In a little more than 48 hours, fans everywhere will finally see how Game of Thrones ends. The epic HBO fantasy series will air its series finale Sunday night after years of predictions, prophecies, and bloodshed, and at the close of a final season that's left more than a few fans angry about the show's direction.
From where Isaac Hempstead-Wright (Bran Stark) is sitting, that's exactly as it should be.
**Spoiler Warning: There are spoilers for the final season of Game of Thrones below.**
Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter about the final season, Hempstead-Wright noted that he's "lived with this information" for a year. He's long been aware of how everything wraps up, and he's already reacted to and made peace with it in his own mind. Now, the real experience for him has been watching as fans around the world react to the many twists and deaths of the final season, often not in positive ways. The show's most recent two episodes, "The Last of the Starks" and "The Bells" have been met with particularly savage criticism from fans, the first because it rather abruptly killed off one of the few remaining characters of color on the show (Missandei of Naath) and the second because it revealed the villainous turn of Queen Daenerys Targaryen through a split-second decision to rain fire down on King's Landing.
For some fans, this was all part of what Game of Thrones has been building to for years, but that hasn't been the case for others, who haven't been shy about voicing their displeasure. For Hempstead-Wright, that displeasure is part of what has to happen for the story to be told the right way.
"I know there has been a lot of backlash about this recent episode. I don't really understand it," he said. "What people were hoping for is an Avengers-esque thing where all the superpowers are explained and everybody comes together and there's a big team effort. Game of Thrones isn't like that. It's unpredictable by nature. The fact that characters are not doing what people want them to do? It's a good thing. The fact that people are getting pissed off and having a big emotional response? That's the reason why Game of Thrones is successful. It doesn't do what everyone wants them to do."
Hempstead-Wright also brought up the petition circulating in recent days asking HBO to somehow "fix" the final season through rewriting. That petition has garnered hundreds of thousands of signatures at this point, and while he's certainly not at all concerned that it'll have any effect on the show's ending, Hempstead-Wright was also happy to counter its arguments.
"It's just absurd. I can't even fathom it. It's just ridiculous. (Laughs.) It's ridiculous that people think they can just demand a different ending because they don't like it. I have stupidly taken it quite personally, which obviously I shouldn't. In my opinion, it's a great ending," he said. "I think it's that this is a character everyone loves. Dany is a brilliant character who has done so many fabulous things and saved so many people. People have complained there wasn't enough foreshadowing of that. But time upon time, she's demonstrated a capacity to be quite brutal. She's waited years and years to get over to Westeros and take what is hers. She's been delayed. She's had to fight an army of literal dead people. She nearly died. She's lost Jorah (Iain Glen), Missandei (Nathalie Emmanuel) and now the person she's deeply in love with isn't comfortable with her and he threatens the claim she's had for years. She's sick of it. She's pissed off and she's lost her mind. I don't think it's some plot twist to be shocking for the sake of shocking. I think it's a genuine character development."
So, with all that said, and with his passionate argument in favor of Dany's turn in mind, how does Hempstead-Wright feel about the pending finale? How will fans take it? His advice: Do your best to watch with an open mind.
"Come Sunday, either people are going to approach it with an open mind or they're not. If people have made up their minds now that they hate Game of Thrones, then obviously, they are not going to enjoy it, no matter how good it is. I personally think it's a very clever way of tying it all up. This next episode, again, is not going to please everybody. There will be some moments where people go, 'No! Why did this happen?' But they're necessary moments. They all contribute to quite an interesting Game of Thrones-y conclusion."
The series finale of Game of Thrones airs Sunday at 9 p.m. EST on HBO. SYFY WIRE will, of course, have all the reactions you crave in the hours following the broadcast.