Emilia Clarke Said Making The First Season Of ‘Game Of Thrones’ Was ‘Nonstop Joy’ Despite, Well, Everything

Game of Thrones is celebrating its 10-year anniversary these days, or at least the decade since its first season aired and it became a global phenomena. With that has come a lot of speculation about what might happen to the last season of the show, which aired more recently but was received far less enthusiastically by its fans.

That kind of nostalgia for the show’s earlier days seems to have extended to one of its biggest stars as well. Emilia Clarke, who played a character many felt was dealt a bad hand in the show’s endgame, had nothing but good things to say about the season of the show. Clarke spoke to Entertainment Weekly ahead of the 10-year anniversary of the first season’s premiere and reminisced about how much has changed in the decade since. Interestingly, despite a lot of things that were far from perfect, Clarke raved about the experience.

“I honestly still look back at it and go, ‘I’m so not at a point where I can retrospectively see this for what it is.’ I think I’ll be 90 when I can actually do that,” Clarke tells EW, ahead of the 10th anniversary of the HBO series’ premiere. “The experience was so enormous, and so all-consuming, and defines me at that young moment in my life. You kind of look back at it like you would high school or college. When you’re young like that, you’re so in the moment.”

The first season also includes some changes from the books that didn’t go over very well with George R.R. Martin and other actors on the show as well. She also admitted she felt pressure to do nude scenes in the first season, something she was more willing to push back on in later seasons. And then there were the aneurysms that threatened her life, including one she dealt with shortly after the first season wrapped. And though Clarke ultimately didn’t nearly have as bad a time filming the first season as the Danny she replaced from the disastrous first pilot, nothing that came her way a decade ago seems to have left a negative impact on her.

“I look back at the person who was there and go, ‘You really have no idea what’s coming. You have no idea what’s about to hit,'” the actress says. “And it was beautiful for that. We were all very much in the moment that we were in, and very unaware as to how it was going to be received, what people were going to think, who we were going to be at the end of it. I’m going to call us kids, because we were — we were just having fun, experiencing this crazy thing. And it was joyous for that. That first season was nonstop joy, and so much fun. I look back at it with complete love.”

Clarke also had very nice things to say about the Thrones prequel show that will carry on the story of Westeros without her. But perhaps it’s nice to see that despite all the headlines that show some of the bleaker sides of Hollywood and the process of making a big-budget TV show, only the good remains after some time.

[via EW]