‘Game of Thrones’ Finale: Emilia Clarke Thinks Daenerys Targaryen’s Fate Came ‘Out of F****** Nowhere’
The Game of Thrones final season finale aired last night and fans are still mourning the loss of Daenerys Targaryen–and not just the loss of the physical character, killed at the hand of her lover and nephew, Jon Snow, but the loss of the Daenerys they thought they knew, the Breaker of Chains.
Dany’s turn to madness is pretty split down the middle in terms of how fans have received the twist. Some believe the sudden change in character was unearned and didn’t make sense, whereas others think that the writing’s been on the wall for a while now.
Season 8 was incredibly emotional for Emilia Clarke (Daenerys Targaryen)
The actress who plays Daenerys, Emilia Clarke, told EW that she had a tough time even making it through reading the final season–she was so emotional. She read and reread her death scene seven times, according to the publication.
“What, what, what, WHAT!?” Clarke remembers thinking. “Because it comes out of f****** nowhere. I’m flabbergasted. Absolutely never saw that coming.”
Where Clarke read her Season 8 script as soon as she received it electronically, the actor who plays Jon Snow, Kit Harington, waited to read his along with the cast during the season table read. Once there, Clarke made a point to sit across from her co-star so she could witness his reaction upon realizing what his character does.
“I looked at Emilia and there was a moment of me realizing, ‘No, no…’” said Harington.
“He was crying,” said Clarke. “And then it was kind of great him not having read it.”
Clarke says it was difficult for her to wrap her head around what she would be doing as Dany in Season 8.
“I cried, and I went for a walk,” she said. “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?’”
But though she felt heartbroken upon initially learning how her character’s journey will end, she says, looking back, it all adds up because the show’s producers have been hinting at a more sinister ending for Dany for years. She told EW that in previous seasons she’d often get notes on her acting to portray her character less heroic.
“There’s a number of times I’ve been like: ‘Why are you giving me that note?’” Clarke says. “So yes, this has made me look back at all the notes I’ve ever had.”
How Emilia Clarke justified Daenerys’s switch to madness
As an actress, Clarke has always, unwaveringly, been on Daenerys’s side. But she had her work cut out for her to get to a place where she could justify Dany’s mass killing and new dictator point of view. But she got there.
“She genuinely starts with the best intentions and truly hopes there isn’t going to be something scuttling her greatest plans,” she says. “The problem is [the Starks] don’t like her and she sees it. She goes, ‘Okay, one chance.’ She gives them that chance and it doesn’t work and she’s too far to turn around. She’s made her bed, she’s laying in it. It’s done. And that’s the thing. I don’t think she realizes until it happens — the real effect of their reactions on her is: ‘I don’t give a s***.’ This is my whole existence. Since birth! She literally was brought into this world going, ‘Run!’ These f****** have f***** everything up, and now it’s, ‘You’re our only hope.’ There’s so much she’s taken on in her duty in life to rectify, so much she’s seen and witnessed and been through and lost and suffered and hurt. Suddenly these people are turning around and saying, ‘We don’t accept you.’ But she’s too far down the line. She’s killed so many people already. I can’t turn this ship around. It’s too much. One by one, you see all these strings being cut. And there’s just this last thread she’s holding onto: There’s this boy. And she thinks, ‘He loves me, and I think that’s enough.’ But is it enough? Is it? And it’s just that hope and wishing that finally there is someone who accepts her for everything she is and … he f****** doesn’t.”