*Spoiler warning for Game of Thrones season 8 finale*
Clarke, who plays Daenerys Targaryen, spoke in an interview with Entertainment Weekly where she defended the controversial character arc for the Mother of Dragons, and provided some details on the cast reaction to the final season.
She revealed she “completely flipped out” upon receiving the scripts for the final season in October 2017, and had to “physically prepare the space” before reading them.
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During her emotional last scene, Daenerys is stabbed by her lover and nephew Jon Snow, who takes the decision to end her life after witnessing her murder thousands of innocents during the battle at King's Landing.
“I cried,” Clarke said. “And I went for a walk. I walked out of the house and took my keys and phone and walked back with blisters on my feet. I didn’t come back for five hours. I’m like, ‘How am I going to do this?’”
Travelling to Belfast for the final season table read, Clarke ended up sitting next to her co-star Kit Harington, who had yet to read the scripts in order to experience the story for the first time with his castmates.
Clarke later sat across from him so she could see his reaction when they reached the final scene between Daenerys and Jon Snow.
“I looked at Emilia and there was a moment of me realizing, ‘No, no…’” Harington recalled.
“He was crying,” Clarke says. “And then it was kind of great him not having read it.”
While the cast will understandably defend the decisions of showrunners to conclude the season in the way they did, fans on social media are less satisfied.
Many have criticised the show for its rushed pacing towards the finale, along with the arcs of several beloved key characters. Over a million people have signed a petition calling for a "remake" of season 8.
Meanwhile, our critic Nick Hilton was also unimpressed by the "misjudged ending and hammy delivery" of the final scenes. Read the full review here.
Game of Thrones is available to watch on Sky Atlantic and NowTV in the UK