David Benioff suggests not even the cast may know how Game of Thrones ends, Emilia Clarke on Dany’s Stark welcome

Jorah Mormont (Iain Glen) and Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke). Photo: HBO

As we enter the last week before the Game of Thrones premiere, the cast and crew are pulling out all the stops to hype the final season. Showrunner David Benioff makes some cryptic comments about the ending, Emilia Clarke teases a frosty Winterfell reception for Daenerys, costume designer Michelle Clapton talks style evolution, and several actors offer hints about what to expect in season eight.

Digital Spy brings us some rather strange comments from David Benioff. He remarks, “The actors think they know the end, because they were all here for the table read, but that’s not to say that we don’t employ deception at times.” There have long been rumors of fake scenes and alternate endings, but it’s interesting to see him suggest that they have fooled not only onlookers, but the actors themselves.

Benioff adds, “We have had some success in terms of hiding things, but the actors definitely all believe that they know where this season is going to end.” Is he trolling us all? I’m not sure how it would be possible to deceive the entire cast, but his statement here will certainly fuel the conspiracy theories!

Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke). Photo: HBO

Someone who probably isn’t trolling is Emilia Clarke, who in an interview with Entertainment Weekly discusses how Dany feels when she arrives at the Starks’ home. “I like to think that it’s like Meet the Parents. It’s like: ‘I hope they like me. This dude’s wicked. It’s a real good thing we got going on. He’s the final piece. We’re destined for greatness and world domination is a breath away.’ And so I need to be like: ‘Can I braid your hair, Sansa? Little Arya, come over here, let’s play some cricket.’ So there’s that. And then, very, very quickly, it’s like: ‘Wait, is it just me, or do they hate me?'”

I don’t think anyone is surprised to learn that meeting Jon’s family may not go as smoothly as she’d like. Don’t expect Daenerys to be a pushover, however. “The thing I now realize is she’s not a scared little girl anymore, so there’s less room for vulnerability or sentimentality or soft edges.” Hopefully they resolve any issues they have with each other before the Army of the Dead descends on the castle – they need to unite, or die.

Cersei Lannister Season 8 King's Landing

Speaking to Marie Claire, Michelle Clapton shares fun tidbits about costuming in seasons past and what to look for in season eight. She mentions that Nikolaj Coster-Waldau “used to split his trousers a lot in the first season. He was very patient with us having to mend them,” and that Kit Harington “was glad to see the back of his [costume] because it weighed so much—which is sad. We were proud of the look we created.”

Regarding the final season, Clapton informs us that we should pay attention to Jon and Daenerys’ clothing, as “the costumes always tell stories, often hinting at loyalties and desires.” She also states that when characters die, they pay particular attention to their costuming, “sometimes to mock them, sometimes to celebrate them. Often, it’s to underline what we saw in the character.” When asked if they planned special outfits for the characters’ last scenes of the series, Clapton replies, “Yes. It was essential.”

The entire interview is worth a read, so check it out over at Marie Claire.

Finally, HBO Asia posted the fun video above on Twitter, asking the cast to let fans know what to expect for Game of Thrones last season. Check it out below!

44 responses

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    1. I really think this has a high chance of being true. I also think the only cast member who actually knows the end is Kit Harington. I have my reasons…
      How can this be true? Easy. They can add an extra last scene that will change the ending. Only Kit Harrington will be in it.
      Many excuses if I’m right!

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    2. I’m going to miss this show so, so, SO much. The characters, the drama, the production design, the costumes, the music, absolutely everything. And this community. Having this community has enriched my life so much, even though I’ve met only a handful of the people here.

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    3. That’d be hilarious if it’s different than some of the actors know. I would have to go and purchase a hat so I could tip it to D&D.

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    4. “The actors think they know the end, because they were all here for the table read, but that’s not to say that we don’t employ deception at times.” … “We have had some success in terms of hiding things, but the actors definitely all believe that they know where this season is going to end.”

      Yeesh. If they cheat and have the last scene be something that’s all CGI and no acting, that will suck big-time (unless it’s Arya’s ship disappearing on the western horizon as she sets out on her voyage of discovery to bring home chocolate from the New World).

      I suppose shooting things out of order, or some creative editing, could explain it. I hope the final shot is not a smirking, silent Cersei enjoying yet another flagon of wine.

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    5. And as Bran awoke, he sighed; “So it was all just a dream…”

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    6. Can’t help noticing that Jorah the “Andal” is looking as if he has very much embraced his Northernness in that shiny new set of fighting leathers. If he must die in Dany’s service, I hope he gets to pay a quick visit to Bear Island and its pretty waterfalls first.

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    7. I’ve generally scoffed at the idea of fake scripts and fake scenes shots. However, with as much time as they spent filming, the huge amount of time from first table reading to premiere and the lengths they went through to protect the material, maybe a couple little ‘switcheroos’ shouldn’t be considered improbable. If it was done obviously some of the characters would have to be involved so they might know things others don’t. I mean, characters that die or are otherwise not involved in final episode scenes probably wouldn’t be on set to see any changes made… Would the actors that are involved keep those a secret from the others?

      It does seem unlikely that they filmed multiple ending sequences (one would think it would take more than one scene) that come to multiple different endings and none of the actors know which is the correct one. That would be a lot of extra time, work, money

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    8. I believe Dany’s final outfit will be that other White coat/dress that was displayed on the Entertainment Weekly cover. If so, that makes me really happy if it hints at her fate. If she’s embrassing winter colors and her trademark red, it means her future will likely end with a sense of balance and purpose.

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    9. It’s always great to hear from Michele Clapton.

      Thus far the Season 8 costume that has grabbed my attention the most is Dany’s white dress that she wore for the EW shoot that was released this March.

      https://pbs.twimg.com/media/D01AqaOWkAA3Bqc.jpg

      In the promo trailers so far, we’ve seen her wearing three different dresses. The one where she arrives at Winterfell, the gray one she wears in Winterfell’s Hall, and a Black(?) one she wears at what could be Dragonstone(?)

      The new white one from the EW shoot is the only one of her costumes that lacks the “pointed” shoulders, which gives as a softer vibe to the costume. Whilst the “pointed” shoulders always felt more war-like. So I’m curious about when exactly she’ll wear this costume.

      I’m also curious about Sansa’s scaly/feathery dress that she’s wearing.. More so the her leather armor one.

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    10. Edward,

      That’s the costume I’m most curious about! Lol I just made a comment about it but it is currently in moderation. Hopefully it gets approved

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    11. Iul: They can add an extra last scene that will change the ending. Only Kit Harington will be in it.

      How much can the ending truly be changed with just Kit alone in a scene? The ideas that come to mind really aren’t how I’d want to end GoT forever at any rate. I just don’t like the though of it. 😛

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    12. Iul:

      I really think this has a high chance of being true. I also think the only cast member who actually knows the end is Kit Harington. I have my reasons…
      How can this be true? Easy. They can add an extra last scene that will change the ending. Only Kit Harrington will be in it.
      Many excuses if I’m right!

      SDCC 2013: EW’s Brave New Warriors Panel, question of how would you want your character to die:
      Kit on Jon Snow: 50:28

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    13. Iul,

      Is possible. Maybe we get one scene after that will make the ending even better.

      Firannion,

      I think he will leave danys service and embrace Jon as the true king. I think that will be a sad plottwist for dany.

      Edward,

      Depends how you will interpret it. Red is that of fire. The white blue I found a white walker vibe in it. Maybe the red is meant as blood. Who knows. But one thing I have to say about it. The dresses are beautiful this season with the promo pics we got.

      Clob,

      Who says it ends with him? I think it will end with bran.

      Maybe it will end with bran having some sort of strange vision. He is in our world and he is walking in Belfast. He enters a building and there we see a white board with a little note on it. The camera zooms in. It’s the most shocking thing. It reveals the 6 episode titles of the final season of game of thrones. End credits.

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    14. Kevin1989,

      The Entertainment Weekly ensemble we’re talking about is very peculiar, for sure. And you may be right in suspecting it features “white walker vibes”. But the outfit in its entirety also looks very regal and from past episodes, Dany has worn white when she’s been in a savior role. So we’ll see how that all translates.

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    15. Edward,

      Yeah, this is what Michele Clapton has said about her white outfit recently

      What was your other favorite?

      In a funny way, although there are others as well, Dany’s fur coat. That’s because it was suddenly such a shock. I felt like this was her dressing to rescue someone because she felt for them, rather than as a move to acquire more power. It was a romantic coat; it was something she wanted to wear that she’d be noticed in. She was like a descending angel. It was nothing to do with her personal gain. And it was very practical, because she’s riding a dragon.
      https://fashionista.com/2019/04/game-of-thrones-costume-designer-interview

      So I doubt the new white one from EW is supposed to represent the White Walkers, but in fairness, they wouldn’t give out spoilers like that so we’ll see.

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    16. “And so I need to be like: ‘….Little Arya, come over here, let’s play some cricket.”

      Ummm. Try again Dany. That is definitely NOT the way to ingratiate yourself with ASNAWP.

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    17. Jay Targ,

      Wow, thank you for summing it up and doing the research! I would interpret the last one, the darker one, as a mourning of some kind. I think this season Dany is looking better than ever with those costumes.

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    18. I’m going to take those comments by Benioff with a grain of salt. Maybe they were able to keep a few plot details hidden from some cast members, but it seems unlikely that they would be able to change the entire ending right from underneath them.

      Smoke and mirrors, people, just to add more din and confusion to the air before the season starts. 🙂

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    19. Ten Bears:
      Wolfish: What’re you doing here? You WON the drinkware giveaway!!!!!

      The drinkware couldn’t go to a nicer fan :-). I think Benioff is either trolling, or they have played with some script shenanigans. The scripts weren’t on paper, but on iPads and got erased after a time, i.e. readily susceptible to manipulation. Different actors may have scripts which end in scenes for other actors, so they’re misled. The answer is in the final editing! I doubt they went to the trouble of filming extra scenes to mislead, but they could certainly have perpetrated a shell game on electronic paper.

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    20. Juan Nieves,

      Thanks!

      We know that Dany will be wearing the thick white fur outfit in episode 1 when she arrives to Winterfell. The photo of her wearing the gray outfit has metadata saying that it is from episode 2. WOTW reported it here

      So since we know what she’s wearing in episodes 1 and 2, you could be correct with your guess that it could represent her mourning someone… especially if she wears it after the battle that’s supposed to happen in episode 3 (assuming she survives). Black (and red) is also the color of House Targaryen, so it could also be linked to that.

      To me it’s interesting to try and figure out in what sequence she will wear the darker one and the white one from the EW shoot, as I think it could potentially layout what Dany’s journey will be in Season 8.

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    21. Jay Targ: To me it’s interesting to try and figure out in what sequence she will wear the darker one and the white one from the EW shoot, as I think it could potentially layout what Dany’s journey will be in Season 8.

      Completely feel the same as you. The fate of Dany is the one I’m most intrigued on, as the visions of the house of the undying really puzzle me, but they are so ambiguos and they could mean so much things, that I’m just searching for clues in everything related to her.

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    22. I don’t think they changed it since they got directions from GRR years ago. Probably changing up the support characters who make it tho. Really hope Jon, Daenerys and Tyrion. It is A Song of Ice and Fire after all and Peter Dinklage was the only one considered for his role.

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    23. “And so I need to be like: ‘….Little Arya, come over here, let’s play some cricket.”

      Ummm. Try again Dany. That is definitely NOT the way to ingratiate yourself with ASNAWP.

      Here I must disagree with you! Arya’s skills are highly transferable to cricket – the front (flat) part of a cricket bat is sometimes referred to as the “blade”, for example, and so a cricketer could be referred to as using a flashing blade when batting. And that Valyrian Steel dagger could be used for raising the seam of a cricket ball, making it swing more in the air when Arya’s bowling.

      In sum, cricket is a worthwhile alternative career choice for Arya, and Dany should encourage her in it.

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    24. I was in Dubrovnik in March and my tour guides wife worked in the GoT costume department. According to my guide, they filmed 3 endings. He didn’t elaborate on what that meant exactly, but take that with a grain of salt.

      Remember, not every actor filmed the final minutes of the last episode, so only a handful of actors and crew know what was filmed.

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    25. Jay Targ:
      It’s always great to hear from Michele Clapton.

      Thus far the Season 8 costume that has grabbed my attention the most is Dany’s white dress that she wore for the EW shoot that was released this March.

      https://pbs.twimg.com/media/D01AqaOWkAA3Bqc.jpg

      In the promo trailers so far, we’ve seen her wearing three different dresses.The one where she arrives at Winterfell, the gray one she wears in Winterfell’s Hall, and a Black(?) one she wears at what could be Dragonstone(?)

      The new white one from the EW shoot is the only one of her costumes that lacks the “pointed” shoulders, which gives as a softer vibe to the costume.Whilst the “pointed” shoulders always felt more war-like.So I’m curious about when exactly she’ll wear this costume.

      I’m also curious about Sansa’s scaly/feathery dress that she’s wearing.. More so the her leather armor one.

      That screenshot of her in the dark dress in Dragonstone is from Season 7.

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    26. Hopefully they resolve any issues they have with each other before the Army of the Dead descends on the castle – they need to unite, or die.

      Hopefully, cause I’m sick and tired with the fake drama.

      As for the ending, meh..a bunch of BS. I don’t buy it personally. But even if there were alternative endings, the actors involved would know it’s going to be one or the other.

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    27. That picture at the top says it all – Emilia going wait what but I read the script – Daimit you made me go for a long thinky thinky walk – watchyu meanni don’t know – meanwhile Ian’s like you lied to my khaleesi I kill you now

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    28. it’s very likely that the ending will be different than what is scripted and shot. a lot can change during post production. it happens all the time with all the films. one film I worked in got rid of half an hour worth of scenes to make the ending a bit more ambiguous. we did shoot multiple endings but none of it made it to the final cut. so, what the actors think will be the final scene of their character can change. not because of clever deceptions but simply because that’s the way films are made.

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    29. Nick20: That screenshot of her in the dark dress in Dragonstone is from Season 7.

      The screenshot is from the Game of Thrones | Season 8 | Official Promo: Together. It happens at about the 9 second mark. Jon is in the scene, and I’m pretty sure we didn’t get a shot similar to that in Season 7

      Screenshot that includes Jon

      https://imgur.com/a/dbrDz0I

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    30. If there is any deception by D&D – We can still pretty much assume that Peter, Lena and Nikolaj know the correct ending. I also assume that Peter has known it for some time.

      Others, dunno.

      As for the clothing discussion – nothing useful to add. Some white fuzzy frocks from what I can see.

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    31. Wow we are definitely over saturated with articles right now, this would have had 100 comments not long ago – much like other articles now most have about forty comments due to the amount to material being published. The Watchers writers and contributors are doing an amazing job!

      As for this article the Beinhoff article most likely has an element of truth, what I mean by that is I suspect only the actors involved know exactly what happens and that others who don’t need to know were probably kept from it. I highly doubt it’s more complex than that and it may have been on the group read through fake scenes were added there but never filmed.

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    32. Clob: How much can the ending truly be changed with just Kit alone in a scene?The ideas that come to mind really aren’t how I’d want to end GoT forever at any rate.I just don’t like the though of it.

      During the script read throughs they can present things a certain way but then change it only for the actors involved and have them sign an NDA. Something like this would definitely work at minimal cost to production.

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