- It’s been a year since HBO’s “Game of Thrones” ended after eight seasons.
- 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 cast members, like Lena Headey and Maisie Williams, had mixed feeling about the fate of their characters.
- Others, like Carice Van Houten, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, and Peter Dinklage, are pretty satisfied with how the show wrapped.
- Warning: Major “Game of Thrones” spoilers ahead.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
HBO’s “Game of Thrones” aired its final episode a year ago, and many fans are still divided about it.
Here’s what the stars of “Game of Thrones” had to say about their character’s fate and the final season of the series.
Kit Harington has previously described the finale as “disappointing” though he has also defended it against those who dislike it.
Kit Harington’s character Jon Snow ended the season by killing Daenerys Targaryen, being imprisoned, and 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 2019, 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.”
But in April 2019, Harington defended the finale when he 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 2019, 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.”
The actress also told Den of Geek that her biggest gripe is that she wanted “a better death” for Cersei. Her character ended up dying alongside Jaime Lannister as they were crushed by a crumbling building.
Headey also reflected on the poetic nature of Cersei and Jaime dying together, telling Entertainment Weekly, “They came into the world together and now they leave together … It’s maybe the first time that Cersei has been at peace.”
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, who played Jaime Lannister, explained to fans why the season could feel rushed
In a May 2019 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.
The actor also later said that he’s quite a fan of the show’s ending, calling it “amazing.”
Sophie Turner said she felt Sansa Stark being named Queen in the North was “perfect.”
In May 2019, speaking on the final season, Sophie Turner told Vogue that she 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.
During 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” and it’s where she is “most capable of ruling.”
Turner also said she ideally would have ended the show with no one on the Iron Throne – 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, Turner told The New York Times, ” … 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 with over 1 million signatures that called for the show’s final season to be redone.
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 a May 2019 guest column for The Hollywood Reporter, 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.”
He continued, “To end ‘Game of Thrones’ with uncertainty is perhaps the most honest way to end a story so vast and complex.”
Maisie Williams said she wishes Arya Stark got to put her skills to the test one last time
In May 2019, 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 as she did it.
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,” she told the publication.
Instead, Arya 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.”
Emilia Clarke said she stands behind Daenerys’ actions, and that she feels her character was “taken care of.”
Many felt Emilia Clarke’s character Daenerys Targaryen drastically changed during 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 2019, Clarke told Entertainment Weekly she was “flabbergasted” when reading the final script, but she 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 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.
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 2019. “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 2019, Gwendoline Christie, who played 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.
Even so, she loved that her character stayed focused on her work, and Brienne ended up becoming Bran’s commander of the Kingsguard.
“She goes back to work. Because she always loves work – that feels refreshing, a woman can be happy without a companion. Women don’t have to be defined by their partner and that’s good,” Christie added.
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, she couldn’t be happier her prediction came true.
In a May 2019 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 … 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 played 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, Varys was executed by her dragon, and he 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.”
Carice Van Houten, who played Melisandre, loved the show’s final season.
Carice Van Houten, who played Melisandre, seems loved the final season of the show.
“I just love the fact that the whole throne was blown away,” she told The Hollywood Reporter in September 2019. “The whole thing was gone. I really loved it, and also the randomness of talking about who’s going to be king. The silliness of it was very smart. I thought, ‘This is what life is. Some dumbo can become president.'”
The actress later told Insider that even though the final season of the show received negative reviews, she loved the “randomness” and “clumsiness” of it.
“I loved the ending. I loved the randomness of just picking a king,” she said.
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, livestreamed 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 hasn’t watched the finale.
When Richard Madden, who played Robb Stark, was asked about the finale in 2019, 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.
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.
A year later, it’s still unclear if Madden has seen the ending of the series.