Isaac Hempstead Wright talks about Bran’s ending: “Not everyone will be happy”


Game of Thrones aired its series finale last night, and it was full of twists and turns. If you haven’t watch it yet, SPOILERS follow.

Specifically, there were two big twists: Jon Snow killing Daenerys Targaryen felt pretty inevitable after she firebombed King’s Landing in “The Bells,” but far fewer people saw Bran’s role coming. Bran Stark, Bran the Broken, the Three-Eyed Raven, is the new elected King of Westeros!

Judging from reactions on social media, some fans are less than thrilled. Although plenty endorse the choice, too:

Speaking to Entertainment Weekly while filming season 8, star Isaac Hempstead Wright knew there would be consternation. “Not everyone will be happy,” he said. “It’s so difficult to finish a series as popular as this without pissing some people off…There’s going to be a lot of broken hearts. It’s ‘bittersweet,’ exactly as [saga author] George R.R. Martin intended. It’s a fitting conclusion to this epic saga.” Can’t say he’s wrong about that.

When it comes to Bran being king, even Wright had a hard time believing it when reading through the scripts for the first time:

"When I got to the [Dragonpit scene] in the last episode and they’re like, ‘What about Bran?’ I had to get up and pace around the room. I genuinely thought it was a joke script and that [showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss] sent to everyone a script with their own character ends up on the Iron Throne. ‘Yeah, good one guys. Oh s—, it’s actually real?’"

That said, he was “happy” with the way things turned out. “I think he’ll be a really good king actually. Perhaps there will be something missing in having real emotive leader, which is a useful quality in a king or queen as well. At the same time, you can’t really argue with Bran. He’s like, ‘No, I know everything.’”

I’d also point out that, as the emotionless Three-Eyed Raven, Bran would be free from the temptation of corruption, the kind of thing that sank leaders like Robert Baratheon, Joffrey Baratheon and Cersei Lannister — in the end, the show would have us believe that lust for power was the ultimate downfall of even Daenerys Targaryen. Bran won’t be affected by that, and will hopefully rule wisely and even-handedly.


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Still, at the moment, fans are still sorting through some pretty intense dissatisfaction with the final episodes, to the point where some have even signed a petition to get them remade with different writers at the helm. Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, Wright finds that “absurd.”

"It’s ridiculous that people think they can just demand a different ending because they don’t like it. I have stupidly taken it quite personally, which obviously I shouldn’t. In my opinion, it’s a great ending."

In particular, Wright takes issue with criticisms that Daenerys’ turn as the Mad Queen was too abrupt:

"Dany is a brilliant character who has done so many fabulous things and saved so many people. People have complained there wasn’t enough foreshadowing of that. But time upon time, she’s demonstrated a capacity to be quite brutal. She’s waited years and years to get over to Westeros and take what is hers. She’s been delayed. She’s had to fight an army of literal dead people. She nearly died. She’s lost Jorah (Iain Glen), Missandei (Nathalie Emmanuel) and now the person she’s deeply in love with isn’t comfortable with her and he threatens the claim she’s had for years. She’s sick of it…I don’t think it’s some plot twist to be shocking for the sake of shocking. I think it’s a genuine character development."

In the end, the ages will decide whether the show’s ending hit the mark. Whatever happens, Wright thinks the show has secured its legacy. “[I]t’s been seven or eight years of absolutely brilliant television that captivated the world, that’s encouraged debate, that’s launched multiple water-cooler conversations on Monday mornings at work,” he said. “It’s been a pivotal, important part of history. It’s been a key moment in television history. I think people will remember it as such. I think people will remember it as a fabulous journey to have been a part of, no matter their opinion on the ending.”

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