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After Game of Thrones ended with a whimper and the planned Naomi Watts prequel was sacked, House of the Dragon ended up being a big hit and took home a Golden Globe for its trouble. For all that talk House of the Dragon generated as it was airing, I feel there wasn’t much commentary from the original cast or maybe I just wasn’t tuned into it. But Variety caught up with Emilia Clarke at Sundance and asked her thoughts on her platinum blonde predecessors/successors. Emilia said she’s happy about the success of the new series but its too weird for her to watch.
Emilia Clarke is “happy” about the Game of Thrones prequel series House of the Dragon, but she isn’t keeping up with it.
The GoT star, 36, who played Daenerys Targaryen on the original HBO series, explained to Variety while at the Sundance Film Festival why she feels the new series is “weird” for her.
“It’s too weird,” Clarke said at the festival, which she attended to promote her film The Pod Generation, before adding: “I’m so happy it’s happening. I’m so over the moon [about] all the awards. Everyone who’s made it.”
As Clarke explained, while she feels season 1 co-showrunner Miguel Sapochnik is “brilliant,” seeing a series focused on her former character’s family history is still “so strange.”
“I just can’t do it,” she said. “It’s so weird. It’s so strange. It’s kind of like someone saying, ‘You want to go to this school reunion that’s not your year? You want to go to that school reunion?’ That’s kind of how it feels. I’m avoiding it.”
Clarke played Targaryen on GoT during its eight-season run from 2011 to 2019, and even secured four Emmy nominations during her time on the program. The show’s prequel series, which takes place over 100 years before the events of GoT, follows House Targaryen.
Even with the success of the new show, not every former GoT cast member has thought of the prequel series as an easy watch. Kit Harington, who played Jon Snow in the original HBO series, told the Associated Press in 2021 that it “might be painful” to follow along with House of the Dragon. Elaborating to Insider later on, the actor said, “There’s emotion connected to that for me.”
“I think to see people get into outfits and costumes, that resemble what we wore for all those years, and it [has] the same music and style and tone, but not be in it is always going to feel — There’s going to be a rawness there,” Harington, 36, continued.
“Of course, I’m going to watch it and I’m going to support Miguel [Sapochnik], who’s helming the show,” he added. “I wish them all the best, but it’s so close to my heart, that story, that, of course, there might be a bit of pain there.”
I sort of get Emilia’s reunion analogy. Like she’s connected to it, but it’s not quite hers so it’s weird to observe something she used to be involved in. I wonder if any of that weird feeling is due to the literal and figurative character assassination of Daenerys Targaryen. I know a few people who won’t watch House of the Dragon because they’re still upset about how the original series ended. Maybe she feels the same and she’s too nice to say so. What Kit Harrington said two years ago, that I totally missed, is similar to what Emilia said, but more specific. It’s painful to see something that you loved go on without you. Although now he’ll be in an eventual Jon Snow sequel series, so maybe he’s changed his tune at this point. Maybe Emilia will change her mind by the time season two comes out next year. It’s also nice that they’re both so supportive of co-showrunner Miguel Sapochnik, who was such a big part of the original series. Too bad he’s stepping down.
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