Ozark’s Wendy Byrde Shares One Trait With Game of Thrones’s Cersei Lannister

The following contains spoilers for Ozark Season 4, Part 2, now streaming on Netflix.

Wendy Byrde may have won by the end of Ozark, but it cost her entire soul and the good(ish) nature she left behind in the first season. However, if there's one thing she kept true along the way, it was her love for her children. Likewise, Game of Thrones' Cersei Lannister had the same redeeming quality that ultimately made her one of television's best moms.

Ozark's Wendy Byrde had a tremendous transformation throughout the series, from a passive victim to an ambitious businesswoman who makes vicious decisions to protect her family. Her transformation has been subtle, to say the least, but the Wendy Byrde fans grew to love (or hate) in Season 4 has always been there -- she just needed a little push to get out. Game of Thrones' Cersei, however, has been undeniably awful from the beginning, but has shown some redeeming qualities throughout the show's eight seasons.

One of these redeeming qualities Cersei's brother, Tyrion Lannister, points out is the love she has for her children... along with her cheekbones. Despite the fact that Joffrey was considered one of the worst kings in Westeros history because of his spoiled, cruel entitlement, she loved him just the same as her other kind-hearted children, Tommen and Myrcella. Wendy thankfully never spawned a Joffrey copycat, but she did have hateful moments towards her children.

Season 4 of Ozark wasn't a great season for the Byrde family. Furious at his mother's decision to have Ben killed, Jonah moves into a hotel to launder money for Darlene and Ruth's heroin business. Charlotte stays on her mother's side for the first half of the season, but that changes when Wendy's father comes to town and offers them a way out of the sketchy family. Charlotte and Jonah both choose to leave with their grandfather to get away from the dangerous life their parents put them in, and it causes a shift between them and Wendy.

The latter half of Season 4 deals with Wendy having a (poorly represented) "psychological breakdown" after her children choose to leave and checks herself into a psychiatric institution. It's highly likely that Wendy instated herself as a manipulative tactic to keep her children close to her, but nonetheless, she did it out of love. Wendy truly believes that she can protect them better than her alcoholic, abusive father ever could, even with the risk of the cartel on their backs.

Wendy's love grows so strong that when it came down to it, she had to accept with Ruth's death if it meant her children were safe. It's a cold choice, but it comes from a mother's love. It's similar to Cersei's attempt to free Tommen from being brainwashed by the High Septon. Doing so, she chooses to kill hundreds of people by planting wildfire in the Sept of Baelor, leaving Tommen safe with her. So blinded by the love for her last living child, Cersei never thought to consider that Tommen would feel like such a failure of a king that he would end his own life.

However, in the end of the both of their respective series, their love ended up either destroying themselves or their children. Wendy's insistence on keeping her children close made Jonah into a murderer (which she fully condoned) and Cersei wanting her unborn baby to survive drove her to push Daenerys Targaryen too far. But at least Wendy didn't end up under a pile of rubble in Ozark and can still live out her days with her children as an influential family.

All four seasons of Ozark are available to stream on Netflix. Game of Thrones is available to stream on HBO Max.

Marty ran the Navarro cartel for a bit in Ozark
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