- After eight seasons, the series finale of “Game of Thrones” aired earlier on May 19.
- Many major characters saw their storylines completed and fans got answers to some of the show’s biggest questions, but not all of them.
- Some leading cast members from “Game of Thrones” have responded to the finale, including Kit Harington, Sophie Turner, and Maisie Williams.
- Warning: Major spoilers ahead.
- Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more stories.
HBO’s series “Game of Thrones” aired its final episode earlier this month on May 19.
Millions of people watched the finale and many fans took to the internet to discuss its highlights and shortcomings. The 80-minute episode was called “The Iron Throne,” and if you haven’t watched it yet, be warned that there are major spoilers ahead.
The episode included big moments such as Jon Snow killing Daenerys Targaryen, Bran Stark being crowned King of the Six Kingdoms, and Sansa Stark becoming Queen in the North. The episode wrapped up with a brief look toward what is next for Westeros and it left many wondering how the “GOT” actors felt about the final season and the fate of their characters.
Here is what the show’s cast has said about the series finale and final season of “Game of Thrones” so far.
Kit Harington has previously described the finale as “disappointing” though he has also defended the finale against those who dislike it.
Kit Harington’s character Jon Snow ended the season by killing Daenerys Targaryen, being imprisoned, and ending up being forced to join what is left of the Night’s Watch.
Speaking with PopBuzz in February 2019, Harington described the season finale of “Game of Thrones” as “disappointing.” But then he laughed and said the finale would be “epic,” explaining it’d be one of the two.
In May, Harington told Entertainment Weekly that fans would be divided over the show’s finale.
In terms of critics who were shocked about Daenerys’ ending, since she sort of leaned into the “Mad Queen” theory by killing a ton of innocent people even after they surrendered, he suggested that perhaps they were in denial
He said, “But if you track [Daenerys’] story all the way back, she does some terrible things. She crucifies people. She burns people alive. This has been building. So, we have to say to the audience: ‘You’re in denial about this woman as well. You knew something was wrong. You’re culpable, you cheered her on.”
In regard to Jon Snow killing Daenerys, Harington told Entertainment Weekly that he felt this act was true to Jon’s character saying, “This is the second woman he’s fallen in love with who dies in his arms and he cradles her in the same way,” adding ” … This destroys Jon to do this.”
Notably, in April, Harington told Esquire, “I think no matter what anyone thinks about this season – and I don’t mean to sound mean about critics here – but whatever critic spends half an hour writing about this season and makes their judgment on it, in my head they can go f— themselves. ‘Cause I know how much work was put into this.”
Lena Headey said she had “mixed” feelings about Cersei Lannister’s ending at first
In May, Lena Headey, who played Cersei Lannister on the show, told Entertainment Weekly about her “mixed” feelings towards her character’s fate. She explained, “I wanted her to have some big piece or fight with somebody,” but that the more she discussed the ending, the more “it seemed like the perfect end for her.”
Her character ended up dying alongside Jaime Lannister as they were crushed by a crumbling building.
She also reflected on the poetic nature of Cersei and Jaime dying together saying, “They came into the world together and now they leave together … It’s maybe the first time that Cersei has been at peace.”
Emilia Clarke said she stands behind Daenerys’ actions and feels her character was “taken care of.”
Many felt Emilia Clarke’s character Daenerys Targaryen drastically changed in the show’s final season. Her character burnt down an entire village of innocent people and her enemies who had surrendered. In the end, she was stabbed and killed by Jon Snow.
In May, Clarke told Entertainment Weekly that she was “flabbergasted” when reading the script, but understands where the change in her character came from.
She identified a number of turning points for Daenerys but said losing Missandei is what broke Daenerys completely. Missandei had been publicly executed per Cersei’s command earlier that season.
Many fans were outraged by the change in Daenerys’ character, but Emilia Clarke told Entertainment Weekly that she “stands by Daenerys.” She also said she doesn’t feel sorry for Jon Snow.
Speaking about Daenerys’ final scene, Clarke said that she knew the Mother of Dragons would die, but felt it was “a very beautiful and touching ending” because she felt her character had finally come full-circle.
Sophie Turner said she felt Sansa Stark being named Queen in the North was “perfect.”
In May, speaking to Vogue magazine about the final season, Sophie Turner said she feels a lot of fans have been surprised to see Sansa Stark come into her own sense of empowerment, but she knew she had it in her all along.
“Her power was in her silence. It was only when she got her power back at Winterfell that she became a leader and got her revenge. She’s smart and manipulative and learned from the best,” said Turner.
In the finale, Sansa was named Queen in the North, which she told The New York Times was “the perfect ending for her,” particularly because the North is “the only place that she really, truly feels safe. It’s the place that she’s the most capable of ruling. She would be a fair and loving ruler, and it’s what she’s been striving for this whole series: to go back home, to protect her home. And finally, she has that.”
Turner also said she ideally would have ended the show with no one on the Iron Throne and considering it was destroyed by a dragon … her dream sort of did come true.
In terms of how she felt about Bran being crowned King of the Six Kingdoms, in May,Turner told The New York Times, “The best way for us to move into the future is to look at our past and try to not make those mistakes that we did in the past. And he’s the one person that knows everything, so it does make sense. It feels like he would be an incredibly fair ruler.”
In that same interview, the actress also responded to the viewer-started petitions that called for the show’s final season to be redone. At the time of this post’s publication, some of these petitions have gotten over 1.5 million signatures.
She said the petitions are “disrespectful to the crew, and the writers, and the filmmakers” who had worked so hard on the show. “So many people worked so, so hard on it, and for people to just rubbish it because it’s not what they want to see is just disrespectful,” she added.
Isaac Hempstead Wright said he’s “thrilled” for Bran Stark.
In May, in a guest column for The Hollywood Reporter, the actor who played Isaac Hempstead Wright, discussed how “thrilled” he is that his character Bran Stark took the throne.
He explained his character’s long journey, writing, “I find it an extraordinary character arc to see him go from a vulnerable character totally dependent on others to the one person who holds all the keys to understanding the world. Bran becoming king is a victory for the still and considered people of this world, who too often get sidelined by the commotion of those who are louder and more reactionary.”
“To end ‘Game of Thrones’ with uncertainty is perhaps the most honest way to end a story so vast and complex,” he also wrote.
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, who played Jaime Lannister, explained to fans why the season could feel rushed
In a May interview with Vanity Fair, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, who played Jaime Lannister, explained why the last season was seemingly paced differently from the rest.
“We’re used to having a whole season to get to a point. Now, suddenly, a lot of things happen very quickly,” he told the publication.
” … Trying to connect the dots between the scenes was a little complicated because you invest so much time … There’s so many things that obviously you can’t go through, on-screen, all of these moments, but you have to still walk through them in your mind, if you’re an actor, at least talk about them. There was a lot of those connecting the dots throughout,” he added.
Maisie Williams said she wishes Arya Stark got to put her skills to the test one last time
In May, Maisie Williams, who played Arya Stark, told Entertainment Weekly she was convinced Arya would be the one to kill Cersei Lannister and that Arya would use Jaime’s face. This could have been possible because as fans will remember, Arya trained with the Faceless Men and got the power to wear other people’s faces.
“I wanted Arya to kill Cersei even if it means [Arya] dies too. Even up to the point when Cersei’s with Jaime I thought [while reading the script], ‘He’s going to whip off his face [and reveal its Arya]’ and they’re both going to die. I thought that’s what Arya’s drive has been,” she told the publication.
Instead, Arya Stark headed on a boat adventure to explore what’s west of Westeros. Ultimately, Williams said she is happy with the direction her character went in, saying, “It’s not a ‘Game of Thrones’ ending for Arya, it’s a happy ending … it gave me a place to take Arya that I never thought I’d go with her again.”
Peter Dinklage said he is happy with Tyrion Lannister’s ending.
Peter Dinklage’s character, Tyrion Lannister, outlives all of his family members and is named Hand of the King to Bran Stark.
In an October 2018 interview with Vulture, he said, “I think [Tyrion] was given a very good conclusion.”
“[The show’s writers] ended it brilliantly … better than I could have imagined,” he told Entertainment Tonight in May. “It ends beautifully for my character, whether it be tragic or not.”
Gwendoline Christie, who played Ser Brienne of Tarth, said she was proud of Bran Stark.
In May, Gwendoline Christie (Ser Brienne of Tarth) told Entertainment Weekly that when Jaime Lannister slept with Brienne then left her to be with his sister, she was “so upset” for her character.
That being said, she loved that her character stayed focused on her work.
“She goes back to work. Because she always loves work – that feels refreshing, a woman can be happy without a companion. Woman don’t have to be defined by their partner and that’s good,” Christie added. Brienne ended up becoming Bran’s commander of the Kingsguard.
In regards to Bran ending up as a king, Christie possibly predicted it all along. An interview with Extra from 2017 shows Christie guessing Bran would become king and, as of 2019, she couldn’t be happier her prediction came true.
In a May interview with The Wrap, Christie said, “I was so delighted when I learned that Bran was going to rule Westeros because I just love that someone who is not at all interested in ambition and power is placed in a position of power. Someone who is almost entirely egoless is the one that will be ruling. And I also love that it was the most unlikely candidate and that’s been one of my favourite themes in the show when the most unlikely people triumph.”
Conleth Hill, who plays Lord Varys, said he was “depressed” about his character’s death.
Conleth Hill, who played Lord Varys, said he was “so depressed” to find out his character’s fate.
After betraying Daenerys, she ordered him to be executed by her dragon and Varys was burned alive for being a traitor. Hill told Belfast Telegraph in May that he was “inconsolable” during filming.
“I didn’t think Varys would be powerful or on the throne or anything like that. But personally, it still hurt,” said the actor. ” … Storywise, it was a brilliant decision and it was a great way to go.”
Jason Momoa, who played Khal Drogo on early seasons of the show, wasn’t pleased about Dany’s death.
Jason Momoa, who played Daenerys’ love interest Khal Drogo on early seasons of the show, live-streamed his reaction to the finale of “Game of Thrones” on his Instagram.
Although he didn’t direct any of his complaints to the writers and directors of the show, he certainly seemed unhappy with the ending of some of the “GOT” characters.
He seemed especially angry when Jon Snow killed the Queen of Dragons, saying: “I feel lost, I’m lost. What the f—! Drogon should have f—ing melted [Jon Snow’s] a–!”
Richard Madden, who played Robb Stark on early seasons of the show, said he still hasn’t watched the finale.
When Richard Madden, who played Robb Stark, was asked about the finale, some audiences were surprised when he said he hadn’t watched it yet.
“I’ve been busy running about, doing things, so I’ve not had the chance to. But it’s been spoiled quite a few times for me already,” he said on “Good Morning America” earlier this week.
It’s not surprising considering he’s been busy promoting his new film “Rocketman.” Since his character died in season three of the show, many fans are curious to know how he feels about his on-screen siblings’ fate.
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