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Game of Thrones is known for plenty of iconic scenes, ranging from good old Ned losing his head to the Red Wedding to the Night King riding the wight Viserion to take down the Wall. One of the most unforgettable, however, didn't actually involve any death or destruction. No, Cersei's walk of shame -- or Walk of Atonement, as it was known in the show -- will go down as among the most memorable sequences in the entire series, no matter how it ends next year. Cersei was famously nude from head to toe for her walk through the streets of King's Landing, and it turns out that some viewers didn't get to see the full sequence as originally filmed. Take a look at the censored version of Cersei's walk of shame!
In India, the walk of shame scene that aired on broadcast was not the same scene that HBO viewers watched when the Season 5 episode hit the airwaves. Instead of showing all of Cersei as she made her way through the crowd of folks who despised her, the version for Indian TV cut around the moments that showed her from top to bottom. The most viewers in India really got of naked Cersei was her bare back, collarbone, and calves. The language wasn't censored, and Cersei was still pelted with all kinds of debris and fluids that are probably best unidentified. Throw in Lena Headey's performance, and the censored scene still gets the humiliation and suffering across without showing Cersei nude.
Honestly, I was expecting some much more obvious censorship. If I hadn't seen the original version and known that the series is produced for HBO rather than broadcast or basic cable in the U.S. market, I might have been impressed that the filmmakers were able to film around Cersei's private areas. I imagined something truly cringe-worthy, such as Cersei's nudity blurred out or perhaps even blocked with a bar, as suggested for Cersei's walk of shame Halloween costume. The censored version wasn't perfect and the cuts weren't all totally clean, but it could have looked much worse, and viewers in India must have gotten the picture without actually seeing Cersei nude.
Of course, even those of us living in markets that showed the full scene as originally shot didn't actually see Lena Headey in her birthday suit. The actress chose to use a body double for the scene, which I doubt any of us can blame her for. Even if the conditions were better for the actress doing the walk than they would have been for the reviled Cersei walking through an angry mob, plenty of people wouldn't especially want to film such a scene. Headey was actually pregnant at the time of filming, although she wasn't showing yet. Interestingly, the birth of her daughter in real life resulted in a very awkward moment in the hospital that tied back to Cersei's Walk of Atonement.
The Walk of Atonement is a very important part of the A Song of Ice and Fire book saga, and omitting it from the series due to the high price tag and/or the production difficulties would have undoubtedly disappointed fans who wanted to see the show's Cersei get the same treatment as her book counterpart. Game of Thrones pulled it off, and a lot of people got to see it as originally intended. Indian TV fans unfortunately did not.
Sadly, nobody is going to get to see any new Game of Thrones footage for the foreseeable future. The ninth and final season is only just wrapping on filming, and the next episodes aren't slated for debut until some point in 2019. For what you can watch while we wait for the show to return, check out our summer TV premiere guide.