‘And now our watch has ended:’ Emilia Clarke bids goodbye to 'Game of Thrones'

MANILA, Philippines – After nearly a decade, Game of Thrones has finally come to an end.

And while the final episode is already getting mixed reactions ranging from “What the f*ck?” to “Wow,” it is nonetheless an emotional finale for fans of the show who have followed it from the beginning – and most especially for the stars, who have been at the center of it all for the past 8 years.  (READ: 'Now our watch is ended': history-making 'Game of Thrones' wraps)

Right before the finale aired on May 19 (May 20, 9 am, Philippine time), main cast member Emilia Clarke took to Instagram, sharing an emotional post to publicly say goodbye to the show.

View this post on Instagram Finding the words to write this post has left me overwhelmed with how much I want to say but how small words feel in comparison to what this show and Dany have meant to me. The mother of dragons chapter has taken up the whole of my adult life. This woman has taken up the whole of my heart. I’ve sweated in the blaze of dragon fire, shed many tears at those who left our family early, and wrung my brain dry trying to do Khaleesi and the masterful words, actions (and names) I was given, justice. Game of Thrones has shaped me as a woman, as an actor and as a human being. I just wish my darling dad was here now to see how far we’ve flown. But to you, dear kind magical fans, I owe you so much thanks, for your steady gaze at what we’ve made and what I’ve done with a character that was already in the hearts of many before I slipped on the platinum wig of dreams. Without you there is no us. And now our watch has ended. @gameofthrones @hbo #love #motherofdragonsoverandout A post shared by @ emilia_clarke on May 19, 2019 at 9:37am PDT

“The mother of dragons chapter has taken up the whole of my adult life. This woman has taken up the whole of my heart. I’ve sweated in the blaze of dragon fire, shed many tears at those who left our family early, and wrung my brain dry trying to do Khaleesi and the masterful words, actions (and names) I was given, justice,” she wrote in the caption as she shared photos of herself, the cast on and off set, and her signature platinum blonde wig that she has worn throughout the show.
 
Game of Thrones has shaped me as a woman, as an actor and as a human being. I just wish my darling dad was here now to see how far we’ve flown. But to you, dear kind magical fans, I owe you so much thanks, for your steady gaze at what we’ve made and what I’ve done with a character that was already in the hearts of many before I slipped on the platinum wig of dreams,” she added.

“Without you there is no us. And now our watch has ended.”

In the show, Emilia played Daenerys Targaryen, who, throughout the show, has been one of the foremost contenders for the coveted Iron Throne, the seat of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros.

Daenerys’ character has had one of the most compelling story arcs. She starts off as an orphan raised by an abusive brother in a foreign land called Essos across the Narrow Sea, where she fled after he family was killed in war.

After being sold as a bride to a powerful leader of the Dothraki in exchange for his armies, Daenerys receives fossilized dragon eggs as a wedding present – and, in a blazing fire, hatches them, birthing 3 dragons and earning one of her many titles: Mother of Dragons.

Since then, her character has gone on a crusade across Essos, through the Narrow Sea, and finally, back to Westeros – forging shaky alliances and making dangerous enemies along the way.

In a similar way, Emilia’s journey throughout the show has seen the actress battle seemingly insurmountable odds.

As she was working on the earlier seasons of the show, Emilia suffered two life-threatening aneurysms, which saw her undergoing several surgeries and major complications, and for a period, left her with aphasia – a condition where she was unable to process language.

"There is something gratifying, and beyond lucky, about coming to the end of Thrones," Clarke wrote in an essay published in the New Yorker. "I'm so happy to be here to see the end of this story and the beginning of whatever comes next."

The Game of Thrones season 8 finale aired on HBO Asia on May 20, at 9 am. An encore telecast will air at 10 pm. – Rappler.com