- Warning: Major spoilers head for the series finale of HBO’s “Game of Thrones.”
- The last episodes of “Game of Thrones” showed Daenerys Targaryen taking a dark turn.
- In a 2018 interview with Vanity Fair, a red carpet video with Entertainment Tonight, and a German press event, Emilia Clarke had worrying reactions when asked about the final season of “Game of Thrones.”
- Knowing now how her story ended, these anguished responses make a lot of sense.
- Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more stories
“Game of Thrones” star Emilia Clarke knew about Daenerys Targaryen’s fate for two years before millions of fans watched her downfall on the HBO drama. In the weeks since the eighth season premiere, several interviews Clarke gave over the past 18 months have resurfaced online, all of which show how hard it was for the actress to keep her personal feelings about Daenerys’ demise to herself.
We’ve rounded up the three most-telling interviews Clarke gave before season eight premiered, all of which were major hints about the rough waters in store for the Mother of Dragons.
May 2018: Clarke says her final moments on the show ‘f—–‘ her up
In an interview with Vanity Fair’s Joanna Robinson conducted in the spring of 2018, Clarke said she had already filmed the last on-screen moments for Daenerys Targaryen.
“It f—ed me up,” Clarke said. “Knowing that is going to be a lasting flavour in someone’s mouth of what Daenerys is …”
Clarke trailed off, and didn’t get into more specifics, but that was the first major warning sign that people were likely to be upset with Daenerys’ turn on the season. The hint was just cryptic enough to leave people puzzling over what could possibly go south for her character’s end.
The next big context clue came from the night of the 2018 Emmy Awards.
September 2018: Clarke makes a worrying face when asked if she’s ‘happy’ with how the show ends
On the night of September 17, 2018, Clarke attended HBO’s Emmy Awards after-party with costars Jacob Anderson (who plays Grey Worm) and Nathalie Emmanuel (Missandei).
“Entertainment Tonight” spoke with them on the party’s red carpet, and asked all three actors what they could say about the final season.
Clarke started out the interview by saying it was “the best season ever.”
But a couple questions later, Clarke was asked if she had shot her final scenes yet and if so, was she happy with how things had ended?
Emmanuel says “yes” almost immediately, but Clarke instead raised her eyebrows and made a small noise of laughter. You can see Clarke’s face change from listening to worried as soon as the reporter said “are you happy” in the GIF below:
When pressed, Clarke repeated the phrase “best season ever” loudly into the microphone, but this time it sounded a bit sarcastic. Anderson, who was standing next to her, started laughing.
Knowing now that Missandei and Daenerys would die rather horrible deaths, and Grey Worm would take a concerning turn into vengeance, it’s clear the three actors were trying to refrain from revealing too much while also letting fans know things were going to be rough for their characters.
March 2019: Clarke mimed throwing up when asked to show what her facial expression was when she read the finale script
This clip was rediscovered by a fan who shared the video on the “A Song of Ice and Fire” subreddit just a few days before the season eight finale. In the video (above), a reporter for the German site Golden Camera asks Clarke if she can recreate the facial expressions she made when she read the final script for the very first time.
Clarke says “it’s pretty much one stage,” and then turns to look into the camera. She stares blankly for a bit, then her eyebrows raise in concern, and then she mimics leaning to the side and vomiting before sitting back up and smiling.
Though the way in which Daenerys Targaryen’s downfall on “Game of Thrones” was written on the show has its issues that led to backlash, it’s now clear Emilia Clarke was doing her best to ready fans for the worst. The Mother of Dragons was killed on the series’ finale, murdered by Jon Snow just after she had finally reached her goal of the Iron Throne.
Follow INSIDER’s coverage of the “Game of Thrones” series finale here.
- Read more:
- Emilia Clarke says she knew about Daenerys Targaryen’s plot twist for 2 years: ‘It was so hard to keep it a secret’
- Every detail you might have missed so far on ‘Game of Thrones’ season 8
- THEN AND NOW: How the ‘Game of Thrones’ characters have changed since the first season
- All the new changes in the ‘Game of Thrones’ opening credits you might have missed
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