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PODCAST | With Cersei’s fate revealed, what does this mean for the Iron Throne? As the “Game of Thrones finale looms ahead who will end up on the Throne now?
PLUS: More Game of Thrones gaffes revealed! Are these part of a larger issue?
AND: We welcome the Co-director of ‘Eye of the Beholder: The Art of Dungeons & Dragons,’ Brian Stillman
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Segment 1: Game of Thrones
Cersei’s fate revealed on ‘Game of Thrones,’ what’s next?
Game of Thrones: Lena Headey reacts to that King’s Landing battle ending via EW.com
Lena Headey: “It’s maybe the first time that Cersei has been at peace.”
The queen is dead.
Cersei Lannister perished in the penultimate episode of HBO’s Game of Thrones, crushed in the Red Keep’s cellar as the structure collapsed under the bombardment Daenerys’ dragon attack. The ruthless and uncompromising survivalist died while embracing her brother and lover Jaime Lannister, crushed by the collapse of a building that was the symbol of her power. Cersei managed to outwit her enemies time and time again on the acclaimed drama series. Yet each brutal maneuver that bought her a bit more time or power also cost her allies until the queen was alone and overrun.
“She starts off in this final season trapped in a web of her own making, as is usual with Cersei,” Headey says. “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.”
Headey says her reaction that final scene was “mixed” at first. “I wanted her to have some big piece or fight with somebody,” she says.
But then the actress talked over the scene with Coster-Waldau and came around to appreciating Cersei’s final moments. “The more we talked about it the more it seemed like the perfect end for her,” Headey says. “They came into the world together and now they leave together.”
“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 adds. “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.”
In that last moment, staring at her brother, waiting for the end, Headey says, “It’s maybe the first time that Cersei has been at peace.”
7 times Game of Thrones foreshadowed Daenerys’ dark turn
In Game of Thrones penultimate episode, Daenerys Targaryen attacked the city of King’s Landing to win the Iron Throne and opted to kill thousands of innocent civilians in the process. The move followed one devastating setback after another for Daenerys, and fans have been debating her dark turn. GoT has been laying the groundwork for this move for years, and there are several scenes that either foreshadow Dany burning down a city or strongly hint that such a rampage is not outside her comfort zone — if not her destiny — just as her Mad King father attempted decades ago.
The prophecy: In the House of the Undying in season 2, Dany has a vision of walking through the Red Keep’s throne room. The ceiling is broken open. Fans assumed the white particles falling into the room was snow and that winter had come to the south. In Sunday’s episode, Dany is finally taking King’s Landing and buildings are indeed being destroyed. But it’s not snowing. It’s raining ash from her dragon’s destruction. The season 2 scene is a vision of Daenerys taking King’s Landing only by becoming the “queen of the ashes.” In the same season she also literally declares, “We will lay waste to armies and burn cities to the ground.”
The Mass Crucifixion: On the road to Meereen in season 4, Dany finds 163 slave children crucified. She decides to crucify 163 masters in retaliation without regard for their individual guilt or innocence. Ser Barristan advises her to be more merciful. Later, a son of one of the crucified men insists his father was actually a good man who lobbied against slavery and didn’t deserve his fate.
Revenge for Ser Barristan. Also in season 4, after Ser Barristan was killed by the terror group Sons of the Harpy. In response, Dany brings three masters to her dragonpit. All swear they have nothing to do with the rogue group. She burns one of them alive to send a message to the others. Was the man guilty? Innocent? We don’t know and Dany didn’t seem to mind not knowing.
The Mass Burning: In season 6 in Vaes Dothrak, as punishment for taking her prisoner and refusing her demands, Dany burns all the khals alive and has the remaining Dothraki promise — echoing Khal Drogo in season 1 — that they’ll “kill my enemies in their iron suits and tear down their stone houses.”
Meereen Revenge Plan: Also in season 6, Dany returns to Meereen and finds the city under attack from the slave cities. This is her first instinct: “I will crucify the masters. I will set their fleets afire. I will kill every last one of their soldiers and return their cities to the dirt. That’s my plan.” Tyrion talks her out of it.
Burning the Tarleys: In season 7, Dany is given the choice of killing or imprisoning Lord Tarly and his son Dickon after a battle and decides to execute both against the advice of Tyrion.
King’s Landing Battle Plan: In season 8, Dany is repeatedly urged to not attack King’s Landing to overthrow Cersei. She never seems to be entirely against the idea, but rather agrees with her advisors that it’s rather poor public relations strategy.
Of course, the show has also presented Dany’s actions as heroic even when they’re brutal. How we’ve processed her behavior is partly determined by the show’s performances, direction, music and reactions of the other characters. And we know — or think we know — that Daenerys is largely motivated by good intentions based on so many moments over the years where she’s been presented with a moral choice.
Dany’s benevolent choices tend to be made when she is feeling calm and secure, however. The show has pretty consistently shown that when Daenerys is angered she can rather quickly leap to “kill them all” as the best solution regardless of whether it’s entirely justified or not. Ultimately the show has used the final season to put its heroine to the ultimate test and bring the question of her morality into the foreground. When Dany decides to “rule by fear” in episode 5 she’s making a choice to not simply claim the Iron Throne, but make an example of King’s Landing’s resistance and all those who might doubt her claim, a claim that she now knows isn’t the strongest one for the throne.
The Hound actor Rory McCann breaks down that Game of Thrones Cleganebowl fight
Cleganebowl happened. The Hound vs. The Mountain. Sandor took on his ghoulish undead murderous older brother Gregor in a long-awaited fight that’s seemingly been destined since they were children. Did you bet on The Hound to win? The Mountain? Turns out, the correct answer — appropriately enough for Game of Thrones — was “neither.” Both men perished. Yet The Hound was victorious on a personal level, confronting his terror of fire and concluding the fight on his own terms, carrying his brother into the flames, a literal pyrrhic victory.
“It’s a glorious death. He’s laughing at it. 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.”
Segment 2: Game of Thrones Gaffes
Another ‘Game of Thrones’ gaffe: Jaime Lannister grows his hand back
Just as “Coffeegate” was about to simmer down, “Game of Thrones” is serving up another hot screwup.
Fresh off the anachronistic appearance of a modern-day java cup in Episode 4, the final season of HBO’s hit fantasy drama’s latest editing mistake: Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) appears to have miraculously grown back his severed hand in a promo image from Episode 5, “The Bells.”
True fans will recall that this legendary swordsman had to relearn the art of combat after his right hand was chopped off in Season 3.
What looks like a shot from Jaime’s final scene — in which he embraces Cersei (Lena Headey) as the Red Keep goes up in flames — seems to contradict episode history. (An HBO rep tells The Post that Jaime’s right hand did not appear on air but the photo making the rounds on social media was possibly distributed by the digital team: “it’s still being researched.”)
Still, eagle-eyed fans took to Twitter to do what they do best — pound out keyboard cries of outrage aimed at show-runners D.B. Weiss and David Benioff.
“Jaime’s hand magically healed in Episode 5,” one fan groused in a since-deleted tweet. “As if we needed any more proof D&D simply stopped caring about GoT a log [sic] time ago.”
The duo also took the heat last week after the Starbucks-like paper cup was accidentally left in a scene.
“The latte that appeared in the episode was a mistake. Daenerys had ordered an herbal tea,” HBO sarcastically conceded the morning after. The network confirmed to The Post that the cup was digitally edited out of the scene on the HBO Go app.
Spotlight: Brian Stillman
WHAT DO YOU DO?
Co-director (along with Kelley Slagle) of ‘Eye of the Beholder: The Art of Dungeons & Dragons,’ a consultant on Netflix’s ‘The Toys that Made Us,’ and co-founder of X-Ray Films. NYC based.
WHAT DO YOU GOT GOING ON THESE DAYS?
‘EOTB’ ! Out May 14th everywhere you buy/rent movies (iTunes, Amazon, Xbox, etc).
It’s deep-dive into the origins of the monsters, heroes, and adventures that the game brings to life (such as one artist’s practice of basing all of his monsters on his selfies), the film features more than forty interviews with D&D and fantasy illustration heavyweights including Larry Elmore, Jeff Easly, Clyde Caldwell, Brom, Margaret Weiss, and more, discussing the culture of the D&D creators vs. management, their historical/artistic influences, and more.
Comes at a really interesting time when D&D is becoming more and more mainstream – oddly so. Brian can speak to this, how streaming has affected this, and other trends in gaming.
GOT A HOT TAKE?
- Fantasy art
- D & D
‘Game of Thrones’ star Sophie Turner blames Emilia Clarke for coffee gaffe
She’s the Mother of Flagons.
“Game of Thrones” actress Emilia Clarke — who portrays Mother of Dragons Daenerys Targaryen on the hit HBO series — is responsible for the modern-day coffee cup that sneaked its way into a scene in last week’s episode, according to co-star Sophie Turner.
Turner, who was implicated in the scandal because she was previously photographed on set with a similar cup, threw her fellow actor under the proverbial horse cart during an appearance on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” on Friday night.
“Let’s clear this up. That’s in a different episode,” Turner said of the on-set snap, which shows her holding a coffee cup while posing with actress Bella Ramsey.
“And also, we all have the same cups for all of our water and tea and everything, so I’m gonna just go with, I mean look who it’s placed in front of. Emilia Clarke. She’s the culprit.”
The steaming controversy fomented last Sunday when a paper coffee cup made a guest cameo on the fourth episode of the medieval fantasy show’s final season, entitled “The Last of the Starks.”
The wild anachronism sent fans into a tizzy online shortly after they spotted it during the episode’s 17th minute. HBO later digitally removed the cup, originally thought to be a grande Starbucks but later revealed as a simple craft-services beverage, from a version of the episode view-able on the HBO Go app.
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NEXT WEEK: Did the series finale live up to the hype? We go full review of Game of Thrones.
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