It’s been a year since the divisive finale of HBO’s Game Of Thrones and while time may heal all wounds, it’s a slower process for some than it is for others. Actors involved in the blockbuster show are still weighing in on the show’s last episodes. Earlier this year Daenerys Targaryen herself, Emilia Clarke, explained that she “tried not to consider” what fans might think of her character’s tragic (and abrupt) turn to madness. Now, Carice Van Houten, who played Melisandre the Red Woman, has some thoughts of her own.
Speaking with Insider, van Houten plainly states that she loved the ending. “I loved the ending. I loved the randomness of just picking a king,” she said, “That’s why I loved the first season, the guy who actually was king [Robert Baratheon], didn’t want to be king, so we already got a lesson in the beginning: ‘Why are you striving for that sort of power when, obviously, it doesn’t make you happy?”
While van Houten isn’t technically incorrect in her idea of Robert Baratheon’s ascent to the throne, this does seem like an oversimplification of the events that took place in the story. Baratheon was part of a major rebellion against the corrupt Targaryen regime who wound up placed on the throne after the successful coup d’etat. It’s less that he was striving for the power that he was given and more that he himself became a political cog in the machine after the fighting finally died down.
Regardless, van Houten is certainly a fan of Bran’s ultimate ascension to king, if only because it felt entirely timely. “I loved the randomness and clumsiness of picking some guy, which is very representative of the world right now,” she said, “as crazy people are ruling the world. I thought it was a great comparison.”
As for the backlash, van Houten believes it was partly to be expected–“The fact that some people were so disappointed is because everything before that was so good”–but sums up the fan response as “ungrateful.”
“So it feels a bit ungrateful. You’ve had such great times and then yeah, you’re going to be disappointed because it’s not going to go exactly how you anticipated. Of course, you’re going to have all sorts of criticisms and I just thought it was a sign of how good the show was.”
Regardless of where you happened to fall on the love/hate spectrum for the finale, the Game of Thrones legacy is anything but over. House Of The Dragon, a prequel show slated for 2022, is still in the works over at HBO. And apparently George R.R. Martin really is using his time in quarantine to actually work on Winds of Winter, so there are certainly things to look forward to.
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