By Maureen Lee Lenker
May 19, 2019 at 02:48 PM EDT
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Game of Thrones aired its final episode Sunday night, finally revealing who won the Iron Throne. But behind-the-scenes, things were far less cutthroat.

As the hours ticked down to the highly anticipated series finale on Sunday, many Game of Thrones cast members posted celebrations of their time on the show on social media. Sharing group shots and heartfelt messages, the cast honored what the show had meant to them and so many fans over the course of eight seasons.

Sophie Turner shared a group shot featuring much of the season eight core cast along with a message dedicated to her character Sansa Stark. “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,” she wrote. “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,” she concluded. “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.”

Emilia Clarke/Instagram

Emilia Clarke, the mad queen Dany herself, also had some emotional words for her fans and closing the door on this formative experience in her career. “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,” she began. “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.”

Clarke also paid tribute to her late father in the post, writing, “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.”

John Bradley, who portrays the loyal Samwell Tarly, shared a different kind of behind-the-scenes shot. He posted an image of himself with the 2010 rehearsal and prep schedule for season one, where the journey all began for him.

“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,” he explained. “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 👋.”

Scroll down to see more goodbye tributes from the show’s stars, including posts from Jacob Anderson (Grey Worm), Joe Dempsie (Gendry), Liam Cunningham (Davos), and Gwendoline Christie (Brienne).

Pedro Pascal, who played Oberyn “the Red Viper” Martell during season 4, posted a salute to showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, calling them “the mensches who changed my life.” Now that their time in Westeros is done, all three men have futures in a galaxy far, far away. Benioff and Weiss are set to direct the next trilogy of Star Wars movies, while Pascal is starring in The Mandalorian series for the upcoming Disney Plus streaming service.

Isaac Hempstead-Wright reacted to Bran Stark’s unexpected crowning with a shrug emoji. Maisie Williams’ only social media reaction to the finale was to tweet “just here for the memes.” Aren’t we all.

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HBO’s epic fantasy drama based on George R.R. Martin's novel series A Song of Ice and Fire.
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  • TV Show
seasons
  • 8
episodes
  • 73
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  • 04/17/11-05/19/19
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