Anyone that's watched Game of Thrones (opens in new tab) knows that Cersei Lannister isn't exactly the most caring character. If you've ever wondered how she can engage in such barbaric behavior, and display not an ounce of compassion, we've got answers. It should come as no surprise to anyone that, according to an expert, she's a bona fide narcissist.
A clinic psychologist took to Reddit to post a lengthy analysis (opens in new tab) of Cersei's love for her family. While the poster does add a disclaimer that basically says 'applying proper clinical terms to a fictional character is tricky as real-life psychiatric issues are very complex' it's still interesting to hear their thoughts. Here's some of the highlights:
"Cersei is a classic narcissist. As such, she lacks the ability to truly empathize with others. Despite this obvious reality, people seem to be falling into the trap of thinking that Cersei really does genuinely love her brother and her (late) children. While she certainly says that she does quite a bit, and while her behavior may seem to suggest that she does, it is highly unlikely that such a narcissistic character is capable of true love."
Her mothering instincts, those rare moments where it looks like she's nurturing her children? All a part of her self-serving agenda. Her offspring are mere extensions of Cersei. In her eyes, they are her. That's why it looks like she's devastated when they all die, playing the part of the mournful matriarch when she's really just mourning herself.
Okay, but what about her devotion to Jaime? Surely she loves him. According to this Redditor, that's a big nope. Their incestuous union is apparently the biggest giveaway. That's the closest Cersei can come to, err... having sex with Cersei. "Cersei isn't even capable of loving someone who isn't herself. Her one true love in life is her twin, who looks just like her. Loving one's twin is the ultimate form of self-love, and it is sort of a perfect embodiment of what it means to be narcissistic."