While the Game of Thrones series finale may have disappointed fans greatly, the epic show gave rise to some characters who will be remembered forever. Two of them were Margaery Tyrell, the Rose of Highgarden, and Cersei Lannister, the original Queen of the Seven Kingdoms.
Both characters had striking similarities: both aspired to be Queens and achieved it, both were highly manipulative, and even the way they dressed and styled their hair matched. In another world, Cersei and Margaery would have been friends, but as Cersei says, “When you play the game of thrones, you either win or you die”. Let’s look at how bitter enemies Cersei and Margaery could have bested one another.
10 Margaery: Youth And Popularity
Margaery Tyrell was considerably younger than Cersei, and she took full advantage of that. When she arrived at King’s Landing and married Joffrey, she was someone new and young for the people to look forward to, instead of chilly and distant Cersei.
Margaery used her youth and vivaciousness to endear herself to everybody at King’s Landing, and grow her popularity with the civilians. She didn’t hesitate to remind Cersei that she was older and less wanted as she made people fall in love with her.
9 Cersei: Experience
Though the Lannister was older, it meant that she had a lot more experience in being a regent than Margaery. Cersei had been on the Iron Throne for almost 17 years, as Queen Mother, Queen Regent, and Queen Consort. This meant she knew the workings of King’s Landing inside out and knew what it took to remain in power.
Margaery was clever for her age but had almost no real queenly experience.
8 Margaery: Killing With Kindness
Charity and the show of kindness were Margaery’s weapon of choice. When she stepped off the procession from the Great Sept of Baelor through the city on the day she was married, it was unprecedented. Margaery went to Flea Bottom and ended up at an orphanage where she played with and gave food and toys to children.
Margaery also showed kindness to Sansa, and whether her goodwill and friendship is genuine or not it appeases the crowds who have only known Cersei’s cruelty.
7 Cersei: Ruthless and Cruel
Cersei Lannister was famously ruthless, and that was part of the reason why she kept her power for so long. She didn’t care for her people, but actually treated them very badly. Poverty, famine, and crime ravaged Westeros but her aim was to retain her power by breaking others.
She attempted to break Daenerys by killing her best friend Missandei in front of her, and used civilians as a human shield to protect herself against Dany’s attacks.
6 Margaery: Loyalty To Family
The Tyrells’ house motto was “Growing Strong”, and they did so by sticking together as a family. Loras furthers his sister’s interests by asking for Joffrey’s hand in marriage for her, and Margaery, too, stays close to her brother and grandmother Olena who helps her gain more power and grow stronger.
Her family’s bonds make it possible for her to be rescued by her father Mace Tyrell when she is arrested on false charges. Nobody really rescues Cersei from the Lannisters except for Jaime because she is not loyal to her family.
5 Cersei: Resilience
The Queen had been through many tragic events, some of which hardened her permanently. Since she was young, she suffered as Robert whispered Lyanna’s name in bed, and as she lost her first child, and consequently all her golden-haired offspring. Her greatest humiliation was her arrest by the High Sparrow with the charges of adultery, regicide, and incest.
Her trial was to walk through the city naked while civilians hurled dirt and abuse at her, but Cersei rose from the ashes and went on to claim the Iron Throne again, and avenge her shame.
4 Margaery: The Art Of Seduction
Margaery Tyrell was well-aware of her sexuality and knew how to use it on high-born men to attain power. Her choice in fashion was deliberate: she showed parts of her midriff, back, and neckline to draw and keep the attention of men.
She was also a master manipulator. She appeased Joffrey by faking an attraction to violent and sadistic deeds, and then easily seduced her next husband Tommen to do her bidding.
3 Cersei: The Art Of Politics
Cersei played a vicious game of politics, but she knew it well. The Lannister Queen knew how to form alliances which would further her power and interests. Over the course of the series, she got the Lannisters out of debt with an alliance with Tycho Nestoris, saved her own life by allying with Euron, and formed marriage alliances with Dorne for Myrcella (even though that proved fatal later).
As someone who was never supposed to be actively political and form military strategy, Cersei did it all.
2 Margaery: Tact And Intelligence
The beautiful Tyrell princess knew how to be polite, tactful, and proper as was expected of her. Where Cersei was rude and blunt, Margaery made herself the obvious choice between the two by displaying courtly behavior at all times, even if things were different behind the scenes.
Margaery was also extremely intelligent. She knew something was wrong before the Sept was blown up by Cersei, but was overruled by the arrogant High Sparrow. She also was capable of forming true friendships and relationships, which is important for a monarch who wants to take care of her people. Cersei lost all points here.
1 Cersei: No Limits
What made Cersei so formidable was the fact that she had no limits. She took what she wanted, even if it was indecent. She claimed to love and protect her children, but didn’t hesitate even once to blow up her only living son’s wife, whom he truly loved.
When Tommen died by suicide after hearing of Margaery’s death, Cersei didn’t even mourn for him the way she had for Joffrey and Myrcella. Right after his death, she went on to reclaim the Iron Throne and the crown as if nothing had happened.
NEXT: Daenerys Targaryen vs. Cersei Lannister: Who Was The Better Queen In Game of Thrones?
New Girl: 5 Reasons Jess And Robby Were Great Together (& 5 Reasons Cece And Robby Were)
About The Author