In A Feast for Crows:

Cersei takes advantage of Taena Merryweather's supposed infatuation with her and engages in infamously unromantic lesbian sex with her.

Do we know of an out of universe reason for this scene? What does the Taena arc add to Cersei or the story? I can't see any reason outside of titillating readers.

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    What's wrong with titillating the readers? :P – Shevliaskovic Aug 27 '14 at 20:08
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    "Out of universe" reasons for two characters doing something in a fictional story? What? You can go pretty down the rabbit hole with this one... Why does any fictional character do anything at all? – Andres F. Aug 27 '14 at 20:57
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    I don't believe this is opinion-based at all. A good answer can definitely be given, and GRRM does to a lot of interviews, he may have given an answer for this. – Möoz Aug 27 '14 at 21:27
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    Regarding whether or not this should be opened/or closed, the meta discussion consensus was that questions without explicit canon answers should not be closed only for that reason – phantom42 Aug 28 '14 at 13:12
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    @AndresF. - I agree this question is poorly worded "out of universe". But after reading the source material and various fan sites (tower of the hand, awoiaf, etc), I completely disagree that the answer is opinion based. – Justin Ethier Aug 28 '14 at 13:36

I think one reason for the scene might be to strength the parallels with Dany in A Dance With Dragons. Both Dany and Cersei are two women who have fought difficult battles to place themselves in power in a man's world... only to utterly suck at actually ruling. Dany ALSO has a close intimate experience with her female bedwarmer. The difference is that while Cersei forces herself on Taena, it's Dany who is pressed upon by her handmaiden. In a way it parallels their deficiences: Dany is innocent and naive about the necessities of ruling, while Cersei is an overreaching brute.

But I think the major reason is simply to highlight certain aspects of her character.

  • Cersei is greedy and controlling. When she wants something, she simply reaches out and grabs it.
  • Cersei is, for the lack of a better word, deviant. She manages to break pretty much every rule in the Faith about sex, which inevitably is the cause of her downfall.
  • Cersei is rash and foolish. Remember that the Merryweathers are bannermen to the Tyrells, Cersei's sworn enemy. Indeed, a common fan theory is that Taena is a Tyrell spy, who basically tricked Cersei into moving against Margaery. Only hours earlier while in bed, Cersei even considers the fact that Taena could be informing on her, but initiates sex anyways.

Also, if you buy into "Taena is a spy" theory, it isn't that unlikely that their little tryst could serve a narrative purpose in the latter books. Cersei's storyline is far from over.

I expect the only way to get a 100% canon out-of-universe explanation would be to ask GRRM himself why he included the scene. And frankly, it's not all that pivotal a scene to warrant an explicit explanation on his part.

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The scene draws a parallel between Robert and Cersei, as she used to expect this behavior from him. From the awoiaf chapter summary:

Back in her room, a very inebriated Cersei contemplates how to deal with Bronn, and then begins to fondle Taena, 'claiming her rights as queen' the way Robert would do to her when he was drunk.

Cersei's awoiaf is relevant as well, pointing to her overall decline over the course of the story:

Ironically, despite her contempt for Robert's hedonistic lifestyle and physical deterioration, she is unconsciously coming to mimic his habit of overindulging in food, alcohol and sex as distractions from the pressures of leadership.

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    This is exactly what I was thinking... +1 – Möoz Aug 27 '14 at 21:27

I would say it adds nothing.

The books seem to have lots of sex for some reason I can't identify. The sex scene appeals to some readers and shows what Cersie is.

  • She will do anything
  • She's unprincipled

Its also shocking and a plot point. It has a lot of readers going:

Why did she do that?

What is the reason?

There's appears to be no master-plan. Besides to "satisfy" some readers need for a occasional "dirty" scene.

But there might be reason.

  • She wanted to use Tana and so she used what she uses best her body as a asset.

Maybe she just wanted to

Cersie is a grown woman

Maybe she felt like it. She has impulses and appears to use them a lot through out the books.

Friends with benefits


Taena attends the funeral of Lord Tywin Lannister. There she catches the eye of Queen Cersei. She approaches Cersei during the wedding of Tommen I and Margaery Tyrell, confiding in Cersei and attempting to get into her good graces. She reveals that Cersei's maid Senelle is spying on her for Margaery Tyrell. Taena allies herself with Cersei, feeding Cersei information and sharing her bed on occasion.

They were doing it for info.

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    Your answer is somewhat... contradictory. First you claim "it adds nothing", then provide a list of possible explanations where it would add something. – Andres F. Aug 27 '14 at 20:55
  • I was adding multiple scenarios. – Pobrecita Aug 28 '14 at 18:44

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