Next to The Sopranos, the series finale for Game of Thrones is one of the most hotly debated endings in recent memory. Basically concluding the grand series with no build-up, fans were pretty miffed about how deuteragonist Daenerys Targaryen got killed despite nothing pointing to that twist of fate. Star Emilia Clarke has finally opened up about her feeling on the finale and she seems to agree with everyone else.
Speaking to The Sunday Times, Clarke said, “Yeah, I felt for her. I really felt for her. And yeah, was I annoyed that Jon Snow didn’t have to deal with something? He got away with murder – literally.” She explains how during initial readings for the finale, she felt something was off. She tried to silence the voices telling her that fans would be disappointed, but ultimately couldn’t disregard them.
“I knew how I felt [about the ending] when I first read it, and I tried, at every turn, not to consider too much what other people might say. But I did always consider what the fans might think – because we did it for them.” She then notes that Game of Thrones likely became popular because of its big set pieces, something that fans often raved about the day after each episode aired.
I have no real horse in the race that is Game of Thrones, but everything I’d read points to the finale failing to capitalize on years of build-up. The final season took a bit too long to even happen, then HBO seemingly rushed through story beats to race to a pre-determined conclusion. If the writers had been more flexible, maybe public opinion would be different.