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Game Of Thrones Star Emilia Clarke Talks Dany's 'Heartbreaking' Loss

Warning: This post contains spoilers for Game of Thrones season 7, episode 6, "Beyond the Wall."

Nothing can compare to losing a child. Game of Thrones' aspiring queen Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) can attest to that, as she just witnessed the death of one of her precious, priceless dragons. 

In the series' most recent episode, "Beyond the Wall," Viserion the dragon was shot down by a spear the Night King hurled into the sky. It was the high price Jon Snow (Kit Harington) and his so-called suicide squad paid to capture a wight to bring south to King's Landing in hopes of proving the Army of the Dead's existence. But it was also somewhat unexpected, and made even worse when the Night King resurrected Viserion in the episode's closing scene, granting his spooky army a formidable not-quite-living weapon.  

Actress Clarke sat down with Entertainment Weekly to discuss the tragic death of Dany's "child," and what it means for her character moving forward. 

"It's a heartbreak," said Clarke. "Not only losing it but having that being given to the other side."

Clarke noted that for Daenerys, Viserion's death makes conquering the Army of the Dead more vital than ever, a notion Dany professes to Jon near the end of the episode. "My [Daenerys'] dragon could not have died for nothing, so this is now so important. For the first time, you're starting to see her defenses broken," the actress explained. 

Amidst the sorrow, Clarke did find a bit of humorous irony. Of all the dragons to be turned over to the Night King's undead horde, it's the one Daenerys named after her wild and deceitful brother Viserys. "Of course it's the rotten egg, of course you'd turn," quipped Clarke with a laugh. 

This moment of vulnerability for Daenerys shouldn't distract viewers from the hard truth that she's been making some harsh choices lately, especially her decision to burn the Tarlys alive—even at Tyrion Lannister's (Peter Dinklage) behest to simply confine them to a cell and not murdering them straight away. Those around her are becoming increasingly worried that she'll become as vicious as her father, the fallen Mad King Aerys, and this is something Clarke has said will shape how Dany moves forward. 

"The biggest question this season for Dany is what side of the coin she's on," Clarke stated. "The unequivocal nature in choosing to be this aggressive is something you haven't seen before. She's practiced patience and has this savior-like quality, but now it's game on."

Game of Thrones will return for its finale episode on Sunday, August 27. Until then, check out everything you missed in "Beyond the Wall."