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Westeros pre-Targaryen invasion was a product of the various economic/military/geographic realities that existed at the time. It doesn't seem to be broken up into various kingdoms due to a lack of ambition on the part of any of the various lords and kings, but because one faction could never grow strong enough to subjugate all the others.

It took an outside intervention by the Targaryens, who changed the military reality in Westeros with their Dragons, to unite the entire continent under one king. It seems inevitable that once the dragons died out that the kingdom would once again fragment because the military paradigm switched back to what it was pre-Targaryen.

So right now the only person that could even possibly rule the Seven Kingdoms would be Daenerys because she is the only one with the game changing dragons.

Given all of this, why doesn't Cersei seek to make peace with the North/the Vale and Dorne by recognizing their independence and consolidate her position by trying to carve out the biggest territory across the middle of Westeros consisting of the Westerlands, the Crownlands and the easily held parts of the Reach, the Riverlands and the Stormlands?

  • Are you looking for a purely "in world" explanation or more than that? – KorvinStarmast Aug 12 '17 at 13:21
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    "It seems inevitable that once the dragons died out that the kingdom would once again fragment" - But it didn't just happen like that because dragons died out. Dragons died out over a century before current events, it took united opposition to the Mad King to overthrow the Targaryen dynasty, and even then he would have stayed in power if he hadn't pissed off the Lannisters, or if the Trident was won, etc. – DariM Aug 13 '17 at 22:08
  • Tyrion: Drops a glass to the ground, there's your peace, my nephew saw to that when he took Eddard Stark's head. You will have easier time drinking from that than bringing Robb Stark to the table now. ~Now add Red Wedding to it as well. – Aegon Aug 15 '17 at 6:38
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There are a few things to consider as to why the Lannisters would not want to ally with those regions, and those regions likewise have their own reasons...

The North

  1. The Starks rebelled against the crown when their liege lord was executed unjustly by Joffrey Baratheon (who was under Lannister control).
  2. Sansa Stark was held captive at Kings Landing and suffered both physical and mental abuse under Lannister control.
  3. Robb Stark and those loyal to him were betrayed and murdered at the Red Wedding, which was a Lannister plot.

The lords remaining in the North are now loyal to House Stark once again. The animosity between the Starks is too great a thing to overcome from both sides. However, Cersei did send Jon Snow a letter telling him to come bend the knee. Granted I'm sure Cersei did not expect a reply.


The Vale

  1. The Lords of the Vale still believe that the Lannisters were responsible for the assassination of their liege lord (we as viewers know different).
  2. Littlefinger double-crossed Cersei by marrying Sansa to the Boltons, and then eventually helped to overthrow of the Boltons who were appointed by the Lannisters.

In the end the Vale is currently under the control of Littlefinger. Considering his motive is to "sit on the Iron Throne", agreeing to peace terms would put him farther from this goal. In Cersei's eyes the Vale has allied with the Starks, so see above.


Dorne

Goodness where to start with this one...

  1. Lannister bannermen raped and murdered the Princess Elia Martell and her children.
  2. Jaime Lannister infiltrated Dorne to kidnap his niece, who was betrothed to the heir of Sunspear, thus breaking a tenuous peace alliance.
  3. The ruling Price of Dorne was murdered by his own people for not seeking justice against the Lannisters for the above and for the death of Oberyn.
  4. The new leader of Dorne (Ellaria Sand) has the Princess Mycella murdered.
  5. Dorne allied itself with Daenerys Targaryen and helped her start the incursion into Westeros.
  6. In response Cersei has the Ellaria captured, murders two of her daughters, and poisons the last one.

Let’s just say there was no way in hell any peace was to be made there!


Cersei vs. Daenerys

  1. Cersei believes herself to have the upper hand in the fight against Daenerys. Even Tyrion admits that for the past couple decades House Lannister has been the true power in Westeros with an army to back that claim up.
  2. She has fairly easily defeated two of Daenerys' strongest allies while making a new one of her own with someone who has promised and proven loyalty to House Lannister.
  3. Dragons have been extinct for roughly 200 years. No-one truly knows (well, now they do) what these dragons are capable of. Even so Cersei still has made preparations to deal with the dragons.
  4. Aegon had three dragons, yes, but he also had three capable riders. Daenerys has one at best, herself.

Cersei has nothing to lose at this point. All her children are dead. She is making a final stand. Nothing, not even dragons, are going to stop her from trying to rule.

  • Also, Cersei must by now be completely paranoid about the prophecy, which so far has been perfectly accurate, which she admitted to believe in, and which ends in another queen, younger and more beautiful come to take everything you hold dear, and finally with Cersei's death at the hands of the "younger brother". While fan theory is that the brother will dramatically turn out to be Jaime, and in the books perhaps the young queen may be Arianne or another unexpected one, from TV Cersei's point of view, surely Daenerys and Tyrion must fit the bill. – melissa_boiko Aug 13 '17 at 10:07
  • Re: Dorne. Dorne in the show is reduced to the Martells (except for that scene where Pod names a bunch of Dornish houses for humour). They don't even really call the city Sunspear, just Dorne. In reality of course, Dorne has other houses and Lords, one of whom is now likely in command of the armies of Dorne, and therefore able to take over, rule, or negotiate on behalf of the Principality. – DariM Aug 13 '17 at 22:05

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