8:02pm PT by Jean Bentley
'Game of Thrones' Stars Say Farewell After HBO Juggernaut Wraps
The Game of Thrones series finale was a highly anticipated, emotionally charged event for fans — so it was doubly impactful for the actors who brought the fantasy show to life for eight epic seasons. The day of the series finale, castmembers posted tributes to the project they began working on more than a decade ago.
Sophie Turner was just barely 13 when she started playing Sansa Stark, and praised the show for shaping the person she is today.
"At 23 I leave you behind, but I will never leave behind what you’ve taught me," she wrote in an Instagram post. "To the show and the incredible people who make it, thank you for giving me the best life and drama lessons I could have ever asked for. Without you I wouldn’t be the person I am today."
Sansa, Thank you for teaching me resilience, bravery and what true strength really is. Thank you teaching me to be kind and patient and to lead with love. I grew up with you. I fell in love with you at 13 and now 10 years on.. at 23 I leave you behind, but I will never leave behind what you’ve taught me. To the show and the incredible people who make it, thank you for giving me the best life and drama lessons I could have ever asked for. Without you I wouldn’t be the person I am today. Thank you for giving me this chance all those years ago. And finally to the fans. Thank you for falling in love with these characters and supporting this show right through till the end. I’ll miss this more than anything.
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The mother of dragons herself, Emilia Clarke, similarly credited the series' impact on her life.
"Game of Thrones has shaped me as a woman, as an actor and as a human being," she wrote.
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
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Ser Brienne of Tarth's preshow tribute was short and sweet, as Gwendoline Christie posted a snapshot of her and costar Kit Harington posing on set.
Liam Cunningham, who played Ser Davos Seaworth, also kept his pre-show post short and sweet.
— liam cunningham (@liamcunningham1) May 20, 2019
John Bradley, who plays Samwell Tarly, saved his schedule from season 1, which ended up being a look back at some of the most pivotal moments from the beginning of his time on the series.
So tonight we have our very last episode. It’s the final step of a long and wonderful journey. A journey that, for me, started at 10am on Monday 19th of July 2010. I know this because recently I found my rehearsal and prep schedule for season 1, week 1. This was given to me when I landed in Belfast for the first time, weeks before we even started shooting. Listed here is the rehearsal where I first met Kit, and the first time I wore the costume that’s seen me through 8 seasons. I’m glad I kept this. I met so many people that week who have come to mean so much to me. Back then we couldn’t have known the journey we’d go on together. I wouldn’t swap that experience, or those people, for the world. Enjoy the episode and thanks for everything. @gameofthrones @hbo #GOT
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Jacob Anderson, who plays Grey Worm, posted a photo of his first day on set and his last.
1. First Day. 2. Last Day. GoT was like the craziest school trip ever. A 6 year Adventure Weekend. Grey Worm. You went from a robot to a real boy. I’m proud of you. I’ll miss you bud. Thank you to everybody that cared about him and rooted for him. He was really scared at first, but you made him feel loved. He appreciates it. I asked him. Huge shout out to the Targs team: Nats, Emilia, Conleth, Peter, Iain, Ian, Michiel, Reece, Ed, Kit, Liam. Thank you for making the days so fun. Here’s to every single department behind the scenes that worked to the bone to make this show. They worked tirelessly everyday to make this thing, and they never get shout outs and they know that but they do it anyway. Here’s to you, you ragtag bunch of talented clever rascals. I love ya’ll. Thank you. Game of Thrones ENDS tonight on @hbo AT 9pm and @skyatlanticuk at 2am. I hope you enjoy it.
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Follow THR.com/GameOfThrones for continuing coverage of the series finale.