Game of Thrones' sixth season ended with Cersei Lannister's brutal revenge, offering us the most explosive season finale in the history of the fantasy show.
Following the suicide of her last living child Tommen, the formidable woman decided to take control of Westeros, relegating her brother/lover as her number two, all the while casually sipping a glass of red.
This season, Lena Headey was, once again, a serious tour de force. While appearing in just a handful of scenes – with most of the action centring around the White Walkers and Daenerys and Jon's creepy/awesome love story – the actor managed to carve out her character's evolution with as much impact as ever.
Now, having outlived or overpowered all the men of the Lannister clan, Cersei has found herself at the head of the Kingdom. And we can't see any other character more deserving of the role.
This season, Cersei seems to have arrived a point where she has come to realize that all the men surrounding her, including those from her own family, aren't even a match for her (and her crazy).
Her rise to the Iron Throne has also been accompanied by a strong physical transformation. Gone are the floaty, Disney princess-style dresses. Instead, Cersei has taken to wearing structured, black outfits made from a reptile-like skin.
(We can probably assume she's probably not that up for revealing any more of her body following her humiliating walk of shame in season six.)
She has, however, opted to stick with the Playmobil hairdo but did we care what Robert Baratheon or Tywin Lannister's hair looked like? Nope.
Now safely in power, Cersei doesn't have to care what anyone thinks of her. So much so, that she's ready to openly live out her incestuous relationship with Jaime in public.
Classed among some of GoT's most evil characters, Cersei's position in season seven is unique. Finally, we have a woman who's not afraid of her sexuality and won't let herself be dictated to by anyone.
What's more, it has to be said that the Lannisters are responsible for some of the season's most sensational scenes.
Following that memorable exchange between Jaime and the late Olenna Tyrell, the season finale was filled with emotional sequences, including Tyrion and Cersei's intense reunion and that final confrontation between the Queen and her forbidden love.
Each time, the scenes were so strong (hats off to Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) we wound up asking ourselves if the two brothers were going to make it out alive.
At times falling into the trap of the blockbuster, showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss sometimes sacrificed the coherence of their characters for the sake of more action.
As such, some secondary characters were killed off a bit too quickly (big up Olenna Tyrell and Littlefinger) while Daenerys abandoned plans carefully crafted over almost ten years for
her nephew a handsome man she'd only just met.
Cersei Lannister, on the other hand, has always had a solid trajectory and clear motivations, all of which are gradually translating into coherent actions.
Let's put ourselves in Queen Cersei's place for a minute. From a strategic point of view, she has every reason to leave the Targaryen-Stark clan to the mercy of the White Walkers.
If they win, they'll come back to Port Real weaker than ever giving Cersei her chance to beat them. If they lose, there'll still be time to sound the alarm across Westeros or, at worst, move to another island (being that our pals the White Walkers apparently don't know how to swim).
Basically, Cersei has everything to play for even if her tactics aren't exactly fair. But if seven seasons of GoT have taught us anything, it's that the Iron Throne isn't to be gained through loyalty.
Between merciless schemes and Shakespearean tragedy (family! incest! revenge!) the Queen has truly nailed it this season – all with seemingly effortless ease. And that's why Cersei Lannister is the one character who continues to represent the true essence of Game of Thrones.