In the controversial penultimate episode of the HBO fantasy-epic series, Headey’s character Cersei Lannister met her demise alongside her twin-brother-slash-estranged-lover, Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), as the Red Keep crumbled around them following a fiery King’s Landing rampage from Daenerys Targaryen‘s drago, Drogon.
Of the heart-wrenching scene, Headey, 45, admitted to U.K. outlet The Guardian that she “wanted a better death” for the icy queen, who played a huge role in the series throughout its eight seasons.
“Obviously you dream of your death,” she said. “You could go in any way on that show. So I was kind of gutted.”
However, Headey recognized that the writers “couldn’t have pleased everyone,” explaining, “No matter what they did, I think there was going to be some big comedown from the climb.”
Speaking to Entertainment Weekly last month, Headey opened up about Cersei’s fate, admitting her reaction to the character’s final scene was “mixed” at first.
“I wanted her to have some big piece or fight with somebody,” she said.
But when she talked over the scene with Coster-Waldau, 48, she changed her mind. Trapped in an underground passageway, emotional but resigned to their doomed fate, a mortally wounded Jaime uttered his final words to Cersei as the walls around them collapsed: “Nothing else matters, only us.”
“The more we talked about it the more it seemed like the perfect end for her,” Headey explained. “They came into the world together and now they leave together.”
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Another actress who had different thoughts of her character’s fate? Maisie Williams. The young GoT star who played Arya Stark, felt her “Kill List” just wasn’t complete without Cersei’s name scratched off of it.
“I just wanted to be on set with Lena again, she’s good fun,” Williams, 22, told Entertainment Weekly of Cersei whom Arya has had it out for since season 1 of the series.
“And I wanted Arya to kill Cersei even if it means [Arya] dies too,” she added. “Even up to the point when Cersei’s with Jaime I thought [while reading the script], ‘He’s going to whip off his face [and reveal its Arya]’ and they’re both going to die. I thought that’s what Arya’s drive has been.”