- Emilia Clarke said goodbye to her iconic role of Daenerys Targaryen when the final season of “Game of Thrones” aired in May.
- In Variety’s new actors-on-actors interview, Clarke told Regina Hall about the pain of closing this chapter.
- “It felt deeply emotional,” Clarke said. “[‘Game of Thrones’] is very much a family. You saw for the first time everyone’s truthful fragility coming through […] when it did finally end, it broke everyone.”
- Clarke recently revealed that she experienced two brain injuries over the course of filming the HBO series, and credits her role as the Mother of Dragons as a driving force for her recovery.
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“Having it come to its completion feels utterly surreal,” Clarke told actress Regina Hall in a new Variety interview. “So much life has happened in the 10 years that I’ve been on the show. I’ve grown into a woman. I was 23. It’s been almost a year in post, and it’s taken me that long to come to terms with it. Where are my dragons? That famous line. Where the hell are they? It felt deeply emotional.”
The cast and crew first assembled in the fall of 2017 for a final table read of the entire last season. In HBO’s “The Last Watch” documentary, footage of this multi-day event showed Clarke and her costars sharing pained looks and many tears as various characters were killed off.
But then it was time to get to work. The final season of “Game of Thrones” had one of the longest filming schedules in the show’s history (about eight months) for its last six episodes.
“[‘Game of Thrones’] is very much a family,” Clarke said in Variety’s actors-on-actors feature. “You saw for the first time everyone’s truthful fragility coming through as it ended. You’re putting on all this thing like it’s fine, it’s fine. When it did finally end, it broke everyone.”
In “The Last Watch,” both Clarke and her costar Kit Harington’s last days on set were shown. Clarke held back tears in her hair and makeup trailer as she donned the Daenerys Targaryen wig for the final time.
Harington made a tear-filled speech to the cast and crew gathered on his final day, and said he felt like his heart was breaking.”
Ahead of the final season’s premiere, Clarke wrote a personal essay in The New Yorker revealing her experience with two brain aneurysms. In 2011 and again in 2013, between filming seasons “Game of Thrones,” Clarke underwent brain surgery and intense recoveries in hospital intensive-care units.
She credits the role of Daenerys Targaryen and the focus of her work on “Game of Thrones” as one of the things which helped her stay focused on staying alive during the traumatic years when she lived with the brain injuries.
The eighth and final season of “Game of Thrones” came to an end on May 19, 2019. Clarke already has her next big project lined up, with a new Christmas-themed romantic comedy set to premiere this coming November.
- Read more:
- How Daenerys Targaryen’s season 2 vision foreshadowed the ‘Game of Thrones’ finale twist
- See Emilia Clarke’s emotional Instagram tribute to Daenerys Targaryen and ‘magical’ fans
- ‘Game of Thrones’ star Kit Harington checked himself into ‘a wellness retreat to work on some personal issues’
- 31 unanswered questions the ‘Game of Thrones’ series finale left us with
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