Game of Thrones finale: Emilia Clarke addresses Daenerys' ending

"It's logical."

Jennifer Bisset
Jennifer Bisset
Jennifer Bisset Former Senior Editor / Culture
Jennifer Bisset was a senior editor for CNET. She covered film and TV news and reviews. The movie that inspired her to want a career in film is Lost in Translation. She won Best New Journalist in 2019 at the Australian IT Journalism Awards.
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Jennifer Bisset
3 min read

Warning: Game of Thrones finale spoilers ahead.

Game of Thrones has ended its watch, but we're still reeling from the aftermath of the series finale.

One of the coolest shots from the episode.


The episode, called The Iron Throne, aired Sunday on HBO. It evoked Lord of The Rings ending vibes (George R.R. Martin is a huge fan after all), with Arya and Jon going off on further adventures, though it retained its trademark emotional bullets, specifically the killing of Emilia Clarke's Daenerys Targaryen at the hand of Jon Snow.

Clarke spoke to Entertainment Weekly in detail about the lead-up to her character's end, and why it makes total sense. The internet's sentiment toward Dany's progression has been split, with many acknowledging the foreshadowing of her descent into madness, but deploring how quickly it happened in the final season.

Jon Snow is partly to blame

In the lead-up to Dany's annihilation of King's Landing, she suffers her best friend's death, the death of one of her dragons, betrayal by Varys and a general isolation from the people of the North. Most significantly, her love with Jon Snow is tarnished by both the reveal that he's her nephew and as such has a greater claim to the Iron Throne.


Jon rejects Dany's affections.

Helen Sloan/HBO

Clarke detailed the changes Dany's mindset underwent during this emotionally and mentally scarring period.

"She genuinely starts with the best intentions," she said.

The Starks' coldness toward Dany hits her hard after everything she's been through.

"There's so much she's taken on in her duty in life to rectify, so much she's seen and witnessed and been through and lost and suffered and hurt," Clarke said. "Suddenly these people are turning around and saying, 'We don't accept you.'"

And Dany couldn't recover from it.

"She's killed so many people already," Clarke said. "I can't turn this ship around."

In episode 5, Jon rejects a kiss from Dany. Without his love or the love of the people of Westeros, this leads to her new mindset to rule by fear.

"There's this boy. And she thinks, 'He loves me, and I think that's enough.' But is it enough? Is it? And it's just that hope and wishing that finally there is someone who accepts her for everything she is and … he f—king doesn't," Clarke said.


Seconds before Dany's best friend Missandei meets her demise.


Losing Missandei

The death of Dany's best friend Missandei was one of the major factors in Dany's arc.

"There's a number of turning points you see for Daenerys in the season, but that's the biggest break," Clarke said. 

Dany being killed by Jon Snow

In the Great Hall of the Red Keep, Dany finally has her moment to touch the Iron Throne. Soon after, Jon Snow joins her, and after a tearful encounter, he makes his decision to slide a dagger through her chest.

"Um, he just doesn't like women does he?" Clarke said. "He keeps f—king killing them."

Clarke addressed Jon's decision to follow Tyrion's wishes and kill Dany before she could attempt to "break the wheel" and free every single person in Westeros and beyond from oppressors.

Drogon destroys the throne after seeing his mother is dead.


"No. If I were to put myself in his shoes I'm not sure what else he could have done aside from… oh, I dunno, maybe having a discussion with me about it?" Clarke said.

Still, Dany's death gave a glimpse of the more innocent Dany from earlier seasons.

"Hopefully, what you'll see in that last moment as she's dying is: There's the vulnerability -- there's the little girl you met in season 1."

Dany's actions were 'logical'

On whether Dany's actions make sense, Clarke is in the positive camp.

"I stand by Daenerys ... I stand by her. I can't not."

Head to EW to read the entire interview.

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