Carice van Houten defended the “clumsiness” of the Game of Thrones finale for this honest reason
Though winter has already come and gone, and Game of Thrones Season 8 is long behind us, many will simply never recover from the catastrophe that was the final season. From Starbucks cups and water bottles making cameos in major scenes to confusing character payoffs and unfulfilling deaths, fans were more than a little upset after dedicating nearly a decade to the HBO fantasy show. But, Carice van Houten, who played the “Red Woman” Melisandre, thinks we’re being too hard on Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss. As for her reasoning? Well, she has a point, but we don’t have to love it.
“I loved the ending,” van Houten told Insider during a recent Zoom interview. “I loved the randomness of just picking a king. 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?'”
She continued, “I loved the randomness and clumsiness of picking some guy, which is very representative of the world right now, as crazy people are ruling the world. I thought it was a great comparison.”
The “some guy” in question is Bran Stark, who took the throne in the Game of Thrones finale. With so many deserving characters, especially deserving women—ahem, Sansa Stark, Queen in the North—it was disappointing to watch Bran take the throne for so many fans. However, van Houten has a point, as much as wish our fantasy worlds would be just that: fantasy.
Van Houten, who was nominated for an Emmy for her role in Season 8, also said that the fan-powered petition to remake the last season was “scary” and “extreme.” She told Insider that, “knowing how fucking great they are,” the writers didn’t deserve the massive backlash they ultimately got, and she just couldn’t take the petition seriously.
“The fact that some people were so disappointed is because everything before that was so good,” she said, pointing out how there was always going to be a camp who disliked how the show ended.
Yes, it’s true that not everyone was going to be happy with whatever ending the showrunners came up with. But after spending more than a few years growing attached to these characters, the fans have a right to voice their opinions on the matter.
Moral of the story: There is never going to be peace between those who loved and those who hated the Game of Thrones finale. Which, honestly, probably feels accurate to the turmoil within the show.