Game of Thrones aired its last episode yesterday, and as expected, the viewers' opinions on Daenerys Targaryen's fate are divided. One opinion you probably should know about, however, is Emilia Clarke's. In an interview with the New Yorker, the actress reveals how she really felt about how the show ends and her character's arc. [Be warned: Spoilers ahead!]
Emilia apparently learned of Daenerys' ending two years ago, and it took her by surprise. "When I [read the script], I took a very long walk around London in a daze, not quite knowing how to digest the news," she shares. "I had no idea what to expect for this last season. I hoped for some juicy things to get into, as I always do for each season, but I didn’t see this coming."
She did eventually find reason in the mother of dragons' eventual demise. "She frees people, she kills the baddies, and it feels good," Emilia says. "And, I must admit, I was sitting tentatively on that chair thinking, How long is this going to last?"
When asked if she wanted things to have ended better for Dany, the actress admits, "I'm not sure it could. Even for a part that I've given so much to and I've felt so much for, and for a character that's seen and lived through so much, I don't know that there was any other way."
Talking about filming the scene, Emilia wanted Daenerys' last moments to show her soft side, despite the cold acts she has committed. "It's not that I wanted to show her as 'mad,' because I really don't like that word. I don't enjoy fans calling me 'the Mad Queen,'" she explains. "But she is so far gone in grief, in trauma, and in pain."
Looking back to how she filmed her last scene, in which Daenerys and Jon Snow shared a final kiss before he put a knife in her heart, Emilia shares, "I wanted to show her as we saw her in the beginning: young, naïve, childlike, open, and full of love and hope. I wanted so much for that to be the last memory of her."
Read The New Yorker's article in full here.