If you were wondering what the Game of Thrones series end will look like and how close it'll be to the book, I've got nothing for you. But if you're wondering what key Game of Thrones actresses think the perfect ending for their character would be, then — ding! ding! ding! — you've struck jackpot, because the actresses Emilia Clarke (Daenarys), Sophie Turner (Sansa), Maisie Williams (Arya), Natalie Dormer (Margaery), Lena Headey (Cersei), and Gwendoline Christie (Brienne of Tarth) were all interviewed by Entertainment Weekly on this very question, and their answers were gold.
EW's timing couldn't be more relevant. Co-showrunner David Benioff recently told Variety that the show is starting to wind down now, stating, "I think we're down to our final 13 episodes after this season. We're heading into the final lap. That's the guess, though nothing is yet set in stone, but that's what we're looking at."
The actresses were given a challenge: if they had to pitch the ultimate happy ending for their character, what would it be? There were some great, fantastical pitches, but probably the most interesting aspect of the video is how telling it is about each actress's personality. Just take a look for yourself:
Emilia Clarke's Perfect Ending
“I get to Westeros riding on the back of my dragon, and we hang a right past Hollywood, and we pick up a few beautiful men to ride on the dragon with me. We pick up the throne, and we take that throne and the beautiful men, and we take it to a Caribbean, and we plant the throne in the Caribbean, and we just chill out. That’s it.”
Who'd have thought fiery, literally-never-chill Daenarys would find her happy ending lounging on a beach with some aesthetically-blessed males? But the whole ditching the throne and ditching the power struggles aspect of this ending seems to suggest that Clarke's not as career-obsessed as Daenarys and also finds time for fun — while her hyperbolic vision of Daenarys and her troop of male models suggests again, unlike Daenarys, she's a little more lighthearted and funny at her core.
Sophie Turner's Perfect Ending
“I feel she’d want Sansa and Littlefinger to end up on the throne, with Littlefinger hand of the King, Sansa on the throne, and reunited with her whole family, even the dead ones.”
Huh? In Season 6, Episode 5, Sansa spoke for all of us when she confronted Littlefinger about matchmaking her with Ramsay Bolton, saying, "Did you know about Ramsay? If you didn’t know you’re an idiot; if you did know you’re my enemy." Preach. If Turner's Sansa-teaming-up-with-Littlefinger ending tells us anything, it's that she's steely and ambitious for Sansa: Littlefinger, whether trustworthy or not, is the most useful ally Sansa has in the long term. Brienne of Tarth may have the brute force, but she doesn't have the cunning to scheme Sansa back to the top of the pile.
Maisie Williams' Perfect Ending
“The nasty characters have been great for story arcs, but it’s time to ditch them and let Arya rise to the top. There we go.”
Is it me or is Williams just like Arya? The simplicity of this ending mirrors the simplicity of Arya's path throughout Seasons 4, 5, and 6 so far: She's stayed out of the more complicated bigger picture to become a better and better swordsman/assassin (her mercy to Lady Crane being a key exception) and keep knocking names off her death list.
Natalie Dormer's Perfect Ending
“Margaery Tyrell would like the first queen on the throne to be Rose Baratheon, first of her name, who would be the daughter of Tom and herself.”
Since Rose Baratheon doesn't exist yet, I'd argue that this ending shows Dormer's incredible imagination and of a certain humility. Dormer doesn't want her character to be the first woman to rule: She's happy to sacrifice her power for someone else to take it.
Lena Headey's Perfect Ending
“Cersei would kidnap the Red Priestess, she would resurrect all her dead children, and they would all rule happily ever after.”
This mixture of dark arts, cunning, and warmth, with evil in pursuit of reuniting Cersei with her lost children, shows that Headey's the perfect actress to play Cersei. She recognizes dark times can sometimes call for dark measures.
Gwendoline Christie's Perfect Ending
“There needs to be a huge convergence of characters on the iron throne. I think that Daenarys is groping towards the throne, she’s almost on there, literally every single character is killed on the way up, one of her dragons turns on her and incinerates her, and then the whole of Westeros returns to an Eden-like state and has to regenerate.”
Christie's elaborate ending shows that, like Dormer, she's got a great imagination, but is perhaps more cynical about power's capacity to corrupt: It's only when Westeros is freed from ambitious leaders and wannabe leaders ("every single character is killed on the way up") can it return to "an Eden-like state" and "regenerate."
I think I like Christie's version of events best: Since it's hard not to root for multiple characters at a time, perhaps the only true happy ending could be one where nobody got the throne and Westeros got to experience something we've never seen before: a time of peace.
Images: Entertainment Weekly (7); Sophie Atkinson/Bustle (7)