This article contains spoilers for Season 8 of Game of Thrones. The penultimate episode of Game of Thrones left plenty of fans shocked and upset over the way the story has progressed — but according to the cast, that's nothing compared to how they'll feel after the finale. While speaking with The Hollywood Reporter recently, Emilia Clarke hinted that the Game of Thrones finale will leave fans shaken by the way that the fantasy saga ends.
In the series' penultimate episode, "The Bells," Dany — having finally arrived in King's Landing — faced off against Cersei (Lena Headey) in order to finally take control of the Iron Throne, as she's been hoping to do her entire life. Though the Golden Company surrendered to her army and the citizens were willing to bend the knee to their new queen, the sound of the bells of surrender ringing in the air seemed to make something snap within Dany, and she used her dragon to attack and destroy the city. As Drogon rained fire and destruction down onto the women and children in King's Landing and the Unsullied and Dothraki killed everyone in their path, fans everywhere were shocked by Dany's official transformation into the "Mad Queen" of Westeros.
And based on Clarke's most recent comments, it sounds like fans are in no way prepared for the next development in Dany's story. "It's the car crash of every emotion you can possibly imagine," Clarke told THR when asked to describe the series finale. "It's like a nuclear bomb. It's just going to be f*cking huge. Seriously!"
While her hints about the finale certainly carry a lot more weight in the wake of the show receiving backlash over the events of Season 8, this is far from the first time that Clarke has teased fans about the potential reaction to the show's final episode. Back in May 2018, the actor told The Herald Sun that the ending would be very divisive among fans, saying, "People will scream and people will say, 'That's exactly what I wanted.' And some people will go, 'Huh?' — my mum, probably."
Around the same time, Clarke told Variety at the Cannes Film Festival that the ending would continue to shock and surprise audiences everywhere: "It will be what none of us think it will be," she said.
Later that month, the actor reflected on filming her final scene as Daenerys Targaryen, which now seems like a clear reference to the character's descent into tyranny. "It f*cked me up," she told Vanity Fair about Dany's final moments onscreen. "Knowing that is going to be a lasting flavor in someone’s mouth of what Daenerys is ...." she said, before trailing off. Based on these comments, it seems as if Clarke has been dropping hints about the divisive reaction to Dany's actions long before the bells at King's Landing seemed to inspired her to become the "Mad Queen" everyone was worried about her becoming.
Though many fans have criticized the show for not properly laying the groundwork for Dany's transformation, Clarke actually hinted that Dany was more similar to her father than fans though in a recent interview with the New York Times. "There's definitely a few Targaryen moments that she's had, for want of a better word," she said in April. "The Targaryen in her — the bad leadership decisions — make her sometimes go: 'I've got to have this power. I don't care who I'm controlling or what I have to do to get it, because it’s intoxicating.'"
And for fans who are hoping that the finale will redeem Dany and have her end up on the Iron Throne as a kind, just ruler, it doesn't seem likely, based on some more hints that Clarke dropped in that NYT interview. In fact, the actor suggested that Dany shouldn't end up on the Iron Throne — a suggestion that makes a lot more sense in the wake of her attack on King's Landing.
"The whole show is just a discussion on power," Clarke said. "Because the Iron Throne is representative of complete and consuming power and what that does to someone. It's fascinating, what I've found about the sacrifices that you make and what you get out of it as a result. Ultimately, if you get on the throne, what are you really getting?"
While Clarke's comments on the finale don't bode well for fans of the Mother of Dragons, it does prove that the actor has been dropping hints about the events of Season 8 for quite some time now. Though there's no way to predict how, exactly, the series will end, one thing is for sure: there's no way to emotionally prepare for the Game of Thrones finale, no matter how many teases Clarke has offered.