3 Key Actors in the Penultimate Episode of Game of Thrones Discuss Their Fates

Burn, baby, burn.
Image: HBO

Whether you love or hate this season of Game of Thrones, you can’t deny that a lot is happening as the show approaches its conclusion. In the penultimate episode, “The Bells,” that was certainly the case, with several key characters meeting their ultimate fates. Thankfully, many of actors are on the record about those fates, and we’ve rounded up the best of their thoughts below.

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Let’s start with the biggest death in “The Bells”: Cersei Lannister, crushed by the rocks of the Red Keep in the arms of her brother, Jaime. Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, actress Lena Headey said she was not in love with what the show had in mind for Cersei and Jaime at first, but ultimately changed her mind.

“I think the important thing is that Jaime had a chance at freedom [with Brienne] and finally liberated himself from Cersei, which I think the audience will be thrilled about,” Headey said. “I think the biggest surprise is he came back for her. Cersei realizes just how she loves him and just how much he loves her. It’s the most authentic connection she’s ever had. Ultimately they belong together...It’s maybe the first time that Cersei has been at peace.”

Headey also addressed the concerns that Cersei was a little short-changed this season, after being such a driving force on the show in previous years. “She starts off in this final season trapped in a web of her own making, as is usual with Cersei,” she told the magazine. “She’s desperately unhappy and everything that’s happened becomes more real than it ever has for her. She starts to lose control of the situation. She’s destroyed every good alliance, connection, love in her life—she was always destined to be alone. And until the very, very last minute, she is, as ever, in denial of what’s actually happening.”

That includes when her trusted bodyguard, the Mountain, is confronted by his brother, the Hound. Not even the command of Queen Cersei herself can stop the brothers from a fight decades in the making. Actor Rory McCann, who plays the Hound, spoke to Entertainment Weekly about the showdown and the fact that he and his brother die together in the end.

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“It’s a glorious death. He’s laughing at it,” McCann said. “The Hound can see that [the Mountain] can’t be killed by sticking a dagger in his eye. He has to be burnt. Of all the things Cleagane has to do, he has to go into the fire. That’s the sacrifice. But his pain is over.”

The pain is also over for Varys, played by Conleth Hill. Varys was the first major casualty in “The Bells,” and, in his interview with Entertainment Weekly, Hill made it sound like he was the most shaken by his character’s final exit.

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“He was absolutely true to his word the whole way through,” Hill said. “All he wanted was the right person on the throne and a fair person on the throne. He said it so many times in the scripts. I don’t have the distraction of love or desire or any of those things. And the people he needed to see clearly were both in love. So that makes perfect sense. And now with hindsight, I’m OK, but I really was inconsolable [when I found out].”

Read much more from Lena Headey, Rory McCann, and Conleth Hill in the above links.

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Germain Lussier

Entertainment Reporter for io9/Gizmodo