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Game of Thrones Showrunner Explains What Happened to Cersei

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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.

See The Real-Life People Who Inspired Game of Thrones Characters

HBO; Getty Images
From left: Cersei and Margaret of AnjouHBO; Getty Images
From Left: Khaleesi and Queen Elizabeth I.HBO; Getty Images
From Left: Melisandre and Bloody MaryHelen Sloan—HBO; Getty Images
From left: Talisa Stark and Anne Boleyn.Helen Sloan—HBO; Getty Images
From left: Brienne of Tarth and Joan of Arc.HBO; DeAgostini—Getty Images
Portrait of Henry VIII. By Hans Holbein Date c. 1540. Henry VIII (28 June 1491 - 28 January 1547) was King of England from 21 April 1509 until his death. He was also Lord of Ireland (later King of Ireland) and claimant to the Kingdom of France.
From left: Henry VIII and Robert Baratheon.HBO; Getty Images
From left: Joffrey and Caligula.HBO; De Agostini—Getty Images

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