Cersei Neil Lane
Credit: HBO

Spring is here, but winter is coming. Game of Thrones Season 8 premieres on HBO on April 14, and this season, we’ll find out who will finish with the crown. There are a handful of contenders, but technically, Game of Thrones Season 7 concluded, the only one with a crown on her head was Cersei Lannister.

Of all GoT’s statement-making pieces, Cersei’s crown — which made its debut at the end of Season 6 — is one of the most compelling. Its wearer, though seemingly villainous, remains the one of the few characters who has remained since the beginning —so it’s only fitting that her headpiece would symbolize strength, persistence, and her journey to claim the Iron Throne, once and for all.

Below, we break down the iconic headpiece — what it looks like, what it’s made of, and what it could mean for Cersei's motives in Season 8.

The Center Lion’s Head

With a steel, woven base and a spiked center icon, Cersei’s crown is simple, but eye-catching nonetheless. The crown’s middle piece, an abstracted lion — the Lannister family sigil and crest — carries the most weight, both literally and figuratively speaking.

The lion is commonly associated with strength, ferocity, and leadership. The lion’s mane within the crown has also been said to resemble the Iron Throne, which we know to be Cersei’s ultimate desire. And while the center as a whole undeniably resembles Cersei’s family crest (highlighting a connection to her lineage), we see that it’s still unique—she has created a variation of the crest to signify her own tumultuous journey and newfound independence.

This is quite a contrast to the crown that previously adorned Cersei’s head; the old crown delicate antler accents referenced the crest of her deceased husband, binding her to Robert’s name, power, and identity. But Cersei’s new crown, with center shards serving as a defense against outsiders, radiates an authority that is all her own.

Cersei Neil Lane
Credit: HBO

The Woven Base

The base of the crown, a series of tightly woven knots, is elegantly juxtaposed against the pointed edges of the crown’s center. These knots would seem to represent an unbreakable bond, but we know that in her quest for the throne, Cersei has disentangled herself from all existing relationships. The knots do meet in the center of the crown, however, where they’re unified by the Lannister family crest. In other words, Cersei’s connection to her lineage, her ancestors who were exalted as wealthy and powerful leaders, has become the only relevant link in her life. It’s what she now derives some of her strength from — and the sentiment she could use to be utterly ruthless against her enemies in Season 8.

The Silver Metal

The silver from which the crown is made of is intended to convey a sort of simplicity, perhaps even a bit of starkness. Considering Cersei’s most recent experiences — the loss of her children and her Walk of Atonement — it’s no surprise that she’s not as vibrant as she once was. Her crown serves as a symbol of her internal bleakness and solidarity.

Ironically, Cersei seems to derive power from this austerity; while she could have opted for an opulent crown covered in priceless jewels and gold, she chooses to wear a simple silver headpiece. It’s a symbol of her newfound identity as ruler of King's Landing, and consequently, her newfound power. The lack of sparkle and glamour highlights her disinterest in masquerading behind airs or status symbols that others might use to prove a claim to the throne in Season 8. As is the case with most royal headpieces, the true value of Cersei’s crown is found in the power it gives its wearer.

Judging by Cersei’s current standing as the self-proclaimed ruler of the Seven Kingdoms, this crown is a perfect fit.