Recently, Industry Casting revealed that Rebecca Van Cleave, who played Lena Headey’s body double during Cersei’s infamous Walk of Shame scene in season 5, would be returning for the eighth and final season of Game of Thrones. (The tweet with this information has now been deleted, so take that how you will — I’m thinking someone at HBO had a chat with someone at Industry Casting.) Naturally, that sent us into a storm of speculation. Why, we asked ourselves, would Cersei need a body double in season 8?
Now, an Instagram post from Van Cleave herself has us even more curious. She posted this shot of herself in a tent on February 28, one of at least three days she spent in Belfast, the nerve center of Game of Thrones filming. We know she was there, at minimum, from Tuesday, February 27 through Thursday, March 1, although we don’t know if she filmed material on all of those days. But based on what she says below, she definitely filmed on the 28th. We direct your attention to the sentence that begins “6 years later…”
"6 years later, I am looking worse for wear, greasy, tangled, and bundled up in an easy-up tent in a snowy land far away, but feeling on top of the world. Today, I am doing what I love with some of the best actors and crew in the world. Today has been magic."
There are a couple things about that that stick to us, mainly the lines about being “in an easy-up tent in a snowy land far away” and “doing what I love with some of the best actors and crew in the world.”
Let’s start with the latter line. We know that Lena Headey’s body double is back for season 8, which means that Cersei will probably have a nude scene. We guessed that it would be for some kind of sex scene, possibly with Euron Greyjoy, to whom Cersei had made certain representations. But Van Cleave’s note about working with “some of the best actors” — plural — makes it sound like she filmed with multiple cast members. Intriguing.
The first bit is even more interesting. When you film a sex scene, you generally do it indoors on an interior set, and Game of Thrones has plenty of those available at the spacious Paint Hall Studios in the Titanic Quarter. So why would Van Cleave be “in an easy-up tent” amidst the heavy snowfall that’s been battering the UK over the past week? Is she filming something outdoors? And if so, what?
Most ridiculous interpretation: Cersei is run out of King’s Landing, heads north to Winterfell, and is taken prisoner by the Night King, who makes her take another Walk of Shame on her way to the Lands of Always Winter. Most banal interpretation: Van Cleave is just taking a break after a long day of shooting, saw some of the other cast members on set from afar, and went out to a tent to smoke. The truth is probably somewhere in the middle. What do you think?