Curtain Call: Emilia Clarke

Drogon Daenerys 804 Season 8

Here it is. The Curtain Call I feared but had hoped I would never have to write. The reign of Daenerys Stormborn of House Targaryen – the First of Her Name, Queen of the Andals and the First Men, Protector of the Seven Kingdoms, the Mother of Dragons, the Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, the Unburnt, and Breaker of Chains – has come to a tragic and fatal end.

As many of you already know, Daenerys is my favorite character. I fell in love with her during my first read of A Song of Ice and Fire in 2011, and I was excited to see her onscreen portrayal when I began watching Game of Thrones. From her first scene, Emilia Clarke was Daenerys. She captured her innocence, her vulnerability and timidness – but you could also tell she possessed a fierce inner strength, an ability to rise above her tragic circumstances and persevere despite the odds.

Perhaps it’s not surprising to learn that Daenerys’ strength is echoed in Emilia herself. In an emotional essay for The New Yorker earlier this year, she admitted she suffered two aneurysms during the course of Thrones – one after filming season one and the other after season three. Much like her character, Emilia refused to let anyone see her suffering. “I was a young girl who was given a huge opportunity. I did not for any reason want to give anyone a reason to think I was anything other than capable of fulfilling the duties they had given me. And I didn’t know what the show was at that moment. All I knew was I had a job.”

Clarke in Season 2, which she says was the hardest season to film and participate in press for after her first aneurysm surgery.

It was an incredibly difficult time, but Emilia drew inspiration from the character she played. “You go on set and play a badass and you walk through fire and that became the thing that saved me from considering my own mortality,” she admits. During her first brain hemorrhage, Emilia “tried to recall, among other things, some lines from Game of Thrones” to keep her memory intact.

She later threw herself into her work, but it wasn’t always possible to keep fears of another attack at bay while on set, as she recounts to the LA Times, “I’ll suddenly get a tension headache and I’ll turn to someone who’s near me — God love every hair and makeup girl I’ve ever had — and say, ‘I think I’m having a brain hemorrhage, but I’m not. Can you just hold my hand and look at me and tell me I’m going to be fine?’ And I’d just try to relax, take some deep breaths and get through it.”

Playing Daenerys was a grueling job, and Emilia powered through despite her brain injuries. She brought her character to life, letting us share in her highs and her lows. We witnessed her lose her child and her husband, bring dragons back into the world, conquer cities, free slaves, and fight the undead. We grieved with her, cheered her on, questioned her ruthlessness, felt her love for her people and were wary of her hunger for the Iron Throne. Ultimately that hunger led to her downfall, as all of her losses, the suspicion of the people of Westeros, the betrayal of her advisors, and the rejection of Jon Snow caused her to fully embrace her House words: Fire and Blood.

(3) Courtesy of HBO

Daenerys may have turned to the “dark side,” but Emilia has a difficult time seeing her that way. In that same LA Times interview, Emilia says, “It’s a woman I lived with for a decade…So for that to be the way that it ends … obviously there’s a poetry to it, but there’s a huge amount of pain that comes with it.”

For her final scene, Emilia wanted us to remember the girl we fell in love with back in season one. “I just wanted the audience to have a little reminder of who she was in the beginning. And I wanted that kind of justice for her, if I’m really honest. I wanted the person that [Jon] kills to not be a tyrannical dictator. It should just be a girl. It should be a human thing. And I think there’s an enormous amount of that person left.”

Despite who Daenerys became, her story was a fascinating one – both inspirational and a tragic cautionary tale. Thank you Emilia for telling it so brilliantly. Valar Morghulis, Khaleesi.

 attends the 91st Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood and Highland on February 24, 2019 in Hollywood, California.

Emilia Clarke’s first big break was her role on Game of Thrones, but she has gone on to star in other big budget projects – playing Sarah Connor in Terminator Genisys and Qi’ra in Solo: A Star Wars Story. She has also started a charity to support survivors of brain injury and stroke called SameYou. You can catch Emilia next in the upcoming movies Above Suspicion with Johnny Knoxville and Last Christmas alongside Emma Thompson. I hope she continues to light up our screens with her bubbly personality long into the future.

148 responses

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    1. Hodor?

      Great curtain call, Vanessa.

      After doing a complete series re-watch in anticipation of this last season, I was struck by how very good Emilia is. I remember originally thinking she wasn’t the strongest actress, but now I think she was fantastic from the beginning. She was playing a frightened character in the beginning. Not being a weak actress!

      Both Emilia and Daenerys are inspirations!

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    2. Brilliant and touching. Brought a tear to me eye. Thank you so much for giving this to us, Vanessa, and THANK YOU, EMILIA!

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    3. Vanessa that was a beautiful and well written honoring of the most beautiful and dynamic character on Game of Thrones. THANK YOU. I dreaded this as much as you did apparently, you did a remarkable job. What a beautiful and tragic woman Dany was.

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    4. Omg, I cried 🙁

      This is the hardest curtain call of all for me.

      Its so ironic how after the events of “The Bells”, my heart broke to a million pieces when my queen was killed <3

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    5. Vanessa that was a beautiful and well written honoring of the most beautiful and dynamic character on Game of Thrones. THANK YOU. I dreaded this as much as you did apparently, you did a remarkable job. What a beautiful and tragic woman Dany was.

      Queen of Nothing:
      Vanessa that was a beautiful and well written honoring of the most beautiful and dynamic character on Game of Thrones. THANK YOU. I dreaded this as much as you did apparently, you did a remarkable job. What a beautiful and tragic woman Dany was.

      I said beautiful so many times, can you tell I am a crazed fan? HA HA

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    6. Thank you Emilia, You and Daenerys will be missed. Her final scene was brilliant and I loved her entire arc. Even the last 2 episodes.

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    7. Thank you Vanessa for this great and tragic curtain call! I was always struck by the wonderful female characters in ASOIAF/GoT. I loved any strong, and badass woman. I think it’s why it irked me so much that they were sometimes pitted against each other in the show. I’m not going to like – I was LIVING for dark!Dany. Emilia really brought it this season in terms of vulnerability and villainy. I loved it! My own justification for loving the villainous turn was if millions of fanyboys and girls can still love Anakin/Darth Vader, & the Galactic Empire after committing acts of genocide and destroying two planets…well I can like dark!Dany.

      I was also more emotional in the Dany+Drogon scene than I was watching the Dany+Jorah scene. But I’m a sucker for animals haha. It just wrecked me. Thank you so much Emilia! You were perfection! Now here’s hoping she does a play in London like Maisie, Kit and Gwen have done. Hoping to see Gwen this summer performing in A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Bridge Theater!

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    8. I appreciated Dany’s journey but could never bring myself to love a character with such a fierce sense of entitlement. That said, Emilia played her to utter perfection and seems an absolute delight in real life. She and Kristofer Hivju are the two cast members I’d most love to raise a glass with in a pub somewhere in the wide world!

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    9. Emilia just has that “it” factor.
      That quality that makes you unable to keep your eyes off of her. Doesn’t matter who she is sharing a scene with, she draws all the attention to her. And it isn’t something that can be learned. Its just something you have.

      She brought such a complex character to life in the most beautiful way. And she played those last moments of Daenerys to utter perfection.

      My bittersweet ending is knowing Dany is in the nightlands with her Khal. Even though we know from Jon, there is nothing.

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    10. I was never the biggest fan of Emilia Clarke’s acting…until season 8. She completely got me with her portrayal of Dark Daenerys and the vulnerability in her last scene. For me, Daenerys changed from being one of the most boring characters to one of the most fascinating and Emilia’s acting had a great part in that.

      In real-life Emilia Clarke seems to be a really kind person. I loved her enthusiasm for the show and wish her all the best for the future.

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    11. If only Emilia had been allowed to further explore those moments that turned Daenerys.
      Such a missed opportunity.

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    12. I remember Emilia took some knocks for season 2 (she had been very good in season 1), some of which was due to some poor dialog and she seemed to respond to different directors in different ways. Tho in the first two episodes of S2 I could see nothing wrong.
      Season 3 had a real breakout for Emilia because episode 4 was a wow! D&D added a touch in that episode that was not in the book, Dany (herself) hid that she spoke Valyrian (I guess her antagonist just thought she had never learned it?) as a plot surprise, Kraznys realizes all this insults have been understood by her. Emilia hit that one out of the park, her expressions as she dealt silently with a loutish Kraznys , and then speaking Valyrian to the Unsullied, speaking with body language , inflection and projection (David Peterson says he was quite impressed). She does it again when speaking to the Unsullied and making the freedom offer. (This was a lot of invented language and she only spoken Dothraki before.) (In that scene Missandei , Selmay and Jorah show surprise, I would have thought Mormont would have known about Dany’s ability.)
      Next in season 4 Emilia does it again in episode 3 she does it with the Meereenise ultimatum (tho , again, the acoustical physics seem impossible.)
      After that Emilia seemed to settle into a more nuanced character quite different from season 2.
      In season 5 Emilia has a remarkable scene with Peter Dinklage , episode 8 (Hardhome) , she goes Alpha Female, responding to Sapochnik? Dany seems to become a real Queen.
      Season 6 , Dany speaking Dotraki again takes command.
      Since season 5 Emilia was more in command of her character, at least when given good dialog, all the directors seemed to work well together with her.
      By the end I could not imagine any other actress in the role.
      (It did always strike me that she looked and sounded best when speaking Dothrai and Valyrian even tho Peterson said she was not always ‘in tune’ for the pronunciation.)

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    13. Dracarys has become a rallying cry, Dany’s character (before the tragic turn) was an inspiration. Emilia brought her to life beautifully. Nothing but kudos for her!!!

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    14. Daenerys was my favourite character from the start, and Emilia was absolutely brilliant in the role. She was often criticised by morons that don’t know anything about acting and others that just didn’t understand her character. “She’s a terrible actress”, yes she is, Daenerys is a terrible actress, not Emilia. Daenerys held a facade of what she believed a Khaleesi should be like, ever since the third episode where she understood that showing her emotions won’t get her anywhere. Emilia portrayed it perfectly, and when she was alone or around people she could trust that’s where we saw Daenerys at her honest self.

      My favourite scenes of her always involved Jorah:
      In season four, when she banished Jorah, Daenerys tried with all her might to not show any emotion, but her eyes couldn’t lie, she was on the verge of tears the entire time, yet tried to hold it in. Emilia was absolutely amazing.
      In season six when she sees what happened to Jorah, breaking completely knowing it was all her fault, was absolutely heartbreaking, and then knowing that Jorah is about to go kill himself, she stops him, gives him a purpose once more and tells him how important he is to her.
      Their reunion in season seven was also amazing, how Daenerys face is filled with joy and love at seeing her friends again, and the momentarily hesitation right before she hugs and show platonic affection to a man who is completely in love with her was brilliant.
      And of course her final moments with Jorah was just heartbreaking.

      Even though I disliked the way her character was handled in season 8, I’m so happy Emilia finally had material that showed how great of an actress she really is, even to her biggest critics.

      Emilia Clarke, thank you for bringing life to one of my all time favourite characters, I wish you the best.

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    15. Thank you Vanessa for this beautiful curtain call..
      I was always prepared for this curtain call but never imagined it would happen the way it happened in the show..

      I guess Iam still in denial and in my own version Drogon gets Dany resurrected by kinvara and stays in great grass sea and never care about westeros again even when she hears news about how westeros is being torn by civil wars again..

      Emilia Clarke is such a beautiful actress who oozes charisma and able to make audience feel her screen presence even if she is sharing the scenes with well known actors like Iain and Peter..

      The only good thing to take away from season 8 for me is the acting performance of Emilia and the amount of rave reviews she has been getting so far..

      Hopefully this will be the year she gets to have the Emmy finally..

      Apart from her portrayal of Daenerys, she as an Individual seems to be such a fun loving and joyful person to be around..

      How can we talk about Emilia without mentioning her trademark smile and eyebrows..
      She really has one of the beautiful smile that will uplift you from whatever misery you are in..
      It’s so sad how much she went through while portraying Daenerys and how much she has gained strength from Dany to overcome those things..

      As Emilia Said I Stand by My Queens,
      Daenerys Jelmazmo, Mother of Dragons and
      Emilia Clarke, Queen of Eyebrows.

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    16. HelloThere,

      That’s all you have to say on a Curtain Call, especially one on arguably the biggest and most influential character in GOT ? Sigh, anyway no one can argue, not even Dany haters that the character has brought the show to what it is today, she was the emblem of GOT the same way Iron Man is the emblem of the MCU, that’s not to take away from all the other wonderful characters and actors of course, but if Daenerys Targaryen didn’t exist as a character, GOT would have most likely never reached the popularity and cultural impact it has today . That’s how much she meant to the series.

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    17. I remember seeing a lot of complaints about Emilia’s portrayal of Daenerys lodged in other forums. But it was her portrayal that gave me better appreciation of the Dany chapters during subsequent book reads. Before, those chapters didn’t interest me as much, and were a chore for me to wade through. I love and honor Emilia. Thank you for the wonderful eulogy.

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    18. Emilia’s acting was always on point, she totally was Daenerys. Thank you for the great curtain call.

      This may not be an appropriate place to ask (sorry if it’s not), but will there be curtain calls for actors whose characters survived? Last Sunday was their last performance, too, so I guess it qualifies for a curtain call?

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    19. As I mourn for the tragedy of where Dany’s story ultimately went, I am so impressed by Emilia’s performance in season eight. She did so much in every scene she had, bringing every line & expression all she had.

      If there’s justice (and there may not be), Emilia Clarke will get an Emmy for this work.

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    20. Drogon666:
      Daenerys was my favourite character from the start, and Emilia was absolutely brilliant in the role. She was often criticised by morons that don’t know anything about acting and others that just didn’t understand her character. “She’s a terrible actress”, yes she is, Daenerys is a terrible actress, not Emilia. Daenerys held a facade of what she believed a Khaleesi should be like, ever since the third episode where she understood that showing her emotions won’t get her anywhere. Emilia portrayed it perfectly, and when she was alone or around people she could trust that’s where we saw Daenerys at her honest self.

      Exactly I have been saying this for years..

      Jack Nabble,

      Imagine GOT without Dany, Khaleesi, Mother of Dragons. Imagine all the merchandise that she alone helped them to sell..number of iconic and badass scenes and thanks to ramin for providing soundtracks that matched the epicness of those scenes..

      Iam not talking anything from other characters and actors but She truly is the iconic character of the show and has been the fave of the show for years..Emilia carried that weight on her shoulders and did justice whatever she was given to work with ..

      Forget to mention how good it was to listen to emilia when she speaks valyrian and Dothraki..She made me love two made up languages and that’s how good she is..

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    21. Dragonbringer,

      I think it was one of your comments that helped me understand that it originated in that moment with Viserys and Rakharo. I understood her facade before, but I think I never realised it was that moment until I read your comments, so thank you.

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    22. Wonderful performance of Emilia over the years, and Daenerys was my favorite character in the beginning S1-S3 and, now in the last season again, due to her tragedy, losing all her friends and love, meeting with hostility despite many good intentions, and thus clinging on to the only thing left that she thought would give her life and past sacrifices meaning, absolute power and honoring her family legacy. I am very happy with Emilia’s choice not to simply play the villain in the end. She really knew her character.

      I’m telling myself the wooden houses in KL burned when she tried to free the country from Cersei. More seriously, I do see her flaws, but in this Curtain Call I don’t want to focus on those. The road to hell is paved with good intentions, but I don’t see her as a typical dictator or murderer, I don’t think those would have generally cared to free slaves. “You don’t need Yunkai for the IT” –” how many slaves? Then there are x thousand reasons to take it”. And she left the three cities to rule themselves, without her meddling.

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    23. Jack Nabble,

      This was my second comment.
      And all I felt was that Emilia was doing so amazing in season 8, that I would’ve liked to spend more time with her in those final moments of her character arc,
      I don’t understand whats so bad about that???

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    24. Emilia seemed to cop quite a bit of flak from some quarters for her acting, which always struck me as harsh. Perhaps since her health problems were made public those same people may regret their words now. Daenerys was definitely not an easy role from beginning to end and I think she did an admirable job, especially so when orating in High Valyrian or stirring the Dothraki.

      She always comes off as a really delightful personality out of character and I can only hope that her condition remains at least manageable and that she continues to enjoy happiness and success.

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    25. HelloThere,

      There’s nothing bad or wrong about it. There’s no reason why anyone should have an issue with your posts unless they are trying to start an argument.

      Go back and look at Jack Nabble’s posts over the last couple of weeks. They’re all either angry, trollish, or trying to incite an argument.

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    26. Emilia is a beautiful person inside and out. So sad Dany ended the way she did but Emilia played it out so well.

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    27. Drogon666:
      Daenerys was my favourite character from the start, and Emilia was absolutely brilliant in the role. She was often criticised by morons that don’t know anything about acting and others that just didn’t understand her character. “She’s a terrible actress”, yes she is, Daenerys is a terrible actress, not Emilia. Daenerys held a facade of what she believed a Khaleesi should be like, ever since the third episode where she understood that showing her emotions won’t get her anywhere. Emilia portrayed it perfectly, and when she was alone or around people she could trust that’s where we saw Daenerys at her honest self.

      I absolutely agree. We have the benefit of seeing inside Dany’s head in her POV chapters, but in the show we only see what she chooses to show. I think she did a wonderful job in season 1, when she was able to display a much bigger range of emotion. After Khal Drogo’s death, she had no choice but to show strength – that’s what the Dothraki follow. She had nothing but the remnants of a khalasar and 3 baby dragons; showing strength and stoicism was her armor. That’s how she survived and conquered for 5 seasons.

      That said, it was nice to see her be more vulnerable in season 7 and 8, and even experience a few moments of happiness again. And as much as I disliked the dark Dany storyline, she performed it beautifully.

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    28. #Emmylia2019

      She deserves it. Truly the Mother of Dragons

      She did an ASTOUNDING JOB, especially in Season 1 and Season 7-8.
      Amazing, Inspiring… and finally, Devastating. D:

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    29. Thank you Vanessa for the fine and fitting tribute to Emilia! It is emotional in its honesty, so much so, that I was brought to tears.

      Dany was the most memorable and fascinating character in the show to me. I adored Emilia’s portrayal and hers are the scenes I shall always cherish. Not only a very fine actress but she is, seemingly, a very fine person and truly a very beautiful woman.

      Bran being pushed out of the window got my attention and made be want to see more of the show, but Daenerys’ immolation and birth of the dragons turned me into a fanatic of the show. That iconic image of her sitting in the ashes with Drogon perched on her shoulder and the other two dragons gathered around her, as she turns to gaze at us and Ser Jorah, is indelible. I will never forget it.

      Seeing Dany’s character run roughshod over in season 8 was a demoralizing and degrading experience for me and many others. The ending, her treatment by Jon and his “family,” as well as her tragic death (beautifully played by Emilia) I found simply poisonous and I became indignant watching “The Bells” and the finale. I empathized with Jason Momoa’s Twitter rant over her death as his words summed up exactly my sentiments and feelings about Dany’s fate! I sat there wishing Drogon would return to the Dragon Pit and roast everyone and leave billowing flames, smoke and ash as the final image, so great was my anger. LOL

      It will take a long, long time to get over the show’s mistreatment and the story’s treatment of her character. Finished or completed, I will not read the final two novels in the series even if George lives long enough to write them and I live long enough to read them. So this is indeed a final “curtain call.”

      Once again, thank you for the wonderful piece!

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    30. “Why is it that the people who set your heart alight with love and plant forever flames of love in your veins, are the same ones that leave your soul drowning in a river of pain?” – Nikita Gill

      Oh, Emilia.

      On previous Curtain Calls paying tribute to beloved, dearly departed characters and actors (and man, there have been a lot of them these past few weeks, haven’t there?), I said that Lena Headey was my favorite actor in the history of Game of Thrones. I sincerely meant it – she is exceptional. I also said that Jaime Lannister (as brilliantly portrayed by Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) is my favorite Game of Thrones character. I sincerely meant that as well – he is extraordinary. But I can also say with every bit as much sincerity that Emilia Clarke is my favorite member of the Game of Thrones cast. When people say things like “the smile that can light up a room” or “a laugh that can lighten your soul” … that’s Emilia. When I think about an actor who can convey both deep-seated vulnerability and awe-inspiring power as part of a seamless whole, that’s Emilia as well. She is … well, if I had to use only a single word, the only one that seems appropriate and sufficient is radiant.

      My respect for Emilia has only grown over the past year as she’s spoken openly about her past health issues, and how the show helped her survive them. As someone working in the health care field, I’ve seen the effects that aneurysms and subarachnoid hemorrhages can have, and they’re both devastating and terrifying. It sounds like she went through absolute hell, and very few people knew it. To endure everything she went through … all while continuing to work on such a physically and emotionally demanding show … and still emerge from her ordeal as supernaturally bright, resilient, and positive as she has proven herself to be is an accomplishment that I really can’t quantify. She’s so brave.

      Ultimately, I am at peace with Daenerys Targaryen and her tragic arc. I do not expect everyone to be, and that’s OK. But some the best stories and characters ever are tragic ones, and for me, Daenerys and her fall from grace in Game of Thrones meets that standard. I found it beautiful and heartrending, inspiring and deeply sad. The writing, the direction, and above all, the performance … it all worked for me. It’s not what I wanted for her character, but it makes sense to me, as does every step on the path that led us here.

      The first time I ever cried watching Game of Thrones was seeing Dany emerge from the ashes with her dragons. One of the last times I cried was seeing Drogon tenderly pick up her body from the ash-strewn stones of the Red Keep throne room and carry her away into the mist. Both are images that I will carry with me forever, and they are now forever linked in my mind. Any character and story that can leave that kind of impact me is not one I’m going to dismiss, easily or otherwise. It’s one I’m going to cherish, even if it hurts.

      So while I stand by Daenerys, I stand by her story as well. Whether they are spirits of grace or vengeance, angels often fall, and from the time she rose in the west to the time she set in the east, the Mother of Dragons flew as high and shone as brightly as any of them. She burned an indelible path across the sky from the time she rose in the west to the time she set in the east, and I have no desire to look away, especially now at the end.

      I expect that the final season of Game of Thrones will, quite deservingly, do extremely well at the Emmys in a few months. I will be rooting hard for it to win everything, as I always do. But if there’s a win that would make me happiest, it would be for Emilia to win Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series. Her work in Season 8 is her crowning achievement. For my money, she gave the best performance of anyone in the cast this year, and her work in the finale was no exception. She made me feel the tragedy of Daenerys Targaryen more deeply than even I would have ever believed. She was astonishingly great, and she deserves to win every award under the sun (at the very least, my vote for Best Actress in this year’s upcoming WOTW Awards is signed, sealed, and delivered).

      Farewell, Emilia. Your future is as bright as it can possibly be. I will never forget the way that you poured your heart and spirit into both Game of Thrones – now and always my favorite show of all-time – and into the character of Daenerys Targaryen. You helped to light a fire that will never be extinguished, and from that source of everlasting light and warmth emerged the music of dragons.

      You are, and will forever be, the Queen We Chose.

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    31. Mother of Dragons and Mother of Monsters.

      Breaker of Chains and Queen of the Ashes.

      Mhysa and Mad King’s daughter.

      One of the greatest fantasy characters ever played by great Emilia Clarke. Thank you.

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    32. the last curtain call of the series, and i didn’t even see a red comet anywhere in the sky. what’s wrong with comets these days?

      Emilia had a start-to-finish job of leading all of us and (if i understand her reaction on the S8 read-through correctly) even herself onto the thin ice of Danaerys’s personality. and thin ice it was, in the last three episodes. from someone taking care of people to some sort of isolated populist, and all of this mostly resulting from the character’s lack of real forgiveness, thankfulness or ability to be generous.

      a difficult character to play, and Emilia gave her all and shits from the sympathetic breaker-of-chains beginning to that frightening Sportpalast-Dany-speech watching the city still burn… what! an! actress!

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    33. JessicafromMunich,

      Finally somehow agrees with me 100% on the line. I was never satisfied with Daenerys storyline because she had it too easy. Of course I enjoyed every moment when she was winning as a badass her dragons, her first ship, her Unsullied army, her Dothraki, her armada. And though it was difficult to watch and maybe not inthe best written way, her downfall is seasons 7 and 8 were fascinating. And in those last three episodes I suddenly became an enthusiast of Emilia’s acting. It may have been horrible for her to abandon the reasonable side of Daenerys, but gosh O am so glad they went there. Emilia Clarke was brilliant and I hope directors have noticed so she can have dramatic parts from now on and not be trapped in stupid romcom. I had no idea I would say that 6 weeks ago, but I am screaming with all my heart “Give Emilia an Emmy!”

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    34. What an incredible job! Her choice point (to burn or not to burn KL) totally brought me along with her. You could see the rage take over, the rage at the stupidity and betrayal of the North and of Jon and of Tyrion and Varys, the loss of her closest friends, all that she endured to get there – it all showed on her face at that moment. It was breathtaking. How does someone show such deep emotion when they have only a green screen to act with?

      I think if our society valued women, we would have been unanimously upset that Jon murdered his lover. Westeros clearly undervalued women and was willing to ignore the heroic deeds of Dany and Arya, but why are we so O.K. with this murder? Unfortunately, it too uncomfortably mirrors the “domestic” violence that has been so normalized in our own society. Just as the showrunners felt O.K. with having Sansa violated to serve their story line, they felt O.K. with boyfriend kills girlfriend as a triumphant ending. BFs kill/batter GFs every day, and they always feel justified. It seems disgusting to me.

      Well, I can only hope Drogon will be back, and fry them all to a crisp. In my imaginary ending, that is the conclusion.

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    35. My Queen. Now and always. Fook King’s Landing they didn’t deserve her. Shake your nephew off and let’s go do some liberating!

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    36. Jack Hamm: but Daenerys’ immolation and birth of the dragons turned me into a fanatic of the show. That iconic image of her sitting in the ashes with Drogon perched on her shoulder and the other two dragons gathered around her, as she turns to gaze at us and Ser Jorah, is indelible. I will never forget it.

      OMG THIS SO MUCH <3 I got goosebumps reading it.

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    37. In a show packed with outstanding actors and characters, Emilia Clarke brought Daenarys Targaryan to life, and made her shine. We hurt for her and giggled with her and yelled in triumph so many times with her.

      Part of the reason that some people are struggling with the ending is because we simply liked Dany. Even when she nailed the masters to crosses and burned the khals alive, we turned a blind eye, rationalizing that brutality was part of the times/culture and the people she was brutal toward deserved it. So when it came time to “go mad”, it was hard for some of us to adjust.

      Doesn’t matter. We <3 you Emilia.

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    38. Lady MarMar,

      Not to white knight this but Aejon simply lacked vision. I loved how Emilia depicted seeing something that has never been and realizing she had all the tools to make it happen. #SquadGoals

      “We can’t hide behind small mercies anymore.”

      In my head canon there is a Red Priestess meeting Daeny at the waterfall up north to revive her, and she meets up with Jon after he “rejoins” the Night’s Watch and they build a house in the far North near the cave he and Ygritte shared. Then Daeny learns what happens when Jon bends BOTH knees.

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    39. Reading all these comments truly makes my heart smile. I have loved Emilia since the beginning, and I have loved Daenerys since episode 1 until the last episode regardless of what she did. I think this is so ironic. I cannot get over it.

      Emilia had some HUGE shoes to fill, and fill them she did, and more.

      <3

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    40. I have seriously been grieving over Dany’s death all week. I feel like I have lost a family member. Every time I think about her death (which is a lot) I tear up. This is by far the most painful fictional death I have ever experienced and I am in tears right now writing this.

      I don’t care what anyone else says. Dany was a good person, desperately trying to do the right thing in a world where the right thing is not always clear. The fact that she lost her way after making a huge mistake at her lowest point doesn’t change all of the good she did before that. It is just tragic, and makes her death even sadder.

      Emilia Clarke is just amazing. She portrayed Dany to perfection throughout the show. The way she handled her health problems is inspirational. She is always so funny and kind and clever in interviews. She’s just a beautiful person, inside and out, and I wish her all the best in the future.

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    41. Jared,

      “Why is it that the people who set your heart alight with love and plant forever flames of love in your veins, are the same ones that leave your soul drowning in a river of pain?” – Nikita Gill
      ——-
      Holy sh*t, Jared. I never saw that before. It’s beautiful.

        Quote  Reply

    42. Great write up on an actress who really grew into this role and made Dany a very complex character.

      Too bad in the end her entire purpose seemed to be to eliminate all the remaining Big Bads in Westeros so the Starks could rule. I think Dany could have been a great queen had she been given support.

      Oh well. Thank you Emilia Clarke for your fine portrayal!

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    43. Whatever I say will be to short an little about what can be said about Emilia Clarke. And Emilia talks about that Dany was her strength. And I have to say, it’s also the other way around. Daenerys wouldn’t be Daenerys without the amazing Emilia Clarke. Who even show strength when working when she was suffering from an aneurysm. If you think Dany was strong in the first couple of seasons, it’s nothing compared to the strength that Emilia showed the world.

      And that strength and life experience really showed in her performance of season 8. From the showing strength against Sansa layered with fear. From her moment she decided to burn the city, which is acted perfectly. You could sense the inner battle Dany was having. To her last scene in the final. The woman who showed strength but the next moment showed vulnerability with Jon. And she made sure I cried when she died. Which I don’t think I would have if it wasn’t for Emilia’s performances.

      You going to be missed on screen Emilia, I hope you are into a next project which I would like too see. And you are being missed outside the screen, your interviews were always a delight, with honesty, jokes when could and serious when needed, and always respectable to others.

      So I will be missing Daenerys but above all, I will miss Emilia Clarke. Good fortunes in the projects to come.

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    44. For the first 3-4 seasons, Dany was probably my 2nd or 3rd favourite character. Her rise to power, overcoming all her obstacles early in her story, was fascinating to watch, and Emilia sold it for me. Dany rising up out of the ashes with Drogon perched on her shoulder will forever remain one of the most iconic shots in all of Game of Thrones.

      However, while Dany’s ego and entitlement grew in season 5 onwards, the character still captivated my interest even though she fell from being one of my favourites. Favourite or not, she’s still one of the best, most interesting characters in the story, and Emilia played the hell out of her. No more so than in season 8. I truly would be beyond happy to see her get the Emmy this year. She deserves it. Emilia is truly the Mother of Dragons!

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    45. Jack Hamm: That iconic image of her sitting in the ashes with Drogon perched on her shoulder and the other two dragons gathered around her, as she turns to gaze at us and Ser Jorah, is indelible. I will never forget it.

      This was my introduction to GoT, and it was the end of the re-run leading up to S2 premier. I wasn’t sure exactly what I was looking at, but it was so captivating, with her theme swelling on the soundtrack, that I searched and found S1 on ITunes. Emilia Clarke has been absolutely brilliant throughout – may she continue on to even greater success.

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    46. Undead Elephant,

      I also find her death to be very sad. Watching some reaction videos with people either cheering or just dismissing it nonchalantly surprises me. Yes, she did a horrible, unforgivable thing, but Dany did possess a lot of compassion, love, and kindness.

      Drogon lifting her up and carrying her away is profoundly moving, and always brings a tear to my eye.

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    47. great words here guys! i agree with everyone of you. Emilia, without you there wouldn’t be a Dany. i love you so much!

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    48. The comments are making me cry!!!!!!!!!!!! These are just a few… Our Queen is so loved and she deserved the world <3

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    49. Dee Stark,

      Love ya, Dee! Your positivity and enthusiasm for this show and these characters have been one of the brightest lights in the fandom for these past several years, and I’ll always be grateful to you for that!

      I’ve shed more than a few tears for Emilia and for Dany this week. I’ve seen the finale five times and I STILL cry every time Drogon lifts her up and carries her away. Even listening to the accompanying piece of Ramin Djawadi’s score – “The Iron Throne” – from the Season 8 soundtrack is enough to get me started. I’m glad that we have this space where can all work through our feelings about this amazing actress and character together!

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    50. Enharmony1625:
      Undead Elephant,

      I also find her death to be very sad. Watching some reaction videos with people either cheering or just dismissing it nonchalantly surprises me. Yes, she did a horrible, unforgivable thing, but Dany did possess a lot of compassion, love, and kindness.

      Drogon lifting her up and carrying her away is profoundly moving, and always brings a tear to my eye.

      Yes I was watching Blind Wave’s reaction video to the episode and the fact that they said they didn’t need to drink for Dany (as they usually do with dead characters) really upset me. It’s like they forgot all the good and kindness that she showed consistently throughout the series.

      And yes, seeing Drogon gently trying to wake his mother up and carefully picking her up with his claw is just heartbreaking. And the music is so sad!

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    51. To quote Ms. Emilia Clarke: “Best season evaaaaaa!”
      Perhaps this is true for Emilia and her portrayal of the S8 mother of dragons and queen of the ashes. Whatever you feel about where the writers may have lapsed, she really sold it.

      She has been great. Indeed, she is responsible for her character having become an icon.

      For health and a dragonfire-bright future, best wishes Ms. Emilia Clarke.

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    52. Mr Derp,

      Oh look we have the default internet white knight to the rescue, i just didn’t see his first post and assumed that was the only thing he said, knock it off with the entitlement crap ! I’m not your buddy and i’m here to share my opinion like everyone else, if you don’t like it go on a message board where circle jerking is more appropiate

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    53. Ten Bears,

      Thanks! Yeah, Nikita’s a poet, and quite a good one from what I’ve read of her work so far. To be honest, I actually only discovered her and that quote a few days ago. I was searching for another passage I thought would be appropriate as an opener for my tribute to Emilia. I found this one instead, and was immediately struck by just how perfectly it captured everything I was feeling about Daenerys as a character, Emilia’s portrayal of her, and the tragic but appropriate turn her story ultimately took.

      It also rather beautifully echoes a couple of key book passages about Dany lighting fires (including “one to love”) and thinking about how “Dragons plant no trees” before she recommits to embracing “Fire and Blood” … and all the pain and sorrow that such a choice inevitably ensures for the world and for those who love her, both within the world of the show and our own larger one. So, there you go!

      Regardless, Nikita’s on my radar now. I’m definitely going to check out more of her work.

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    54. I remember back in 2010 that I was disappointed that Tamzin Merchant had left the show (I had seen her in Pride & Prejudice and thought she looked the part). This new girl Emilia Clarke? She was cute, but I didn’t know if she could act and she had brown hair.

      But, 3 months before the premiere HBO aired this promo and at 10:09 Emilia starts talking about how good the story is and you can hear the emotion in her voice, and see those incredibly expressive eyebrows come to life. I was hooked and felt safe knowing that an actor who loved the story and character that much would portray her.
      It didn’t take long for Emilia to show off her skills as an actor. I’ve been a fan of her portrayal of Daenerys ever since and a big fan of Emilia too. Her bubbly personality that came through in interviews and in Game of Thrones: The Musical.

      Highlights for me would be the leavetaking between her and Jorah in season 6, her breaking down over Jorah as he’s dying and the despair she shows in The Bells. How could anyone begrudge her an Emmy nomination?

      And she did all of this while having suffered two brain hemorrhages! I had seen that she’d posted something on Instagram during the day and decided to start reading the article in the New Yorker just before leaving an empty office. 30-45 minutes later I had cried many tears and been amazed at her strength.

      I’m sad that the character Emilia had loved for so long didn’t finish as she’d wanted her to, but she played Daenerys better than she’d ever done and finished on the highest acting note.

      Thank you Emilia.

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    55. Well done Emilia Clarke

      Really loved the Season 1 acting,

      People slagged off the Slavers Bay acting but the woodenness kinda showed that attempting to “rule” as a Queen wasn’t quite a fit and the situation turned into a mess in books and show

      Always two sides, Dany the Khaleesi and Dany the Queen, people will be critical of the end but Jon/Aegon was the ruler and Dany the Conqueror and so it should have been able work between the two but that is what is bittersweet I guess…

      There’s an argument though that attempting to take over the 7 Kingdoms was Viserys dream, and so it didn’t work well as a for for her? She did much better in the East as “Mhysa” and I’ll assume Drogon has taken her back to Valyria?

      I was really impressed with Emila’s acting in the final season too, put aside the rushedness of the plot and the writing, she did sell the part of a conflicted woman

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    56. Johan Sporre,

      Thank you for posting that promo from before the series aired. You are right, Emilia’s enthusiasm for the role and story are clear in her interview. She did a great job of playing an incredible arc with so many different emotions. I hope she gets an Emmy nomination and all the work she wants in the future. Mostly, I hope she is well and happy.

      If you haven’t seen this promo that Johan has in the post, check it out. Now that the series is over, it is fun to see these pre-series comments and takes on the whole thing.

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    57. Enharmony1625:

      I also find her death to be very sad. Watching some reaction videos with people either cheering or just dismissing it nonchalantly surprises me. Yes, she did a horrible, unforgivable thing, but Dany did possess a lot of compassion, love, and kindness.

      Drogon lifting her up and carrying her away is profoundly moving, and always brings a tear to my eye.

      Yeah, the only good reaction to Dany’s death was from George Alexander, all the rest were just plain annoying, especially all the Jon fans who where worried about him and didn’t give a &@#$ about Drogon’s pain.

      I admit as much as I love Daenerys, I didn’t cry when she was stabbed, I felt nothing but anger and disappointment, but the moment Drogon started roaring in the background I started crying, and by the time he tried to wake her up and cried in pain, I could hardly breathe. I had a moment of joy when he burned that damn throne, but the moment he lifted her up gently I was bawling my eyes out again.

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    58. kevin1989:
      Whatever I say will be to short an little about what can be said about Emilia Clarke. And Emilia talks about that Dany was her strength. And I have to say, it’s also the other way around. Daenerys wouldn’t be Daenerys without the amazing Emilia Clarke. Who even show strength when working when she was suffering from an aneurysm. If you think Dany was strong in the first couple of seasons, it’s nothing compared to the strength that Emilia showed the world.

      And that strength and life experience really showed in her performance of season 8. From the showing strength against Sansa layered with fear. From her moment she decided to burn the city, which is acted perfectly. You could sense the inner battle Dany was having. To her last scene in the final. The woman who showed strength but the next moment showed vulnerability with Jon. And she made sure I cried when she died. Which I don’t think I would have if it wasn’t for Emilia’s performances.

      I was thinking just this same thing. You wrote it beautifully so I will just say “ditto” and “thank you!”

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    59. Jack Nabble: i just didn’t see his first post and assumed that was the only thing he said

      Even if that was the only thing said, why create a problem about it at all in the first place?

      Jack Nabble: knock it off with the entitlement crap !

      Entitlement doesn’t mean what you seem to think it means either. If anyone is acting “entitled” it’s the person who comes on a private website that someone else owns spewing condescending vile to everyone and thinking that’s acceptable behavior because you’re passing it off as an “opinion”. Honestly, I have no idea why you’re being allowed to flagrantly disobey the rules of this site. Your behavior is clearly trollish and you are not here on good faith.

      Jack Nabble: I’m not your buddy and i’m here to share my opinion like everyone else, if you don’t like it go on a message board where circle jerking is more appropiate

      Congratulations for proving my point.

      You can’t seem to express your opinion without being insulting, which is against the rules of this site. You can use all the insults you want, but it won’t make you right, or coherent for that matter. If you can’t get your shit together then please show yourself out.

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    60. Emilia, thank you so much for your amazingness and dedication as Daenerys. Despite how it turned out for the character, you were perfect from beginning to end.

      I hope Emilia not only gets an Emmy nomination, but wins the award. She deserves it after what D&D put Dany through and delivering anyway.

      I loved her performance in the movie “Me Before You”, and I’m looking forward to what other opportunities she’ll get in the future.

      For me, this is my favorite Dany scene in the whole series, and how I choose to remember the character.

      Tyrion named Hand of the Queen, Season 6, Ep. 10:

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    61. Dee Stark:
      Omg, I cried

      This is the hardest curtain call of all for me.

      Its so ironic how after the events of “The Bells”, my heart broke to a million pieces when my queen was killed <3

      Yes this is the hardest one for me too. Just seeing Emilia in the headline of a curtain call article made me gasp again. I felt how much strength she gained from her character after reading her interviews and hearing her talk about her health problems. That makes it even harder to see how her character ended.

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    62. Tim,

      Thank you for this link! Very interesting to read!

      Jared,

      I’m gonna miss your posts. Every time I see your name, I know something interesting is going to follow.

      And thank you to Emilia Clarke! I’ve always loved her portrayal of Daenerys. It must not be simple for a young actress to show such a range of emotions, but Emilia sold them for me every time she was on screen.

      This will always be one of my favourite moments of Daenerys, the first time she spoke Valyrian. And Emilia really speaks it as if it really was her mother tongue.
      And this scene was also the first time I realised Daenerys Targaryen doesn’t belong in Westeros, this is where she belongs, but that’s another discussion.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9nTj-um1c_o

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    63. Jared,

      So much that! Well said Jared.

      There are no words about Dany’s tragic end, and up till the very end I hoped she’d change and come back to us as she was before everything happened. It was heartbreaking and one of the most emotional and powerful moments in the show.

      And what can I say about Emilia? She’s one of a kind both as an actress and as a human being. I love her! I hope that her truly exceptional performance is finally rewarded! She deserves it more than anyone.

      Rip Dany. 😟
      And long live Emilia! You’ll always be my Queen! 🏆I hope from the bottom of my heart that from now on her life will be filled with happiness, lots of love and great success in everything she does! I’m looking forward to her next steps❤️❤️❤️

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    64. I never had a problem with Emilia Clarke’s acting. I always thought she performed brilliantly, and I think season 8 was her best season. She was phenomenal in every episode, especially in the last 3! I look forward to seeing more of Emilia Clarke in her future projects.

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    65. I too pay homage to Daenerys Stormborn and the lovely actress that portrayed the character in this journey.

      In 2013, I binge-watched the first three seasons. I’ve already heard some buzz about the show and ASOIAF, but I didn’t know the story. It was wonderful to watch those characters, conflicts, shocks unfolding before my eyes in two weeks.

      During that time, I found that Daenerys was the character I cared more about, despite loving all the plotlines then depicted in the show. I really don’t know why. Maybe it was the fact that she has never found a true home, for much power she has acquired. Or the inner strength that she used to find in dealing with her adversities (she only failed at this in season 8, her downfall arc). Or maybe it was just Emilia Clarke.

      I wanted Daenerys to succeed, but I liked the tone of her last scene. There was tragedy, but also beauty. I disagree with the path the show took to get there, but that’s a discussion for other topic. I believe GRRM meant her character as an ultimate tragic figure. I’ll remember her that way.

      About Emilia’s performance as Mother of Dragons, the first word that comes to my mind to describe it is gravitas. Or magnetism. She has always had a strong screen presence and convincing body language in her scenes. Despite some criticisms (I only agree with two or three scenes in season 2), she was always able to show something important was happening when Daenerys was on screen,. That was a huge plus for such a empowered character whose actions usually involved higher stakes than the majority of the other characters.

      I imagine the pain she felt when reading season 8 scripts. It is quite ironic, after she has admitted that Dany helped her to overthrow her health problems. Emilia warned us about the fate of Daenerys and It was a very dark turn indeed. She even saw Hitler speeches to train to her last in 8×06 (I would like the scene, as beautiful as it was, had different aesthetics. Daenerys resembles more a revolutionary that goes too far, as Maxim Robespierre, than a racial dictator).

      GoT has ended and I thank Emilia for bringing the vulnerabilty, the bravery and even the ruthlessness of Daenerys to our screens. And her knack for inspiring. I don’t know if there is a more inspirational scene in the show than her scene with Jorah in “The door” (“I command you to find a cure”).

      As we say farewell to Emilia Clarke as Daenerys, I would like to mention the amazing soundtracks that ran along her journeys. Ramin did an amazing score for her in all seasons. “Finale”, which plays as the dragons are born, is shiver inducing. “Mother of dragons” (season 2), Dance of dragons” (season 5), “Blood of my blood” (season 6) are other highlights. “Breaker of chains”, which played in season 4 as the dragons were chained, suits well her tragic arc.

      I would mention too “Stay for a thousand years”, in season 8 soundtrack. It’s a choral version of Daenerys and Jon love theme and It sounds like a little requiem for her. May she find the peace in death that she has never had in life.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K318JWc85Dk

      Emilia is such a delight in her public appearances. I hope she continues to lit the room with her smile. And I wish her a succesful career.

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    66. Wolfish,

      Thank you, Wolfish! As I told Dee, I’ve shed quite a few tears for Dany and Emilia myself these past few days (and I doubt I’m done). I’m glad that we all commiserate on the departure of our beloved Khaleesi together.

      Chilli,

      Thank you! I can assure you I’m not going anywhere. I’ll be here as long as this wonderful website and the equally wonderful people who frequent it are still around!

      SiriuslyStarkTarg,

      Thank you! It truly is one of the most heartbreaking moments in the show, right up there for me with the Red Wedding, Shireen’s sacrifice, and Hodor’s death, among others. It’s a true testament to the emotional power of this show, and Emilia’s performance, that every time, in the moments before Dany makes her fateful decision and in the moments before she meets her end, that there’s a hope that rekindles in my heart that maybe this time, things will turn out differently. And then … my heart breaks all over again. Reforge and repeat …

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    67. If anyone hasn’t already watched it – Me Before You is the best movie to watch if you want the Emilia Clarke you’ve grown to love from interviews – considering her health conditions filming thrones I now get why she did that movie – it must have been super personal for her. It’s a movie to rival the notebook

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    68. Tiago:

      I would mention too “Stay for a thousand years”, in season 8 soundtrack. It’s a choral version of Daenerys and Jon love theme and It sounds like a little requiem for her. May she find the peace in death that she has never had in life.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K318JWc85Dk

      Emilia is such a delight in her public appearances. I hope she continues to lit the room with her smile. And I wish her a succesful career.

      Stay a Thousand Years is most definitely a requiem to Daenerys and it brought me to tears.

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    69. LatrineDiggerBrian,

      Well, that is a very reasonable post. I disagree with your criticisms, but I appreciate you voicing your disappointment in a respectful manner. However, I have to ask, why did you choose Emilia Clarke’s curtain call to post this? There are multiple articles where this comment would be more appropriate.

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    70. LatrineDiggerBrian,

      Super Grump or not, glad to see you chime in and knew that you’re okay and still around… You know, above the dirt, as it were, and stuff. Ummm….

      Happy to know you’re good!!

      🙂

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    71. Young Dragon,

      My bad. I actually thought I was in the other article.

      Regarding Emilia, I think she’s fantastic and Dany might have been my favorite character of the show. I was really disappointed that we didn’t have any fallout from her death, no last words, no one remembered her. It was 8 seasons of her and poof she just vanished and that was it. It was like she never existed 🙁 I almost feel like they should’ve kept Jorah alive, maybe he whisks her away across the Narrow Sea in exile. They’re stranded alone in the middle of the Dothraki Sea, she dies and he buries her ;`(. I wish they harped more on the fact they she had a very tragic life with her parents dying and her awful brother raising her. Ah well. RIP Dany.

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    72. Young Dragon:
      LatrineDiggerBrian,

      Well, that is a very reasonable post. I disagree with your criticisms, but I appreciate you voicing your disappointment in a respectful manner. However, I have to ask, why did you choose Emilia Clarke’s curtain call to post this? There are multiple articles where this comment would be more appropriate.

      I would agree, on all counts. Still glad to know when posters that have gone missing eventually pop in; but yep, lots of other articles on which post those specific thoughts.

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    73. LatrineDiggerBrian,

      Young Dragon,

      See, I tried to edit my previous post… Technology Fail.

      I only just read LatrineDiggerBrian’s post that he mistakenly commented on the wrong article – which landed before my comment. SMH

      (Y’all post so much more quickly than I! Doesn’t help matters that I never receive notifications anymore for follow up posts. Technology hates me! sorry)

      ::: goes back to lurking for a while :::

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    74. LatrineDiggerBrian,

      The last few months have been incredibly taxing and utterly exhausting for reasons I won’t bore you with, so suffice it to say… I agree 100% and have really missed your posts, along with a few others’ (especially ACME and Wimsey). Glad to see you again!!!

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    75. To be honest, having seen the leaks, I also dreaded that final scene of her. And I was so happy with the way Emilia portrayed it, with innocence of a child, and belief in a better world (even though Dany’s methods of achieving it are debatable). And that’s the way I will remember her, like eps 5&6 never happened. And it was all thanks to Emilia, a beatufil, beautiful person and a great actress!
      Thank you Emilia!

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    76. Jared,

      Thank you so much!!!! <3 <3 Love ya Jared! Your comments and opinions have been my favorite to read on here and on twitter (and not just regarding GOT). I love it!!

      I am ashamed to say that I have not had time to rewatch the episode, but reading comments and recaps that bring up Daenerys bring me to tears instantly, and that says a lot. I agree, reading these comments here truly help a lot.

      Ten Bears,

      <3<3

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    77. Enharmony1625:
      I also find her death to be very sad. Watching some reaction videos with people either cheering or just dismissing it nonchalantly surprises me. Yes, she did a horrible, unforgivable thing, but Dany did possess a lot of compassion, love, and kindness.

      The writers suddenly turned her into Hitler in the final two episodes. It’s hardly surprising to me that people were cheering on her death.

      Clarke really brought her absolute best acting to this season. I never agreed with her critics in past seasons who thought she was bad, but I didn’t think she was among the stronger actors either — but she did her level best to carry the second half of this season.

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    78. It really pleased me to see Emilia putting out consistently awesome performances in Season 8. She started out as one of the weaker actresses but finished in glorious style.

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    79. Sean C.,

      Yes, she was an extreme revolutionary who wasn’t accepted in Westeros, but I believe she had compassion that Hitler lacked. And the audience saw that. So I think the cheering is a bit harsh. Like someone said above a group takes a drink for all deaths including the Night King, but not Danaerys?

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    80. Such an amazing person and actress. And boy, did she bring it this season!

      And now her watch is ended.

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    81. Mr Derp,

      How about you don’t tell me what to do, who made you the owner of this place ? The only one who keeps proving what a stuck up person you are is yourself, keep internet lawyering though,it’s so funny watching someone who clearly has no life bulging in into other’s people conversations because he wants to start pointless arguments .

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    82. Sean C.,

      There was nothing sudden about Dany’s turn if you remember all the terrible and impulsive things she had done in the past. Someone who sets that many people on fire is capable of anything. That’s not to say she wasn’t a tragic figure who tried to do good, but her dark impulses won out in the end. Emilia Clarke portrayed Danerys perfectly.

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    83. Dee Stark:
      Yes, she was an extreme revolutionary who wasn’t accepted in Westeros, but I believe she had compassion that Hitler lacked. And the audrience saw that.

      The audience saw her incinerate hundreds of thousands of people for no reason and give a Nuremberg speech about how she needs to take over the world, and then in her final scene she’s utterly delusional. Any connection much of the audience felt to her was well and truly severed. The fact that the compassion that had previously been central to the character had completely vanished is a big part of that, because it makes what she does unbelievable.

      Young Dragon:
      There was nothing sudden about Dany’s turn if you remember all the terrible and impulsive things she had done in the past. Someone who sets that many people on fire is capable of anything.

      The lack of “terrible” things is precisely the problem, because whatever the show seems to want us to believe, killing your enemies and evil slavers doesn’t lead to you deciding to torch hundreds of thousands of innocent people, otherwise every main character on the show should be a mass-murdering psychopath.

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    84. Sean C.: Any connection much of the audience felt to her was well and truly severed.

      Anyway, I think that the percentage of people who cheered her death is small relative to the fan base, so whatever.

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    85. Dee Stark,

      I’d agree there, but from the general reaction I don’t think many had much sense of why we ended up where we did either. People neither cheered nor mourned.

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    86. Dee Stark,

      Soooo hard to pick just one – probably her “dracarys” moment in season 3, but I also really loved seeing her swordfight this season, and then her mourning Jorah ripped my heart out.

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    87. Sean C.,

      I guess I find it surprising because we’ve followed her for 8 seasons now, seen her struggle to overcome some terrible obstacles, fight to assert herself in a very patriarchal society, and exhibit a lot of love and compassion with her followers and friends. It was also really sad to see her increasing isolation in season 8. And even though we’ve also seen a lot of her ruthless side, her ego and entitlement, and then her tragic turn at the end, all those other things linger in my memory, so I can’t bring myself to feel happy about her death even though she went very dark at the end.

      I just find it a little fickle that people can so suddenly turn on her given all that’s come before. It’s a bit like judging the moment as opposed to seeing the bigger (tragic) picture. That’s how I feel at least..

      Totally agree with you on Emilia though. She brought it all this season, and I think she’s always been very good in the role (even if she wasn’t always the strongest in earlier seasons). She truly delivered an iconic performance to an iconic role that will never be forgotten!

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    88. Sean C.,

      We judge people by how they treat their enemies, not their friends. Name one other character who locked two people in a vault to slowly die of starvation. Name one other character who set people on fire on a regular basis as a form of punishment. Name one other character that crucified 163 people, some of them being innocent for the crime she was punishing them for. Name one other character who fed an innocent man to her dragons because they were upset one of their friends was killed. Name one other character who threatened to burn down cities just to make a point. Jon, Ned, and other characters killed their enemies and dispensed justice, it is true, but they didn’t regularly commit war crimes on a whim. If you ever rewatch GOT, I suggest you take note of every action Danerys takes, every threat she makes, and see where her entire arc was leading to. All the signs were there, you and several other people missed them.

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    89. Now I know how Robb and Catelyn fans felt during the Red Wedding. Dany’s death is my Red Wedding. I was literally crying at work on my lunch break reading some of these comments and listening to the linked music. Luckily nobody saw me because I’d have to make up some excuse rather than tell them that I’m mourning the death of a fictional character. But I am so invested in GoT/ASoIaF and these characters are such a huge part of my life. I was not sure before, but my reaction to her death has made me realise that Dany has always been my favourite character. I’ve been rooting for her the whole time, more than any other character, right up to and including her final scene.

      And you know what the worst part is? I think it’s going to be impossible not to view all of Dany’s scenes on re-watch through the lens of tragedy.

      And people saying that we should have expected this and she’s been evil the whole time? No. Just no. She’s one of the kindest, most empathetic character on the show, and always struggled to do the right thing. For every scene where she kills people (which were always justified pre King’s Landing), there are many scenes of her showing her love and kindness, such as naming Tyrion her Hand, ordering Jorah to cure himself, being devastated when her dragons killed a child, so much so that she locked them up, saving Jon Snow’s group beyond the Wall, and many more. Up until she lost her way after loosing Rhaegal, Jorah and Missandei, getting betrayed by Varys and being rejected by Jon Snow, she would have made a great Queen. But unfortunately, these things did happen and she lost her way, which led her to making a mistake that I don’t believe she would have made under any other circumstances, and that cost her everything.

      I can’t even begin to imagine how awful Emilia must have felt reading through those final scripts. These interviews that she gave are very emotional and she offers her view on why Dany burned King’s Landing:

      https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/22/arts/television/game-of-thrones-emilia-clarke-daenerys.html

      https://www.latimes.com/entertainment/envelope/la-en-st-emilia-clarke-game-of-thrones-emmys-20190520-story.html

      https://www.newyorker.com/culture/the-new-yorker-interview/daenerys-tells-all-game-of-thrones-finale-emilia-clarke-beyonce

      https://ew.com/tv/2019/05/19/game-thrones-finale-interview-emilia-clarke/?did=381431-20190520&utm_campaign=game-of-thrones_newsletter&utm_source=ew.com&utm_medium=email&utm_content=052019&cid=381431&mid=21131772353

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    90. Young Dragon,

      Dany always had a harsh streak toward enemies. None of this ever suggested she was the sort of person who would slaughter civilians for no reason after she had won. Nor didn’t d she “commit war crimes on a whim”. There were, in 70+ episodes leading up to this, maybe two people she killed who would not have been executed by any other main character — that one random master in Season 5 (and if the show was trying to make a point there, it very much flubbed it) and Dickon Tarly, and Dickon basically insisted that she execute him. And in the Tarly trial she was more generous than, say, the Starks (and especially Sansa) were upon retaking the North — pardons expressly weren’t in the offing for Jon Umber and Harald Karstark had they survived the battle, and Sansa wanted to be more punitive still than was Dany, who outright offered to let Dickon take all his father’s lands. She’s also never fed a man to dogs or massacred an entire house after killing a man’s sons, baking then into pies, and feeding them to him.

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    91. I’m not the biggest Dany fan but the last Jorah scene where she even picks up a sword and they fight together (with the music) was absolutely epic, not to use the words lightly.

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    92. My heartfelt thanks to Emilia Clarke for bringing Daenerys Targaryen to life for us so wonderfully, so truly.

      The standouts for me are Emilia Clarke’s performance way back in S1 and now in S8. In between, especially S2, some uneven acting. Knowing what Emilia was going through in her personal (health) life then, she is a true hero.

      Emilia was worried people would hate Dany or her after they saw S8.

      No, Emilia, we would never “hate” you, or even Dany. You were the perfect Dany, showed us her emotions and thoughts and feelings. Her stony queen face, glimplses of emotion.

      Thank you, Emilia Clarke, for being the Dany most of us fans needed and wanted.

      You did a brilliant job.

      Thank you.

        Quote  Reply

    93. Sean C.:
      Young Dragon,
      Dany always had a harsh streak toward enemies.None of this ever suggested she was the sort of person who would slaughter civilians for no reason after she had won.

      I guess you conveniently forgot the part where she threatened to burn down Astapor and Yunkai, civilians and all. And she talked about “returning their cities to the dirt” after she had already won. She wouldn’t have done it because she had to, she would have done it as a form of punishment, sending a message to all her enemies. Sound familiar? Again, I suggest you rewatch Dany’s arc. You may pick up on all the clues she’s fed before.

      Taking away the Umber and Karstark land would have been a fair punishment, though I’m glad Jon showed mercy. What Sansa proposed was a lot better than burning them alive, I’ll tell you that much. Yes, what Sansa and Arya did was bad, but it pales in comparison to what Danerys had done. Arya eventually turned her back on the dark path she was on, whereas when it was Dany’s turn, she couldn’t. Besides Ramsay and Meryn Trant, the Starks dealt out swift justice. Danerys did not. Crucifixion, starvation, burning people alive are cruel and unusual ways of executing someone.

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    94. HablaCarnage,

      I love your vision!
      Dany wasn’t a favourite of mine but she was always interesting and EC was utterly amazing. I never understood the criticisms of her acting. ( Or of KH either ). Their characters were both having to hid real emotions that many times only showed in their eyes. Emilia deserves the Emmy for lead actress hands down. Her speech to her army was stunning!

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    95. Now I know how Robb and Catelyn fans felt during the Red Wedding. Dany’s death is my Red Wedding. I was literally crying at work on my lunch break reading some of these comments and listening to the linked music. Luckily nobody saw me because I’d have to make up some excuse rather than tell them that I’m mourning the death of a fictional character. But I am so invested in GoT/ASoIaF and these characters are such a huge part of my life. I was not sure before, but my reaction to her death has made me realise that Dany has always been my favourite character. I’ve been rooting for her the whole time, more than any other character, right up to and including her final scene.

      And you know what the worst part is? I think it’s going to be impossible not to view all of Dany’s scenes on re-watch through the lens of tragedy.

      And people saying that we should have expected this and she’s been evil the whole time? No. Just no. She’s one of the kindest, most empathetic character on the show, and always struggled to do the right thing. For every scene where she kills people (which were always justified pre King’s Landing), there are many scenes of her showing her love and kindness, such as naming Tyrion her Hand, ordering Jorah to cure himself, being devastated when her dragons killed a child, so much so that she locked them up, saving Jon Snow’s group beyond the Wall, and many more. Up until she lost her way after loosing Rhaegal, Jorah and Missandei, getting betrayed by Varys and being rejected by Jon Snow, she would have made a great Queen. But unfortunately, these things did happen and she lost her way, which led her to making a mistake that I don’t believe she would have made under any other circumstances, and that cost her everything.

      All of the other characters still alive in the finale had relatively happy endings, even Jon’s was hopeful. But because Dany had the most tragic ending imaginable, the bitter far outweighs the sweet for me.

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    96. What happened in Astapor went down differently in the books versus the show as far as I recall, but I could be wrong. I that causes part of the confusion. The books made more of a point to show that what she did in Astapor was an atrocity, however, the show whitewashed it completely and turned it into badass moment number 1,000 for Dany.

      That was actually my favorite scene of Dany on the show, and based on some of the other comments in this thread, it was a lot of people’s favorite scene. That just goes to show how much the show went out of it’s way to wash away the negative aspects to what Dany was doing in earlier seasons.

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    97. Mr Derp,

      What happened in Astapor was basically unchanged, book to show. I wouldn’t exactly call it an atrocity, as Dany tells the Unsullied to kill the masters, soldiers, and men holding whips, and to strike the chains off the slaves. She doesn’t go in for wholesale slaughter and she frees the Unsullied as soon as it’s done. You can tell re-reading her Astapor chapters that she knew what she had to do and wasn’t happy about it. She curses Jorah for bringing her there, because upon seeing and learning about the horrors of slavery she can’t just leave without doing something about it. She tells Jorah, “Why do the gods make kings and queens, if not to protect the ones who can’t protect themselves?”

      Obviously in the aftermath things fell apart, because although Dany chose wise and good people from different aspects of society to rule after she liberated the city, she failed to leave behind a peacekeeping force to help facilitate the transition – something she rectified when leaving Meereen.

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    98. That thumbnail at the top of the article reminds me… There are many scenes in the series where Dany is standing next to Drogon and both are in focus. If that was any other actor/actress on the show, I’m pretty sure that my attention would be focused on the brilliantly realised CGI dragon. But it’s not any other actor… It’s Emilia Clarke, so they may as well have saved the CGI budget!

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    99. Dee Stark,

      My favourite Dany scene will always be the birth of the dragons. Iconic. The scene looked like a Renaissance painting. And the music gave me goosebumps. It had the perfect feel to mark the return of the most impressive magical creatures in this fictional world. The dragons were a blessing and a curse to Daenerys story.

      In retrospect, the scene in the House of the Undying is one of the most meaningful in her arc. I also liked how it was portrayed the first meeting between Dany and Jon, the two main characters in a fantasy epic full of great characters. It was a showdown between two natural leaders whose personality differ.

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    100. Curtain Calls are for paying respect to the actor. Take your complaining and debates to the hundred other posts about recent episodes we have at this website. Thanks!

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    101. i will always remember Emilia in this role i fell in love with her character back in s1 and during my first read in 2011,thank you so much for this wonderfull portrayl, to bad about how it ended tho…

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    102. Iconic Emilia scene I’ll never forget: Very end of S1 when she emerges from the pyre with the baby dragons.

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    103. I think my absolute favourite Dany scene would have to be Mhysa. It’s so epic and triumphant. Emilia’s performance really shines and the music takes it to another level. Such an emotional scene as she is embraced by her people with a joyful smile on her face (a smile which wasn’t in the script but Emilia couldn’t help it, thank God she couldn’t!)

      I also really love the scene where Jon bends the knee to Dany on the boat. Emilia really sold how much it meant to her to have this man she admires accept her. I love her delivery of “I hope I deserve it,” showing that Dany still has doubt even after all this time, even is she hides it behind a facade of queenly confidence.

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    104. Thanks Vanessa. A great curtain call for a central figure in this epic saga. I have to think that Emilia’s doing the funky chicken at her audition was important to her hiring: the show runners needed someone with incredible range and a vast imagination to occupy this shifting role of frightened teenager to dominating conqueror to tragic tyrant, all while having to sit in front of green screens on a dragon “buck”.

      And Emilia contributed so much more to the show. It is obvious that GoT was a happy set and having a mirthful Emilia Clarke had to be part of it. And listening to Sophie Turner’s tribute at Emilia’s recent British film achievement award suggests that even as a relatively inexperienced actor she was able to serve as an important role model for the younger players.

      Having seen Emilia’s range in other works, I think one of D&D’s great bonus achievements was to bring this amazingly talented young woman into the lives of millions of people. Having demonstrated her resilience in the face of near death and always showing up with a great work ethic and good humor, here’s hoping she has a long and varied career and finds some personal happiness in this crazy world.

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    105. And even though the story was absolutely heartbreaking for her character, Emilia really brought her A-game in this last season.

      Her reaction to Jorah’s death was so raw and visceral. Emilia rarely gets the chance to portray raw emotion like, but when she does she really makes you feel Dany’s pain with her performance.

      The subtle fear that she portrayed at the Winterfell feast and both times that Jon rejected her advances really made you feel her loneliness and vulnerability.

      Her subtle expression changes, both when she walked back to Drogon after seeing her best friend beheaded, and when she worked herself up to burning King’s Landing, were masterful and really made you feel her inner rage and emptiness.

      Her speech to her troops outside the Red Keep was amazing, chilling, inspiring. Not many actors could pull off a convincing dictator style speech like that, but Emilia absolutely killed it. The absolute conviction that she puts into those words was amazing, which is even more impressive when you consider that she was acting in front of a green screen and speaking two completely different fictional languages. Definitely one of the best speeches in a show full of great speeches. But she still shows a glimmer of vulnerability when Tyrion finally turns on her and she has to order her men to take him away.

      And her final scene… I thought that Emilia perfectly portrayed a version of the innocent, pure, kind-hearted woman that wanted to build a better world from earlier seasons that had lost her way and couldn’t turn back. I don’t think many other actresses could have pulled this off. Dany had just burned a city. We should hate her. We should be willing Jon to kill her off. But Emilia showed such such innocence and love and hope and desire to to good in this scene that it made us remember why we fell in love with the character in the first place. But at the same time she had to show a woman that had lost her way, a woman that couldn’t turn back and had to be stopped. She had to make us feel the tragedy of Jon’s dilemma, and I think she did that perfectly. And then, the look of shocked heartbreak on her face when Jon kills her really makes you feel sorry for her.

      I really think that Emilia deserves a leading actress Emmy for her work this season. She had the hardest job and had to show far more range in these six episodes than any other character.

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    106. Undead Elephant,

      I’d like to reiterate all of this – Emilia Clarke has been wonderful. She was the reason I got into the show, into the books, I loved how she portrayed all the different sides of Dany while still showing Dany’s genuine compassion for the downtrodden and the oppressed. Emilia Clarke was able to convey a whole story with just her face alone, no speaking. I can’t give her enough praise without gushing like a Gusher snack ^^;; But she has been amazing and I think she is why Dany became the icon that she is.

      I can’t imagine anybody else playing Dany, the character who sucked me into this whole series despite people warning me that I better not get invested, or it’ll hurt! 😉 Nah, Dany made that worth it 🙂

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    107. Thank you Emilia for your amazing work on the show, for your passion and dedication to bringing Dany to life in such a wonderfully complex way!

      I wish you all the best into the future, may you be healthy, happy and have a long and prosperous career ahead!

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    108. Young Dragon: I guess you conveniently forgot the part where she threatened to burn down Astapor and Yunkai, civilians and all. And she talked about “returning their cities to the dirt” after she had already won. She wouldn’t have done it because she had to, she would have done it as a form of punishment, sending a message to all her enemies. Sound familiar? Again, I suggest you rewatch Dany’s arc. You may pick up on all the clues she’s fed before.

      Taking away the Umber and Karstark land would have been a fair punishment, though I’m glad Jon showed mercy. What Sansa proposed was a lot better than burning them alive, I’ll tell you that much. Yes, what Sansa and Arya did was bad, but it pales in comparison to what Danerys had done. Arya eventually turned her back on the dark path she was on, whereas when it was Dany’s turn, she couldn’t. Besides Ramsay and Meryn Trant, the Starks dealt out swift justice. Danerys did not. Crucifixion, starvation, burning people alive are cruel and unusual ways of executing someone.

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    109. Young Dragon: I guess you conveniently forgot the part where she threatened to burn down Astapor and Yunkai, civilians and all. And she talked about “returning their cities to the dirt” after she had already won. She wouldn’t have done it because she had to, she would have done it as a form of punishment, sending a message to all her enemies. Sound familiar? Again, I suggest you rewatch Dany’s arc. You may pick up on all the clues she’s fed before.

      Taking away the Umber and Karstark land would have been a fair punishment, though I’m glad Jon showed mercy. What Sansa proposed was a lot better than burning them alive, I’ll tell you that much. Yes, what Sansa and Arya did was bad, but it pales in comparison to what Danerys had done. Arya eventually turned her back on the dark path she was on, whereas when it was Dany’s turn, she couldn’t. Besides Ramsay and Meryn Trant, the Starks dealt out swift justice. Danerys did not. Crucifixion, starvation, burning people alive are cruel and unusual ways of executing someone.

      All wrong. Crucifixion is not an unusual way of killing someone at all in the ancient world, which is obviously the reference point for Essos, which is where Dany has grown up and operates.

      Also, being burned by Dragon fire (if that actually kills you there and then) is shown to be instantaneous – a lot less painful than being hung drawn and quartered, just hung or one of the million ways the brutal Starks have killed their enemies in battle through the ages.

      Also, I don’t think when someone has been killed they care whether how they died was unusual or not. What an off the mark comment.

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    110. What a lovely job Ms. Clarke did to make so many fans care about her character so much that they wanted a different ending for her character – one not involving the need for regicide to put down a tireless, rising psychopath. Still, though, a great story and a character well played.

      I hope she keeps going for many years, keeps honing her craft through challenging work, and joins (many years hence) her own generation’s tribe of actresses who continue working well past the age when they are considered pin-up material. Her own generation’s versions of Cate Blanchett, Diana Rigg, etc. We need people like that. My children’s generation will need people like that.

      She has the rare skill to make complete strangers care about the characters she plays.

      That skill doesn’t grow on trees and is not easily taught.

      Otherwise, I hope Ms. Clarke stays completely out of the public eye and lives her own private secret life; only emerging to talk about her latest project when appropriate and to her advantage, or to speak on public issues of the day when it so moves her. I never want to know about her love life, her children, what she wrestles with in private, etc.

      I hope the same for all the actors who bought GoT to life. It’s the work that counts.

      I think they let British actors have that sort of privacy. Its a wonderful cultural advantage they have. America can be so silly about the invasions of privacy artists are expected to tolerate.

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    111. Aurelius,

      Name one other character who crucified someone. As to the dragon fire being painless, tell that to the thousands of people who we’ve seen get burned alive, all of them screaming in agony. And yes, I’m sure people care if they die slowly and painfully or if they die quick.

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    112. Young Dragon,

      The great masters of Meereen crucified 163 children. I’m not sure how many of them were actually responsible, but I’m sure it was more than one. And the Tarlys’ death by dragonfire looked almost instantaneous. I’m not saying I’d like to go out that way myself, but it was faster than Littlefinger’s death, or Walder Frey’s, or Ramsay’s.

      Regardless, this post is dedicated to Emilia, and discussion should focus on her body of work and portrayal of Daenerys.

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    113. This definitely belongs in an Emilia Clarke Curtain Call: Emilia herself goofing on her “Where are my dragons!” line.

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    114. Undead Elephant,

      For Christ’s sake – Its a TV show! People may call me a hard assed bastard, but I’ve never shed a tear over ANY movie or TV drama show that I’ve watched. GoT has had plenty of WTF and sad moments, but I accepted it as it was. GoT is unique in this respect and even GRRM once said, expect to see the unexpected. For me, this has made GoT the phenomena it became and keeping us in suspense.

      Too many viewers get emotionally involved with the characters or over what they see on the screen. Perhaps for many they look upon what they see as a form of escapism from real world events or personal problems. I simply treat it as it is? A story loosly based on real world history with a bit of magic thrown in. i.e. just good entertainment.

      As for Jon killing Dany, I was pretty sure that would happen. Dany agreed to stop the destruction of KL when the bells sounded, but on hearing those bells, that sent her over the edge and she really did become the Mad Queen and did a ‘Dracarys’ on the town. In her speech to the Dothraki and Unsullied soldiers she said that was only the start of the war against injustice. I saw no difference between her desire to rule the world as like in ancient times with conquerors such as Alexander the Great or Ghengis Khan or in later times such as Napoleon or Hitler. Her standing on the steps of the Red Keep was taken straight from photo achives of Hilter addressing his troops from his rostrum at the Nuremburg rallies (I once stood on that very same spot back in 1964).

      So Jon had no choice but to take her down. However, kudos to Emilia Clarke for playing the part of Daenarys so well. More so in that during the early seasons she unwent surgery to remove two life threatening brain aneurysms.

      RIP Dany but all the best for Emilia in the future.

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    115. Black Raven,

      Your loss man. It’s great getting emotionally invested in a good story, especially one as packed full of emotion as Game of Thrones/ASoIaF. And I personally don’t see how it does anyone any harm.

      On another note, fans have recently raised over £50,000 and counting for Emilia’s new charity and she made a very thankful response on her Instagram.

      https://www.instagram.com/p/ByFoDvGFXoB/

      I just love her. She’s like the real life Dany (the good side of her anyway). When she started talking about changing the world at the end of the video I almost expected her to say that she was going to break the wheel.

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