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The First Thing Emilia Clarke Did After Reading The Game Of Thrones Finale

As you may recall, HBO crushed the spirits of viewers on May 19th, 2019, when it aired the season finale of its record-breaking adaptation of George R.R. Martin's epic fantasy series, "Game of Thrones." The controversial finale left audiences in an emotional state that ranged from abject bewilderment to fervent anger to deep, unrelenting sorrow and disappointment, all of which has been expressed (and expressed again) rather loudly and aggressively over the years.

As for how the cast felt about the direction in which series creators David Benioff and D. B. Weiss, who also wrote the bulk of the Season 8 episodes, took their narrative, several actors have spoken candidly about their feelings. That includes Emilia Clarke, the woman behind fan-favorite character (and finale casualty) Daenerys Targaryen. But in an interview with Stephen Colbert for "The Late Show" prior to the final season's release, the Emmy-nominated (read: Emmy-robbed) actor shared her initial reaction to reading the scripts for Season 8. 

Unsurprisingly, it was a reaction to which many a fan would ultimately relate. "Were there tears or anything at the very end?" Colbert asked the actor. Not only did Clarke confirm that there were indeed tears, but she also went on to describe the "existential crisis" that followed. 

Emilia Clarke's reaction was not unlike that of many viewers'

"I went for a very long walk after ... the first time I read the final season" Clarke explained, adding that initially, she "couldn't quite handle it." (Given that many fans still can't handle it, that all seems perfectly reasonable). Clarke jokingly added that it "should have been raining" during her mystified walkabout, because it was "just that kind of a moment." Putting herself back in that exact place and time she said, "I'm in a daze and I don't know what's going on," and said that she "walked around London for two hours just going 'Ahhh...'" (Again, that all tracks.) At the time of the interview, Clarke was unable to reveal any details about the season or its polarizing finale — a restriction that, in the wake of all that ultimately followed, made her words all the more prescient. 

In a more recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Clarke talked about coming to terms and "making peace" with what befell her most beloved and infamous character. "I think it'll take me to my 90s to be able to objectively see what Game of Thrones was," she said, "because there's just too much me in it ... I have too many emotional reactions for what Emilia, herself, was experiencing at that moment in time when we were filming it. You know what I mean?" Yes, Emilia. We do. We really, really do.