While it’s been nearly a year since Season 8 of HBO’s Game of Thrones arrived with a resounding thud, it’s safe to say that the series’ ending remains incredibly divisive among fans. With Daenerys Targaryen having burned King’s Landing to a crisp, Jon Snow decided it was best to turn his sword on his former lover and ally. The series finale ended with her death and Jon’s retreat beyond the wall. Now, Emilia Clarke is sharing her thoughts on the tragic demise of the character she spent so many years portraying.
While fans have been quite vocal in their anger over the ending, Clarke has been relatively quiet about sharing her opinions about Daenerys’ demise. However, in a recent interview with the U.K.'s Sunday Times, Clarke opened up a bit about the story's abrupt end, saying the Mother of Dragons deserved better than what she got. The actor was very frustrated Dany died while Jon got away scot-free.
“I really felt for her. And yeah, was I annoyed that Jon Snow didn’t have to deal with something? He got away with murder — literally.”
To be sure, this isn’t the first time the actor has expressed her displeasure with Daenerys’ ending. While she claims to “stand by” Daenerys no matter what, she previously revealed to Entertainment Weekly that she was just as flabbergasted about the ending as fans were at the time. Her response to her character’s death was one of shock and disbelief.
“What, what, what, WHAT!? Because it comes out of fucking nowhere. I’m flabbergasted. Absolutely never saw that coming. 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. I didn’t come back for five hours. I’m like, ‘How am I going to do this?’”
When Clarke attended HBO’s Emmy party in 2018, she was asked whether she was happy with the way things ended for her character. The actress was quiet for a bit before making an awkward face that clearly suggested she was the opposite of happy regarding Daenerys’ ending. Instead of a direct response, she said that Season 8 was the “best season ever.” However, it was easy to see that she disagreed with the sentiment, opting to remain polite in public instead.
Clarke isn’t alone in her opinion. Many fans were and are still upset over Daenerys’ death, myself included. While Game of Thrones was clearly building up to a big moment, the series committed very little time to her turn into the Mad Queen, making it feel abrupt and unearned.
What’s more, Jon being the one to kill her remains a sour point for a lot of fans; she had come to trust him and he betrayed that trust. While the ending to the HBO series can’t be changed, the silver lining is that it’s been long enough that Clarke can now speak freely about Daenerys’ end. Maybe the Mother of Dragons will get a more suitable ending in A Song of Ice and Fire.