Thoughts on Revenge – The Example of Cersei’s Vengeance

First of all, if we talk about vengeance, it is because there has been an insult, a wound, something which hurts, an injustice. Sometimes, it is a tragic event which breaks our life, as an explosion shattering everything. Then we have to choose between two paths: forgive or to hold a grudge. Cersei Lannister chose to take revenge.


The name of Cersei immediately reminded me of Circé, the powerful magician of the Greek mythology, whose name in ancient Greek “kirké” , means “bird of prey”. Beautiful and dangerous, Circé creates philtres and potions, poisons or transforms men into animals. Just as beautiful and formidable, Cersei does not hesitate to eliminate all those who interfere with her. Those who oppose her projects sign their death sentence. Her excessive pride, matched only by her cruelty, forbids her to forgive.

As a result, she does not have compassion for the others, with the exception of her brother and her children. Inflicting upon her a public humiliation implies putting oneself in a very great danger, because her malevolence demands redress for the insult that she suffered. Her resentment is persistent, she doesn’t forget. Her ordeal has not begun yet, that she already imagines how she could take revenge on Septa Unella. The destruction of the Great Sept of Baelor, is the explosion of her grudge and her anger, but it is only the beginning of the reprisals…

The Revenge

The path of vengeance leads to death. Indeed, the resentment is like a poison in our inner self. While the hate settles down, the suffering brings the desire to take revenge to obtain repair, punish the offender, restore the advantage on somebody after coming off worst.

Those who enter this way are under the illusion that vengeance will calm them, will soothe the pain, but vengeance does not change the situation, does not bring the peace and does not take the pain away. The ordeal is always there and revenge calls revenge, as a chain reaction. It is endless. Until we decide to forgive…

The Forgiveness

On the contrary, the path of forgiveness leads to freedom, because when you forgive, as soon as your decision is taken, you set yourself free, as well as the one you forgive, as soon as he/she knows he/she is forgiven. It is a path of life that makes us move forward, without keeping bringing up the past. The choice comes from the will and from the intelligence.

However, that does not mean the suffering disappears immediately, so It is necessary to be strong to forgive. We decide to forgive and we are left with pain, because it takes time to heal. We have to forgive while suffering. Moreover, if there was no pain, we would not need to forgive.

To forgive is to agree to live while supporting the consequences of the evil which was made to us. Also, It’s not  reacting to the evil by trying to hurt. The first step is the willingness to forgive even if we don’t feel capable. There are things very difficult to forgive, when the suffering inflicted is so terrible that our life and our inner being are devastated, as burnt alive.

And yet, regardless of the intensity of the pain, the choice has to be made. In that case, only God can help us and empower us to deeply forgive. Jesus said: ‘For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.. But if you don’t forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses‘. (Matthew 6,14-15).

Cersei’s revenge in music

Cersei chose the path of revenge, hate and death. In the last episode of the sixth season of Game of Thrones, even though it’s impossible to know what is going to happen, the events move fast, carried away by Ramin Djawadi’s sublime music, Light of the Seven .

In this piece, the composer chose  the piano for the first time, and this new language makes us understand that something special, terrible, is going to happen. The first musical notes, soft, beautiful and worrying, begin to set up the plot, then violins join their voices with the piano in a melody sometimes dissonant,  in which the melancholy and the sweetness let predict something all the more horrific and Machiavellian. The pauses in the music bring a solemnity and impose a slow, threatening rhythm. The piano repeats its lament, stops, starts again alone.

At 2:57, discreetly a violin holds a note in the background, then, time is suspended and the threat becomes clearer. Then choruses, and finally the organ enter the dance, bringing the level of tension to the extreme, and the tears in our eyes. The organ increases in power, before giving up for a moment to the sweetness of the piano, then cellos and violins take the lead, swirling with the organ in a vertiginous and masterful flight until the explosion of the Great Sept of Baelor and Cersei’s smile of jubilation.

Does the suffering make us better? To be continued…


Light of the Seven – Ramin Djawadi, Game of Thrones Soundtrack

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