*Warning: Spoilers ahead*
It’s not often that Cersei Lannister bends to the desires of others, but in the season eight premiere of Game of Thrones, we saw her do something totally out of character: She agreed to sleep with Euron Greyjoy. Lena Headey, who plays Cersei on the hit series, was just as surprised as we were, so much so that she tried to get the series creator to re-think the decision.
“I kept saying, ‘She wouldn’t, she wouldn’t,’ that she would keep fighting,” Headey said. “But [showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss] obviously know what they’re doing and were adamant Cersei would do what she had to do.”
Ultimately, however, Headey gave in. “There’s something to play in all of it,” she said. “Cersei is such the ultimate survivor in all of this. She refuses to fall to her knees. She goes to the place where she doesn’t want to go, which makes it more powerful sad because of who she’s not with.”
Pilou Asbaek, the actor who plays Euron, added that there was a lot of discussion about their characters consummation. “Cersei has only been with two people throughout the entire series—the fat king and her brother,” he said. “We had a lot of discussions. Would it be out of character for her to be with Greyjoy for power? We discussed it so much that we almost ended up going, ‘Maybe it’s too much.’ Then we decided to try it out and see if it works. Sometimes you have to show different sides of a character. You have to surprise yourself as an actor, but you also have to surprise yourself as a character.”
In all likelihood, Cersei slept with Euron because she knows she’s pregnant with Jaime’s (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) baby and wants to squash all the (true) incest rumors.
But will Euron live to see the birth of his (fake) child? All signs point to no.