Here’s Why Emilia Clarke Is Actually Flattered By The ‘Game of Thrones’ Backlash

Emilia Clarke is a movie darling who can turn from an all-powerful dragon queen to a messy store elf in no time. The role that defined her time as an actress thus far is Game of Thrones as the ill-fated Daenerys Targaryen. And with the final season bringing so many fans to complain profusely about it all, even demanding a rewrite

Despite all that, though, Clarke has come to the point where she feels like it’s a compliment. 

Emilia Clarke poses at the HFPA And THR Golden Globe Ambassador Party.
Emilia Clarke at the HFPA And THR Golden Globe Ambassador Party on Nov. 14, 2019 | Leon Bennett/WireImage

Emilia Clarke is quite flattered that people didn’t like Daenerys’ ending

In an interview on the British morning show This Morningthe hosts brought up the backlash. “On every level, it’s just profoundly flattering that people genuinely cared that much,” Clarke answered. “They were with us for that long, and they really, really, truly believed in it.”

What’s even more meaningful for Clarke is the support her Khaleesi received from fans online. “Largely speaking, I feel like people are being very kind about Daenerys and the Mother of Dragons, and kind of backing me up, so that’s lovely,” she said. 

As for a redo, Clarke said that no matter who wrote it or what was in the scriot, fans were going to be angry. “But I don’t think that there’s an ending that anyone could’ve written — no matter how many signatures are on any bit of paper — you just can’t,” Clarke said. “And that is really just so flattering.”

Clarke was sad about the backlash at first

In an interview with IndieWire from Oct. 20, Clarke shared that she was initially sorry for the creators of the show. “I was too busy focusing on my own reactions to really pay too much attention if any at all,” Clarke said. “The only thing I felt truthfully sad about was that [executive producers] David [Benioff] and Dan [Weiss] are my really good friends, and so it’s for them that I feel heartbreak because it’s theirs.”

Benioff and Weiss did receive some of the most intense heat for the finale, which fans also cited as the possible reason for their exit from Star Wars. It’s only worsened with their refusal to appear at Comic-Con and then a viral Twitter thread where they admitted they had no idea how to do anything TV show-related. 

In the end, she stands with her Khaleesi

It sounds like Clarke’s emotions and opinions on the finale hate have been a rollercoaster. But before the world got to see the ending, she told Entertainment Weekly that she had to see the situation as Daenerys would. “It was a f*cking struggle reading the scripts. What I was taught at drama school… I was told that your character is right. Your character makes a choice, and you need to be right with that.”

And in the end, she’ll always stand with her Mother of Dragons. “But having said all of the things I’ve just said…” she sais. “I stand by Daenerys. I stand by her! I can’t not.”