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Emilia Clarke Breaks Her Silence About The Infamous GoT Finale

HBO's fantasy epic "Game of Thrones" had very few happy endings to offer, killing beloved characters left and right and upsetting fans in the process. Countless characters perished, with many major deaths happening in the first few seasons, but one of the worst "Game of Thrones" character endings actually went to Daenerys Targaryen right at the end of the show. 

Played by English actress Emilia Clarke, the icy-haired, dragon-riding daughter of the Mad King Aerys II Targaryen steps up as one of a handful of contenders for the Iron Throne after Ned Stark (Sean Bean) discovers that his late friend King Robert Baratheon's (Mark Addy) presumed heir Joffrey (Jack Gleeson) has no true claim to the throne, as he's really the son of Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey) and her twin brother Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau). Early on, Dany appeared to be the ultimate Big Good for the show: She's headstrong, liberates cities and takes care of others, faces hardships and comes out of them stronger than before. At the time, she also seemed to have the most legitimate claim to rule the Seven Kingdoms. 

But in the penultimate episode of "Game of Thrones" and its controversial finale, Daenerys does a full 180. She and her followers — including her nephew-slash-lover Jon Snow (Kit Harington), who's revealed to be not the bastard son of Ned Stark but the true-born son of Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen and thus the rightful heir to the Iron Throne — storm King's Landing, where Dany uses her fire-breathing dragon to kill thousands and destroy everything in her path. Daenerys' series-long protagonist arc ends in a hard villain turn — and, ultimately, in death, courtesy Jon Snow. After a brief adjustment period, the realm carries on ... with Bran "the Broken" Stark (Isaac Hempstead Wright) as the new ruler of the Six Kingdoms (Sophie Turner's Sansa Stark becomes the Queen in the North, overseeing Winterfell in a separate kingdom).

On one hand, having one of your most powerful and beloved characters abruptly descend into madness and break bad is par for the course for "Game of Thrones." Nevertheless, many fans feel that the arc was badly handled, and Daenerys' ultimate fate was simply one of the things that went wrong with "Game of Thrones." As such, it's interesting to hear just what Clarke herself thinks of the character's ultimate fate — and, as it happens, she recently shared some of her views on the subject. 

Let's see what Emilia Clarke has to say about the infamous "Game of Thrones" finale.

Emilia Clarke understands why fans were dissatisfied with the Game of Thrones finale

During an appearance on MTV News correspondent Josh Horowitz's podcast, Happy Sad Confused (via Horowitz's Twitter), Emilia Clarke shared her views on the subject of the "Game of Thrones" finale. It looks like she fully understands the criticism, but noted that her job as an actor requires her to be "on the same page" with the series' creators and writers. "I get why people were pissed," Clarke began. "I totally get it." 

She then opened up about her personal point of view, noting that she'd portrayed Daenerys for eight seasons, so she was committed to play her well until the very end. "Me being the actor, you can't do justice to the character that you've poured your blood, sweat, and tears into for a decade without getting on the same page [with the creative decisions the team has made]," said Clarke. "So, like, I'm not going to be there being, like, 'Pfft! Fine, I'll do the scene, whatever.' You have to turn up. Because why? Because you're doing it for you, and you're doing it for her, and you're doing it for the show, and you're doing it for the storytelling."

Clarke added that while she does "have a certain autonomy over what flavor" she can bring to the story she's tasked with telling, but the end product is ultimately out of her hands. "The editor decides what it looks like, and the writer decides what I'm saying," she said. "So you just gotta go in and try and give it as much truth and honesty ... and yourself as you possibly can."

When Horowitz asked whether Clarke had suspicions that people would be upset over "Game of Thrones" finale when she first saw the Season 8 scripts, the actress said, "Well, the first instinct when you read the scripts is you just get that gut punch of like, 'Whoa, okay!' You're thinking about — your first reaction is that. It's 'okay.' And then you start to go, 'Oh. Maybe people are going to ... mmm, yeah.'" Clarke then admitted that she "wondered" whether people might enjoy the events of the series finale, and revealed that she hadn't looked at any reception to or reviews for the show for the entire time she was on it, so she wasn't about to start after the finale aired.

It's worth noting that Clarke didn't outright bash the "GoT" finale at any point. She made a point of circling around direct statements, and tactfully let Horowitz know as much. Nevertheless, hearing her say that she understands the fans' disappointment and note that she might have been a bit reserved about certain developments but gave her all in front of the camera gives us all the more respect for Clarke. It may even make you hope that the Mother of Dragons would've received a more fitting end to her story too.