Alert: This post contains major plot points in the Game of Thrones season 6 finale …
And just like that, a new ruler has ascended to the Iron Throne.
After a stunning series of violent events in the Game of Thrones season 6 finale, “The Winds of Winter,” Cersei Lannister is now the queen of Westeros — and not merely the queen (there have been many queens, obviously, including Cersei, in supporting roles alongside their king) — but rather Cersei is the first female ruler of the Seven Kingdoms. It’s a precedent Daenerys Targaryen expected to set herself, and comes at a steep price after her last remaining child, Tommen, killed himself in reaction to his mother blowing up his wife alongside the rest of her enemies.
EW spoke to star and Emmy nominee Lena Headey about Cersei’s unexpected promotion that dramatically shakes up the game in Westeros for season 7. Previously, Headey teased that this is Cersei’s “most interesting season,” which turned out to be correct. What was her reaction to the plot twists? And how does Headey think Cersei will fare with Dany setting sail to come after her newly acquired throne? Read on…
Entertainment Weekly: So. Maggy the Frog was right.
Lena Headey: Yes, the prophecy finally comes true. Which is horrible. Yet at the same time, she has her greatest moment of triumph. She gets rid of all her enemies, that she knows of anyway. Then there’s that moment where she goes to see dead Tommen and she thinks, “Ah. Well. I’ll [take the crown].” It’s so wrong.
It’s amazing, she wipes them out all at once.
I was grinning [reading the script]. Everyone is going to be aghast and thrilled and annoyed they’re on Cersei’s side for a minute.
And you took out Septa Unella, with some private time.
It’s so filthy. It’s so great. Everybody’s witnessed what happened with the two of them. I don’t think people will be able to help going, “Yes!” But it’s so depraved, it’s brilliant. The scene was meant to be worse, but they couldn’t do it. This is like the tame version. It’s pretty bad still though. I’d take being exploded in the Sept over that any day.
What’s so interesting is that Cersei has always wanted control, but she hasn’t necessarily wanted the Iron Throne.
She wanted power and security, but not the top seat in particular for herself. She probably didn’t think it could ever happen.
Yeah. 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.
The most frequently asked question actors on the show get is, “Who do you think will end up on the Iron Throne?” What was your reaction when you read the script and realized that it’s Cersei, at least for now.
I couldn’t believe it, obviously. I was really shocked. I read it like nine times, like, “You’re joking!” Then I’m left to wonder who’s going to take her down. She may only be there for a second. You do think, “What the f— comes next?” Then we start again to play that game we all play each season, “Who’s going to be on the Iron Throne next?”
So your prediction is Cersei’s not going to reign for very long?
No. Surely not! Not a chance in hell. It’s a moment of punctuation in the madness.
The question of who’s going to take her down seems to have an obvious answer at the end of the finale…
I got 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.
The arrival of Dany also raises the prospect of Cersei reuniting with Tyrion.
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.
People usually don’t leave the Iron Throne alive, though. Does that have you concerned?
No. I’ve always said that when it happens, as long as it’s kinda glorious and gory and it’s by the right person…
And who is the right person?
I think it has to be Arya or Tyrion.
Yes, Tyrion would be interesting…
No one would relish her death as much as he would.
Plus you’d love to do that scene with Peter.
Love. Maybe we could have a dying kiss or something.
READ MORE: Natalie Dormer on her explosive finale exit. Our deep-dive recap with our thoughts. A breakdown of that Tower of Joy revelation. Star Emilia Clarke makes her bold season 7 predictions. Actor Finn Jones on Ser Loras’ sad fate. Director Miguel Sapochnik breaking down that opening sequence. Maisie Williams reveals who Arya should kill next. And don’t forget to subscribe to our Game of Thrones Weekly podcast (New episode posted below)!