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The brains behind HBO’s Game of Thrones have revealed some of the key threads that will weave through next season.

In an interview with Deadline, showrunners David Benioff and D.B Weiss singled out Cersei as one of the central pillars supporting season 7’s story arc.

With all three of her children now dead, the fortune teller’s prophecy has come true. According to Weiss, this is going to prompt a shift in her character.

“Not to give a frustrating answer,” he said, “but that’s what so much of next season is going to be about; finding out what Cersei’s mind-set is. Who is she?

“While Cersei has certainly done a lot of horrible things in her life and she could be a very cruel person, the one thing that was redemptive about her was, she genuinely loved her children. Now they’re all gone, and I think that is very interesting for us.

“Who is she without her children? The answer is something you’ll find out next season. That’s so much of what is to come that I’ll just give it away if I start delving into it now.”

Online theories are beginning to draw comparisons between Cersei and the Mad King, suggesting that next series could see an even darker side to the Queen now that she’s sat on the Iron Throne.

Either way, Benioff emphasized that the show’s female characters will be central to the next series and countered criticism that the TV series’ creators are misogynistic in their treatment of women.

“The world of the show is one where women’s prospects would seem severely limited, compared to our own world,” he explained. “It’s based on medieval reality and in medieval reality, women were often considered the property of their husbands.

“They were very sharply circumscribed a set of activities and possibilities for their lives. One of the things that have been most fun about the characters we’ve work with in the world George created, was it was so many of the most interesting and formidable characters are women.

“The obstacles that stand between them and what they want are so much more formidable than the obstacles that face people in much of our lives…it was lots of fun and rewarding to think about the ways they could overcome obstacles and press their advantages and interests the way men would.”

Indeed, with Daenerys sailing for Westeros, Yara Greyjoy vying for the Salt Throne, Sansa becoming a powerful political manipulator, Olenna Tyrell striking an alliance with Ellaria Sand, and Cersei sat on the Iron Throne, season 7 will certainly see powerful female characters working alongside their male counterparts.

In the meantime, we’ve been chatting with Bran Stark actor Isaac Hempstead-Wright about his connection to the Night King, as well as Jon Snow’s Father.

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