Note: Spoilers ahead
After its mammoth eight-season run, Game of Thrones ended Sunday night with another random, rogue beverage left on-set and an even more random choice of King in Bran Stark. Although the roads leading up to the series finale were bumpy to say the least — fans would love a do-over — it’s likely no one could have seen last night’s events unfolding as they did. (Well, except for Bran, of course, who knows everything there is to know.)
Even the actor who has played Bran since the show’s premiere in 2011, found the ending to be an absolute shocker and initially thought he might have received a dummy script from HBO’s writers.
“I genuinely thought it was a joke script and that [showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss] sent to everyone a script with their own character ends up on the Iron Throne,” Isaac Hempstead-Wright said in a new interview with Entertainment Weekly. “‘Yeah, good one guys. Oh s—, it’s actually real?’”
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The actor admitted that he kind of wished he’d seen his character get killed off (“Though I kind of did want to die and get in one good death scene with an exploding head or something”), but overall felt “happy” with how the series closed. He knows, however, that not all GoT fans will feel the same way,
“Not everyone will be happy. It’s so difficult to finish a series as popular as this without pissing some people off. I don’t think anybody will think it’s predictable and that’s as much as you can hope for. People are going to be angry. There’s going to be a lot of broken hearts. It’s ‘bittersweet,’ exactly as [saga author] George R.R. Martin intended. It’s a fitting conclusion to this epic saga.”
The finale ended in an ambiguous manner, perhaps to leave open the possibility for multiple spinoffs. Will the
seven six kingdoms be better off under Bran’s leadership? The actor thinks so.
“I think he’ll be a really good king actually,” said Hempstead-Wright. “Perhaps there will be something missing in having real emotive leader, which is a useful quality in a king or queen as well. At the same time, you can’t really argue with Bran. He’s like, ‘No, I know everything.’”
In other GoT finale news, Hempstead-Wright spoke further about the episode in a column written for The Hollywood Reporter.
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“Life doesn’t have neat, happy endings; it is ambiguous and ultimately inconsequential,” he wrote of the finale. “To end Game of Thrones with uncertainty is perhaps the most honest way to end a story so vast and complex — and that uncertainty is what we all feel as we begin our life after Thrones.”
The 20-year-old actor also offered some specific details regarding how the episode’s final scene was shot:
“What was nice about that final shot was that it was a very long wide, and so we needn’t have run through the whole 10 minutes of dialogue — but we did. Our microphones were off and nobody will ever hear those performances, but for me, it felt like a wonderful last opportunity to really be Bran. The camera was so far away you could hardly see it and we had a rare chance to act directly across from one another with no machinery or lighting in the way, as if we were on stage. It was a very special goodbye to my character.
Read our review of the GoT series finale episode.
Emilia Clarke, who portrayed Khaleesi, the murdered Mother of Dragons, also posted her own farewell to the show and its viewers. She also hopes Beyoncé is still a fan.