This article contains spoilers.
Ever since the final Game of Thrones episode aired, fans have been incredibly vocal about their opinions on how it ended. There's an underlying theme in all the criticism: disappointment. For a series that held such a centre point in people's lives, for most the better part of a decade, seeing it end was a wave of emotion - especially considering the rushed plot and unsatisfying character arcs.
Now looking back at the cast's pre-season 8 interviews in a new light, fans have noticed that even the actors had their disapprovals about the final episode as well. Many examples surfaced in a viral thread tweeted by @purple_dwagon, who posted snippets from a recent TV Guide article detailing how the actors were "conflicted" about GoT's last season.
Gwendoline Christie (Brienne of Tarth)
Gwendoline Christie, who plays Brienne of Tarth, told Entertainment Weekly she was "so upset" over how her character development came down to her love affair with Jamie Lannister. "I have no judgment of Cersei but their relationship is dysfunctional. That’s when I went very red. I was very upset and I had to go for a walk," she said.
Emilia Clarke (Daenerys Targaryen)
Then there was the awkward response from Emilia Clarke, aka the Mother of Dragons, following the episodes airing. When answering the question of if she was happy with the final scene, she awkwardly answers: "Best season ever!"
Plus, in an interview with Vanity Fair last year, Clarke said of Dany's final moments, "It f-cked me up. Knowing that is going to be a lasting flavour in someone’s mouth of what Daenerys is..."
Kit Harington (Jon Snow)
Moving on to Kit Harington, who plays Jon Snow. When asked to describe the finale in one word the King of the North said, "Disappointing." Then, after a laugh, he added, "Epic. I don't know, one of those ones."
Conleth Hill (Lord Varys)
Conleth Hill, who plays Lord Varys, also had a few concerns about his character's trajectory in the final seasons. He was "very bummed" that he didn't get a final scene with Littlefinger (played by Aiden Gillen) or even a reaction to his death. "That’s been my feeling the last couple seasons, that my character became more peripheral, that they concentrated on others more," Hill told Entertainment Weekly. "That’s fine. It’s the nature of a multi-character show. It was kind of frustrating. As a whole, it’s been overwhelmingly positive and brilliant but I suppose the last couple seasons weren’t my favourite."
Lena Headey (Cersei Lannister)
Lena Headey was expecting more from the death of her character Cersei Lannister, as were many fans. She told Entertainment Weekly that her initial reaction to the script was "mixed" and that she "wanted her to have some big piece or fight with somebody." Viewers of the show will know Cersei died under the falling rubble of King's Landing alongside brother, and lover, Jamie (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau).
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime Lannister)
In an interview with Vanity Fair, the actor cautioned that the final season may feel rushed: “We’re used to having a whole season to get to a point. Now, suddenly, a lot of things happen very quickly…Trying to connect the dots between the scenes was a little complicated because you invest so much time, so many years in these characters, so when suddenly you find out that Jaime comes back and his son has committed suicide…there are so many things that obviously you can’t go through, on-screen, all of these moments, but you have to still walk through them in your mind, if you’re an actor, at least talk about them. There was a lot of those connecting the dots throughout.”
Nathalie Emmanuel (Missandei)
Nathalie Emmanuel, who was Dany's slave-turned-advisor Missandei, also wished her character had more time to develop. She told Entertainment Weekly that she and Emilia Clarke enjoyed the "lovely friendship scenes" between their characters in seasons 3 through 5, "though we haven’t had ones lately." She elaborated, "The one thing I would say is I really had wished that I had more time or scenes this season maybe with Daenerys or even with Cersei, scenes where we get to see her being brilliant before she dies, I think that might have eased the pain a bit more for people, and reinforcing a friendship that she and Dany had because we haven’t really seen anything for a few seasons but I think she’s so fiercely loyal Dany and I think she was until the bitter end, and it’s almost fitting for Missandei really, in a way."
Watch the video below for all the actor's reactions: