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‘Game of Thrones’: George R.R. Martin Explains What Makes Cersei One of TV’s Most Compelling Characters — Watch

The series is set to return for its final season in 2019.

Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 7 finale Lena Headey

“Game of Thrones.”

Helen Sloan / HBO

PBS is spotlighting some of today’s most popular fiction with its new series “The Great American Read,” and this has led to insight into franchises like “Harry Potter” and now “Game of Thrones, “directly from author George R.R. Martin himself.

In the clip below, Martin goes into some of the influences that drive his novels. Of particular interest is Cersei Lannister, played by Lena Headey in the Emmy-winning HBO drama series. Her choices often cross into the villainous, but they are driven by her deeply felt need to protect her loved ones, especially her children.

“What I wanted to do was take the traditions of fantasy,” Martin said, and ground them in “real history.” The series draws its inspiration from real events, such as the Red Wedding, and its treatment of characters like Cersei, with a focus on understanding what motivates her scheming.

For more insight, check out the clip below. New episodes of “The Great American Read” air Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on PBS.

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