth, Cersei killed the (born living) baby shortly after the birth. But that's just a guess since that would make her statements to Cat technically true, without entirely conflicting with Maggy's prophecy (Cersei felt no loss, and perhaps the baby wore no gold shroud).

I'm pretty certain that there haven't been any more hints in the show (see my new answer below for a correction on this). But I've only read about halfway through the books so far, and it's been a while. I easily could have missed something in what I have read.

So, any clues in the books that aren't in the show? Do the books tell more of the "black-haired beauty"?

  • 2
    If the moon tea was drunk and the child died in the womb, then Maggy's prophecy is intact.
    – Tim
    Mar 26, 2017 at 19:03
  • @Tim True, but then I'm troubled by Cersei's lie to Cat. Cersei would have to expect that Cat would someday share that story with Ned. That's a can of worms that Cersei wouldn't want to bring upon herself. Mar 26, 2017 at 19:14
  • Many feel that the differences from book to tv series could pave a path to a theory (on the TV series only) that Gendry is Cersei's and Robert's son: winteriscoming.net/2017/03/04/… Jan 6, 2019 at 17:00

4 Answers 4


To complement Kevin's answer:

The whole conversation, as Kevin said, is a show-only thing. Cersei never gave birth to any child who may have been Robert's.

Eddard wondered the same, how did Cersei and Robert never have any Children?

"A dozen years," Ned said. "How is it that you have had no children by the king?"

She lifted her head, defiant. "Your Robert got me with child once," she said, her voice thick with contempt. "My brother found a woman to cleanse me. He never knew. If truth be told, I can scarcely bear for him to touch me, and I have not let him inside me for years. I know other ways to pleasure him, when he leaves his whores long enough to stagger up to my bedchamber. Whatever we do, the king is usually so drunk that he's forgotten it all by the next morning."
AGOT: Eddard XII

So as evident by Cersei's own confession:

  1. Robert only once managed to impregnate Cersei.
  2. Cersei aborted the child with help of Jaime.
  3. Robert never knew about this whole conception and abortion of his child.
  4. Cersei employed other ways than intercourse to sate Robert.
  5. Robert was usually too drunk to remember if he actually managed to have intercourse with his Queen or not.

Later Cersei also thinks the following:

Ten thousand of your children perished in my palm, Your Grace, she thought, slipping a third finger into Myr. Whilst you snored, I would lick your sons off my face and fingers one by one, all those pale sticky princes. You claimed your rights, my lord, but in the darkness I would eat your heirs.
AFFC: Cersei VII

As Cersei says, She often used her hands and her mouth to get Robert off her case instead of letting him have intercourse with her. Due to these methods she never actually got pregnant with Robert's children except that one time, when she got it aborted.

So in conclusion, no there is no indication in the books about some Ravenhead kid who died after his birth. Only Children Cersei ever bore were Jaime's. Seems to be one of the many internal inconsistencies of the show.

  • 3
    Get Robert off.... her case. -- Why Yes, I am still a child :P
    – Skooba
    Mar 27, 2017 at 11:50
  • 1
    @Skooba I'm glad I'm not the only one who caught that :) Mar 27, 2017 at 14:56

The "little black-haired beauty" -- and, indeed, that entire conversation between Cat and Cersei -- was invented for the TV show and does not appear in the books. In the books, she became pregnant from Robert, but never carried the baby to term (she drank moon tea, which Jaime procured for her).

The most likely explanation for the discrepancy is that the show's writers forgot about this departure from canon when they wrote the Maggy scene many years later. The most likely in-universe explanation, of course, is that Cersei lied to Cat in order to seem more sympathetic.

  • 2
    Do we know from the books how far along the pregnancy was? Any chance of a stillborn baby that Robert grieved? I vaguely remember the moon tea thing. They could still perhaps make that fly. Mar 26, 2017 at 9:24
  • 1
    @Jolenealaska No we do not know that. Only inference we can make from the fact that Robert did not know about it, is that the pregnancy must have been in very initial stages. Robert never had a still born child with Cersei. See my answer below
    – Aegon
    Mar 27, 2017 at 7:30
  • 2
    I agree that Cersei lying is the only real way to reconcile this in-world. In reality, news of the first child of King Robert would be shared across the nation, ravens would fly, bards would carry the news, etc, and likewise the child's death. Cat not knowing about the child at all would be passing odd, especially as Ned is Robert's oldest and best friend. This lends credence to a lie, but it's a strange lie to tell (being easily uncovered) and it's weird that Cat doesn't question this.
    – delinear
    Mar 27, 2017 at 9:43
  • @delinear Yep. All in all I think it was an unfortunate scene. A stillborn baby could have been unknown, even a live birth if Cersei was in Casterly Rock, but not a baby that lived more than a few days. Mar 27, 2017 at 10:40

Wait a minute! There is another reference (in the show) to a child, a boy, born to Robert and Cersei.

From Season 1, Episode 5, The Wolf and the Lion:

Cersei: I felt something for you once, you know

Robert: I know

Cersei: Even after we lost our first boy, for quite a while actually. Was it ever possible for us? Was there ever a time, ever a moment?

Robert: No

So, Robert does know of a baby who died. Cersei isn't lying! So I'm going back to my theory of Cersei killing the baby shortly after birth.

  • 3
    Well if she's not lying about that, then is she lying about her grief? In the show, she loves her children madly. Surely she wouldn't have killed the baby Baratheon? Also, shaking fists angrily at D&D
    – Aegon
    Apr 3, 2017 at 12:47
  • 1
    But have a +1 for the find wrt Show-universe!
    – Aegon
    Apr 3, 2017 at 12:48

People seem to be mixing the book with the show. I think we should realize that there are subtle differences between the two. The best explanation is that Cersei lied about the age of the boy and the manner in which he died. Though the book said Robert didn't know about the baby, the show could have wanted to show that the baby was aborted close to term and he knew of the pregnancy which explains his response when they were discussing it. Parents still talk about losing a boy/girl if the pregnancy is advanced enough to tell the sex of the baby, some even name the foetus. Remember Stannis' wife that kept all the male foetus she lost in a jar? Catelyn not knowing about Robert's child would be really unbelievable considering that the child would be about Robb's age and it was only 9 years ago to the time Aaryn died that Robert and Ned had not seen one another. Cersei could have told Robert not to tell anyone even including Ned about the lost child if it was aborted before term but the king's living heir and subsequent death could never have been hidden from the 7 kingdoms..... never. So the show tweaked the book a little just as they added more to Robert's prophesied children (book =16, show=20). Also, Cersei never went to console Catelyn about Bran but to check out his condition so she just lied to conceal her true intentions, did anyone think she will be praying for Bran's recovery?

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