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SYFY WIRE Game of Thrones Season 8

Kit Harington defends Thrones' ending after Emmy wins: 'We knew what we were doing was right'

By Josh Weiss
Kit Harington Jon Snow Game of Thrones

Last night, HBO's Game of Thrones closed out its final season with two Emmy wins for Best Supporting Drama Actor (Peter Dinklage) and Outstanding Drama Series.

These, in addition to the 10 technical Creative Emmys the show secured last weekend, brought its total number of 2019 wins to 12. During the 12th victory of Best Drama Series, most of the principal cast took to the stage in order to accept the top award alongside author George R.R. Martin and creators/showrunners, D.B. Weiss and David Benioff.

Shortly after the ceremony wrapped, star Kit Harington (Jon Snow) shared his thoughts on Season 8, which polarized many fans who felt it was either too rushed, didn't resolve storylines set up in previous seasons, or forced certain characters to act in ways that didn't jive with their arcs. You can take your pick, really.

“I still haven’t seen the show. I haven’t seen the final season,” the actor said, according to TVLine. “But I know what it took to shoot it, and it was hard on everyone and they put all of their heart and effort into it. We knew what we were doing was right, story-wise, and we knew it was right for the characters because we lived with them for 10 years," he said. "And because of that highly qualified investment in the story and characters, the controversy didn’t really affect us.”

Kit Harington Jon Snow Game of Thrones

Harington does bring up a good point. Even if the final season could have benefited from more time (or if the show could have used a new season altogether), it was still a staggering achievement of what can be done within the medium of television. For instance, Season 8's third episode ("The Long Night") took 11 weeks of freezing night shoots to complete, making it the longest consecutive battle sequence ever recorded.

“It’s not really up for us to decide what people feel about it. We hope that they watch it and like it in the future. There’s no way to tell,” Weiss said (per Variety) after the awards show. “The landscape of television changes so quickly; it’s changing right now as we’re standing here. It’s so gratifying to have reached this many people. We hope the people who are a little bit too young will grow up to watch it as well.”

“It was always going to be Bran as the king at the end,” added Benioff.

For our full genre recap of the 71st Primetime Emmys, click here.