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Even though it's been a little over two years since Game of Thrones wrapped with its Season 8 finale, bringing the fantasy hit to a close, you could probably still begin a conversation with, "So, GOT, amirite?" and have anyone you say it to totally get your meaning. While it's never easy bringing a long-running fan favorite to an end, millions upon millions of fans were left angry / disappointed / unimpressed by much of what happened during the show's final season, including some of the stars. If you're wondering whether or not Emilia Clarke has now come to terms with the Game of Thrones ending, though, we have your answer.
Emilia Clarke got her big break playing Daenerys Targaryen on Game of Thrones, and went on to spend most of those eight seasons playing a character who was almost universally beloved by fans for quickly overcoming her terrible circumstances and taking full control of her life. Of course, that changed, a lot, as the last season drew to a close, and what appeared to be Dany's Mad King DNA took hold and made her do way more horrible things than many of us expected, leading to a shocking end for the short-term ruler of the Iron Throne.
Clarke has noted before that it took her a while to work through what was going to happen with Dany in the last season of Game of Thrones. But, she was recently asked by The Hollywood Reporter if she's now made peace with how her character arc ended, and said:
I really have. I really, really, really have. I think it’ll take me to my 90s to be able to objectively see what Game of Thrones was, 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? I watch a scene and I go, 'Oh, that was when [such and such] happened,' which you didn’t see on screen. And I think there’s something timely about the prequels and the continuation of the Game of Thrones story coming about now. I look at it and I’m like, 'Wow, yeah.' So I see it with only peace.
Ahhhh...Can you feel that? It's the sound of Emilia Clarke, and at least some of the fans who loved Dany and felt she was wronged by Game of Thrones Season 8, collectively relaxing into the fact that they can't change the finale and finally, fully, moving on. As Clarke noted, it will probably take her a long while until she can look at any of the show objectively, because it was just too massive of an experience and too big a part of her life as a young actor, but, it seems like these two years have been able to give her the distance she's needed to really deal with the ultimate outcome for Dany.
This may be why she was able to recently respond to a question about what scene she'd like to change in Game of Thrones with a bit of humor. Clarke excitedly answered that she'd change her final scene, in a way that only someone who's over it, but remembers the feeling of not being pleased with the ending, could.
Emilia Clarke went on to note that she's now pretty zen about much of what happened while working on GOT, and that's largely thanks to the actual time she spent on set, and with her character:
I’m still friends with people from the show, and I know I will be friends with these people until the day I die. So it’s had a lasting impact on my life, and it starts to become, like, ‘Hey guys, remember when we were in college? Hey, remember the fourth grade?’ You start to see it from that point of view. Daenerys has a part of my heart. She is in there, and I’ll never forget...So I think that there’s the show, the impact of the show, the impact of the show on me, personally and professionally, and the zeitgeist-iness of it. And then there’s Daenerys. So that’s my own private little space that I don’t need to make peace with because it’s just a beautiful memory. It’s just a beautiful memory.
There! Did you hear it this time? More sighs of relief, my friends.
Emilia Clarke has moved on from Game of Thrones, and is gearing up for her MCU turn in the Disney+ series Secret Invasion, but if you'd like to relive GOT, you can do so on HBO Max. For more to watch, check out our guide to 2021 summer TV premieres!