Besides Jon Snow's death, the other terrifying scene in the season 5 finale of HBO's "Game of Thrones" was Cersei's Walk of Shame.
The scene had Lena Headey's Cersei Lannister walking the streets of King's Landing naked, while a crowd insulted her and threw dirt and excrement. Although many believe Cersei deserved such a punishment for all the sins she had committed, actress Headey isn't one of them.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Headey said no one deserved to be treated like that.
"I don't think anyone deserves that treatment," Headey said. "She's been beaten and starved and humiliated. She thinks when she comes out and confesses that this is it—even when she's on her knees [confessing to the High Sparrow], she's partly lying. She thinks she's good to go. She has no idea what's coming when she walks out to the steps, or that they're going to shave her hair off like Aslan."
Through this scene, showrunners David Benioff and D. B. Weiss have succeeded in making some of the biggest Cersei detractors to sympathise with her plight.
Interestingly, the walk of shame or the walk of penance was a common punishment for adultery in France, and author George R R Martin had earlier revealed to the media outlet that Cersei's scene was based on Jane Shore, King Edward IV's mistress, who had to go through a similar punishment after the king died.
Explaining the necessity for such a scene, Martin explained that the naked walk shows that the sinner has nothing more to hide.
"There are symbolic aspects to the Walk of Atonement or the Walk of Shame," Martin explained in a behind-the-scenes featurette for the finale. "You're naked. You have nothing to hide. All concealment has been denied you. Your hair has all been shaved off. You're completely vulnerable. There's nothing more to hide ... That's the spiritual justification for this sort of thing."