“It wasn’t what she thought it was”: Game of Thrones Director Explained Emilia Clarke Actually Went God Mode in Horrible Season Finale That Fans Haven’t Forgiven Yet

In fact, there was a lot for many of us to chat about.... after this Game of Thrones finale!

emilia clarke in game of thrones

SUMMARY

  • The HBO adaptation of George R.R. Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire novels achieved mainstream success.
  • However, the Game of Thrones finale shocked and divided fans, particularly over Daenerys Targaryen’s sudden shift in her behavior.
  • In 2019, the showrunners and director have provided insight into the reasoning behind Daenerys’ actions.
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The Game of Thrones finale left fans shocked as well as divided, particularly when it came to Daenerys Targaryen’s (Emilia Clarke) descent into madness and destruction. While many were left questioning the character development and unexpected shift in behavior, the showrunners and the director have provided some insight into the reasoning behind Daenerys’ actions.

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A Song of Ice and Fire novels by George R.R. Martin have long been beloved by a cult following. As a result, the HBO adaptation of the series achieved enormous mainstream success. With a remarkable cast, Game of Thrones was groundbreaking visually and deeply political. But season 8 disappointed a lot of fans when it came to the abbreviated but much-anticipated conclusion.

The HBO adaptation of George R.R. Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire novels achieved mainstream success.
A still from Game of Thrones season 8 (via HBO)

The episode where Daenerys decides to burn down Kings’ Landing offended a lot of viewers. While some were incensed and accused the showrunners of misogyny and inadequate character development, others believed that the events were predictable.

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Exploring Emilia Clarke’s Character Arc: Perspectives from the Game of Thrones’ Creators

Back in 2019, in a behind-the-scenes video, showrunners, David Benioff and D. B. Weiss, along with director Miguel Sapochnik, addressed the decision to have Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) turn King’s Landing into a fiery hellscape. 

According to Sapochnik, Daenerys’ decision to embrace her ruthless side and burn the city to the ground was a significant turning point in her arc. It was the culmination of her growing frustration and “empty” feelings, as well as a way to show the audience the consequences of their desire for epic battles:

“She feels empty, it wasn’t what she thought it was, it’s not enough.”

However, the Game of Thrones finale shocked and divided fans, particularly over Daenerys Targaryen’s sudden shift in her behavior.
A still from Game of Thrones (Image credit: HBO)

That is when she decides to turn “this personal”, Weiss continued, referring to her choice to follow through on her long-promised vow to seize what is rightfully hers with fire and blood. According to Sapochnik, this is the equivalent of addressing the viewers and saying, “You wanted a battle, so here you go”.

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The video also delves into the technical aspects of filming the destruction of King’s Landing. Due to restrictions on filming in the original location of Dubrovnik, a massive backlot set was constructed to replicate the city. The attention to detail in creating the set was so meticulous that it drew the attention of the paparazzi, leading to the construction of a massive wall of shipping containers to keep prying eyes out.

Additionally, the video delves into Tyrion Lannister’s challenging decision to betray Lord Varys. Benioff explained that Tyrion’s choice came down to loyalty, choosing to remain loyal to Daenerys despite the consequences:

“It’s a choice between betraying your best friend or your Queen and he chooses to remain loyal to his Queen.”

Overall, the behind-the-scenes video provided an overview of the artistic process and decision-making behind the controversial finale. Well, what was Clarke’s response to the criticism following the finale?

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Understanding Emilia Clarke’s Perspective on the Game of Thrones Finale Criticism

Emilia Clarke, who portrayed Daenerys Targaryen on the HBO series, discussed life after Westeros and the finale that so many fans found offensive.
Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen in Game of Thrones [Credit: HBO Entertainment]
There is still a lingering sour taste from the Game of Thrones finale. The Daily Telegraph earlier spoke with Emilia Clarke, who portrayed Daenerys Targaryen on the HBO series, about life after Westeros and the finale that so many fans found offensive.

“I was too busy focusing on my own reactions to really pay too much attention, if any at all. The only thing I felt truthfully sad about was that [executive producers] David [Benioff] and Dan [Weiss] are my really good friends, and so it’s for them that I feel heartbreak, because it’s theirs.”

According to the actress, everyone is free to hold their own opinions and should be allowed to express them. She further added: 

“And if you’re sad that the show is done and you’re sad because you enjoyed watching it, then that’s sad. It sucks this wasn’t the perfect ending that people were hoping for, but I truly believe we would never have made everyone happy.”

In light of that, Clarke is also prepared to let go of Game of Thrones, as she said:

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“I don’t feel pressure to follow up on the show because it’s unfollowable.”

While fans may still be torn about Daenerys’ actions, the insight provided by the showrunners, actors, and director adds depth to the character’s motivations.

Whether you love it or hate it, the Game of Thrones finale will go down as one of the worst in history. 

Game of Thrones is streaming on Hulu & Max.

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Written by Siddhika Prajapati

Articles Published: 1540

Between everyday normalities and supernatural abnormalities, Siddhika Prajapati finds the story in everything. Literature Honors Graduate and Post-Graduated in Journalism (from Delhi University), her undying need to deduce the extraordinary out of simplicity makes her a vibrant storyteller.

Serving as a Senior Entertainment Writer at Fandom Wire and having written over 1500 pieces, Siddhika has also worked with multiple clients and projects over the years, including Indian Express, India Today, and Outlook Group.

Who knows, maybe your next favorite persona on the screen will be crafted by her.