Lena Headey Talks Cersei’s Walk of Shame on Game of Thrones Finale: No One “Deserves That Treatment”

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Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey) is made to walk naked through the streets on Game of Thrones.  Macall B. Polay/HBO

Nothing says walk of shame like a nun chanting “shame, shame, shame” as you walk naked with your hair hacked off through an angry mob! That was the fate for Game of Thrones villain Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey) on the June 14 Season 5 finale. The brutal scene, which came about after Cersei confessed to sleeping with her cousin (leaving out that whole I-conceived-children-with-my-brother thing), made fans think twice about hating the incestuous Lannister queen regent.

Though a body double was used with Headey’s head superimposed onto another woman’s body, the British star, 41, still had to walk through the shouting, flash-happy crowd as things were thrown at her and insults were chanted. The montage took three days to shoot.

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Cersei confessing to the High Sparrow on Game of Thrones. Helen Sloan/HBO

“It’s not hard when people are screaming at you and you look like s–t and you’re being f–king humiliated to figure out how that would feel,” Headey told Entertainment Weekly. “There’s a part of you that’s f–king terrified. I can’t even imagine people wanting your blood. Cersei has done wrong, but she doesn’t really deserve this.”

Though Cersei has committed plenty of evils, the brutal scene made fans feel genuine sympathy for one of the series’ most hated characters.

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Cersei Lannister's walk of shame on Game of Thrones. Macall B. Polay/HBO

“I don’t think anyone deserves that treatment,” Headey continued. “She’s been beaten and starved and humiliated. She thinks when she comes out and confesses that this is it—even when she’s on her knees [confessing to the High Sparrow], she’s partly lying. She thinks she’s good to go. She has no idea what’s coming when she walks out to the steps, or that they’re going to shave her hair off like Aslan.”

The scene, which was also depicted in A Dance of Dragons, book five in George R.R. Martin’s Songs of Ice and Fire book series, proved difficult for the Game of Thrones location scouts. The original site was rejected on religious grounds last fall, but ultimately the team was able to work things out. As for the future of Cersei? It remains unwritten, but Headey had some ideas.

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Cersei being comforted post-walk of shame on Game of Thrones. Macall B. Polay/HBO

“I think she’s got some people to kill before she’s done,” the British star said. This time, we don’t blame her! 

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