“Not everyone will be happy”: ‘Game of Thrones’ star Isaac Hempstead-Wright on Bran Stark’s ending

Actor who portrays Bran Stark weighs in on the show's conclusion

Warning: major spoilers for Game of Thrones season 8 episode 6 below

Isaac Hempstead-Wright has spoken about the “bittersweet” ending to Game of Thrones.

The 20-year-old actor, who plays Bran Stark in the hit HBO fantasy epic, addressed the fact that his character is placed on the Iron Throne at the show’s conclusion. It’s a decision that has split fans – and its divisiveness is something that Hempstead-Wright understands.


“Not everyone will be happy,” the actor told Entertainment Weekly. ‘It’s so difficult to finish a series as popular as this without pissing some people off. I don’t think anybody will think it’s predictable and that’s as much as you can hope for. People are going to be angry. There’s going to be a lot of broken hearts. It’s ‘bittersweet,’ exactly as [saga author] George R.R. Martin intended. It’s a fitting conclusion to this epic saga.”

He went on to describe his reaction to discovering that Bran would become the king of the (now six) kingdoms of Westeros.

Isaac Hempstead-Wright in 'Game of Thrones'
Isaac Hempstead-Wright as Bran Stark in ‘Game of Thrones’

“When I got to the [Dragonpit scene] in the last episode and they’re like, ‘What about Bran?’ I had to get up and pace around the room,” Hempstead-Wright said. “I genuinely thought it was a joke script and that [showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss] sent to everyone a script with their own character ends up on the Iron Throne. ‘Yeah, good one guys. Oh s—, it’s actually real?’”

But the actor added that he was “happy” with the outcome despite wanting to “die and get in one good death scene with an exploding head or something.”

Meanwhile, Emilia Clarke, who plays Daenerys Targaryen in the series, has defended the show’s ending after some backlash from fans.


In episode 6, Daenerys is stabbed to death by Jon Snow after she incinerated the innocent people of King’s Landing in a crazed bid for the Iron Throne.

Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen

While the dramatic death has attracted an equal amount of praise and criticism, Clarke has insisted that Dany’s death marked the perfect end to her character’s story.

“After 10 years of working on this show, it’s logical. Where else can she go?” she told Entertainment Weekly in a separate interview.

“I tried to think what the ending will be. It’s not like she’s suddenly going to go, ‘Okay, I’m gonna put a kettle on and put cookies in the oven and we’ll just sit down and have a lovely time and pop a few kids out.’ That was never going to happen. She’s a Targaryen.”