Even if viewers didn’t already know that Cersei Lannister would live until the end of Game of Thrones‘ run, they certainly knew she was going to live until the final season. She has to, because Cersei Lannister is George R.R. Martin’s most complex, complicated creation. She’s the show’s tragic hero. She’s the series’ anti-hero. She’s its villain. She’s also the character for which Game of Thrones‘ showrunners most like to write.
Cersei also has the same emotional appeal as another of television’s most complicated and fascinating characters. She’s the Walter White of Game of Thrones, and after having been crowned the Queen, she’s now the series’ Heisenberg. Both are characters who were dealt a bad hand and decided to make the best of it. In doing so, each tapped into their own egos and cutthroat ambition. Walter White was diagnosed with cancer and given a death sentence. Cersei was sentenced to a life with a cruel, abusive king to further the political aspirations of her cruel, abusive father. Both managed to not only escape their fates, but to rule their respective worlds.
The parallels between the characters are extensive: Walter White was a high school teacher who resented his former girlfriend and her new husband for making a fortune at Grey Matter after profiting off his ideas. Cersei resented her family for benefitting from her marriage to Robert Baratheon. Neither character starts out as a particularly bad person. Walter White taught science. The worst that could be said of Cersei Lannister was that she was in love with her twin brother in a universe where incest wasn’t uncommon. (Rhaegar, Viserys, and Daenerys are all products of incest, as is the son of Gilly.) Trapped in dead-end lives, both Walter and Cersei took circumstances in their own hands. White uses his knowledge of chemistry to get in the meth trade; Cersei uses her beauty, cunning, and intelligence to have her husband killed so that she could install her son as king and work her way up the Westerosi power structure.