Warning: This contains spoilers from the Sunday, May 19, Game of Thrones finale. (Read our full recap here!)
Were you shocked by the Game of Thrones finale death? You weren’t alone. Emilia Clarke read the scene revealing Daenerys Targaryen‘s fate seven times in October 2017, she shared in an interview with Entertainment Weekly following the finale — and her reaction may be similar to viewers.
“What, what, what, WHAT!?” the actress thought at the time. “Because it comes out of f—king nowhere. I’m flabbergasted. Absolutely never saw that coming.”
After gathering her thoughts — and getting situated with tea — she read the script again. “I cried. And I went for a walk. I walked out of the house and took my keys and phone and walked back with blisters on my feet,” she shared. “I didn’t come back for five hours. I’m like, ‘How am I going to do this?’”
Two days later, she flew to Belfast for the final table read, sitting next to Kit Harington on the flight. Harington, who plays Jon Snow, the character who ultimately murders Clarke’s Dany, hadn’t read the script yet — he wanted to do so at the table read. When he did, he cried, while sitting across the table from Clarke.
The Star Wars actress also commented on Dany’s transformation over the series — she ultimately ended up killing thousands — that many viewers have not liked.
“You’re about to ask if me — as Emilia — disagreed with her at any point. It was a f—king struggle reading the scripts. What I was taught at drama school — and if you print this there will be drama school teachers going ‘That’s bulls—t,’ but here we go: I was told that your character is right. Your character makes a choice and you need to be right with that. An actor should never be afraid to look ugly. We have uglier sides to ourselves. And after 10 years of working on this show, it’s logical. Where else can she go? I tried to think what the ending will be. It’s not like she’s suddenly going to go, ‘OK, I’m gonna put a kettle on and put cookies in the oven and we’ll just sit down and have a lovely time and pop a few kids out.’ That was never going to happen. She’s a Targaryen,” Clarke shared on set.
She also noted she thought her character would die and thought it was “a very beautiful and touching ending.”
“Hopefully, what you’ll see in that last moment as she’s dying is: There’s the vulnerability — there’s the little girl you met in season 1. See? She’s right there. And now, she’s not there anymore,” she added. “But having said all of the things I’ve just said, I stand by Daenerys. I stand by her! I can’t not.”
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