June 15, 2015 1:23 PM EDT

In one of the more brutal events of Sunday night’s Game of Thrones finale, Cersei (Lena Headey) was forced to a perform a cruel Walk of Shame that saw her stripped naked and harassed by a vicious mob.

“They’re trying to shame her,” showrunner David Benioff told Entertainment Weekly about the scene. “They’re trying to humiliate her as much as they possibly can. It’s supposed to be like a scene from a nightmare. And the nightmare is you’re walking naked in front of a city of people. Walking and wearing underwear wouldn’t be as much of a nightmare.”

The scene, in which Headey used a body double, does have some historical context — it was based on what happened to Jane Shore, a mistress of King Edward IV who in the 1400s was forced to undergo a similar walk through London (at least she had some clothing, however).

Read the full interview at EW.com.

Write to Nolan Feeney at nolan.feeney@time.com.

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