Iain Glen says he wouldn’t change anything about the controversial Game of Thrones ending. The 60-year-old actor is best known for his portrayal of Ser Jorah Mormont in the acclaimed HBO series. Becoming a fan favorite for his unwavering allegiance to Daenerys Targaryen (played by Emilia Clarke), Glen became one of the few characters to survive nearly the entire run of the show until Jorah’s death during the Battle of Winterfell.
Concluding in 2019, the controversial ending of Game of Thrones continues to divide fans and critics to this day, particularly as HBO prepares for the premiere of its upcoming prequel series House of the Dragon. While cast members such as Peter Dinklage, Sophie Turner, and Kit Harington have defended the ending crafted by David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, the author of the original book series, George R. R. Martin, has stated that the show somewhat veered away from his vision and promised a different conclusion when his books are eventually completed. Game of Thrones season 8 drew ire for a multitude of plot points, including the seemingly rushed confrontation with the Night King, the death of Daenerys at the hands of Jon Snow, and the unexpected crowning of Bran Stark as Ruler of the Six Kingdoms.
Now, in an interview with The Independent (via Winter Is Coming), Glen reveals that he wouldn’t change a thing about the controversial ending of season 8. While he conceded that it was “not what a lot of people wanted,” Glen pointed out that the show became known for its unexpected twists and killing off beloved characters. “I wouldn’t have done anything differently,” he states, adding that he understood and supported the decisions made by the show’s writers. “But Game of Thrones is like my child, so maybe it’s no surprise for me to say that,” he also admitted. Check out his full statement below:
“Where it landed in the end was not what a lot of people wanted, but Game of Thrones had done that from the beginning, and it had always been exciting. No one wanted Ned Stark to get beheaded in the first season – ‘no, that is really wrong, that couldn’t happen!’ – but he did. And so throughout the series, those sorts of unexpected things happened.”
“I wouldn’t have done anything differently. Being inside it, I really could understand and supported the decision that were made by the writers and where they took the story. Game of Thrones is like my child, so maybe it’s no surprise for me to say that!”
While the fate of Glen’s own character Jorah drew less controversy (dying in the arms of Daenerys after protecting her from the Night King’s army), his loss was certainly felt amongst fans. A celebrated part of the series viewed as a viable love interest for the Dragon Queen and potential rival of Jon Snow, Jorah’s death was perhaps made more painful when Daenerys ultimately died despite his sacrifice. Clarke’s character was killed at the hands of Jon Snow following the Battle of King’s Landing. Though an upsetting loss to viewers, Mormont’s death was perhaps considered more favorably due to the character’s unwavering devotion to Daenerys and established desire to redeem himself in her eyes.
Despite Glen throwing his support behind the show’s ending, it seems unlikely that the attitude of fans will change any time soon. Though time may eventually mellow the response to the season 8 finale, the impending arrival of the prequel series House of the Dragon is likely to cause some viewers to reminisce on their previous disappointment. Still, with a new series set to re-engage Game of Thrones fans, HBO is likely hoping that it can win back the trust of its audience and perhaps, one day, they will look back on the show’s ending with fondness.