Turner says she has yet to watch the series finale "because I was alone when it came out, and I truly can’t be alone to watch it. But I read the script and I acted in it, so I kind of know what happens." Still, Turner said the ending "makes a lot of sense," adding that she "loved" her ending. Asked about the negative fan reaction to this season, Turner tells The New York Times: "Honestly, I’m not surprised. People always have an idea in their heads of how they want a show to finish, and so when it doesn’t go to their liking, they start to speak up about it and rebel. The thing about Game of Thrones that’s always been amazing is the fact that there’s always been crazy twists and turns, right from Season 1 with Ned’s beheading. So Daenerys becoming something of the Mad Queen — it shouldn’t be such a negative thing for fans. It’s a shock for sure, but I think it’s just because it hasn’t gone their way. All of these petitions and things like that — I think it’s disrespectful to the crew, and the writers, and the filmmakers who have worked tirelessly over 10 years, and for 11 months shooting the last season. Like 50-something night shoots. So many people worked so, so hard on it, and for people to just rubbish it because it’s not what they want to see is just disrespectful." Turner also addressed her controversial scene from Episode 4 that showed Sansa saying her abuse experiences made her stronger. "I obviously think that’s not a message to spread," she said. "But I don’t think that was the intention. It was that she was strong in spite of all of the horrific things that she’s gone through, not because of them."
Game of Thrones' series finale was actually pretty good: "Game of Thrones was never going to find the perfect, incredible ending," says Dan Kois, but at least last night's finale played to the series' true strengths, including its cinematic grandeur. "And, perhaps most importantly, the finale took the characters we cared about the most and gave them real endings," he says, adding that the finale was especially satisfying because "the character who owned this finale was not a king or queen but one of those people, the show’s most richly drawn character, who’s been a schemer and a usurper but also a planner and a voice of reason: Tyrion. Who can gripe too much about a finale given over to Peter Dinklage to illustrate everything that Tyrion Lannister can do?"
Game of Thrones had grown so popular that it made viewers look embarrassingly out of touch with life itself: "This can only happen when we love our popular culture a little too hard, crossing some line of personal investment, forgetting when a TV show is only just that," says Hank Stuever. "It was our fault for coming to regard the show as the apogee of the medium itself. It’s also why I’m glad some unnamed, unwitting hero left a coffee cup in the camera shot in the episode that aired May 5. That one coffee cup humanized the whole endeavor. It reminded us that a TV show, no matter how absorbing, is a folly, a fake, a job that someone is hired to do, so that an HBO subscription can be sold to you. The coffee cup will be scrubbed away with a quick flick of magic technology; but before it’s entirely gone, I hope they give it an Emmy."
The finale suffered from self-importance: "When Sam practically jazz hands through his explanation of A Song of Ice and Fire, it’s not a fun, subtle Easter egg, but a sad joke," says Meghan O'Keefe. "When the choir sings the name of the show out loud, it’s not profound, but indulgent. And when you follow absolute despair with satire, you make fun of your own tragedy."
Isaac Hempstead Wright writes about his final time playing Bran: "When it came to the very final shot, it all dawned on me. This was to be the death of my character; it would be the last time I would ever breathe life into him, the last time I would sit in my costume on a Game of Thrones set and think about what it feels like to be Bran. That was something I had done as a regular fixture of my life since the age of 10, and so it felt very sad to be saying farewell. What was nice about that final shot was that it was a very long wide, and so we needn't have run through the whole 10 minutes of dialogue — but we did. Our microphones were off and nobody will ever hear those performances, but for me, it felt like a wonderful last opportunity to really be Bran."