When Is The Cersei Nude Scene On 'Game of Thrones'? Unfortunately, It's Coming Whether We Like It Or Not
How interesting have the religions on Game of Thrones been this season? The varying faith's There's no doubt in my mind that this has book fans wondering about an iconic "walk of shame" moment in George R. R. Martin's series — when is Cersei's nude scene on Game of Thrones going to occur? If you haven't read the series, take your direwolf for a walk because there are major book spoilers ahead!
In the books, after persecuting almost everyone in King's Landing with the help of the Faith, Cersei falsely accuses Margaery Tyrell of carrying on multiple extra-marital affairs (think Catherine Howard from Tudor history). When the truth gets out, the Faith arrest Cersei for capital crimes. They remove all body hair and force her to walk the streets of King's Landing naked. The "walk of atonement" is a punishment exclusively meant to humiliate women who are adulterers and whores. That's just wonderful.
Not only have set reports basically spoiled the inclusion Cersei's penance walk scene this season, but the show has been setting us up for this in the four episodes that have aired. First, the scene itself was foreshadowed in the season opener with Cersei's walk to visit her father's body. Then, following the return of Lancel Lannister, Cersei has armed the Faith Millitant and allowed them to persecute "sinners" that include gamblers, sex workers and their patrons, as well Margaery Tyrell's homosexual brother Loras. Isn't it disheartening when fantastical fictional worlds are horrifying in ways that mirror our own?
As for Cersei, the pieces are moving, so brace yourself for her big moment.
When Will It Happen?
By my calculations, the penance walk could occur as early as episode 8, "Hardhome," in which the official HBO press release states that "Cersei struggles." That's not exactly revealing, but it is a clue that the Queen Regent's rise to power has ended around that time. However, I think the walk of atonement will occur in episode 9. Game of Thrones is infamous for putting significant events from the books in the penultimate episodes of each season. Comparable episodes in previous seasons have included Ned Stark's beheading, the battle of Blackwater, the Red Wedding, and the Wildling attack on the Wall.
Should It Happen?
From a dramatic perspective, of course Cersei's actions deserve to backfire. Look, I love to watch Cersei snark at people with a glass of wine in hand. I actually think she would be a pretty good leader as well. She's had enough experience on the small council and as Queen. She's basically Hillary Clinton, right? (I'm kidding, #Hillary2016.) However, between false accusations and her own children's false birthright, Cersei Lannister is probably the biggest "sinner" in King's Landing. She has absolutely no right to cast stones and should suffer for her deeds.
Should It Happen This Way?
That said, I'm not so sure the punishment fits the crime. This show has a complicated history with female nudity. They practically coined the term "sexposition" — meaning scenes in which naked girls appear on screen to appease the audience's eyes while other characters dish out boring history. Often, characters are casually raping naked girls in the background of scenes. I understand the desire to portray a cruel and not "modern" world, but it has gotten to be a little much. For all her flaws, Cersei is one of the strongest female characters on the show and I hate to see her be degraded in this way.
Plus, by the looks of the set photos, Lena Headley is also covered in blood and "other" gross substances, indicating that she is assaulted on her walk. How many mutilated female bodies are we going to see on this show? I'm still not over Ros!
I know this is what happens in the books, but the Game of Thrones series has already departed from the books in many ways. There has to have been another, less graphically shocking, way to bring down the great Cersei Lannister. Couldn't Cersei be arrested? Couldn't she renege her title and position on the small council? Couldn't she be exhiled to Casterly Rock, where Margaery wanted her in the first place? Does Westeros have rehab facilities or Alcoholics Anonymous meetings they could force Cersei to attend? Nudity can't be the solution to every problem, guys. While there's clearly nothing to be done at this point, I want so much more from a show I love.
Images: Helen Sloan/HBO; Giphy (3)