Emilia Clarke & More 'Game of Thrones' Stars React to the Finale

Meaghan Darwish
HBO

[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for the Series Finale of Game of Thrones, "The Iron Throne."]

The final curtain fell on Game of Thrones on Sunday as HBO's hit series wrapped its run, and while fans continue to debate the ending, plenty of the show's stars are sharing their own thoughts on the ending.

From the shocking deaths to that throne reveal, there was a lot to think about and react to. And stars like Emilia Clarke and Isaac Hempstead Wright have spoken plainly about their characters' fates now that the finale has aired. For those who haven't tuned in yet, now is where you turn around because spoilers lay ahead.

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Despite a bloodbath of a season, the episode included only one character's demise — Daenerys Targaryen, the Mother of Dragons and "breaker of chains." While many fans disputed the Queen's descent into madness, Clarke wrestled with the shocking death that she faced at the hands of Jon Snow (Kit Harington).

"What, what, what, WHAT!?" Emilia told Entertainment Weekly of her initial reaction to Daenerys' turn. "Because it comes out of f—king nowhere. I'm flabbergasted. Absolutely never saw that coming."

The star took the news about her character's death and ultimate shift in behavior tough. "I cried," Clarke said. "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?'"

(Credit: HBO)

She explained that she'd ask her family questions about Daenerys as a character and whether they believed she was good or not. And even after her character went full dark-mode, Clarke remains loyal to the Queen she played. "I stand by Daenerys. I stand by her! I can’t not," she said.

The actress also took to social media to commemorate her time in the series. "The mother of dragons chapter has taken up the whole of my adult life," she wrote on Instagram. "This woman has taken up the whole of my heart. I’ve sweated in the blaze of dragon fire, shed many tears at those who left our family early, and wrung my brain dry trying to do Khaleesi and the masterful words, actions (and names) I was given, justice.

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From Jon's lineage to what's west of Westeros.

"Game of Thrones has shaped me as a woman, as an actor and as a human being. I just wish my darling dad was here now to see how far we've flown. But to you, dear kind magical fans, I owe you so much thanks, for your steady gaze at what we've made and what I've done with a character that was already in the hearts of many before I slipped on the platinum wig of dreams. Without you there is no us. And now our watch has ended."

 

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Finding the words to write this post has left me overwhelmed with how much I want to say but how small words feel in comparison to what this show and Dany have meant to me. The mother of dragons chapter has taken up the whole of my adult life. This woman has taken up the whole of my heart. I’ve sweated in the blaze of dragon fire, shed many tears at those who left our family early, and wrung my brain dry trying to do Khaleesi and the masterful words, actions (and names) I was given, justice. Game of Thrones has shaped me as a woman, as an actor and as a human being. I just wish my darling dad was here now to see how far we’ve flown. But to you, dear kind magical fans, I owe you so much thanks, for your steady gaze at what we’ve made and what I’ve done with a character that was already in the hearts of many before I slipped on the platinum wig of dreams. Without you there is no us. And now our watch has ended. @gameofthrones @hbo #love #motherofdragonsoverandout

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Harington, on the other hand, wasn't entirely shocked by Daenerys' turn as he told EW of the finale, "I think it's going to divide... But if you track her story all the way back, she does some terrible things. She crucifies people. She burns people alive. This has been building. So, we have to say to the audience: 'You're in denial about this woman as well. You knew something was wrong. You're culpable, you cheered her on.'"

(Credit: HBO)

Of killing Daenerys, Harington does feels remorse for his characters as he said, "In some ways, Jon did the same thing to Ygritte by training the boy who kills her. This destroys Jon to do this."

But it wasn't all bad for the players in Game of Thrones, Bran the Broken was crowned King of the Six Kingdoms and star Hempstead Wright was fine with that. "When I got to the [Dragonpit scene] in the last episode and they're like, 'What about Bran?' I had to get up and pace around the room,"' he told EW. "I genuinely thought it was a joke script and that [showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss] sent to everyone a script with their own character ends up on the Iron Throne. 'Yeah, good one guys. Oh s**t, it's actually real?'"

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"I'm happy,” he continued, but the actor would have been OK with a different outcome. "Though I kind of did want to die and get in one good death scene with an exploding head or something."

Many of the of the stars followed suit with Emilia's social media acknowledgement such as Sophie Turner, Jacob Anderson and John Bradley who wrote some lengthy tributes to their characters. Scroll through to see what they said and let us know what you think of the cast's reactions to the season in the comments below.

 

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Sansa, Thank you for teaching me resilience, bravery and what true strength really is. Thank you teaching me to be kind and patient and to lead with love. I grew up with you. I fell in love with you at 13 and now 10 years on.. at 23 I leave you behind, but I will never leave behind what you’ve taught me. To the show and the incredible people who make it, thank you for giving me the best life and drama lessons I could have ever asked for. Without you I wouldn’t be the person I am today. Thank you for giving me this chance all those years ago. And finally to the fans. Thank you for falling in love with these characters and supporting this show right through till the end. I’ll miss this more than anything.

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1. First Day. 2. Last Day. GoT was like the craziest school trip ever. A 6 year Adventure Weekend. Grey Worm. You went from a robot to a real boy. I’m proud of you. I’ll miss you bud. Thank you to everybody that cared about him and rooted for him. He was really scared at first, but you made him feel loved. He appreciates it. I asked him. Huge shout out to the Targs team: Nats, Emilia, Conleth, Peter, Iain, Ian, Michiel, Reece, Ed, Kit, Liam. Thank you for making the days so fun. Here’s to every single department behind the scenes that worked to the bone to make this show. They worked tirelessly everyday to make this thing, and they never get shout outs and they know that but they do it anyway. Here’s to you, you ragtag bunch of talented clever rascals. I love ya’ll. Thank you. Game of Thrones ENDS tonight on @hbo AT 9pm and @skyatlanticuk at 2am. I hope you enjoy it.

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So tonight we have our very last episode. It’s the final step of a long and wonderful journey. A journey that, for me, started at 10am on Monday 19th of July 2010. I know this because recently I found my rehearsal and prep schedule for season 1, week 1. This was given to me when I landed in Belfast for the first time, weeks before we even started shooting. Listed here is the rehearsal where I first met Kit, and the first time I wore the costume that’s seen me through 8 seasons. I’m glad I kept this. I met so many people that week who have come to mean so much to me. Back then we couldn’t have known the journey we’d go on together. I wouldn’t swap that experience, or those people, for the world. Enjoy the episode and thanks for everything. ❤️❤️❤️ @gameofthrones @hbo #GOT 👋

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