The finale of the famed HBO series Game of Thrones stirred up a lot of emotions. Thousands of fans took to the internet in outrage, with more than a million people signing an online petition to have the entire final season redone. However, in the wake of such strong feelings, one fan decided to answer the backlash with a positive campaign, according to People.
A Reddit user asked for online donations for Emilia Clarke’s charity, SameYou, and has already raised $45,000.
Clarke, who had a main role in the series as Daenerys Targaryen, had two life-saving surgeries during the show’s eight-year reign. The surgeries took place to manage brain aneurysms. Clarke wrote a powerful op-ed piece for The New Yorker describing her medical struggles while shooting in the early days of Game of Thrones.
As a response to her condition, the 32-year-old actress started a charity for those suffering from brain injuries and strokes.
To gather donations for the cause, the fan — who goes by the Reddit handle elle_ellaria — described the fundraising efforts as a show of support for the Game of Thrones cast.
“Since the tongue-in-cheek nature of that petition has flown over a lot of peoples’ heads…we wanted to show that Game of Thrones fans appreciate the hard work of the incredible cast & crew despite their constraints.”
The fan told Entertainment Weekly that she wanted to “stand by Daenerys,” and felt a fundraiser was the best way to show it.
“As a gesture of love and support from the fandom to the entire cast & crew — but also particularly to the woman who poured her very soul into her character who… inspired so many of us with her resilience — I am setting up this page in public support of her charity, SameYou.”
Using hashtags, #ThankYouEmilia and #WeStandByDaenerys, the fan goes on to thank specific cast and crew members, including costume creators, musicians, and stunt coordinators, for creating such a large production with so many moving pieces.
It’s a sentiment that Emilia Clarke has, herself, expressed. In a recent Instagram post, the Mother of Dragons reflects on the impact the show has had on her life. When the show finished filming, Clarke snapped a picture with the main cast and said it was hard to put her feelings into words since the show had spanned so many years of her life.
“Game of Thrones has shaped me as a woman, as an actor and as a human being.”
The fundraiser, which is hosted on JustGiving.org, is ongoing — with a stated goal of raising about $63,000.
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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