Game of Thrones star Kit Harington knew the controversy surrounding Daenerys’ dark turn in the HBO drama’s final season was going to be polarizing. And he has a message for those fans incensed by the character’s decidedly abrupt descent into madness.
“I think it’s going to divide,” Harington conceded about fan reaction to Daenerys in an interview with EW.com that posted immediately following Sunday’s series finale (read full recap here). “But if you track her story all the way back, she does some terrible things. She crucifies people. She burns people alive. This has been building. So, we have to say to the audience: ‘You’re in denial about this woman as well. You knew something was wrong. You’re culpable, you cheered her on.’”
Harington also admitted to EW that he feared the final two episodes would be accused of being sexist. “One of my worries with this is we have Cersei and Dany, two leading women, who fall,” he told the site. “The justification is: Just because they’re women, why should they be the goodies? They’re the most interesting characters in the show. And that’s what Thrones has always done. You can’t just say the strong women are going to end up the good people. Dany is not a good person. It’s going to open up discussion but there’s nothing done in this show that isn’t truthful to the characters. And when have you ever seen a woman play a dictator?”
Fan dissatisfaction with Game of Thrones‘ six-episode farewell lap has led to a Change.org petition calling for Season 8 to be remade “with competent writers.”; the petition currently boasts more than a million signatures. “[Showrunners] David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have proven themselves to be woefully incompetent writers when they have no source material (i.e. the books) to fall back on,” the petition’s creator argues in its description. “This series deserves a final season that makes sense. Subvert my expectations and make it happen, HBO!” The network has not publicly responded to the petition.
Earlier this year ahead of the Season 8 premiere, HBO president Casey Bloys expressed confidence that fans would be satisfied with the final season. “Everything I have seen makes me very, very confident that this is a [season] fans are going to be very happy with,” he enthused to TVLine. “It is a dramatically and emotionally thrilling way to end the series. I believe it will live up to the very high expectations.”