The two queens warred against each other for control of Westeros, yet they shared more similarities than they realized. Both were forced into marriages that made them Queen Consort and Khaleesi respectively, before amassing impressive strength of their own. Daenerys and Cersei made for great enemies, but could they have been better friends?
10 Friends: They Both Like To Burn Things
Daenerys and Cersei demonstrated a flair for fiery theatrics throughout the series. The Mother of Dragons sics her scaly children on her enemies in Slaver’s Bay and Westeros. In season 6’s “The Winds Of Winter,” Cersei follows the Mad King’s example and uses wildfire to destroy the Great Sept of Baelor.
Fire became the most valuable and effective weapon for these Westerosi queens. Had they teamed up against their common enemies, the Seven Kingdoms would have consumed by flames and reduced to ash.
9 Enemies: Only One Of Them Can Be Queen Of Westeros
The Iron Throne wasn’t big enough for two queens. Both women pursue power during their journeys; Daenerys strives to restore her family’s legacy by conquering Westeros, whereas Cersei gets a taste as King Robert’s consort before becoming Queen Regent after Tommen’s death.
Neither queen showed any inclination to bend the knee and renounce their claims. The ambitious, power-hungry Cersei would never have given up her queenly dreams, while Daenerys was determined to take back everything her family had lost.
8 Friends: The Most Powerful Women In Westeros
The warring queens of Westeros may not have reigned for long, but both of them were the most powerful women in the country during their lifetimes. Cersei held the strength and wealth of House Lannister before she became Queen of Westeros, and Daenerys possessed the only known living dragons in the world.
Daenerys and Cersei amassed incredible power in a deeply patriarchal society. If they had combined their strength then few enemies would have been able to stand in their way.
7 Enemies: Cersei’s Father Betrayed Daenerys’
Like many of the Great Houses, House Targaryen and House Lannister share a bitter history stemming from Robert’s Rebellion. Cersei’s father, Tywin, served as Hand to Dany’s father, Aerys. After Rhaegar’s death, Tywin took his forces to King’s Landing and sacked the city, before his son, Jaime, slew the king.
The Lannisters capitalized on the Targaryens’ downfall as an opportunity to gain more power. Even if Daenerys could overlook her father’s betrayal, it’s unlikely she could ever forget Tywin’s orders that murdered Rhaegar’s infant children, Rhaenys and Aegon.
6 Friends: They Could Have Restored The Targaryen And Lannister Alliance
If Daenerys were able to forgive the Lannisters’ crimes — and if Cersei was feeling uncharacteristically co-operative — the two could have restored the alliance between their Houses. It’s doubtful Cersei would copy Tywin and serve as Hand to the Targaryen queen, though alternatively, they could have negotiated a union that merged their claims.
Despite everything, Tywin and Aerys’ alliance brought a semblance of stability to the realm that their daughters could have continued.
5 Enemies: They Were At War With Each Other
Dany and Cersei only begin to interact with each other when the Targaryen queen arrives at Dragonstone with her sights set on the Iron Throne. Throughout season 7 and 8, both monarchs were at war with each other, battling the other queen for supremacy of the Seven Kingdoms.
The queens took heavy losses at each other’s hands, including the ambush on Dany’s Dornish allies and the fiery annihilation of the Lannister army. Any possibilities for friendship between them was destroyed by their war for Westeros.
4 Friends: The Ultimate Villainous Duo
Season 8’s polarizing penultimate episode “The Bells” proved that there wasn’t such a difference between Daenerys and Cersei after all. Cersei shields herself against dragonfire by inviting civilians into the Red Keep, but the Targaryen queen disregards her former heroism and burns the entire city.
King’s Landing is incinerated by the combination of dragon and wildfire. Having succumbed to Targaryen insanity, Mad Queen Daenerys could have joined forces with Mad Queen Cersei to form the show’s ultimate villainous duo, trumping Cersei’s union with Euron Greyjoy.
3 Enemies: Cersei Betrayed Their Truce
Daenerys and Jon Snow seek a truce with Cersei during season 7’s “The Dragon And The Wolf.” Having captured a wight as proof, the Targaryens meet with their rival at the Dragonpit, attempting to convince her to pause their war for Westeros in favor of sending troops north to fight the Night King.
True to form, Cersei betrays Daenerys and Jon at the first opportunity. She retains her armies in King’s Landing and seeks a new alliance with the Golden Company. Considering everything Daenerys sacrificed to fight the dead, it was unlikely that she could forgive the other queen’s transgression.
2 Friends: Both Of Them Were Hated By House Stark
Although they were rivals for the throne, Daenerys and Cersei had a common enemy. The Mother of Dragons receives a frosty reception from the Northerners after journeying to Winterfell in season 8. Daenerys aids in the North’s defense, but this isn’t enough to ingratiate herself with the Starks.
Sansa makes it clear that Daenerys isn’t welcome at Winterfell and conspires against her to install Jon Snow on the Iron Throne. Instead of returning south to fight Cersei, Dany could have teamed up with the other queen to defeat House Stark once and for all.
1 Enemies: Cersei Executed Missandei
In the end, any chance of friendship between the two queens was shattered by Missandei’s death in “The Last Of The Starks.” Cersei instructs Euron and the Iron Fleet to ambush the Targaryen forces at Dragonstone. Euron captures Missandei, and Cersei executes the scribe in front of Daenerys and Grey Worm.
Daenerys and Missandei were best friends; the Targaryen queen would never have chosen peace with Cersei after she executed Dany’s most trusted advisor. Daenerys and Cersei becoming friends would have been a cool thing to see on the show, though ultimately, their mutual hatred stood between them.
NEXT: Game Of Thrones: 5 Times Daenerys Was The Best-Dressed Queen Of Westeros (& 5 Times It Was Cersei)