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Cersei Lannister and Melara Hetherspoon visited the maegi Maggy at Lannisport in 276 AC, hoping to learn about their futures. To Cersei, Maggy predicted that she would die at the hands of "the valonqar".[1] According to Cersei's septa, Septa Saranella, "valonqar" is High Valyrian for "little brother".[2]

Several possible identities for Cersei's valonqar have been suggested.

Tyrion Lannister

Cersei Lannister has become convinced that her youngest brother, Tyrion Lannister, is her valonqar.[2] She has blamed him for the death of her mother, Joanna,[3] who died giving birth to Tyrion in 273 AC.[4][5] Maggy's prophecy, made three years after Tyrion's birth, has served to make Cersei despise and mistrust Tyrion even more.

Jaime Lannister

Jaime Lannister, Cersei's twin brother, is most often identified as Cersei's valonqar by the fandom, based on a poll held in 2015.[N 1]

Supporting evidence

The following pieces of information can be considered supporting evidence for the theory:

  • Jaime was born after Cersei, making him her younger brother.[6]
  • Jaime's relationship with Cersei deteriorates severely after he returns from captivity to King's Landing. By the end of A Feast for Crows, he refuses her request for his aid after she has been arrested by the Faith of the Seven, and commands her letter to be burned while at Riverrun.[7]
  • When Bran Stark discovers Cersei and Jaime in their incestuous affair, he thinks they are wrestling and that Jaime is hurting Cersei.[8] Fans have suggested this to be foreshadowing of Jaime eventually "hurting" (killing) Cersei.[9]
  • Both Jaime and Cersei have often stated their belief that their deaths are linked, claiming that, because they came into the world together, they will leave the world together.[10] Examples include:
    • "I cannot die while Cersei lives, he told himself. We will die together as we were born together."[11]
    • "We will leave this world together, as we once came into it."[12]
    • "If he were dead, I would know it. We came into this world together, Uncle. He would not go without me."[13]
  • The Stranger, one of the seven aspects of the Faith of the Seven, represents death.[14][15] Cersei has come to consider Jaime a stranger ("He was your twin, your shadow, your other half, another voice whispered. Once, perhaps, she thought. No longer. He has become a stranger to me."[16]), while Jaime comes to identify Cersei as the actual Stranger ("I thought that I was the Warrior and Cersei was the Maid, but all the time she was the Stranger, hiding her true face from my gaze."[17]).


The following pieces of information can be considered supporting evidence for the theory:

  • The prophecy states that the valonqar shall wrap his "hands" around Cersei's neck.[2] Jaime's right hand has been cut off by the Bloody Mummers,[18] making him unable to wrap both his hands around Cersei's neck. He subsequently makes use of a prosthetic hand, and it has been suggested that Jaime uses this hand to choke Cersei. However, the golden hand is shaped to fit around the stem of a wine cup, with only a small opening between the fingers and the thumb.[19]
    • A solution to the fact that Jaime has only one hand has been proposed. It has been speculated that Jaime will use the chain of the Hand of the King, which is made up of golden hands holding each other, and which has been used by both Tyrion Lannister[20] and Tywin Lannister[21] in the office of Hand, to choke Cersei, similar to the way Tyrion Lannister choked Shae while she was wearing the chain.[22] In further support of this interpretation,[23] a possible foreshadowing has been identified when Jaime, at Riverrun, thinks to himself that he would happily have strangled Sybell Spicer with her seashell necklace.[7]

Sandor Clegane

Sandor Clegane, the younger brother of Ser Gregor Clegane and a long time servant of House Lannister at King's Landing, has been identified as the most popular choice as Cersei's valonqar besides her two brothers, Jaime and Tyrion, in a poll held in 2015.[N 2] He served as sworn shield to Prince Joffrey Baratheon,[24] who named him to the Kingsguard after his own coronation.[25] Sandor deserted the Lannisters during the Battle of the Blackwater and left King's Landing for the riverlands. There, he encountered Arya Stark until he was severely wounded and left behind.[26] Brienne of Tarth later comes to believe that Sansa Stark, who she is searching for, had been carried off by Sandor, and begins to follow his trail. On Quiet Isle, she learns from Elder Brother that, not only had Sandor been with Arya instead of Sansa, "the man you hunt is dead".[27] However, fans have since theorized that, although his persona of "the Hound" has died, Sandor himself still lives on Quiet Isle and is in fact the gravedigger seen by Brienne on the isle. The theory that Sandor is Cersei's valonqar assumes that the gravedigger theory is correct.

Supporting evidence

The following pieces of information can be considered supporting evidence for the theory:

  • Due to his hatred for his brother Gregor, Sandor has dreamt of killing Gregor in combat.[28] According to Elder Brother, it was all Sandor lived for. Though initially, Gregor's death in Tyrion Lannister's trial by combat against Prince Oberyn Martell after having been stabbed with a poisoned spear robbed Sandor of his "fuel",[27] Gregor's death might not have been final. It has been theorized that Ser Robert Strong, Cersei's champion in her trial by combat against the Faith of the Seven,[13] is actually the reanimated body of Gregor. It has been suggested that, if Gregor is indeed Robert Strong, Sandor, upon learning of Robert Strong and the man's resemblance to Gregor, might decide to travel south and face Cersei's champion, killing Cersei after defeating Gregor.

Tommen Baratheon

Tommen Baratheon is Cersei's youngest child, and the "little brother" of her two sons.

Supporting evidence

The following pieces of information can be considered supporting evidence for the theory:

  • After repeatedly telling Cersei and Melara to go away, Maggy finally allows each of them three questions. The first two of Maggy's replies are limited to Cersei's questions. Maggy's warning about the valonqar, following Cersei's third question ("will the king and I have children?"), then suggests that the valonqar's identity relates to this question as well. By some, it has been read to imply that the valonqar is one of the children Cersei's question related to. Her own three children are the only ones who fit Maggy's information ("gold shall be their crowns and gold their shrouds") – Joffrey Baratheon's golden shroud was the golden armor he was burried in – suggesting that her own children are the suspects. Of her own three, only Tommen qualifies as the little brother.
  • According to Maggy, Cersei's children will die first, and only they will the valonqar choke her. When discussing Tommen as the valonqar, it is suggested by supporters of the theory that Tommen will rise after his death as a wight following an invasion of the Others.[29] The wights have thus far been shown to have strangling their victims as a favored way of killing (e.g., when attacking Will,[30] Jon Snow,[31] and Samwell Tarly[32]).

Female valonqar

Although the translation given for valonqar by Cersei's septa is "little brother",[2] and the word has been known to have been used by a Tyroshi with the meaning of "little brother",[1] there are readers who have hypothesized that the valonqar could be a female.

As supporting evidence, a translation error discussed in A Feast for Crows is often cited. According to Maester Aemon, the prophecy about the prince that was promised, which thus far had been interpreted to indicate a man, could have been incorrectly translated. Aemon, because of this, comes to believe that the prophecy could refer to a woman, stating "The error crept in from the translation. Dragons are neither male nor female, Barth saw the truth of that, but now one and now the other, as changeable as flame. The language misled us all for a thousand years."[33] Readers have taken this to indicate that the word used in the prophecy concerning the prince that was promised is gender-neutral, and thus, that there might be more gender-neutral words in the old Valyrian language, with "valonqar" being their candidate.

David Peterson, who created the High Valyrian used on HBO's Game of Thrones, has commented on the assumption, claiming that "[Aemon's quote] says nothing whatever about the gender system of High Valyrian". He stressed that Aemon, in A Feast for Crows, was speaking about biological gender (i.e., dragons being able to change their gender from male to female, or vice versa), not grammatical gender, and that grammatical and biological gender need not be tied to one another. To explain further, Peterson stated "English is a gender neutral language. We have gendered third person singular pronouns, but outside of that, English has no grammatical genders the way Spanish, French and Italian do. “Prince” is grammatically gender neutral. Semantically, though, it’s male, just as the words “man”, “bachelor”, “father” and “son” are. That these words exist says nothing about the grammatical gender system of English." According to Peterson, the High Valyrian word originally used in the prophecy that was translated as "prince" in the Common Tongue (i.e. English) can refer to both men and women, with Aemon's comment referring to the assumption, given the context, that the person prophesied must be male.[34]

Despite this, and despite the fact that Maggy stated that the valonqar shall wrap "his" hands around Cersei's throat, several females have been suggested as the valonqar, with Arya Stark being mentioned the most frequently.[N 3]

Supporting evidence includes:

  • Cersei is on Arya's "list" of people she wants dead.
  • Due to her appearance and behavior, Arya is often mistaken for male by others.
  • Arya is training at the House of Black and White to become a Faceless Man, an assassin.
    • Tyrion states that "I used to dream that one day I'd be rich enough to send a Faceless Man after my sweet sister."[35]
  • Some fans who believe that Sansa may be the "younger and more beautiful" queen believe that the valonqar may refer to the valonqar of the queen, rather than of Cersei herself, with Arya being the younger sibling of Sansa.[36]

See also

The following links are a selection of the many places online where fans have discussed or outlined the theory and given detailed argumentation:


  1. 6599 out of 9115 votes (72.4%) during a poll held in 2015 across five platforms (Results: Reddit,, Tower of the Hand, Watchers on the Wall, Facebook).
  2. 436 out of 9115 votes (4.78%) during a poll held in 2015 across five platforms (Results: Reddit,, Tower of the Hand, Watchers on the Wall, Facebook).
  3. 428 out of 9115 votes (4.70%) during a poll held in 2015 across five platforms (Results: Reddit,, Tower of the Hand, Watchers on the Wall, Facebook).


  1. 1.0 1.1 A Feast for Crows, Chapter 36, Cersei VIII.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 A Feast for Crows, Chapter 39, Cersei IX.
  3. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 3, Cersei I.
  4. The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aerys II.
  5. The World of Ice & Fire, The Westerlands: House Lannister Under the Dragons.
  6. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 66, Tyrion IX.
  7. 7.0 7.1 A Feast for Crows, Chapter 44, Jaime VII.
  8. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 8, Bran II.
  9. Tumblr: nobodysuspectsthebutterfly (August 17, 2014)
  10. Watchers on the Wall: Theories of Ice and Fire: Cersei’s prophecy and the Valonqar (December 19, 2014)
  11. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 31, Jaime IV.
  12. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 43, Cersei X.
  13. 13.0 13.1 A Dance with Dragons, Epilogue.
  14. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 33, Catelyn IV.
  15. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 62, Jaime VII.
  16. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 12, Cersei III.
  17. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 30, Jaime IV.
  18. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 21, Jaime III.
  19. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 27, Jaime III.
  20. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 15, Tyrion III.
  21. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 65, Sansa VIII.
  22. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 77, Tyrion XI.
  23. Reddit: (Spoilers all) The valonqar is... (Augustus 12, 2015)
  24. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 44, Sansa III.
  25. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 57, Sansa V.
  26. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 74, Arya XIII.
  27. 27.0 27.1 A Feast for Crows, Chapter 31, Brienne VI.
  28. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 47, Arya IX.
  30. A Game of Thrones, Prologue.
  31. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 52, Jon VII.
  32. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 46, Samwell III.
  33. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 35, Samwell IV.
  35. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 44, Tyrion X.
  36. A Forum of Ice and Fire: