TV & Movies

Game of Thrones' Lena Headey Says Goodbye to Cersei Lannister: 'I Loved Her'

WARNING: The following story contains spoilers from season 8 of Game of Thrones.

Cersei Lannister’s rule is over — and the actress who played her for eight seasons is bidding her an emotional farewell.

Lena Headey dedicated a heartfelt post to her Game of Thrones character on Instagram after the ruthless queen perished in the series’ penultimate episode, crushed in the Red Keep’s cellar as the structure collapsed under the bombardment of Daenerys Targaryen’s (Emilia Clarke) dragon attack. She died in the arms of her twin brother and lover, Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau).

“There she goes,” Headey wrote. “It’s been fun, and bonkers. I loved her. I am grateful for the opportunity. Massively thankful for your encouraging and supportive love along the way. And now her watch is ended (I know she’d never make it, Nights watch wouldn’t have her… but still.)”

Headey, 45, also posted a behind-the-scenes video of her goofing around with Pilou Asbaek, who played Euron Greyjoy, and Anton Lesser, who played Qyburn. Both characters also died in “The Bells.”

Last but not least, she dedicated posts to two more of her fellow deceased characters: Jaime and Missandei of Naath (Nathalie Emmanuel), who was decapitated earlier this season on Cersei’s orders.

“Beautiful @nathalieemmanuel,” she wrote. “You represented hope and true strength. I didn’t like that day up there.”

In honor of Coster-Waldau, Headey posted a hilarious behind-the-scenes selfie of the two.

“When @nikolajwilliamcw and I wore jellyfish…” she wrote. “I f—ing love you ya big weirdo.”

Coster-Waldau, 48, also shared a sweet tribute to their characters.

“The best, sweetest most wonderful sister from another mother @iamlenaheadey,” he captioned a series of silly selfies of the two filming their final scene together. “That was a fun decade.”

Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, Headey opened up about Cersei’s demise, admitting her reaction to the character’s final scene was “mixed” at first.

“I wanted her to have some big piece or fight with somebody,” she said.

But when she talked over the scene with Coster-Waldau she changed her mind. Trapped in an underground passageway, emotional but resigned to their doomed fate, Jaime uttered his final words to Cersei as the walls around them collapsed: “Nothing else matters, only us.”

“The more we talked about it the more it seemed like the perfect end for her,” Headey said. “They came into the world together and now they leave together.”

And for Headey and Coster-Waldau, saying goodbye to their characters was surprisingly emotional.

“I told Nikolaj, ‘I’ve never seen you so sweet and sentimental,’ ” Headey recalled. “And he’s all, ‘What’s happening to me?’ We kept cuddling going, ‘I love you.’ It was weird.”

“There’s a sense of loss that nothing like this will ever happen again,” she added. “There was a great sense of grief and an enormous amount of gratitude going on.”

The series finale of Game of Thrones airs this Sunday at 9 p.m. ET on HBO.

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