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Emilia Clarke Feels Pretty Much the Same as You About Dany’s Ending on Game of Thrones

Daenerys Targaryen on Game of Thrones

Emilia Clarke has moved on career-wise from HBO’s Game of Thrones. She’s currently getting back to her roots as a stage actress in Chekov’s The Seagull in London. But even though she’s moved on to better things, she hasn’t forgotten her time in Westeros, or the sting of how it ended.

“Yeah, I felt for her. I really felt for her,” Clarke told The Times of London in a recent interview in regard to Daenerys Targaryen’s sudden turn in the final season of Thrones from the beloved mother of Dragon and Breaker of Chains to the genocidal scourge of King’s Landing. She went from savior to villain in no time flat and ended up killed by her nephew/lover Jon Snow.  “And yeah, was I annoyed that Jon Snow didn’t have to deal with something? He got away with murder — literally.”

Clarke’s reaction when she read the final episodes was her own, though she seems to have had as hard a time with as many fans did. “I knew how I felt [about the ending] when I first read it, and I tried, at every turn, not to consider too much what other people might say.” She’s mentioned in other interviews how upset she was as well, and how much she tried to bring humanity to Dany in the end.

“But I did always consider what the fans might think — because we did it for them, and they were the ones who made us successful, so it’s just polite, isn’t it?” Clarke told the Times.

Clarke also agrees (with us at least) that the final season relied too much on large set pieces and not enough on dialogue and story. “It was all about the set pieces,” Clarke tells The Times. “I think the sensational nature of the show was, possibly, given a huge amount of airtime because that’s what makes sense.”

The final season and Dany’s change to villain might indeed have worked better if the writers of the show had not rushed everything so much. The final season’s count of only six episodes was far too short and covered ground that easily could have filled two seasons, but the showrunners wanted to keep moving.

Clarke says she felt like a “small cog in a big machine” which is what I imagine most of the actors felt like as the unstoppable momentum of the final, rushed seasons of the once-great show swept them away.

Clarke remains diplomatic about her time on Thrones, and of course grateful for the experience and worldwide recognition the role of Daenerys brought her. But it’s still nice to see her be honest about the flaws of the final seasons, and to know we’re not alone in wishing things had been handled better for the Dragon Queen.

(via IndieWire)

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Jessica Mason (she/her) is a writer based in Portland, Oregon with a focus on fandom, queer representation, and amazing women in film and television. She's a trained lawyer and opera singer as well as a mom and author.