If you clicked on this post, chances are you watched the series finale of Game of Thrones and are not thrilled about how it all ended for Dany. In an exit interview for Entertainment Weekly, Emilia Clarke responded to the criticism and talked through her character's descent into madness, putting into her own words what went wrong for Dany and why her character did the things she did.
I'm gonna divide this response into chunks for the sake of easy viewing because she has a LOT to say.
Where it starts to go wrong
"She genuinely starts with the best intentions and truly hopes there isn't going to be something scuttling her greatest plans," Emilia said. Then she gets to Winterfell, and sh*t hits the fan.
"The problem is [the Starks] don't like her and she sees it. She goes, 'Okay, one chance.' She gives them that chance and it doesn't work and she's too far to turn around. She's made her bed, she's laying in it. It's done. And that's the thing. I don't think she realizes until it happens—the real effect of their reactions on her is: 'I don't give a sh*t.' This is my whole existence. Since birth! She literally was brought into this world going, 'Run!' These f*ckers have f*cked everything up, and now it's, 'You're our only hope.'"
Basically, from Emilia's perspective, it's like Dany's come way too far to have it messed up now and to have people not accept her.
The Jon Snow factor
Emilia explained that for Dany all the remaining strings start to snap. "And there's just this last thread she's holding onto: There's this boy. And she thinks, 'He loves me, and I think that's enough.' But is it enough? Is it? And it's just that hope and wishing that finally there is someone who accepts her for everything she is and… he f*cking doesn't."
Then Missandei dies
"There's a number of turning points you see for Daenerys in the season, but that's the biggest break. There's nothing I will not do after losing Missandei and seeing the sacrifice she was prepared to make for her. That breaks her completely. There's nothing left to making a tough choice."
Okay, but what about Varys?
Basically, Emilia said Varys is two-faced and we should have seen that one coming. "She f*cking warned him last season. We love Varys. I love [actor Conleth Hill]. But he changes his colors as many times as he wants. She needs to know the people who are supporting her regardless. That was my only option, essentially, is what I mean."
And what about burying Cersei under a pile of rubble?
That one was more justified, according to Emilia. "With Cersei, it's a complete no-brainer. Lady's a crazy motherf*cker. She's going down."
Cool, cool, that makes sense. But how does Emilia herself feel about all of this?
When she first read the script and saw how it all ended, she did the only thing any woman in her position would do: She called her mom.
Here's what she told her: '"I read the scripts and I don't want to tell you what happens but can you just talk me off this ledge? It really messed me up.' And then I asked my mom and brother really weird questions. They were like: 'What are you asking us this for? What do you mean do I think Daenerys is a good person? Why are you asking us that question? Why do you care what people think of Daenerys? Are you okay?'"
So she was understandably pretty bummed, but...
She told EW, "Having said all of the things I've just said… I stand by Daenerys. I stand by her! I can't not."
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.