Lena Headey says ‘everybody cried’ during final read-through; art director teases March production schedule

Lena Heady as Cersei Lannister.

We suspected as much, but according to Lena Headey, we’ll have to get the tissues ready for Season 8 of Game of Thrones.

“We did a massive read-through in October, and I think pretty much everybody cried at one point,” Headey, who plays the smirking, wine-swilling, half-mad Cersei Lannister, said in a recent interview with Mashable. And, she added, the ending “was pretty surprising.”

Being a part of Thrones and it’s massive popularity has been “an amazing journey,” and despite it coming to an end in the near future, Headey said she’s okay with that.

“I’ve enjoyed every second of it, and … it’s changed my life in spectacular ways, so I’m ever grateful for that opportunity,” she said.

On the other side of the camera, as we reported on January 28, Thrones art director Deborah Riley took home top honors at the annual Art Directors Guild Awards in the category of One-Hour Period or Fantasy Single-Camera Series. In an interview on the award’s red carpet, Riley said that even though the end of the show is nigh, she thinks it will be “sweet,” and not just “bittersweet,” a term we’ve been hearing from many a cast and crew member.

“We’re all gonna be so proud and so thrilled and it will be time to move on,” she said. “Bringing this show to an end — I mean, what an amazing opportunity is that?”

Naturally, Riley didn’t take the bait and reveal any plot spoilers for the final season, but she did tease a few tantalizing details about the upcoming production schedule. Noting that, since Season 8 will have only six episodes, the production team is “working 24 hours a day” to “bring these massive, mammoth … things to the screen” — and that March will be a particularly busy month.

“[Director] Miguel Sapochnik has just started shooting his massive things, particularly in March,” Riley said. “We’re going to be so busy in March!”

We reported in December that Sapochnik, who has directed the iconic episodes “Hardhome,” “Battle of the Bastards” and “The Winds of Winter,” will direct two of the six episodes in Season 8, so that’s not news — but it’s exciting to know that work is soon getting underway on what are sure to be blockbuster episodes. Stay tuned, and we’ll keep you in the know!

34 responses

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    1. Cerceis end is near
      ..NK is coming to KL for to get his icy queen and her baby will be another one WW baby..HYPE for S8…

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    2. And, she added, the ending “was pretty surprising.”

      Oh I am encouraged by that. So many scenarios could be considered ‘predictable’ by now that I truly hope we are genuinely surprised.

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    3. I read a pretty good supposed leak even though I don’t usually seek them out …and that leak is what’s holding me until 2019.

      In the meantime. I’m going to see ‘Black Panther’ and ‘Wrinkle in Time’ and can’t wait for the second season of ‘Ozark’! There are some other good movies coming down the pike. All is not lost.

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    4. I am starting to feel bad for the actors… They have another year of being asked about the show’s last season and having to answer vaguely enough not to spoil anything yet precisely enough not to look like they are not answering at all. By December 2018, they will be struggling for adjectives and start making up their own : tragiwonderamazefunbitterlous, sadsatisfextraordibigexcitisweet and, of course, spectheartbreakimarvelunexpectful.

      As for Lena Headey’s use of the term “surprising”, it is quite interesting. Admitedly, she is not going to say “the finale is predictable as hell, don’t bother watching, you have probably guessed already” but it is a nice word that opens the door for quite a few speculations. What would be a surprising ending at this point ? For Cersei to win ? Now, if that happens, I will laugh my head off ! For Arya to become Queen of Westeros ? That would be unexpected. Davos is elected president of the Seven Kingdoms ? Too happy an ending, I guess. Sam is Azor Ahai and Jorah is Nissa Nissa ?

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    5. This is two people now, Lena Headey and Maisie Williams who thought the ending was either surprising or unexpected. Of course we don’t know what ending they had in mind that would cause that reaction, so it’s really not possible to judge one way or another what their words could mean.

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    6. The question now in my mind is: Does “pretty much everybody cried at one point” signify “At one point or another, each found a different reason to cry” or “There was this one particular point that was soooo heartwrenching that there wasn’t a dry eye in the house”?

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    7. Mr Derp: “pretty surprising”?

      You, sir/madam, have just made me laugh out loud. Well done and thank you ! 😉

      Firannion,
      It really could be either, you are right. Or perhaps each one of them, at some point, became overwhelmed by the realisation that it was their last read-through together and they teared up because their collective adventure was coming to an end ?

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    8. ACME,

      ACME: It really could be either, you are right. Or perhaps each one of them, at some point, became overwhelmed by the realisation that it was their last read-through together and they teared up because their collective adventure was coming to an end ?

      I just figured it was Hot Pie dicing some red onions in the corner or something

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    9. Firannion,
      It could also be “it finally hit them that they just read the end of something that’s been a huge part of their lives”. Season 8 can be the happiest we’ve ever seen on GoT (not that I think that, lol), it’s still going to be heartbreaking for the cast and crew to reach the end of their journey. Or of course, a combination of all suggestions 😉

      Edit: I see ACME read my mind 😀

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    10. Mr Derp: I just figured it was Hot Pie dicing some red onions in the corner or something

      Damn that Hot Pie ! Always baking at the most inappropriate moments !

      Sundae: Edit: I see ACME read my mind

      Cheers ! 😉

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    11. Ten Bears,

      Really. I think if I see the word “bittersweet” again I’m going to puke. And the aftertaste will be….

      Indeed, we all probably suffer from Bittersweet fatigue. At least Deb Riley “thinks it will be “sweet,” and not just “bittersweet,” a term we’ve been hearing from many a cast and crew member.”

      Firannion:
      The question now in my mind is: Does “pretty much everybody cried at one point” signify “At one point or another, each found a different reason to cry” or “There was this one particular point that was soooo heartwrenching that there wasn’t a dry eye in the house”?

      Great question. My guess is that since she didn’t say “or another”, it may have been one moment. Probably a death. But she qualified her statement with “I think pretty much everybody”, which implies it wasn’t so overwhelming that they cried in unison. But one thing is clear, there’s plenty of heartbreak and much surprise, even to people who know the story very well. I wonder if most of those actors either haven’t read the books at all or at least haven’t parsed them and all the theories on the Net like dedicated fans have. Any fan who frequently visits the YouTube hinterlands will have seen beaucoup theories.

      ACME:
      I am starting to feel bad for the actors… They have another year of being asked about the show’s last season and having to answer vaguely enough not to spoil anything yet precisely enough not to look like they are not answering at all. By December 2018, they will be struggling for adjectives and start making up their own : tragiwonderamazefunbitterlous, sadsatisfextraordibigexcitisweet and, of course, spectheartbreakimarvelunexpectful.

      Hats off to you, mate. Not only for your erudition, but your ultra-creative vocabulary.

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    12. I think we have to be a little careful not to overanalyze when actors talk about the ending as “surprising” or “unexpected”. Yes, they know their show but they are not superfans who have read a hundred theories on how it all could end. So for them already a non-Hollywood type of ending (a la Jon and Dany defeated Cersei and the WW and lived happily ever after as wise rulers…) might come as surprising. Having said that, we know from D&D that there is still one oh-shit moment left from their discussions with GRRM. So I am still looking forward to being surprised by the ending.

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    13. Artemisia,

      I’m glad I’m not the only one that thinks Cersei will end up as the WW Queen. I’m going to miss the heck out of her to be honest. She’s such a fabulous villain and Lena is just perfect in the role.

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    14. Aryamad:
      Artemisia,

      I’m glad I’m not the only one that thinks Cersei will end up as the WW Queen. I’m going to miss the heck out of her to be honest. She’s such a fabulous villain and Lena is just perfect in the role.

      agree…it would be cool to Cerceis reaction to the NK when he arrives in KL and knock her door in the Red Keep…..dong dong..Cercei:who is it?..NK:Me[with Viserion] ..Cercei[seeing on the eye of the door]:WTF..NK:Dracarys …….What if Cercei be NKs Reek?

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    15. Am I the only one surprised by how much we are getting at the moment in terms of articles, you would think the show is airing this year (I know it’s not) with all the press stuff and interviews taking place.

      I’m assuming that the March filming will be some sort of big battle with the White Walkers unless it’s Jon re-taking Kings Landing.

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    16. Aryamad,

      “She’s such a fabulous villain and Lena is just perfect in the role.”
      ______________________

      Lena Headey is fabulous and just perfect, period. I watched her again in the rom-com/dramedy “Imagine Me and You”, and thought, “How could anyone not fall in love with her?” – which is, in a sense, the premise of the movie. [Bonus: In some scenes, with the right lighting, Piper Perabo looks like Daenerys Targaryen. Bonus #2: Memorable scene: “Don’t forget me.” /”I won’t remember anything else.”]

      One other thing. I’ve said this before. Lena Headey’s voice, sense of humor and wit are the highlights of the Episode Commentaries she narrates. She’s truly excited when she watches the episodes because she hasn’t seen them before; she’s effusive with praise for her co-stars (“just brilliant”) and you can tell she’s sincere.

      God, I love her to death.

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    17. Between the spoiler on the other page and this, it seems we need a contest to come up with – say – the top ten most probable, and most improbable – outcomes of the series. Ultimate survivors and their future direction. Unexpected manner-of-deaths. Romances consummated/ended. Monstery/magical/fantasy twists.

      C’mon guys. It’s going to be a very long year.

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    18. The Cersei as WW Queen theories are even more ridiculous than the Dany mad queen theories.

      NK has no purpose for her and Cersei has no interest in being queen to him.

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    19. Ten Bears,

      I think the ending was always going to be bittersweet (sorry) no matter what. Sweet because we finally have an ending, after so many years of obsessing over the characters and story, and bitter because well, there will be no more show to get obsessed about. It’s hard to say goodbye to things you love, I still miss Harry Potter.

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    20. The end was “pretty surprising”

      Cersei survives as Queen of a devastated seven kingdoms.
      Jon and Danny die in a blaze of glory!

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    21. Colin Armfield:
      The end was “pretty surprising”

      Cersei survives as Queen of a devastated seven kingdoms.
      Jon and Danny die in a blaze of glory!

      More likely that Cersei runs off with Daeny. Final scene: Jon Snow asking Alys Karstark: “So, how’d you like to go spelunking with me?”

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