Emilia Clarke won’t watch HotD: ‘I just can’t do it, it’s so weird’

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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.”

[From People]

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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10 Responses to “Emilia Clarke won’t watch HotD: ‘I just can’t do it, it’s so weird’”

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  1. Normades says:

    Something must be wrong with me because I’ve always had zero interest to watch any of these series.

    I do think she’s adorable though.

    • Jessica says:

      I felt the same way about the original Game of Thrones for years, never been into stuff like that and had no interest in it, then I started dating my now husband and we needed a show to binge and said screw it why not, and our entire lives stopped and every free minute we had was spent watching it! Truly an amazing work of art and the best show I’ve ever seen lol

    • Emmi says:

      Never liked GoT, gave it multiple shots. It was just … a lot. There were some characters and storylines I liked but sometimes you get 5 min of the ones you like in one episode. And because there were so many, the individual stories moved at a snail’s pace. And I HATED so many of the characters. The show wasn’t just violent, there was a level cruelty to a lot of it that whispered “torture p0rn” to me. Like the show wanted to make sure it was THE most horrifying on TV.

      I love HotD. LOL It’s very different than GoT although of course Martin had to bring the incest. It’s like he can’t do without. It’s much more palace intrigue than horror show. There are only two main female characters (sigh) but they do steal the show and their relationship is super interesting to watch.

      • Coldbloodedjellydonut says:

        I agree, it is like torture p0rn. I loved the story and some of the character arcs are amazing, but if I could get an edited copy taking out all the rape and torture, I would jump at the chance.

        I will never rewatch it, and that’s disappointing. The books are just as bad as the show, by the way.

        Generally I find most modern shows and movies are too gory and have too much sex in them. I preferred back in the day where things were insinuated, or you saw a bit then they faded to black, but nowadays everything has to be extreme and drawn right out.

  2. Loretta says:

    She’s so lovely, a sunshine

  3. Moderatelywealthy says:

    HBo was sucessfull in distancing themselves from the GoT showrunenrs mess. They retconned seven seasons of the show to fit into their dude bro fantasy. Jon Snow forgot Daenerys had already agreed to fight with him without him giving up the Crown in season 7 and kept repeating she forced him to do it in season 8 just to have the ” ambitious bicth” narrative.

    I myself have no interest in watching because I know how the prequel ends. GRRM made sure to retify the record on the Targaryens being aware of the prophecy and the shorunners changed the dynamics of the central conflict to speak about women and glass ceiling. but I am with Emilia here: of course it will be a sucess. It has dragons. It is well produced. But it nis no longer for me.

    As for the Jon Snow show- I dont want it.

  4. Kate says:

    I don’t blame her.

  5. AmyB says:

    They did Daenerys Targaryen so dirty in the ending of GoT, I completely understand where she is coming from. Such a horrible way to end that character! I loved GoT (except the God-awful ending) but I didn’t have interest in House of Dragon either.

  6. AnneL says:

    I watched GoT and loved it, but hated the ending. The dragons lost all their appeal for me after about the third season, so my beef wasn’t about the fate of Dany and her babies, just the way it unfolded and was botched.

    I have zero interest in watching HotD, partly because of GoT’s ending but also partly because I never cared much about the Targaryens or the dragons.

    I totally get why she doesn’t want to watch it.

    I do hope we get that Jon Snow series though. They did him dirty too, in a lot of ways. Maybe they can redeem it somewhat. I’m that naive.

  7. Abbie says:

    What’s up with that first photo, she looks terrible! She’s a young beautiful woman and she looks 60!