Inspired by How many people of Arya's list are still alive?, and also the recent excerpt from The Winds of Winter.

In the prophecy of Maggy the Frog, Cersei is told quite a few true things, such as the number of children she will have, that Robert would have, that she would not marry Rhaegar, but Robert, that Melara Heatherspoon would die and

that Cersei would kill her -- threw her down a well.

She is also told that "the valonqar" will kill her:

And when your tears have drowned you, the valonqar shall wrap his hands about your pale white throat and choke the life from you.

(As a side note, this sounds like she will be killed by a wight)

Cersei seems to think that this valonqar is Tyrion. Mostly, I guess, because "valonqar" means "little brother", plus the fact that she does not like him very much. But since this is ASOIAF and GRRM, anything is possible, and it is not a given thing that Tyrion is this "valonqar". Since GRRM has opened the door for gender ambiguity in the prophecies, this might also apply to this "valonqar", which would make it "little sibling" instead.

A few possible suspects are: Tyrion, Jaime, Arya (or any of the Stark children), Loras Tyrell, Aegon, etc.

My personal opinion is that the queen mentioned in the prophecy is Daenerys, but that it is not her that is the killer.

Maggy: Aye. Queen you shall be... until there comes another, younger and more beautiful, to cast you down and take all that you hold dear

This is a major point in the books. Much of the plot depends on it. It is Cersei's motivation for the cold marriage to Robert and subsequently her murdering him. It is her reason for trying to kill Tyrion and for disliking him.

So, without using too much tinfoil, who is this valonqar that will finally do the deed we've been waiting five books and soon 20 years for?

I am looking for solid theories with support in the books. Such as the prophecy of Mirri Maaz Duur, which according to some has come to pass. (Though of course Cersei has not been killed yet).

I know some people will be itching to close this question as being too speculative or a list question or whatnot, but fact is, in ASOIAF these things are foreshadowed and hinted at by GRRM to such an extent that it goes beyond speculation. Also, this will be a hot topic when season 4 starts in a few days.

For example, with regard to Tyrion, we know he is motivated to kill Cersei, we know he has expressed the desire to do so, we know he has killed before, he even strangled Shae. The only obstacles now would be distance and power balance.

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    If we take it literally, although Jaime and Cersei are twins, Cersei was born first. Therefore Jaime also fits the "little brother" part, and it would be classic GRRM for him to b the one. – user8719 Apr 4 '14 at 16:12
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    Indeed, that's why I put him as number 2 in the list of suspects. – TLP Apr 4 '14 at 16:14
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    though I think "the sun rises in the west..." refers more specifically to Dorne preparing to rise (rebel) against the Iron throne, rather than the journey from west to east itself. – The Giant of Lannister Apr 5 '14 at 11:09
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    I always thought the younger, more beautiful queen was Margaery Tyrell, not Daenerys. Somehow it seems unlikely Cersei will still be relevant when Dany finally decides to conquer Westeros. – Andres F. May 12 '14 at 23:09
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    Taken literally Jaime can't wrap his handS around her neck. – SBoss Nov 7 '14 at 10:25

11 Answers 11

Let me tell you about Cleganebowl.

It is hypothesized (read, hyped) that it will be Sandor Clegane who kills Cersei.


SPOILERS AHEAD


It is hinted at in the books that "Robert Strong" is actually an "undead" Ser Gregor Clegane who was turned into this by Qyburn.
Regardless of his true identity, he has been confirmed to be Cersei's champion in her battle against the Faith's champion.

It is believed that The Hound did not actually die, but survived and has reformed to a religious man, allowing him to be the Faith's champion against Ser Robert Strong.

Since Sandor is the Little Brother of Gregor, it is believed he will be the "valonqar" that "kills" Cersei.

What this boils down to is Clegane vs Clegane. 2 enter the ring, 1 leaves.

I should note that this is mostly guesswork. It is however, (in my opinion) the most entertaining theory regarding not only Cersei, but also the Hound and the Mountain.

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    A solid theory, except that Sandor is a novice at the Quiet Isle at the moment, serving a penance of silence for a good long while (years). He has also lost his fierceness, according to the elder brother. And also, there are quite a few knights who now serve the church who would gladly be the champion, and would be chosen before Sandor. Though it does make some sense. 1) It is a good match for "little brother". 2) If anyone would be able to beat Gregor, it would be Sandor. 3) And if word got around to him that Gregor was "alive", it might encourage him to take action. – TLP Apr 14 '14 at 14:49
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    4) It is not unlikely that Sandor would become one of the knights of the church, thereby coming even closer to fulfilling this role. – TLP Apr 14 '14 at 14:51
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    @TLP Sandor would qualify more as a fighter simply due to his size and strength. I hope this theory is true because I'm hyped. – Parrotmaster Apr 14 '14 at 14:54
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    A big drawback is that it is not poetic justice for Cersei to die this way. Unless perhaps she is beheaded by Ser Ilyn Payne on the steps of the Great Sept of Baelor. And Ser Ilyn is fresh returned from his trip with Jaime, and is carrying the reforged Ice. – TLP Apr 14 '14 at 15:00
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    @Parrotmaster - Another Cleganebowl would be fun, but everyone forgets that it already happened in AGOT at the Hand's Tournament. – Justin Ethier Jul 8 '14 at 14:01

I do not yet know who the valonqar truly is. But I do know that Cersei certainly believes it to be Tyrion.

In A Feast for Crows, Cersei wakes up from a nightmare where she is laughed-at by Tyrion and many lords and ladies, and she is naked in the dream and gets severely injured by the Throne.

When she gets woken by her maid and some guards, she realises she was only in a dream and Tyrion was about to be put to death after being committed for Regicide:

A dream, that’s all it was, a dream. I drank too much last night, these fears are only humors born of wine. I will be the one laughing, come dusk. My children will be safe, Tommen’s throne will be secure, and my twisted valonqar will be short a head and rotting.

-A Song of Ice and Fire: A Feast for Crows (Cercei).

[emphasis added is mine]

I really think Jaime will be the Valonqar; of both Tyrion and Jaime. I think Jaime very likely to make a rash decision and kill Cersei out of passion.

Here are my reasons:

  • First, Jaime is in love with Cersei and has sexual relations with her and only her. Love and Sex can make a person do things that they would not do under other circumstances.
  • Second, since Jaime made it back from captivity Cersei has spurned him and been cruel to him in many ways. Cersei no longer feels the same love for him as he does her.
  • Third, Cersei is free from Robert so the fact that Cersei isn't showing Jaime any love is unacceptable to Jaime (he burns her letter calling for help).

Furthermore, Cersei is having sex with others and Jaime knows it.

"Ser Lancel, Kettleblack and Moonboy for all I know".

Jaime obsesses on this throughout A Feast for Crows.

Tyrion has more cause to kill her, but he's smart and he knows when he's well off. He also loves Tommen and Myrcella, whereas Jaime doesn't seem to have any feelings for them.

Jaime will be the one to kill Cersei. He was devoted to her 100%, and she spurned his love. The turning point is obvious when he knew she was in danger and did not come to her aid when before he would have cut his way through Kings Landing to save her, one hand or not.

  • I do think it will be Jaime, but not for these reasons. – BCdotWEB Nov 6 '14 at 21:31
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    Fourth, there are several references throughout the books to the twins Arryk and Erryk who killed each other. – Peter Shor Jan 2 '15 at 23:33
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    Actually Jaime is also no longer in love with Cersei, especially since Tyrion told him "She's f***ing Lancel, Kettleblack and Moonboy for all I know" – Aegon May 20 '16 at 4:23

This is actually very simple - if you read the prophecy without making the same mistakes Cersei does, there's only one person who fits what it actually says.

That one person sounds impossible - until you think about it, and realise it's exactly the sort of twist GRRM would do.


GRRM's characters are always misinterpreting prophecies, letting their biases creep in and paying attention to the wrong things. In particular, Cersei (and most readers):

  • Takes the "valonqar" section out of context and fixates on it.
  • Gets distracted by the evocative language.

So let's look at the whole prophecy...

Six-and-ten [children] for him, and three for you. Gold shall be their crowns and gold their shrouds, and when your tears have drowned you, the valonqar shall wrap his hands about your pale white throat and choke the life from you

...then let's translate it into plain English, so we don't also get distracted by its flowery frills.

The king will have 16 children, you'll have three. You'll see your children crowned, and you'll see them die, and then, when you are mourning, the younger brother will kill you by strangulation.

(it's probably fair to assume that "Gold shall be their crowns..." and beyond refer to her three only, not including the king's sixteen, because many have already died without gold being their crowns)

Note it says "the valonqar", meaning "the younger brother". Not "your younger brother" or "a younger brother", but the little brother already established by context.

Cersei immediately assumes it's centred around her. Even at this young age, she already hates her younger brother Tyrion, and leaps at the chance to hate him more. Having come to this conclusion, she treats "The Valonqar" as some kind of dread title for her "monster" of a younger brother.

But it's not. It's just a foreign-language way of saying "the younger brother".

It's Tommen, obviously.

The younger brother among the three siblings who were just introduced and are discussed in that very same sentence.

If someone says, "Can you look after my three children this weekend? We're going away. The younger brother is allergic to peanuts", you wouldn't think "Does she mean my younger brother? Or maybe she means the younger brother of my father's henchman?".

It's disguised by the evocative language, and by Cersei's character weaknesses (particularly her prejudices against Tyrion and her inclination to make everything about herself). This is exactly how GRRM does prophecies.

But isn't that impossible?

For it to be Tommen, three things would have to happen:

  • Tommen would already have died - so would have to come back from the dead, somehow.
  • Tommen would have to transform from a soft little boy to something strong enough to strangle a reasonably tough fully grown woman.
  • Tommen would have to transform from a gentle, mild-mannered boy, into something aggressive enough that it would kill its own mother, and would do so by strangulation.

Surely such things are impossible in the world of ASOIAF?

enter image description here

How could something as devilish as someone coming back from the dead possibly happen in King's Landing?

enter image description here

And would GRRM really have Cersei die at the hands of her own gentle, beloved son, while she was literally still mourning his death? Especially since, going by trajectory, it looks like GRRM is going to spend the next book trying to lead us towards almost feeling sympathy for the newly-humbled Cersei, as she, presumably, tries and fails to protect her children while surrounded by manipulations and provocations she doesn't understand from Varys and others.

Presumably, it would be a chapter from Cersei's point of view. We'd see the full, crushing grief as Cersei "drowns in tears" and finally snaps, having now lost everything that made her life worth living - first her ambitions, now her children.

We'd see her lose the last of her sanity. As zombie-Tommen approaches her, we'd know what was happening, but she'd probably misinterpret it, possibly thinking some miracle had happened. She'd rush to embrace him, deluded - and then she'd feel cold hands around her neck, and the chapter would just end.

It'd be a chilling mirroring and twist on how Cat lost her mind when she lost everything she'd been holding herself together for at the end of her final chapter.

GRRM wouldn't do that to us, would he?

enter image description here


p.s. I'm avoiding reading Winds of Winter extracts until the book is released, so if there's anything in one related to my answer, please don't tell me about it - thanks!


Additional small twist. If the above is true, it gives a clue about something else likely to happen:

If Cersei dies shortly after Tommen does, it stands to reason that Myrcella should already have had her golden crown and golden shroud. So it sounds like the plot to crown her in Dorne might make a resurgence - maybe after news arrives of Quentin's deep-frying. Either that, or Myrcella has a very fast and (literally) short-lived coronation in KL.

  • Technically, the reference is made to all of Cersei and Robert's children, so it could apply to Gendry too. It is tempting to think it also says that all of them will be crowned and die, but that's not necessarily so. – TLP Dec 2 '15 at 12:23
  • I thought that as I was writing this, and I was going to include an obligatory "Meanwhile, Gendry..." pic at the end - but we already know that many/most of Robert's bastards died without ever having had crowns, so I think it's safe to assume that she's talking about the "three for you" (though I guess maybe they kinda had gold shrouds, when killed by the gold cloaks... seems like a stretch). – user568458 Dec 2 '15 at 12:31
  • You mean that "Valonqar" here means anyone who has an older sibling. So does the cleganebowl theory and it is more graceful :) Tyrion theory seems even better now. We always assume GRRM always provides red herrings. Maybe not always. If everything looks different than they already are, the mystery is reduced; you at least know one thing :) – C.Koca May 20 '16 at 16:46

Arya stark has always been mistaken as a boy. With her newly trained skills as an assassin she could disguise herself as a boy or little brother to somebody and do the deed. Cersei has always been the one name that stuck out on her death prayer

  • Would Arya be strong enough to strangle Cersei with her bare hands though? And even if Arya could be mistaken for a boy the prophecy says "little brother" which she isn't. – TheMathemagician Jul 24 '15 at 8:02

I don't know who the valonqar will be, but I have my preferences and could back any of the possibilities up.

That being the case i will first say my gut says this will turn into a "how many children did Scarlett have?" thing, as GRRM puts it. For those of you that don't know GRRM once said that "in the book Scarlett had 3 kids, and in the movie Scarlett had 1. So how many children did Scarlett have?" This is mostly conjecture, but it seems to me that the valonqar is a tool used to end the Lannisters, or at least end the Lannisters playing the GOT. I see it in the same light I see Sansa stark marrying someone, meaning it's just a step on her journey not the climax, and not even that important in the end. I think things like that are highly susceptible to Scarlett Syndrome as I'm going to call it.

That being said my favorite choice for valonqar is Arya. Yes Arya, and not necessarily disguised as a boy. The evidence? First: we know that Maggy said the valonqar not your valonqar meaning it could be any younger sibling. Which, brings me to the second point. We know that the original Azor Ahai prophesy did not say 'prince', but used a gender neutral word. We are told that this is because dragons don't have a set gender, and since the entire Valyrian culture was built around dragons naturally the language reflected that. This would strongly suggest that their would be very few gender specific terms in Valyrian, meaning valonqar would be better translated 'little sibling.' Third: Cersei is on Arya's list, and we know that Arya is fully capable of following through. Fourth: Arya was called 'little sister' by Jon, and through out the books one of the things Ayra wishes is that she could hear him call her 'little sister' again. Which could be a wonderfully subtle way to keep reminding the readers that core to Arya's self image is being a valonqar as we would say in Valyrian. Fifth: Many would say that because the prophesy says "he will wrap his hands" that rules out Arya, but don't forget we only have the prophesy from Cersei's memory. GRRM has already had people's pov be seriously flawed. It isn't a stretch at all to think GRRM would have someone's memory form years ago be wrong. In fact that would be a very GRRM thing to do. Meaning that because the Septa said it meant little brother a young Cersei could have easily started thinking 'he will wrap his hands,' when in fact Maggy may have said, 'they will wrap their hands.'

That's the core of my argument. I could also list several reasons I would rule out other strong candidates, but that would get too long and would often only be true in either t.v. or books. Which is why I think this issue will end up with Scarlett Syndrome.

As you wrote, since "valonqar" means "little brother" the most obvious candidate is Tyrion. However, if the prophecy is to be taken literally, it could also be Jaime since he is the younger twin. And given their history together, he would be the much more interesting choice.

Of course there is no way to be sure how this will play out until book (season?) 6 or 7...

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    Of course it occurs to me that the prophecy does say "hands"; it's also not specific about who's little brother... – user8719 May 22 '14 at 22:08

I think it will be Tommen. He is the little brother. The tears Cersei drowns in are over the loss of her other children and the newly discovered (and yet to happen) betrayal by Tommen.

Golden crowns refers to the color of the hair on the crowns of their heads, not a literal crown of gold. Hence all the hoopla about them not being Robert's children because his seed is so strong their hair would not have been gold.

  • Yeah, we understand that. :P – TLP May 20 '16 at 12:39

Well, I wouldn't be able to guess who the valonqar would be, but I do have a gut feeling it would be either Tyrion or Jaime. However, yes, the latter seems likely since the relationship between both siblings had been sinking. It's quite funny also because I read a fanfiction story in which talks about the prophecy, and after reading it, I really believed that it would make sense that Jaime would kill Cersei after her numerous relationships... (and of course, as a reader it pissed me off despite not liking the concept of incest).

Anyway, back to the whole theory of the valonqar, yes, I think Jaime is the most likely out of the two younger brothers because there was a lot of history with Cersei, and he did want to spend the rest of his life with his twin sister and marry her like the Targaryens. Since reading three of the books and finding out information from other sources, I think it would make a lot of sense if he did kill her.

But if it's not one of the siblings, I think it could also be Arya, who really wanted to kill her for what seemed to be a lifetime. Seeing as though she has been gaining the skills of a killer, I think it could happen too.

But since I want Cersei to die, and painfully, I would really like a confronting scene between both twins

  • Welcome to SFFSE! You mention having read other sources - could you reference those in your answer? That will improve the quality of your answer! – Often Right Aug 6 '15 at 8:56
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    Anyway, some of my resources are like the 'Game of Thrones wikia', and as I said I did read some of the books, I often talk about it with my friends and unfortunately I can't remember some of the websites :/ And well, here's the website to the fanfiction I read despite it not being a real Game of Thrones thing and the story actually being a 'what if' thing, but still, one of the chapters I think is quite relevant, so here's the website for that chapter archiveofourown.org/works/1507784/chapters/4240446 – Dana Ortiz Aug 7 '15 at 6:14

I think it may be her cousin, Lancel Lannister. It seemingly fits that a servant of faith of sorts would use holy water to cleanse the sinner and then, in a fit of rage(possibly since she "corrupted" him by having sexual relations with him) he kills her due.

Since the prophecy states a little [sibling], didn't Lancel Lannister spend some time on Casterly Rock? Not 100% on that, but I thought that was mentioned. Sibling is of course loosely applied in my idea, but this is currently speculation, the interpretation of the prophecy and future plot of the story being speculation, not the definition.

protected by Möoz Mar 17 '17 at 3:04

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