Los Angeles Times

'Game of Thrones': Daenerys actress Emilia Clarke was unsure about the finale. She called her mom

Note to readers: This article contains a spoiler about the series finale of "Game of Thrones."

When Emilia Clarke finished reading the scripts for the last two episodes of "Game of Thrones," she went for a long walk, wandering the streets of London in a stupor, trying to process the shocking fate of her character, Daenerys Targaryen, and whether she had the strength to play it. Shortly afterward, plagued by self-doubt, Clarke called her mom, the most pragmatic person she knows. She needed someone to talk her off the ledge.

Mom's advice: You're good and, if anything, you get to do some wicked acting. So enjoy it. "The boys [showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss] gave me a gift this season with Daenerys," Clarke says. "They gave me a gift just giving me the part in the first place. To get the opportunity to play a girl who goes from being a naive, frightened creature to a dictator with genocidal tendencies is amazing. That's a pretty big arc!"

Over lunch around the corner from her home in Venice and, later, in a phone call from her London residence, Clarke talked about that journey, the finale and how she handled the frightening brain aneurysms that beset her while making the

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