Lena Headey is no stranger to playing tough, strong ladies on screen. Before her turn on Game of Thrones, she was Sarah Connor in Fox's The Terminator series based on the character, the main villain Mama from the film Dredd, and Queen Gorgo, the wife of Leonidas in 300 and the strong heart of the film in the end.
But her time as Cersei Lannister on Game of Thrones will go down as her greatest role with fans, with the final season set up to give the character her moment of devious triumph — and likely death.
Fans are well aware of this and are using the time before the premiere to celebrate Headey, Cersei, and everything she's come to represent on the show. She might be pure evil on the show, but fans can't help but dump praise her way.
Ten best Game of Thrones performances (series regulars only):— Todd VanDerWerff (@tvoti) April 12, 2019
1.) Lena Headey
2.) Maisie Williams
3.) Peter Dinklage
4.) Sophie Turner
5.) Alfie Allen
6.) Aiden Gillan
7.) Stephen Dillane
8.) Nikolaj Coster-Waldau
9.) Michelle Fairley
10.) Gwendoline Christie
TV critic Todd VanDerWerff took time to kick some praise off for the actress, labeling her time as Cersei the greatest performance among the regulars on the series. That's far from the first time this has been said, but it is notable going into the final season. For many, she carries the show while the CGI and set pieces roll elsewhere.
"[Wow] lena headey's back must be tired from carrying that entire f—ing show on her shoulders," one fan wrote on Twitter.
lena Headey to got cast when new season starts pic.twitter.com/Ge2RBQlVol— asma' (@luqui_rf) April 14, 2019
Others took the moment to point out that Headey has not won any major awards for her role on the fantasy epic. She has been nominated for only one Golden Globe, four Emmys, and a slew of Screen Actors Guild Award nominations alongside the rest of the Game of Thrones cast. But no wins to this point.
"[Why] doesn't lena headey have 7 [Emmys] already? one for each iconic portrayal of [Cersei] in every single season of [Game of Thrones]. stop sleeping on this fantastic woman and give her the recognition she rightfully deserves," one frustrated fan wrote on Twitter.
why doesn’t lena headey have 7 emmys already? one for each iconic portrayal of #cersei in every single season of got. stop sleeping on this fantastic woman and give her the recognition she rightfully deserves pic.twitter.com/m8U2Nb4YqQ— evi (@aryasloki) April 10, 2019
"[Her] reaction to joffrey and myrcella's death, the walk of shame, blowing up the sept, getting revenge on ellaria sand and much more — everything lena headey did was absolutely mind blowing, always a classy performance, how is it that she got paid dust is beyond me," another frustrated fan wrote.
The final season of the series could be the moment where it gets a chance at glory at the major awards. And most fans can hope that Headey will get the recognition she deserves for her iconic presence in the series.
Hopefully, the actress herself has returned from being on the mend. Headey was too sick to attend the premiere of Game of Thrones season 8 back at the beginning of April.
"Gutted. Heartbroken and f—ed off, still doesn't cover my disappointment at not being able to travel to NYC for our final prem tonight. I f–ing hate being sick and the timing of this is a s— bag. But .. S8 is the t—ts and so are all my cast mates and crew mates and creators... so RIDE FORTH INTO THE NIGHT AND CREATE MAYHEM ... Love you beauties," Headey wrote on Instagram at the time.
And Lena Headey is just pic.twitter.com/3zioYH0rH4— Concentrated Wildfire (@BkBap) April 6, 2019
Game of Thrones will premiere on Sunday at 9 p.m. ET on HBO.