Cersei Lannister may have been greeted with the traditional “long may she reign” chant at her coronation as the Queen of the Seven Kingdoms in the Game of Thrones season 6 finale, but given the character’s unbridled brutality, disfavor within the Realm, and the growing list of enemies she’s garnered over the course of the series, it’s doubtful the people who delivered the obligatory phrase believed a syllable of it.
Even Lena Headey, who stars as the duplicitous and cunning new monarch, doubts she’ll be any more lucky in leadership from the Iron Throne than the men who sat on it before her; namely, the Mad King Aerys II Targaryen, her late husband Robert Baratheon, and her two sons Joffrey and Tommen. Headey offered her thoughts on Cersei’s violent ascension to the throne in a recent interview and declared that she most definitely does not expect her on-screen counterpart to be long for the Game of Thrones world after what she’s done.
When speaking to EW, Headey said:
“No. Surely not! Not a chance in hell. It’s a moment of punctuation in the madness. I get goosebumps reading, ‘The ships are coming.’ They keep teasing us every season and I don’t know what’s going to happen because nobody tells you anything. I have to assume there’s going to be one helluva battle. Who knows? It’s such a mystery.”
One thing she feels confident will happen sometime in the final two seasons is the reunion of Cersei with Tyrion Lannister, her brother who has now been chosen as Daenerys Targaryen’s Hand to the Queen (which means he’s now in direct opposition to her authority).
“I’m as excited as anyone to get Cersei and Tyrion back together. It just works. Those two characters are so interesting because there’s so much hate, yet slight respect too. They’d kill each other if ever given the chance.”
Perhaps they will. In fact, Headey predicts it’ll be either Tyrion himself or Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) who’ll cause her ultimate demise because she thinks either of them would be “the right person” to make such a scene as “glorious and gory” as it deserves to be (and indeed Arya’s kill list still has her name uncrossed at this time, so now that she’s back in the business of settling those debts, it’d make sense that a Lannister would pay them, per the family’s long-touted maxim). If it were Tyrion who executed Queen Cersei, it seems Headey would personally approve of that decision because she said, “No one would relish her death as much as he would.”
As for her thoughts on Cersei’s motivation for succeeding her inadvertently lost son to power, Headey believes she did not set wildfire to the Sept in order to achieve his demise, but she didn’t take long to make her decision after his death.
“There’s that moment where she goes to see dead Tommen and thinks, ‘Ah. Well I’ll [take the crown].’ It’s so wrong.
“I think part of what happened to her, is a sense of ‘never again will anybody do anything to me that I don’t want to happen.’ This is the end of that.”
One group Game of Thrones fans can unquestionably count on to no longer be a threat to Cersei is the High Sparrow’s Faith Militant. Save for Septa Unella, the entire outfit has been disintegrated. Meanwhile, Septa Unella has been left to suffer the brutal consequence of putting Cersei to such public “shame” at the hands of Ser Gregor “The Mountain” Clegane. What we saw of that moment, apparently, was the “tame version” of that revenge scene which Headey said “was meant to be worse, but they couldn’t do it.” Left to our imagination it’s arguably worse, which means Septa Unella’s not a likely suspect for any royal coup right now.
Game of Thrones will return to HBO for season 7 in 2017.