That's a wrap on Game of Thrones, and star Emilia Clarke is saying goodbye to the series - and the fans - in an emotional post on Instagram. In the bittersweet caption of a photo taken with all of her co-stars from the final season, Clarke touches on how much playing the role means to her. As noted in the post, Clarke has basically been Daenerys Targaryen for most of her adult life, having starred on the show since its premiere in 2011. As of this writing, around five and a half million Instagram users have liked the post, showing there are far more people happy with her performance than there are those calling for the season to be remade.
"Finding the words to write this post has left me overwhelmed with how much I want to say but how small words feel in comparison to what this show and Dany have meant to me. The mother of dragons chapter has taken up the whole of my adult life. This woman has taken up the whole of my heart. I've sweated in the blaze of dragon fire, shed many tears at those who left our family early, and wrung my brain dry trying to do Khaleesi and the masterful words, actions (and names) I was given, justice. Game of Thrones has shaped me as a woman, as an actor and as a human being."
In the post, Emilia Clarke also laments how she wishes her father was here to see "how far we've flown" in regards to her success on the popular HBO series. She also directly thanks her fans for their investment in the character, who was "already in the hearts of many" before Clarke had even first put on her "platinum wig of dreams." The character's fate may not have been what some Daenerys fans were envisioning or hoping for, but there's no denying that Clarke has always played the part flawlessly.
Like most everyone on Game of Thrones, Daenerys was a very layered character, dating back to her introduction into the series in Season 1. Although the lines between good and evil have been often blurred on the show, Daenerys was perceived to always want to do the "right" thing. After losing her closest cohorts and two of her dragons, however, Daenerys completely snapped by the time she had overtaken King's Landing. Even with Cersei's army laying down their weapons in surrender, Daenerys destroyed the entire city, which would ultimately culminate in her own fate at the hands of Jon Snow. It may have been short-lived, but Daenerys finally achieved the ultimate power she always wanted by claiming the iron throne.
It's a bittersweet ending not just for Clarke, but for millions of Game of Thrones viewers as well. There are many who are satisfied to see the series end the way it did, feeling the end of each character was appropriate - even if emotional in some cases. However, over many people completely disagree with that, unwilling to accept the final season they were given. A fan petition on Change.org is calling for HBO to reshoot the final season with all new writers, and the movement has now collected over a million signatures and counting. Certainly, the petition is making their complaints mainstream, but whether we like it or not, Game of Thrones is officially over.
Even if you're unhappy with the fate of Daenerys Targaryen, Emilia Clarke deserves tons of credit for the work she put into the role. Nobody else could have ever brought that character to life in the spectacular way she did, and the Mother of Dragons will be remembered in pop culture for many years to come. Here's hoping Clarke finds some new iconic and challenging roles as she moves on to the next stage of her career. You can take a look at her farewell post on Emilia Clarke's Instagram below.