[Editor’s note: The following post contains spoilers for “Game of Thrones” Season 8.]
When HBO’s seminal fantasy series “Game of Thrones” wrapped up its truncated final season last month, the show inevitably ended with a slew of deaths for some of its signature characters, including Lena Headey’s embattled Queen Cersei, who ended her eight-season run in tragic (and, as some fans noted, sort of anticlimactic) fashion.
Despite making a last minute attempt to escape King’s Landing, suddenly turned into a flamed-out battleground after years of threats, Headey’s Cersei ultimately perished in the bowels of the city, clinging to her brother and lover Jaime as everything literally collapsed around them. It was quick, sad, and a touch confusing, and perhaps not the best way to send out two of the series’ most complex characters.
In a new interview with The Guardian, Headey herself admitted that she has her her “own gripes” with the way the series wrapped. She told the outlet, “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.”
Asked what she would tell the showrunners during said drinking outing, and the British actress was succinct: “I will say I wanted a better death.” She added, “Obviously you dream of your death. You could go in any way on that show. So I was kind of gutted.”
She’s hardly the only one who has opened up about her issues with how the series ended, particularly as it applies to her own character. As both fans of the show and the stars who appeared in the hit series continue to grapple with the end of the HBO juggernaut, other big names have spoken out about their final season feelings.
Charles Dance, who played Cersei’s father Tywin Lannister, admitted the show’s finale “confused” him. Conleth Hill, who starred as Varys on the series, went viral last month for saying he felt the “last couple seasons” of the show were frustrating. For her part, Maisie Williams said she was sad that her Arya Stark didn’t get to kill Cersei, as it had been her “drive” for so much of the show.
And yet, for all the backlash — including a fan-launched petition demanding that the final season be remade — at least Headey is still keeping a measured outlook on the show’s conclusion. As she told The Guardian of the show’s creators, “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.”