In the Game of Thrones season 6 finale, where

Cersei blows up the Sept,

I'm a little confused on why the following scene is included. I haven't read the books so I am not sure if it is included, or better explained, there:

When Lancel Lannister and the other Sparrows go to retrieve Cersei from the Keep for her trial, Lancel begins following a small child into the area underneath the Sept. The child then stabs Lancel, followed by the scene depicting Lancel crawling in an effort to blow out the flame.

Does this scene have any significance, or was it just a set up to show the audience what was happening/to come? Was it included in the novel?

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    Lancel represented the viewer, hoping for a more creative and interesting resolution to all the story lines than a big explosion.
    – Misha R
    Feb 13, 2017 at 0:32
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    @MishaRosnach and after an agonisingly long and slow crawl through the dark and the filth, both were rewarded with nothing but sudden green fire. Feb 13, 2017 at 8:19
  • @MishaRosnach 1. There is nothing wrong with the occasional unnecessary and unprompted vastly oversized explosion. 2. Besides the faith militant under the rule of this high sparrow no story line was ended. Especially Tommen and Margery weren't individual storylines. Tommen belongs to Cerceis plot while Margery belongs to the rather small Highgarden plot which is actually part of a much bigger south plot. (IMO) Apr 19, 2017 at 11:00
  • @user1129682 By your logic, they all belong to the "explosion" plot. Otherwise not sure what you're talking about. Margaery's plot has a good deal of intrigue, and is interesting. High Sparrow's development is interesting too, and his relationship with the city seemed to be going somewhere. Tommen - don't care about him, but his relationship with Margaery was not fleshed out enough in the show for the suicide to feel inevitable. Lancel - fine, but Pycelle had a storyline and role that had nothing to do with the way he died. This sounds like backwards-compatibility type reasoning.
    – Misha R
    Apr 19, 2017 at 21:21
  • Focusing on Margery alone as an individual storyline is too narrow. Margery is/was the only wiling member of her family to reproduce and thus is the future of High Garden. High Garden is still participating. This storyline did not come to an end. The High Sparrow was only big b/c of the faith militant, which has become Lancel's story line as well. That is one story line and it is done. As you said, Tommen is not an individual storyline( he belongs to Cercei's). Pycelle has been done and gone for ages. He was not part of any storyline, actually. So effectively only one plot concluded. Apr 20, 2017 at 9:12

1 Answer 1


The books haven't gotten that far yet. This is likely to come in the upcoming novel "The Winds of Winter" (which has the same title as the final episode). So I can't help give you an answer from the books.

From the show's point of view however, having Lancel follow one of the "Little Birds" into the tunnels under the Sept gave us an idea of how the explosion was set up and how it would take place. It is likely Lancel would've died either way, however by having him be led into the Sept's cellar not only gives the viewers an idea of the scale of the operation, but also keeps alive the possibility that Lancel can save the Sept and everyone inside.

This answer is very opinionated, since it is the final episode in the TV series, and has not yet been mentioned in the novels.

I was however able to find an interview with the actor where he discusses the scene a little bit:

What was it like crawling through the corridor?
The thing about the whole scene was that for the last two years, we’ve seen Lancel be this stoic, disciplined, focused individual, with a rather limited demonstration of much emotion. But when the worst happens to him, and he finds himself staring death in the face, he tries to do his utmost to solve it. He doesn’t give up. He doesn’t cry. But he is, for the first time we’ve seen in a while, really brave. He wants to make sure everything he’s worked for doesn’t go up in flames. And having just suddenly been paralyzed, and being on his own, with no one around him, he would probably bleed to death anyway if he didn’t get the candles out in time. And yet, he still does his best. I found that to be rather emotional, because for all of his bad choices, all the bad things that have happened to him, he still tries his very hardest to do what he believes to be right. And that made him vulnerable again. I could have played that entire reaction very robotically, the way he’s been. But instead, I let him cry out in pain and didn’t deprive him of his humanity. He was still human. He was scared. He didn’t want to die. But I am glad that my character has died the way he has. It was quite a cathartic experience for me.
Vulture.com: Interview with Eugene Simon

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    @wizloc I feel like it his highly likely as a way to build suspense as well. Knowing that someone has the chance to stop the explosion while some of the fans' favourite characters are in the sept builds real hope that he'll succeed. Having Lancel get that close must've been used as a mechanism to build suspense and excitement, as well as to keep the episode "exciting".
    – Edlothiad
    Feb 10, 2017 at 15:58
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    @wizloc Can you imagine if they didn't have the scenes with Lancel? Everyone just standing around in the sept, bored, waiting for Cersei, then Margaery starts to get nervous, then suddenly, out of nowhere, it just explodes and they all die? Wouldn't be very good drama... Feb 10, 2017 at 16:28
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    @wizloc: “Why was it a 'little bird' that Lancel followed?” Why else would he wander into the catacombs underneath the Sept? Sudden, random curiosity about what might be down there? “Why did he feel compelled to break from his fellow Sparrows to follow in the first place?” Doesn’t the kid kind of look at him? I figure he sensed the kid was up to something suspicious. Which he was. Feb 12, 2017 at 23:41
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    @wizloc: “Why did they add in the bit about him getting stabbed rather than just show Lancel discovering the flame when he reaches the tunnels then show the explosion.” As already explained at length, it’s more suspenseful with him crawling. I also think it makes sense the kid would stab him — he’s found the stash! If you don’t stab him, he might raise the alarm. Feb 12, 2017 at 23:44
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    @wizloc: As Paul said, I figure Lancel followed the Little Bird because he knows Cersei and likely he knows the LB's are (indirectly, via Qyburn) under her control and he's suspicious. As to why the LB is even there in the first place, alerting Lancel, the only "in world" justification I can think of is that he's been instructed to wait until the party departs the Sept to fetch Cersei, as that likely indicates everyone of importance has arrived at the Sept and it's the optimal time to set off the explosion (the exception being Pycelle, who they handle separately).
    – delinear
    Feb 15, 2017 at 12:26

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