Lena Headey on Game of Thrones’ final season: ‘I will say I wanted a better death’

4th annual German Comic Con Dortmund 2018 - Day 2

Lena Headey has a new interview in The Guardian to promote her latest film, The Flood, about the refugee/migrant crisis in Great Britain. But because her promotion for this film is happening so soon after Game of Thrones ended, much of the interview is about that. Lena remains pretty classy about the last season, perhaps choosing to focus on all of the good work she did on the show and not on the terrible final season where she basically just stood around smirking (and getting paid $1 million per episode to do so). She doesn’t throw anybody under the bus, but she does admit to… wishing for a better death for Cersei. Hard agree. You can read the full piece here. Some highlights:

On the final season & why she thought it fell apart: “No, listen. I invested as a viewer and I have my favourite characters. And I’ve got a few of my own gripes. But I haven’t sat down drunkly with David [Benioff] and Dan [Weiss] yet.” What will she say when she has that drink? “I will say I wanted a better death. Obviously you dream of your death. You could go in any way on that show. So I was kind of gutted. But I just think they couldn’t have pleased everyone. No matter what they did, I think there was going to be some big comedown from the climb.”

The Thrones cast is on WhatsApp: “We’re all on a giant WhatsApp group which is a daily pile-on. It’s hilarious. You can tell who’s been drinking on that one.”

How she felt at the end of the show: “It was amazing. And things end and you move on. When I was much younger I would weep every time I ended a job, and I would take everybody’s phone number, every single person I’d ever said hello to, because it had been such an intense experience. And then you get older and you have more of those experiences and they become less intense. I think the guys who grew up on that show, they probably formed really deep friendships that will carry them through. But most of us have our own kids. If kids don’t balance you, then nothing does.”

She got the on GoT because of Peter Dinklage: “We were doing this little indie in LA called Pete Smalls is Dead. And we were all sharing like one square of a hot caravan. Pete said you’ve got to read this. I love Pete. I think he’s wonderful and so I was like: ‘Oh, if Pete’s reading it, it must be f–king great.’ That was my measure.”

[From The Guardian]

One of my favorite things about Game of Thrones is the fact that Peter Dinklage and Lena were, like, BFFs off the set. They were good friends before they were even cast in GoT and they spent a lot of time together during the decade of filming. I think that’s so cool. But yeah, I mean, what can she say? “The last season was dreadful, I hate what Dan and David did to it”? She could say that, but she would get bashed for telling the truth. And yes, Cersei needed a better death. I feel like David and Dan completely misread the audience there – I’m not saying Cersei needed the most grisly death ever (although it wouldn’t have hurt), but she DID NOT deserve the “heroine’s death” they gave her with the swelling music, dying in Jaime’s arms. Enough.

Meanwhile, check out this “deepfake Jon Snow” apologizing for the last season:

lena 86

Photos courtesy of WENN, HBO/Game of Thrones.

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19 Responses to “Lena Headey on Game of Thrones’ final season: ‘I will say I wanted a better death’”

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  1. Loretta says:

    LMAO only Sophie Turner is happy with the finale

    • Elkie says:

      Because in comparison to Dark Phoenix, it was Shakespeare?

    • Eleonor says:

      Because Sansa ending on the throne of the North is the only thing that makes sense.

    • Susan says:

      Sophie Turner has consistently kissed ass to D&D. I don’t think it’s insincere but it is what it is. And it’s certainly helped cement her as one of their favorites in return.

    • KL says:

      To be fair, her character got the ending that made the most “sense.” It was shitty of them to try and use it as an excuse for all the torture porn that came before, and it felt as forced as the rest of the season… but she’s grown up with this character, it’s got to mean something to see her happy and recognized for her worth.

  2. Becks1 says:

    Cersei’s death was the one that bothered me the most. I got what people were saying about her behind crushed by her ambition etc, but her death was the worst choice in the final season IMO. (That and Tyrion’s monologues lol). She deserved a better death. The moment should have been bigger. I didn’t want to see her killed by a dragon, bc we saw that a lot by the end, but there should have been something more.

  3. Karen2 says:

    Also she is a seasoned actress who’s had lots of roles so my impression was she didn’t get all emo about this big paying one character. imo I think she should be saying ‘Did Gerard’s character really have to die in 300?’ A much greater let down.

    • Scal says:

      Except that’s based off a actual historical battle where Leonidas and nearly all the other Spartans died-so at least that’s keeping in line with history.

      But man Cersei did deserve a better death.

  4. Lala11_7 says:

    The ONLY issue I had with GOT this last season was that it should have been a full 10 episodes instead of the shortened schedule…if ALL of what went down had been stretched over 4 more episodes that would have allowed for unpacking and room for things to breath…folks wouldn’t have such an issue with it…

    That being said…for me…I will be FOREVER and ETERNALLY grateful for a television series that kept me emotionally, psychologically and intellectually invested for several years…

    • Becks1 says:

      I agree. I think even two more episodes would have made a huge difference.

      • Digital Unicorn says:

        I agree but we were never going to get that as the showrunners wanted out as soon as possible – they’ve got Star Wars to eff with now.

      • Mo says:

        I hope this is a lesson to HBO (and others) that once a series gets beloved, it needs to end well. D&D have now poisoned the well for not only their future projects, but also any of the GOT shows that may end up on HBO. This show needed the twelve seasons. I know they wanted to keep GRRM happy, but HBO shouldn’t have had him working on any other GOT projects until the books were completed.

        People may bitch about JK Rowling, but no one seems to recognize what an astonishing feat getting all those books in on time was. There was only a one year delay at one point when she had a baby. And she was a first time writer, depressed when she started the series.

      • detta says:

        Yep, say what you will about JKR, but professionally she has her shit together. With Harry Potter and now the Strike novels. According to her she has a plan for those and her (so far) track record indicates that she will actually deliver them in a decent timeframe, so that they can work with them for the tv series. It was really bad once GOT as a show was out there in the wilderness without a novel version to work with. And Lord knows if GRRM will ever actually finish the GOT books, so this might turn out a double negative whammy.

    • JanetDR says:

      And we need to know a bit more about what the deal was with the white walkers. I have nothing but questions.

  5. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    Out of all the characters, Cersei was a phenomenal villain. They painted her with depth and could take this literal royal bitch and show a softer side, a pained and tortured soul. And she portrayed these levels of Freud’s pyschic apparatus with such talent. So should she have exited under piles of stone, embracing her brother-lover and looking to him as he essentially directed her death as a calming mechanism? Laughably no. Monumental failure with her exit. But then again, all the characters had years of character growth only to see them instantly disappear into a dense fog lol. Still love the show though. 😀

    • Digital Unicorn says:

      ITA, Cersei was a great villain on paper but Lena really really brought her to life.

      Cersei never got the death she deserved and craved. She wanted to be a boss, was a boss but never got to go out as one.

  6. Sayrah says:

    Greatest show ever. I’ll miss it

  7. FHMom says:

    I prefer not to think about the ending of GOT. I love Lena, though. I rented ‘Fighting With My Family’, which recently came out on dvd. She’s barely recognizable. It’s worth a watch.

  8. Andrea says:

    Jaime’s character deserved a better ending!

    I wonder if Jerome Flynn in on that Whatsapp and she quietly ignores his posts?