Emilia Clarke offers some new insights about her story line in Game of Thrones season 8, where Daenerys Targaryen arrives at Winterfell to meet and help defend the family of lover Jon Snow (Kit Harington) and gets a frosty reception from the Lady of Winterfell Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner).

"I like to think that it's like Meet the Parents," Clarke tells EW. "It's like: ‘I hope they like me. This dude's wicked. It's a real good thing we got going on. He's the final piece. We're destined for greatness and world domination is a breath away.' And so I need to be like: ‘Can I braid your hair, Sansa? Little Arya, come over here, let's play some cricket.' So there's that. And then, very, very quickly, it's like: ‘Wait, is it just me, or do they hate me?'"

The Targaryen-Stark meet-up kicks off the first episode of the final season, which premieres this Sunday on HBO. The Starks would naturally be wary about Jon Snow giving up his crown as their region's newly appointed King in the North to bend the knee to an invading foreign queen from a family that has a rather brutal reputation. Whereas Jon Snow is focused on the threat from the Army of the Dead and knows they need a strong alliance with Daenerys if they are to have any hope of survival — plus, you know, he kinda likes her.

Credit: Helen Sloan/HBO

Clarke added that for new episodes she evolved her portrayal of Daenerys a bit more from previous seasons now that the character has so much experience as a leader under her belt. "The thing I now realize is she's not a scared little girl anymore," Clarke says. "So there's less room for vulnerability or sentimentality or soft edges."

As Clarke previously told EW, the season's filming was super intense given its the final batch of episodes, with every member of the production trying to raise their game. "[Camera checks] take longer, costumes a little bit better, hair and makeup is a bit sharper — every choice, every conversation, every attitude has this air of ‘This is it,'" she said. "Everything feels more intense. I had a scene with someone and I turned to him and said, ‘Oh my God, I'm not going to do this ever again,' and that brings tears to my eyes."

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Game of Thrones

HBO's epic fantasy drama based on George R.R. Martin's novel series A Song of Ice and Fire.

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