Lena Headey’s Cersei Lannister is breaking free in “Game of Thrones.”

With her youngest son, Tommen, the King, and her father, Tywin Lannister, (one of the last of the old generation) dead, Cersei has empowered herself and is (not so) quietly ruling Westeros.

“It was weird going back and not being with any of the actors we’ve spent four years with really, but it’s almost like letting this sort of horse off a leash — someone that’s been captured and tethered and then she’s like free, and there’s all sorts of madness going on and a sense of this newfound freedom bringing a bit of craziness and not really knowing where to run, but just f**king running because you can,” Lena told Access Hollywood of what it was like playing Cersei when she returned to the “Game of Thrones” set last year to film Season 5.

Running free in the capital this season on the HBO show has taken Cersei to the role of Hand of the King (not officially). Resistance, though, came quickly from Tywin’s brother, her Uncle Kevan Lannister, who refused to recognize her as anything more than the “Queen Mother.” According to Lena, though, Cersei was able to brush the insult off.

“I think she thinks he is a kind of weed, you know?” Lena said. “I don’t think she holds much respect for him anyway. Obviously … there are others that call her that, that make her more infuriated, but I think to her, Kevan’s kind of like an irritating mosquito.”

Kevan may be irritating, but Margaery Tyrell has Cersei fuming. Since the fair Margaery arrived on the scene in King’s Landing, she’s been a honey-coated thorn in Cersei’s side.

“I think that the fact that she’s younger irritates her and the fact that Margaery’s got a very strong mind,” Lena said, when Access asked what is at the root of Cersei’s dislike for the highborn Tyrell. “She seems to have more freedom than Cersei in many ways, I think. She’s got a grandmother who is very woman-centric.

“Olenna kind of breathes life into Margaery, whereas Tywin would suffocate it from [Cersei], so I think there’s envy in that relationship,” Lena continued. “Cersei never had a mother. I think she feels that’s incredibly unfair, and you know, [Margaery] seduced Joffrey and that boiled her blood and she’s now in the process of seducing Tommen, so it’s kind of – she’s usurping her in every way of being a woman.”

Had her own mother, Joanna Lannister lived, would Cersei have been different?

“I think really, really different, you know, dependent on the female, what her mother was like. We don’t know what her mother was like,” Lena said. “Had she had a soft… supportive, encouraging, nurturing mother, who knows? But she was raised by Tywin, who doesn’t particularly respect or value women.”

She may not have gotten the respect she wanted from her father, but Cersei got her father’s Lannister ambition.

“I think she’d like to sit on the throne, herself, if that was possible,” Lena said of what Cersei ultimately wants. “I think she just wants to be recognized for who she is. She’s never been seen for who she is, but she’s been seen as this kind of beautiful, spoilt queen, and I think she’s desperate to be seen for a smart, powerful woman and to make sure her remaining children don’t die.”

Maggie the Frog’s prophecy from the Season 5 opening flashback sequence has stayed with Cersei all her life.

“I think it haunts her. I think like most things we fear in life as human beings, they come and go and I think obviously, when Joffrey died, it was a moment of, ‘Perhaps this is it. There’s something in it,'” Lena said. “She’s carried that around for sure her whole life, and I remember, I think it was Season 2, when she confessed to Tyrion, she’s like, ‘Maybe this is all happening because I’m being punished for my relationship with Jaime,’ when she realizes what Joffrey is about, really.”


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