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I get that Cersei hated those religious extremists who made her parade naked in the city, but what was the point of blowing up the entire Sept? It killed lots of innocents (surrounding buildings also got destroyed). The Great Sept of Baelor building also had historic significance. And if she didn't care any of this, at least it was a total waste of precious Wildfire which could be used in wars.

She could make the faith illegal. She had access to powerful armies and royal guards which could kill all the extremists one by one. Why didn't she choose this option? Why did she go for Mad King's signature move which could spark more rebellion?

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    Reasons off the top of my head. (1) All of her enemies, in one place, at one time. (2) Wars can be won or lost (3) plausible deniability – Radhil Jan 3 at 18:57
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    I think Cersei was unhinged at this time. Cersei has already been shown to be needlessly cruel and not completely rational when it comes to revenge... And how could she have made "the faith illegal"? She isn't particularly well-liked (unlike the Sparrows) and isn't the head of the religion or even the head of state. – Andres F. Jan 3 at 18:58
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    The church blowing up was an "accident" she was not in power, she could not outlaw the church, her son was the king. With that little "accident" she came to be the ruler. – Alessandro Sanfilippo Jan 3 at 18:59
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    @AlessandroSanfilippo With that little "accident" she came to be the ruler. ~> She didn't expect that her son would commit suicide. – I Love You 3000 Jan 4 at 5:30
  • Considering the support that church had among the common people, making it illegal would have backfired. Our own history is full of Kings or governments taken down by outlawed faiths. – Verdan Jan 4 at 6:12
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I'll try to take your points one by one here...

  • what was the point of blowing out the entire Sept?

    She had all her enemies in one place. The High Sparrow, the Sparrows, the Tyrells, etc. What was lost in the show is that the crown owed the Faith A LOT of gold, which is how the Sparrows came to power to begin with; crown a new High Septon who will forgive your debt.

  • It killed lots of innocents (surrounding buildings also got destroyed). The Great Sept of Baelor building also had historic significance

    Since when as Cersei cared about innocents? Remember this was woman who was going to have all the highborn maidens killed by Ser Illyn if the Battle of Blackwater was lost not mention going to poison her own son. Would have seen her own brother (Tyrion) killed for a crime he did not commit. Plotted the demise of her own husband. Plotted the initial demise of House Stark. In the game of thrones, you win or you die...

    As far as the building goes, this is I think a call back to the books in which she burns down the Tower of the Hand after Tywin is killed.

  • And if she didn't care any of this, at least it was a total waste of precious Wildfire which could be used in wars.

    As far as she knew the war(s) had basically been won at this point. The North has been demolished and taken control by the Boltons (whom at this point still was assumed to be loyal to the crown). The East was held by Littlefinger (whom at this point still was assumed to be loyal to the crown). The South was either the Tyrells who have a stake in the crown and Martells who were on her hit list but not a military power. The Iron Islands have actively sided with her now that Euron has taken over. Daenrys is still in Essos and assumed a non-threat. Jon Snow is still a bastard of the Night's Watch and not a threat.

  • She could make the faith illegal. She had access to powerful armies and royal guards which could kill all the extremists one by one.

    Not exactly... Remember this is the same faith that had the power to imprison her in the first place. Cersei is not Queen, just Queen Mother. Tommen and Margarey held the true power. The Kingsguard even rode to the gates of the to forcefully take back Cersei if needed but were ultimately told to stand down by Tommen. Once she is out of prison, Tommen basically has her relegated to her chambers. She is not in any real position to give orders except to maybe the Mountain. Which as a much of a monster as he is probably couldn't take on hundreds of armed sparrows.

  • Why didn't she choose this option? Why did she go for Mad King's signature move which could spark more rebellion?

    Well, who could say she actually did it? It was merely a tragic accident from long forgotten things done by the Mad King (hey remember when us Lannisters helped overthrow that guy?).

    Out-of-universe, it shows the viewers that yes Cersei has gone fully mad, as mad as the Mad King was.

  • I think in the books a lot of the wildfire stored under kings landing was too old and unstable to safely used in battle? Though I don't remember whether this was ever mentioned in the show. – Jack Jan 4 at 0:35
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    I disagree with the statement that Cersei has gone mad. She has become cold calculating and ruthless, but not mad like the Mad King. The King believed that if he incinerated the city he'd be reborn as a dragon. Cersei burnt her enemies because she wanted them dead. – Mikey Mouse Jan 4 at 8:53
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    @MikeyMouse: exactly right. No-one describes Michael Corleone as “mad” when he has all his enemies killed while he’s at his son’s Christening. But Cersei, oh, sure, she cray-cray. – Paul D. Waite Jan 4 at 10:17
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    @Endgame He was for a little while, but then Marg got to him and then the High Sparrow got to him as well. – Skooba Jan 4 at 13:01
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    @MikeyMouse I counter that disagreement, she was cold and calculating when she was taking down Ned and Robert. Now she is letting the hate flow through her and acting in passionate rage. Burn them all. – Skooba Jan 4 at 13:04

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