Lena Headey admits she wanted a better death for Cersei Lannister in Game of Thrones. It's been a few weeks since the HBO show based on George R.R. Martin's book series, A Song of Ice and Fire, wrapped up. Yet, its most avid followers continue to talk about it, particularly how it ended the arcs of the show's most beloved characters, including Cersei, who died in an underwhelming way in the penultimate episode. Like many, Headey reveals that she would've preferred her character to go in a more memorable way.
In the 80-minute outing titled "The Bells," Daenerys' (Emilia Clarke) army forced themselves inside the Red Keep to aid the Mother of Dragons claim the Iron Throne from Cersei. But as fate would have it, Game of Thrones executed one of its final plot twists and had Dany go full Mad Queen, burning the place to the ground. Meanwhile, a defeated Cersei reunited with Jamie (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) in the hopes of quietly slipping away only to be trapped in the dungeons under King's Landing. The twins accepted their fate as they were crushed by the collapsing castle. It was a disappointing death considering that Game of Thrones had some of the most interesting ones throughout its eight-year run, and even Headey was let down by it.
Speaking with The Guardian, Headey opened up about the way Cersei died in Game of Thrones, admitting she "wanted a better death.” The show established early on that no character is truly safe (until the final couple of seasons), given this, the actress says that she had visions of how her character could die, which made it extra disappointing to learn about her death. “Obviously you dream of your death. You could go in any way on that show. So I was kind of gutted. But I just think they couldn’t have pleased everyone. No matter what they did, I think there was going to be some big comedown from the climb," she adds.
One of the most common criticisms of Game of Thrones season 8 was that it felt rushed. While it had four extended episodes to make up for a shorter year, it just wasn't enough given everything that the series had to address before it went off the air. That said, the handling of Cersei's character was drawing flak as early as season 7. Fans noticed the lack of progression for her character - a significant amount of her screen time was devoted to her gazing out of the balcony, which was such a shame given the kind of actress they had with Headey.
Headey is right, Game of Thrones' ending couldn't have pleased everyone no matter what. However, regardless of how fans feel about the narrative, it would've been more appreciated if it felt like it was executed in a thoughtful way, and for the most part, the show's final season didn't feel like that. Cersei's death wasn't underwhelming because there's very little fanfare with her demise, it was disappointing because it was a poor send-off for such a rich character.
Source: The Guardian