The Game of Thrones series finale was bound to be divisive, as it followed a season that had some fans so angry they even started a petition that the episodes be rewritten. Series star Kit Harington has no time for the criticism, however, with the actor telling Esquire in April that he couldn't care less about what critics have to say about the HBO drama's final season.
"I think no matter what anyone thinks about this season — and I don't mean to sound mean about critics here — but whatever critic spends half an hour writing about this season and makes their [negative] judgement on it, in my head they can go f— themselves," he said. "'Cause I know how much work was put into this. I know how much people cared about this. I know how much pressure people put on themselves and I know how many sleepless nights working or otherwise people had on this show."
"Because they cared about it so much. Because they cared about the characters. Because they cared about the story. Because they cared about not letting people down," he continued. "Now if people feel let down by it, I don't give a f— — because everyone tried their hardest. That's how I feel. In the end, no one's bigger fans of the show than we are, and we're kind of doing it for ourselves. That's all we could do, really. And I was just happy we got to the end."
One of the most controversial plotlines during the show's final season was — spoiler alert — Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke)'s descent into madness, which culminates in her destroying King's Landing and Jon Snow (Harington) killing her before she unleashes her tyranny on the rest of the world.
While much of the criticism stemmed from complaints that the series hadn't properly foreshadowed Daenerys' brutal turn, Clarke discussed her character's journey with Entertainment Weekly, explaining that one thing after another wore Daenerys down and led to her going full Mad Queen.
"She genuinely starts with the best intentions and truly hopes there isn't going to be something scuttling her greatest plans," she said. "There's so much she's taken on in her duty in life to rectify, so much she's seen and witnessed and been through and lost and suffered and hurt. Suddenly these people are turning around and saying, 'We don't accept you.' But she's too far down the line. She's killed so many people already. I can't turn this ship around. It's too much."
Clarke added that Jon Show's rejection of Daenerys may ultimately have been the last straw.
"One by one, you see all these strings being cut," she said. "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—king doesn't."
Photo Credit: Getty / Dimitrios Kambouris