Game of Thrones cast judge who deserves the Iron Throne & Lena Headey on the Walk of Atonement, Jaime, and Cersei as Queen

Cersei Season 7 Tease Promo

As the surviving Stark children —Kit Harington, Sophie Turner, Maisie Williams, and Isaac Hempstead-Wright— judge who should end up sitting on the Iron Throne for EW, Time continues their season seven coverage with a fascinating talk to Lena Headey. The actress discusses the importance of the Walk of Atonement, her surprise at becoming Queen Regnant, and her fascination with Cersei’s relationship with Jaime.

The Stark kids may (perhaps) be in a path to reuniting this season, but that doesn’t mean they’re united in their views on the ‘game of thrones.’ Speaking to EW, Kit Harington, Sophie Turner, Maisie Williams, and Isaac Hempstead-Wright reveal their differing opinions on who should sit on the Iron Throne by the end of this story, if anyone at all:

For those keeping score, there is no clear winner here, but Sansa and Jon should be quite happy: Isaac and Kit want their would-be sister Sansa to rule the Seven Kingdoms, while Maisie and Sophie nominate Jon instead. There is a caveat, however: Sansa is the clear winner as the Lady of Winterfell, as judged by Sophie and Maisie. Though at first Isaac agrees, in the end he flips it around, giving Winterfell to Jon. As for Kit, he wants Arya to rule Winterfell in his stead, as Jon should return to the Wall.

Cersei Season 7 (2)

In Time, Lena Headey begins with a heartfelt love letter to Game of Thrones:

“I don’t really have time to think about [the show winding down]. It doesn’t feel very real right now. Until the last day, when it’s goodbye, my most successful relationship, my longest relationship ever,” the actress confessed, to our collective ‘aaaaaaw.’ “Having the chance to work with the same people over what’s going to be eight years this year is quite extraordinary, really, when you think about it. And going to work on something that is so beloved is obviously a great feeling and a great responsibility as well.”

“I love playing Cersei,” Headey continued. “I’m very intrigued to see what happens to her! She’s so layered, endlessly. Every time you think you know her, there’s another depth of insecurity or fury or resentment or drive or grief.” Indeed, she was as surprised as any of us when she was crowned Queen: “I couldn’t believe that moment. I never saw that coming in a million years, I never thought she’d have the balls to finally go, ‘All right then, I guess I’ll f—ing do it.’ It was a great moment. I’m sure getting the seat of power is never comfortable on every level. But she’s aware. She’s aware of all of the s–t, the pain she’s created for everybody.” Well, as long as she is aware, that’s fine. No hard feelings!

It’s been a difficult journey for Cersei, though Headey seems to acknowledge a lot of that has been self-inflected, including Tommen’s suicide. According to her, that has not been forgotten: in season seven “we’ll see her dealing with her grief.” But, of course, Cersei has been spiraling out of control since the Walk of Atonement a few years ago:

“When I initially met David and Dan, that was the end of her journey as far as I knew,” Headey revealed. “I had considered her entire story up until that point, this whole thing of building somebody up to drag them under. And yet they still won’t drown. I’ve known [director of “Mother’s Mercy”] David Nutter a long time, and he’s a brilliant, prepared, empathetic leader. It was a tricky one, because obviously I had a stand-in, Rebecca. It was a three-day shoot with a lot of extras and a lot of people very near you, I really wanted to be in a headspace to be able to connect on an emotional level. If I’m stark bollock naked for three days with people touching me — it’s just going to feel really off-putting, I’m going to be aware of that rather than being able to just give it what I need emotionally. It wasn’t like I was walking around in a suit of armor — I had strips of fabric on that were flesh-colored. I loved it. I enjoy moments like that. It was the moment I knew Cersei would get to, and everything up to that point was poured into those three days. It was tiring, but I’m really grateful for those moments as an actor.”

Cersei Lannister Walk of Shame on Game of Thrones

“I’m a nerd, and quite shy, and suffer massive anxiety,” she admitted. “So for me it’s a real challenge to play her. I always shatter at the end of a season because I give it everything. She’s got this storm inside — human pain that we all identify with.”

Speaking of human pain, Headey also addressed Cersei’s relationship with her brother and lover Jaime, and how she, Nikolaj-Coster Waldau and the showrunners approach it:

“Cersei’s always wanted to be him. Therefore, for her, that relationship is completion. There’s been an envy, because he was born with privilege just for being a man. I think their love was built on respect. He truly loves her, he’s truly in love with Cersei, but I don’t think her love was pure love, I think it was respect and a kind of need,” she explained. “I just like to find all of her motivations. There’s never just one or two with Cersei, there’s always like seven. [Benioff and Weiss are] totally responsive and brilliant, I’m just sure behind closed doors, they’re like, Oh f—, who’s going to answer this [email].'”

If you want even more insight into Cersei’s psyche, read the entire interview at Time.

43 responses

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    1. Vincent Stark:
      I can’t imagine any way in which the Stark actors remarks can cause any controversy!

      I know you’re being sarcastic, but:

      I can’t imagine any way these remaks can cause controversy either, at least not among well-adjusted individuals who know this is just a TV show. Everyone else needs to chill out before participating in the comment section. Please.

        Quote  Reply

    2. I just want Sweetrobin to take his rightful place on the throne and bring all this wild speculation to a crashing end.

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    3. Can you imagine being in GRRM’s head these days? Although there are significant differences and concerns roaming about KL in the book series, Lena Headey has escalated Cersei from the page so very keenly. I cannot imagine that GRRM is unaffected by her performance! I absolutely enjoy Lena’s perspective (and surprise!) regarding her role in the show.

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    4. Lena Headey always comes across like such a smart and emotional (and emotionally smart!) person. Listening to her speak or reading her interviews I can almost sense that extra spark jumping around inside her.

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    5. Lena and D&Ds work on the character of Cersei is one of the shows finest achievements. I believe she is the most brilliantly written character on the show.

      Anyway, 6 MORE DAYS!
      I will probably not be writing or reading anything for the rest of the week, so I hope its as good as everyone hopes 🙂

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    6. Cool!

      Cersei’s crowing is such an iconic moment! She blows up everyone and then just strolls in that throne room like nbd. Legends only!

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    7. I actually agree with some of them that, out of all of them, Sansa would make a good ruler of the Seven Kingdoms.

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    8. Dee Stark,

      Yes, there was a link a member posted. Probably taken down to avoid accidental spoiling (although he warned it could have spoilers, the title of the link didn’t give anything away) 🙂

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    9. Apparently D&D were at the UFC event in Nevada on Saturday! Close enough to LA for a private premiere event soon? LOL

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    10. Lena, you are my Queen even if I don’t want you on that throne for long!! Amazing Cersei awesome actress. If she doesn’t get an Emmy her last season it will be a travesty.

      It’s cool that the Stark kids are ready to crown Jon KotIT! We’ll see…

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    11. QueenofThrones,

      If Lena is not at least nominated the next time GoT is up for any Emmy awards it might be a good idea to check below the theater for any possible caches of Wildfire being mysteriously placed.

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    12. QueenofThrones,

      If you look at Sophie’s answers, the questions about who should get the IT and Winterfell were about which of the remaining Starks they’d choose (not who out of the whole cast). Don’t worry.

      Dee Stark,


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    13. Great interview with Lena! Her insight into both her character and the process of bringing her to life is extremely thoughtful, and it’s lovely to know that her time on the show and all the people she’s worked means so much to her. On a show stacked with a roster of incredible artists, she is one of the very best.

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    14. Luka Nieto:

      It was just caught in the moderation filter I think. Happens sometimes with URLs. It’s back now. And now we have an article on it anyway, by Vanessa 🙂

      Awesome! Sometimes since I get email notification of every post, things get modified or disappear on me after I get to the actual site! 🙂

        Quote  Reply

    15. Lena in Time: “Last year, Pete Dinklage sent me a text that said “Oh my God, have you read them,” and I hadn’t. I’d just had my second baby so I was a bit crazy and full of milk. He just said “Holy s–t,” and I was like “What the f—?!” He went, “Oh my God, I’m not telling you,” so I [assumed] oh, I’m going to die. And then, I went straight to the end. I was really in shock. I think obviously, now, there’s got to be some body count at the end of [season] 8. This is the year. ”

      She says “last year” so is she talking about the ending for last season? Or what is coming up in season 7?

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    16. Dee Stark,

      I see Tyrion the same way Dinklage does. He’s been rebuilding himself from the wreck he was left as after killing Shae and Tywin, and now he’s a new man.

        Quote  Reply

    17. I’m really impressed with Lena Heady. Not only because she’s such a talent, but also with her giving us this insight. This was a great interview, she let her guard down and comes across very relatable. I like that she gave us a glimpse into how it affects an actor to perform a role like this.

        Quote  Reply

    18. Love Lena and She is superb as Cersei, I don’t see her surviving until the end and am interested to see how she final bows out.

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