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Game of Thrones actress Emilia Clarke calls season 8 backlash "profoundly flattering" at Emmys

(Image credit: HBO)

This year's Emmys ceremony was not without a few surprises. One was Game of Thrones (opens in new tab)failing to beat its own record of 12 wins. 

Going into the main awards show, the HBO series – which won 10 creative Emmys – was expected to easily take home at least three major trophies. While Game of Thrones won Outstanding Drama Series, and Peter Dinklage beat out Nikolaj Coster Waldau for Outstanding Supporting Actor, the show was defeated in every other category, with the biggest shock being Emilia Clarke losing Outstanding Actress to Killing Eve's Jodie Comer.

Of course, the loss was not a surprise to some Thrones fans who have very publicly made their hatred for season 8 known. Clarke was asked about the backlash to the most recent series and, in another surprise, called the criticism "profoundly flattering". 

“You know what? It was profoundly flattering is what it was because when someone cares that much that they’re ready to make such a noise about how they believe the characters should’ve been finished and how the story should’ve gone," she told Variety (opens in new tab). "That’s just enormously flattering. That just shows how much everybody loved it.”

She added that the cast had been feeling bittersweet about heading to the Emmys as it marks their final hurrah together: “We’ve had enough space now since filming, since it coming out, since the premiere, and all of that stuff. It’s been all of these different stages. Now, here we are and it feels like everyone’s had some time to cool down a little bit.” 

Ten of the series' cast were nominated for awards, also including Gwendoline Christie, Lena Headey, Sophie Turner, Maisie Williams and Alfie Allen. Here's the full Emmy winners list (opens in new tab). Meanwhile, Game of Thrones will be back for a prequel series (opens in new tab)soon enough, with the pilot having been filmed earlier this year.

Jack Shepherd
Jack Shepherd

I'm the Senior Entertainment Editor here at GamesRadar+, bringing you all the latest movie and TV news, reviews, and features. Plus I look after the Total Film and SFX sections and socials media channels. I used to work at The Independent as a general culture writer before specializing in TV and film