25 reasons we love Cersei Lannister on Game of Thrones

7 of 26

The walk of atonement

Even Cersei breaks eventually and confesses to the High Sparrow. Of course, she doesn’t confess everything. As punishment, she makes a walk, naked, with her hair shorn, through King’s Landing from the Sept of Baelor all the way to the Red Keep.

Smallfolk yell at her, throw things at her, so on, so forth. Also, she has to listen to Septa Unella ring that infernal bell and yell “Shame!” every so often.

And Cersei Lannister keeps walking, because she gets to see her son at the end of it all and because she has a chance for some revenge. By the time she reaches the keep, her feet have started bleeding. She actually starts breaking down just as she sees the doors, though she doesn’t really shed a tear.

The walk represents, in a sense, the death of a part of Cersei. Not the entirety of her character — but rather the death of some of her inhibitions. She has Ser Robert Strong on her side, as well as Qyburn, and now the idea of revenge burns most prominently in her heart.

To borrow from Maester Aemon, the walk killed the girl and let the queen be born. Payback for this humiliation fuels her to destroy the Sept of Baelor, to rise as Queen of the Seven Kingdoms, and, in some ways, to destroy everyone who might ever have the opportunity to do to this to her again.

And, somehow, it’s a moment of strength. She keeps walking until she returns to somewhere that lets her start plotting revenge.