The premiere of HBO‘s eighth and final Game of Thrones season featured a much-discussed scene with Cersei Lannister and Euron Greyjoy having sex for the first time. Some fans were surprised by how quickly Cersei went from insisting Euron had to “earn” her to caving into those advances.
The star who plays Cersei was also dubious about this turn of events. At least, she was at first.
“I kept saying, ‘She wouldn’t, she wouldn’t,’ that she would keep fighting,” said actress Lena Headey (who plays Cersei) in a new interview with Entertainment Weekly‘s James Hibberd. “But [showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss] obviously know what they’re doing and were adamant Cersei would do what she had to do.”
Euron’s entire alliance to Cersei was built on his desire to, as he eloquently puts it, “fuck the queen.”
Cersei had effectively promised him he would have his wish, but only after he had proven his loyalty. On the seventh season, he attacked Yara and Theon’s fleet and brought back valuable hostages for Cersei. His own ships brought down many of Daenerys’ fleet, and then Euron brought Cersei the entire army of Golden Company soldiers.
By the time he suggests to Cersei that it’s time for her to hold up her end of the bargain, Cersei likely felt as if she had no choice — despite her clear lack of desire to sleep with Euron.
Fans will likely feel validated if they were among those who thought the quick change of Cersei’s mind was unexpected. But Headey found an understanding in the scene by keeping the perspective that Cersei was sleeping with Euron as a way of preserving her power and alliance.
“Cersei is such the ultimate survivor in all of this,” Headey told EW. “She refuses to fall to her knees. She goes to the place where she doesn’t want to go.”
Cersei, whose real love and twin brother Jaime left her at the end of last season, is clearly unhappy with the predicament she finds herself in. After dismissing Euron, Cersei got emotional and looked like she was about to cry. This saddened expression caused us to question the status of her pregnancy and wonder if she had possibly had a miscarriage between seasons. You can read more on this scene and our theory here.