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[Book Spoilers] Cersei Lannister Changes.


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#61 Currawong

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 01:22 AM

I really think it's bad not to read the books if you're a main actor in its television series, especially since it's supposed to be a somewhat faithful adaptation of the books. And Cersei is Cersei, she's crazy in books 1-5.


Please folks - understand one very elementary, basic point. The actor's job is to deliver ON THE SCRIPT, not what he / she thinks "might" or "should" have happened, or what they think the original author may have written or intended. The actors cannot be second or third guessing the writers and producers. That is why so many of the actors do not read the books until after they have read the scripts, and some (like Charles Dance) do not read the books at all.

Charles Dance explains it very well in his interview, linked to via this site. He says that in the case of the writing for this show, he didn't need to go and plough through the books, because he wasn't faced with the task any actor dreads - a terrible script and trying to make a silk purse out of a pig's ear (his words). Seeing his stellar performance as Tywin, does anyone really think he could have somehow "improved" it by reading the books? I doubt it! Other actors have explained their job in similar terms - that they have to understand what they have to deliver via the scripts, and thus the books are there to provide further background or fill out any further details. And a few actors have said they have read all the books.

There is no right or wrong way to approach the task of acting: if Michelle or Lena are delivering on the characters as written in the scripts, then they are doing their jobs. And they are clearly doing them extremely well.

Edited by Currawong, 17 May 2012 - 01:23 AM.


#62 SerMixalot

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 06:03 AM

If he read the books perhaps he wouldnt have smiled or laughed, but I see your point.

#63 Currawong

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 08:13 AM

If he read the books perhaps he wouldnt have smiled or laughed, but I see your point.


Yes, but we don't know what was written in the scripts or what was required by the relevant director! That is what I was trying to explain, so if the script or the director require that there is a slight smile or laugh, or the scene as written works better that way, then it is up to Charles Dance to deliver it as a "Tywin" type smile or laugh. It is irrelevant whether 'the books' say that he never smiled or laughed - it is what the script and director/s say.

#64 RoamingRonin

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 10:00 AM

Poor Jack Gleeson taking the fall for everybody . /frown5.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':frown5:' />

Yea I know, but he's young, adaptable and his screen time is limited to about this time next season. But Charles Dance is established as an actor and they may not have got Lena Headey to play straight up Cersei's book character.


Well, I don't think it's about their reputations: Lena Headey has already said that people won't let her sign their books during meet and greets. I think it's mostly so people will still be willing to watch them without utter loathing. Joffery dies within the next two seasons and so does Tywin. But Cersei will be around much longer.

#65 ThePrinceOfSunspear

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 10:06 AM

I'd say that Lena H has been doing a fantastic job as an actress. Even with the last episode....

The problem is the writers and people who are coming up with these ridiculous scenes.

#66 Raksha the Demon

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 10:59 AM

Well, I don't think it's about their reputations: Lena Headey has already said that people won't let her sign their books during meet and greets. I think it's mostly so people will still be willing to watch them without utter loathing. Joffery dies within the next two seasons and so does Tywin. But Cersei will be around much longer.



I don't blame Ms. Headey for TV-Cersei; she didn't write the script; it's indeed her job to act the part she's given in the context of how she is directed. The books are not as relevant to that job as is the script and the direction. And how rude of people not to let her sign their books; Lena Headey is not an incest-committing sinister queen, she's an actress who portrays one on television.

#67 Ser Giant

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 12:03 PM

They're fans, short for fanatics. It's the sign of great character development that people won't let "Cersei" sign their book/item/whatever. I would let anybody from the author to the lowest paid extra sign my book(except for Ros of course:-)), every character is important.

Lena has been perfect with her acting in this series, not really sure why she is being questioned. If you have problems with the script/direction that's fine, but the actor playing the part is doing a better job than anyone else they could have gotten(same goes for 90% or more of the entire cast).

Edited by Ser Giant, 17 May 2012 - 12:05 PM.


#68 Librarian of Lannisport

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 04:38 PM

I know this concept always comes up, but Cersei was groomed by Tywin from the age of 6 or 7 to marry Rhaegar, and she was bitterly disappointed it didn't happen. To think that she was traded like a mule to Robert is, I think, a bit of a fantasy created by an unreliable narrator. I'm quite certain from what we see of her character she was very happy at 17 to become queen, her attitude changing after she was securely married. And this is why I don't like the sympathetic portrait being painted of Cersei. She was a ruthless 9 year old, she was a ruthless 15 year old, she was a ruthless 17 year old. And I don't think she was less ruthless in the 15 years between her marriage and the start of AGOT. I find the softening of her character unbelievable - my reading of her discussion with Sansa after Sansa's "flowering" in the book was much, much more cynical and brutal than the wiser-older-woman portrayal in Episode 7.


Actually, that was the point I was trying to make. Up until Cersei became a POV character, I had some sympathy for her. I could even make an assumption that she was fairly intelligent. But once she became POV, I was appalled at her behavior. To me, it says a lot of GRRM's abilities to play ping-pong with our opinion of character. /bowdown.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':bowdown:' />

What I love about both the books and that scene was that it drove home to me what a good ACTRESS Cersei (no Lena H.) is in the books. She's very good at portraying emotions and sympathy that she doesn't feel. If anything, it makes me realize how manipulative she is - a characteristic very common in successful psychopaths. i.e. the ones not in prison.

#69 Karish Stark

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 11:39 PM

Actually, that was the point I was trying to make. Up until Cersei became a POV character, I had some sympathy for her. I could even make an assumption that she was fairly intelligent. But once she became POV, I was appalled at her behavior. To me, it says a lot of GRRM's abilities to play ping-pong with our opinion of character. /bowdown.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':bowdown:' /> What I love about both the books and that scene was that it drove home to me what a good ACTRESS Cersei (no Lena H.) is in the books. She's very good at portraying emotions and sympathy that she doesn't feel. If anything, it makes me realize how manipulative she is - a characteristic very common in successful psychopaths. i.e. the ones not in prison.


I completely agree with you. Cersei is manipulative from the start but we don't fully realize that until we get a glimpse into her mind.

Which now makes me wonder if the show is also setting it up this way (showing her as emotional now and then later revealing most of it was an act). In that case I won't be as disappointed with how she is being portrayed now.

IMO, Cersei was mean and not entirely sane from a younger age (not sure of the exact age), given the way she treated Tyrion the baby and her friend Melara Hetherspoon (if she actually did kill her). I guess I just cant understand how an older, normal, sane sister can treat a baby sibling that way.



#70 Sirielle

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Posted 19 May 2012 - 07:14 PM

Same goes for that change in first season about her child with Robert that she supposedly lost when in the book she aborted.While I understand why they would change it for the sake of the show, I didn't like it because Cersei's deep hatred for Robert is an important and interesting part of her character which is not groundless ; he was unfaithful, she never wanted to marry him, she wanted Rhaegar, apparently she was maritally raped by him.

I believe she was lying to Catelyn about loosing a baby. Her sympathy to Cat and Bran wasn't genuine at all. It was all a game to see if Cat or anyone suspects anything and to turn possible suspicions away. I thought it was obvious lie for viewers. Also she says she loved Robert once, yet he ruined it all right during their wedding night. Of course she loved Rhaegar more, as we know from books, but still Robert was a likable here in the moment she married him.

#71 Fantôme

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Posted 19 May 2012 - 07:33 PM

I believe she was lying to Catelyn about loosing a baby. Her sympathy to Cat and Bran wasn't genuine at all. It was all a game to see if Cat or anyone suspects anything and to turn possible suspicions away. I thought it was obvious lie for viewers. Also she says she loved Robert once, yet he ruined it all right during their wedding night. Of course she loved Rhaegar more, as we know from books, but still Robert was a likable here in the moment she married him.


She never says she loved Robert in the books iirc. Only in the show. Yes she mentions him saying Lyanna' name during their wedding night when Ned asks why she hates him but I don't think she says she ever loved him. All of that is only in the show.

About the lost baby thing, she mentions it again in her conversation with Robert in I forgot which episode (but there's only one real conversation between them so). Weird if it was really made up. And it doesn't really help a non reader to think it's a lie.

#72 atia-

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Posted 19 May 2012 - 07:34 PM

Well, I don't think it's about their reputations: Lena Headey has already said that people won't let her sign their books during meet and greets. I think it's mostly so people will still be willing to watch them without utter loathing. Joffery dies within the next two seasons and so does Tywin. But Cersei will be around much longer.


This and the combination of wanting to focus on JOFFREY THE EVIL KID VILLAIN are probably the reasons Cersei's evilness has been played down a lot. When Joffrey dies they'll probably let Cersei go wild. I'd like to see a little more of that side though beforehand, however. What is the worst thing she's even done in the series so far, anyway, besides being a Lannister? She ordered Lady killed....she's been kind of mean to Tyrion.....she's ripped up a few letters...am I missing anything? In the books, we were able to see how nasty she was through a lot of her interactions with Sansa. We saw a little of that this season, but nothing too memorable. I wonder if she'll tell Sansa during the Blackwater when she was drunk how one of her greatest weapons is between her legs, or whatever she said. That whole conversation was pretty insightful of who Cersei really is.

#73 Sirielle

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Posted 19 May 2012 - 07:47 PM

About the lost baby thing, she mentions it again in her conversation with Robert in I forgot which episode (but there's only one real conversation between them so).

You must be right, that's possible her affection to Robert wasn't mentioned in the books. I remember the early events better from the series than the book ones, got to re-read /smile.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':)' /> Still after seeing what really has happened viewers should know she isn't genuine with her confession to Cat.

#74 atia-

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Posted 19 May 2012 - 07:50 PM

It's probably easier for the writers to kind of replace Rhaegar with Robert...Cersei always pretended it was Rhaegar when Robert slept with her, and they were both young, brave, and handsome. Some of the ways she talks about Robert in the show, I think, "That's what she thought about Rhaegar...not Robert."

#75 Fantôme

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Posted 19 May 2012 - 08:01 PM

You must be right, that's possible her affection to Robert wasn't mentioned in the books. I remember the early events better from the series than the book ones, got to re-read /smile.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':)' /> Still after seeing what really has happened viewers should know she isn't genuine with her confession to Cat.


You mean Jaime pushing Bran out of the window? They're going to know her sympathy is probably not genuine but they won't necessarily doubt the story about her lost child. Especially not if she mentions it again to Robert himself. In fact I don't think it's even supposed to be a lie, just a deviation from the books.

#76 bloodymime

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Posted 20 May 2012 - 03:10 PM

It's strange, I can see the changes trying to make Cersei more likable yet I already dislike show Cersei so much more than I ever had the Cersei of the books and there's no real reason for it it's just a complete visceral loathing of her. Is she really so limited in her comebacks to Tyrion in the books? All she ever says is what a clever little dwarf you are. Add the actresses voice to her repetitive banter and

Wait that's it, it's completely the actress, can't stand her voice and that stupid half smile.