Unless you have been in a coma for the last decade, you are at least marginally familiar with the drama of King’s Landing. The battle for Westeros chronicled in HBO’s Game of Thrones was a cultural phenomenon. No matter where you went, it was there; seemingly taking over the world for eight seasons. It proved to be a runaway success. It was only a matter of time before the streaming service revisited the works of George R. R. Martin. There have been announcements for two more series. And despite hope to the contrary, Emilia Clarke confirmed that she will not be returning to the kingdom of Westeros.
HBO Max released the news in November 2018 that they would be creating a spin-off series titled House of Dragons. As confirmed by the author himself, the series would focus on the novel Fire & Blood, chronicling House Targaryen and their quest to rule Westeros and occupy the iron throne. Of course, when HBO announced the release, fans knew logically that Emilia Clarke couldn’t appear. Since it takes place 300 years earlier in the timeline, it just wouldn’t make sense. However, there was still hope after playing the descendant of the Targaryen name, Daenerys, for eight seasons. In an interview with BBC, Emilia Clarke herself put an almost certain end to those hopes.
Now that fans are getting a present-day spin-off with Kit Harrington returning as Jon Snow for a new sequel series, there was a little bit of musing as to whether or not fans would get the chance to see their favorite Mother of Dragons reprise her role and appear. Of course, her character’s ending in the series means the need for some creative loopholes. Still, that didn’t stop fans and interviewers alike from asking the actress if she would revisit the world of Westeros. “No, I think I’m done,” Emilia Clarke answered with a laugh. There was a firmness and a finality to the answer. However, she did say she would be watching the show with fascination and as a fresh viewer because it takes place long before her character.
Even though Emilia Clarke is likely finished, it isn’t all bad news for fans of the original series. If you are someone hoping to see the return of some of your classic favorites, Gwendoline Christie is leaving the door open for Brienne of Tarth to return to the screen. “I will never stop being interested in her,” she said. The hope for her and Kit Harrington’s Jon Snow to interact and play off each other is an intriguing prospect.
However much work Emilia Clarke does post-Game of Thrones, it seems she cannot escape her career-defining character. She has appeared in multiple other franchises, such as The Terminator and Star Wars, and yet she still remains the Mother of Dragons. Viewers are about to be introduced to a whole new world of Targaryens with House of Dragons later this summer. But through every scene and every scenario, don’t be surprised if you find audiences asking, “What would Daenerys do?”