Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Emilia Clarke Breaks Her Silence On The Dany Twist In GoT

Contains spoilers for Game of Thrones season 8

The Mother of Dragons got the mother of all surprises on the last-ever episode of Game of Thrones, and the actress who plays her has some things to say about the heartbreaking twist. 

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Daenerys Targaryen star Emilia Clarke broke her silence on the finale shocker, admitting to the outlet that she was in a state of total disbelief after reading the season 8 scripts. 

Clarke had just finished shooting Solo: A Star Wars Story in October of 2017 when she learned that – major spoiler warning — the character she played for almost a decade would die at the hands of her lover during the last chapter of the fantasy drama series. She touched down at Heathrow Airport in London and "completely freaked out" when she received the scripts electronically — nearly leaving her suitcases at Heathrow's baggage claim because she was so eager to get home and find out what would happen during the final season of Game of Thrones.

At that point, Clarke had yet to face the facts of Daenerys' downfall. When she did, she was beside herself. 

"I got myself situated. I got my cup of tea. I had to physically prepare the space and then begin reading them," she said. 

Excitement turned to anguish as Clarke learned of the events that led to Dany's devastating death: arriving in Winterfell and realizing she doesn't have much love in Westeros, discovering that her lover Jon Snow (Kit Harington) is the true heir to the Iron Throne, witnessing the death of her dear friend Ser Jorah Mormont (Iain Glen) and another one of her dragons, watching her trusted advisor Missandei (Nathalie Emmanuel) get beheaded, learning that her Master of Whisperers Varys (Conleth Hill) had betrayed her, and ultimately taking King's Landing with fire and blood. Daenerys ends up gets what she always wanted: a chance to approach the Iron Throne and become the Queen of the Seven Kingdoms. But just when Dany feels like she and Jon could rule together in harmony, he stabs her through the chest while they're entangled in an intimate embrace. 

It took hours for Clarke to settle back into herself after the revelation. 

"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?'" the actress said. "Because it comes out of f***ing nowhere. I'm flabbergasted. Absolutely never saw that coming."

Later on in the interview, Clarke shared that she has her "own feelings" about Daenerys turning into the Mad Queen, destroying King's Landing, and killing thousands of innocent people in pursuit of the Iron Throne prior to her death.

"It's peppered with my feelings about myself. It's gotten to that point now where you read [comments about] the character you [have to remind yourself], 'They're not talking about you, Emilia, they're talking about the character," she admitted, adding elsewhere, "It was a f***ing 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 bull****,' 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."

Learning that Daenerys would turn dark on the final two episodes of Game of Thrones, then get killed by a man she truly loved, did a number on Clarke, whose emotions ran high as she tried to process everything. 

"I genuinely did this, and it's embarrassing and I'm going to admit it to you. I called my mom and [said] 'I read the scripts and I don't want to tell you what happens but can you just talk me off this ledge? It really messed me up,'" Clarke shared, admitting that she was worried about people's lasting impression of Dany being a negative one. "And then I asked my mom and brother really weird questions. They were like: 'What are you asking us this for? What do you mean do I think Daenerys is a good person? Why are you asking us that question? Why do you care what people think of Daenerys? Are you okay?'"

Despite being shocked out of her mind about Daenerys dying during the finale and Jon Snow being her killer, Clarke noted that the ending Dany got was the one that made the most sense for her character. She added that she felt Dany's conclusion served as a full-circle moment for the naive young woman viewers met on the first season of Game of Thrones

"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, 'Okay, 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," she said. "It's 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."

Game of Thrones' final season will likely go down in history as incredibly divisive and disappointing to some, but no matter whether you loved how Game of Thrones ended or are still fuming over the finale, there's no denying that the journey to the last episode was pretty incredible.