Lena Headey had some issues with last night’s Cersei-Euron scene


The Game of Thrones season 8 premiere was full of long-anticipated reunions that left fans feeling satisfied, from Jon finally seeing Arya and Bran again to the Stark siblings confronting many of the characters they met over the past seven seasons. But one reunion didn’t turn out how fans were expecting was the one between Cersei Lannister and Euron Greyjoy.


Stark Sigil Winter Is Coming T-shirt from Game of Thrones
Stark Sigil Winter Is Coming T-shirt from Game of Thrones /

Stark Sigil Winter Is Coming T-shirt from Game of Thrones

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Last season, Euron arrived in King’s Landing with a marriage proposal for the Lannister queen. It’s clear he wants power, as well as the bragging rights to say he’s been with the Queen of the Seven Kingdoms. But Cersei, who really doesn’t have time for this, insisted that Euron prove himself before she accepted his proposition.

In “Winterfell,” Euron raises the subject again, this time with significantly more leverage. Not only has he given her justice (or vengeance, depending on how you look at it) for Myrcella’s death by bringing her Ellaria and Tyene Sand, but he returns this season with the Golden Company at his back. And although they didn’t bring the elephants Cersei wanted, they did show up at King’s Landing with 20,000 men and more than enough horses to stand a chance against whoever wins the fight in the North.

Initially, Cersei declines Euron again: “If you want a whore, buy one. You want a queen? Earn her.” It’s a strong moment for Cersei, and it feels in line with her character.

But after Euron subtly suggests that he might go back on his deal, she changes her mind. She allows Euron into her bed to maintain her hold on the power he offers her, a decision that left many fans with mixed feelings. And they weren’t the only ones. Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, actor Lena Headey revealed her reservations. “I kept saying, ‘She wouldn’t, she wouldn’t, that she would keep fighting.” Due to her doubts, there was plenty of discussion surrounding this particular moment, though Headey eventually decided that showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss knew what they were doing with the character.

"There’s something to play in all of it. Cersei is the ultimate survivor in all of this. She refuses to fall to her knees. She goes to the place where she doesn’t want to go, which makes it more powerful [and] sad because of who she’s not with."

Still, the move does feel like a step back for her character. On that topic, however, Pilou Asbaek, who plays Euron, had an interesting perspective. Asbaek confirmed that the group debated whether the scene was too much for a while before deciding to give it a try. But he believes that it’s important to show different—and sometimes unexpected—sides of the characters you portray. “You have to surprise yourself as an actor, but you also have to surprise yourself as a character.”

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Asbaek has a point, especially given Game of Thrones’ reputation for surprising its audience. Fans will have to wait to find out whether Cersei’s decision leads.

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