WARNING: Spoiler alert for Season 6 of Game of Thrones.
Hell hath no fury like a mother scorned.
Ever since Cersei's well-deserved walk of atonement at the tail end of Game of Thrones Season 5, it's been pretty clear that the queen regent will be adding the High Sparrow to her growing list of people against whom revenge must be taken — a list that also includes the murderers of her evil son King Joffrey.
A new theory, discovered on Reddit after last Sunday's episode, suggests that the dots between Cersei, King Tommen, the High Sparrow and the House Tyrell will soon be connected in truly vengeful fashion.
Spoilers for Season 6 from this point on, so don't read unless you're all caught up.
In Episode 3, Tommen is seen being manipulated by the High Sparrow after demanding his wife Queen Margaery's release. In Episode 4, he visits his mother and tells her that he has something to relay from that prior conversation with the Sparrow: "I promised him I wouldn't tell anyone," the king begins, and that's where the scene cuts.
Clearly, whatever Tommen had decided to confide in Cersei is significant and relates in some way to the High Sparrow, but the Sparrow has no secrets of his own. He openly told Margaery of the way he atoned for his sins, after one debauched night too many — featuring copious amounts of alcohol and numerous girls — gave him a sense of shame and a new perspective.
In short, whatever the Sparrow said to Tommen relates to information gained by him that is also relevant to the Lannisters.
In the next scene, Cersei and Jaime hijack a meeting of the small council to negotiate a deal with Olenna Tyrell and Kevan Lannister. They plan to use the Tyrell army to overthrow the Sparrows, free Margaery and her brother Loras, and return King’s Landing to the relative order of Lannister rule.
On the face of things, it seems Cersei is ready to enact her revenge on the High Sparrow for his imprisonment of her and the infamous walk of atonement that left her stripped of clothes and dignity, and humiliated in the streets. Relive that truly unforgettable scene below:
But isn’t there something suspicious about Cersei’s willingness to jump into bed with Olenna, grandmother of Margaery, whom she despises and actively plotted to have removed from power?
The theory is as follows: The High Sparrow confided in Tommen about Olenna Tyrell’s role in the murder of Joffrey. Tommen dutifully reported back to his mother in that conversation we weren’t allowed to witness in the last episode. Cersei’s plan to work with the Tyrells to depose the Sparrows is in fact a carefully orchestrated ruse.
Of course, for this theory to hold water, the High Sparrow already had to have known about Olenna’s role in Joffrey’s murder. It’s possible that Loras could have broken in prison and confessed what he knew, but would Olenna really have made her grandson privy to that information, given that Margaery is her preferred confidante?
And, if the High Sparrow is truly a servant only to the Mother, doesn't it go against his values to manipulate Tommen by sharing the secret, knowing it'll make its way to Cersei? Of course, if he believes that Cersei can bring Olenna to justice, perhaps the manipulation is justified.
In Cersei's eyes, though, a war between the Seven and the Tyrell army is almost guaranteed to result in a large number of deaths on both sides, while the Lannisters sit back and watch their primary enemies destroy each other. Once the Tyrell army is depleted, the Lannister army can step in and pick them off, before sentencing Olenna, Margaery and Loras to death. As schemes go, this one is several shades of genius.
Fan theories should be taken with a huge grain of salt, obviously, but when you consider that the House Lannister's ominous kill anthem "The Rains of Castamere" was playing over the small council scene, this one starts to feel like it could have some serious gravity.
You can check out the full theory and pore over the reactions to it in this Reddit thread. Personally, I'm on board with it, and I'm super stoked to see Cersei taking revenge against the Sparrow and the Tyrells while restoring the Lannisters to ultimate power in King's Landing — even if that's a dangerous distraction from Dany's dragons, not to mention developments in the North.
Game of Thrones Season 6 continues next Sunday on HBO.