[[quoteright:290:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/lena-headey_6878.jpg]]
->''"There's nothing more exciting for an actor than a chance to lose, to be someone who has lost - especially if it's someone who starts off with a veneer of control. To be broken is wonderful."''

Lena Headey (born October 3, 1973) is an English actress. She was discovered at age 17 performing in a one-off show at the Royal National Theatre. Her first major role was in ''Film/TheJungleBook'' as Katherine. Other major roles include Queen Gorgo of Sparta in ''Film/ThreeHundred'', Sarah Connor in ''Series/TerminatorTheSarahConnorChronicles'', and Queen Cersei Lannister in ''Series/GameOfThrones''. From 2007 to 2012, she was married to musician Peter Paul Loughran, with whom she has a son named Wylie.

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!!Roles:
* ''Literature/TheRemainsOfTheDay'' as Lizzie
* ''Film/TheJungleBook'' (1994) as Katherine
* ''Series/{{Merlin| 1998}}'' (1998) as Queen Guinevere
* ''Onegin'' (1999) as Olga Larina
* ''Film/RipleysGame'' (2002) as Sarah Trevanny
* ''Film/TheCave'' (2005) as Dr. Kathryn Jennings
* ''Film/TheBrothersGrimm'' (2005) as Angelica
* ''Film/ImagineMeAndYou'' (2005) as Luce
* ''Film/ThreeHundred'' (2007) as Queen Gorgo
* ''Film/StTrinians'' (2007) as Miss Dickinson
* ''Film/TheBroken'' (2008) as Gina Mcvey
* ''Film/TheRedBaron'' (2008) as Kate Otersdorf
* ''Series/TerminatorTheSarahConnorChronicles'' (2008-2009) as Sarah Connor
* ''Series/GameOfThrones'' (2011+) as Queen Cersei Lannister
* ''Film/{{Dredd}}'' (2012) as Madeline "Ma-Ma" Madrigal
* ''VideoGame/{{Dishonored}}'' (2012) as Callista Curnow
* ''Film/TheMortalInstrumentsCityOfBones'' (2013) as Jocelyn Fray
* ''Film/ThePurge'' (2013) as Mary Sandin
* ''Film/ThreeHundredRiseOfAnEmpire'' (2013) as Queen Gorgo
* ''WesternAnimation/UncleGrandpa'' (2014) as Aunt Grandma (guest role)
* ''Anime/KingsglaiveFinalFantasyXV'' (2016) as Lunafreya Nox Fleuret
* ''Film/PrideAndPrejudiceAndZombies'' (2016) as Lady Catherine de Bourgh

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!!Tropes:
* ActionMom: Is often cast as such, regardless of the character being a heroine or a villain.
* AloofDarkHairedGirl: Has a strong tendency to play these.
* ButIPlayOneOnTV: She recalls in some interviews that some people call her a bitch to her face because they found Cersei Lannister so unlikeable.
* CartwrightCurse: Her on-screen love interests/husbands tend to have high mortality rates. Notable examples are ''Film/ThreeHundred'', ''Film/RipleysGame'', ''Series/TerminatorTheSarahConnorChronicles'' (she begins the series as a single mother with the child's father long dead), ''Series/GameOfThrones'' (her husband [[YourCheatingHeart wasn't]] her [[{{Twincest}} main love interest]] in this series though) and ''Film/ThePurge'' -- but [[BuryYourGays notably]] ''[[BuryYourGays not]]'' in ''Film/ImagineMeAndYou''.
* FakeAmerican: Maybe a quarter of her roles. (an exception is the [[FakeNationality Fake Greek]] in ''Film/ThreeHundred'').
* RealLife/MeanCharacterNiceActor: She's played more than her fair share of villains such as Ma-Ma and Cersei, and even her more sympathetic characters tend to lean toward uptight or anti-heroic. In reality, Lena is a fun-loving and friendly woman with a goofy sense of humor (as best demonstrated by [[https://twitter.com/iamlenaheadey her Twitter feed]]) who is adored by her cast mates.
* RetroactiveRecognition:
** Fans of ''Series/{{MacGyver}}'' may recall that the last conversation [=MacGyver=] ever has with another character (in the closing scene of the final TV movie ''Trail to Doomsday'') was with the {{Adorkable}} daughter of the character whose death set the plot in motion. Guess who that was beneath the terrible haircut and ugly glasses.
** She's the female lead of the 1994 film ''Film/TheJungleBook'', over a decade before Lena starts playing her [[Film/ThreeHundred most]] [[Series/TerminatorTheSarahConnorChronicles memorable]] [[Series/GameOfThrones roles]].
* StarMakingRole: Although her roles in ''Film/ThreeHundred'' and ''Series/TerminatorTheSarahConnorChronicles'' gave her attention, ''Series/GameOfThrones'' is generally remembered as what truly made her a star.
* TrollingCreator: She is fond of obliquely spoiling future ''Series/GameOfThrones'' plot developments on Instagram. Before its fourth season started airing, she messed with people's expectations when she posted [[http://instagram.com/p/nEeNM0PA3L# a heart-shape made of stones]], which teased that Lady Stoneheart would appear. She didn't.
* TypeCasting: As queens and other women trying to raise their sons to be great men. Subverted in ''Film/{{Dredd}}'' where she's called "Ma-Ma" but isn't an actual mother.
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