The Game of Thrones season 5 finale was so packed with major upheavals and shocking deaths that perhaps the most crucial moment of all may have been largely overlooked: The tragic death of Myrcella Baratheon, Cersie and Jaimie’s daughter, poisoned by Prince Oberyn’s lover Ellaria Sand with a fatal kiss.
We asked showrunners Dan Weiss and David Benioff whether this will constitute an act of war by Dorne against the Lannisters.
“It’s an act of war by the person who perpetrated it,” Weiss said. “But I don’t think Cersei is going to be particularly interested in whose fault it was that this happened to her daughter—it happened in Dorne. She might be in a more bellicose frame of mind than usual when she finds out.”
Benioff opined that Myrcella’s murder is also certain to boost Cersei’s hatred of her fugitive brother Tyrion, who has now joined forces with Daenerys: “In her mind, Myrcella was taken away from her by Tyrion; she still blames him for Joffrey’s death, and he is directly responsible for Myrcella going to Dorne. So in her worldview, both of her children’s deaths are to be laid at his doorstep. This is one more thing to motivate her homicidal hatred of him.”
Actor Nikolaj Coster-Waldau—who notes he doesn’t have any idea what’s to come next season—speculated that Jaime is going to have a pretty tough time explaining this one to his beloved sister. “It’s not going to be easy, is it?” the actor mused. “She’s already gone through one hell. It’s like: ‘Do you want the good or the bad news first?’ But after this whole religious thing that’s happened [with the Faith Militant taking power in King’s Landing], the whole political balance has shifted. It’s not clear what’s going to happen.”
The actor also pointed out he’s returning to King’s Landing with Myrcella’s betrothed, Trystane Martell. Coster-Waldau noted that Trystane could find himself in the same situation as Myrcella in Dorne after Prince Oberyn was murdered—except Cersei is far less likely to show mercy than Prince Doran.
“Cersei has someone she could enact revenge on—Trystane,” Coster-Waldu said. “He’s supposed to take his father’s seat on the council. I think maybe Jaime should just ask the captain, ‘Just drop me off—I’ll build a little house over there!'”
In the meantime, Coster-Waldu hopes fans were moved by his final scene with his ill-fated daughter, a moment he particularly found touching. “The beauty of the scene is she says, ‘I’m glad that you’re my dad,'” Coster-Waldau said. “He’s so moved by emotions he didn’t even know he had. And it’s such a brief, brief, brief moment.”
EW’s mega-coverage of the Thrones season finale: