GoT’s Maisie Williams & 9 Other Actors Who Hated Their TV Character Endings

Days after the inaugural season of HBO’s hit spinoff series House of the Dragon concluded, Game of Thrones star Maisie Williams publicly criticized the direction of the acclaimed fantasy drama’s 8th and final season. In a live Twitch stream with her brother (via EW), Williams expressed that she felt Game of Thrones “definitely fell off at the end” of its run, which aligns with many fans of the show who felt the series finale was severely underwhelming.

Williams isn’t the only high-profile TV actor who disliked their character’s conclusion. In fact, there’s a long track record of actors coming out after their respective TV shows concluded to speak about their misgivings with their roles, how they were represented, what they stood for, and more.


Maisie Williams Was Devastated She Didn’t Get To Kill Cersei On Game Of Thrones

Blind Arya turns her head in Game of Thrones

As alluded to, Maisie Williams recently took to Twitch to express her honest opinion about where the direction of the all-time great HBO TV show Game of Thrones ultimately went and how her character evolved (or devolved) for the worst. In May 2019, Williams also voiced regret to EW over her character, Arya Stark, being denied the chance to kill Cersei Lannister, stating, “It was a shock for me because that wasn’t how I envisioned her arc going this year.”

In her recent comments, Williams admitted that while GoT “started off really strong, it kind of popped off. I could never see it from the outside. So I could never say that and actually understand it.” Williams also stated she was “heartbroken” over the death of her father Ned Stark despite “knowing it was coming.”

Penn Badgley Was Not Happy That Dan Was Gossip Girl

Dan talks to Serena on Gossip Girl

Penn Badgley has spoken out against his character Dan Humphrey’s conclusion on the hit CW romantic drama Gossip Girl, in which he was revealed to be the brains behind the titular character. According to a 2013 interview with Vulture, Badgley admitted that “I have to bite my tongue there. The end was strange for me, for all of us.”

In a full-throated rant against the CW show’s finale and his character specifically, Badgley added “That has been my problem with television — you start with something real, and it eventually becomes, against all odds. That’s not the writers’ fault. It’s just the nature of television. And that’s why after so many years of working in it, I was, Seriously? I cannot do this anymore.” Considering that Dan Humphrey had tormented his classmates for years, disclosed some of their deepest secrets and invaded their privacy, including his wife’s, Serena’s, it didn’t seem right that he got his happy ending.

Katherine Heigl Was Not Happy With Alex And Izzie’s Reunion In Grey’s Anatomy

Izzie cries in the office in Grey's Anatomy

Katherine Heigl made waves for criticizing the material and quality of writing her Grey’s Anatomy character, Izzie Stevens, received in 2008 (one year after she won an Emmy for Best Supporting Actress for the role). Per The New York Times, Heigl stated the scripts she received in 2008 were not special enough “to warrant an Emmy Nomination.”

While there were rumors that Heigl and Shona Rhimes had a long feud afterward Heigl has since put these rumors to rest after announcing the real reason she left was because she “started a family, and it changed everything” (via Digital Spy). However, although she had been happy with Izzie’s exit after she was written off the hit medical drama TV show in 2010, one of Grey’s biggest twists may have just ruined it for her. According to ET, she was not a fan of Alex and Izzie reuniting in Alex’s season 16 departure, feeling that it was sort of “a**hole move” for him to leave his current wife, Jo, via letter.

Idris Elba Was Not Happy With His Character’s Fate On The Wire

Stringer wears a yellow tie on The Wire

Idris Elba rose to prominence by playing the beloved character Stringer Bell on the acclaimed crime drama, The Wire, which he was absolutely devastated to give up when showrunner, David Simon, called him and informed him of his fate. In Bell’s original exit from the show, Omar was to shoot him dead and urinate on his corpse.

After reading the script, Elba told The Hollywood Reporter “I was p**sed. I told him it was absolute tragedy, that it was sensational, and that it wasn’t going to happen.” While Bell was ultimately killed on the show, Elba convinced Simon to remove the lurid part of the scene to give the character a more honorable send-off.

Evangeline Lilly – Lost

Kate touches Jack's face in the woods on Lost

Evangeline Lilly played the role of Kate Austen in all but one episode of the hit TV show Lost from 2004 to 2010. In 2018, she had no qualms blasting how poorly she felt Kate evolved as a character, telling EW, “I felt like my character went from being autonomous – really having her own story and her own journey and her own agendas – to chasing men around the island. That irritated the s*** of out me.”

Lilly became so vexed by the direction of Kate’s love triangle with Jack and Sawyer that she claimed “I did throw scripts across rooms when I read them,” adding “because I would get very frustrated by the diminishing autonomy she had and the diminishing amount of her own story there was to play.” Many fans will certainly agree with this given that Kate had been central to the action in the first three seasons, but seemingly faded into the back afterward.

Ian Somerhalder Didn’t Like Damon’s Ending On The Vampire Diaries

Damon stands by a wooden wall in The Vampire Diaries

Ian Somerhalder played Damon Salvatore on The Vampire Diaries from 2009 to 2017, ultimately surviving despite being a wicked supernatural baddie. In 2018, Somerhalder spoke out against the direction of the finale and the fate of Damon and his brother Stefan, telling onlookers at the 2019 Warsaw Comic-Con that he felt the two evil brothers should have died.

“I never would have let Damon live either,” Somerhalder told the crowd, adding “These two brothers showed up in this little town, and they completely devastated the town.” In 2021, told Access Hollywood “I just felt that is more poetic for these two brothers to go away and then to let these humans sort of re-settle back into their own town. But whatever, I lost the battle.”

Shailene Woodley Hated Where Amy’s Arc Went At The End Of The Secret Life Of An American Teenager

Amy holds a ring on The Secret Life of an American Teenager

From 2008 to 2013, Shailene Woodley played pregnant teen Amy Juergens on the ABC drama The Secret Life of an American Teenager. By the end of her arc, Woodley deeply disagreed with the moral standing of Amy, telling Flaunt in 2013, “Towards the end, morally, the things that we were preaching on that show weren’t aligned with my own integrity.”

In 2020, Woodley also told Bustle, “There were a lot of things that were written into the scripts that not just me, but a lot of the cast, disagreed with. There were belief systems that were pushed that were different than my own. Yet legally I was stuck there.” Woodley signed a contract for six years after reading just 3 scripts, unaware of the arc Amy would follow.

Jason Segel Thinks His Character Arc Could Have been Better If Marshall & Lily Divorced On HIMYM

Marshal and Lily sit on the set of How I Met Your Mother

Jason Segel spent 9 seasons playing Marshall Eriksen on the all-time beloved hit sitcom How I Met Your Mother. But, by season 8, he began to question how the direction of his character and told GQ that he could have given much more creatively if his character’s fate was rewritten. Specifically, he thinks he could have given a better performance had he and Lily gotten divorced.

Regarding his portrayal of Marshall, Segel told the trade, “I don’t feel like I have that much more to offer with this character. Maybe if we got divorced or something, but that’s not gonna happen.” Indeed, Marshall and Lily remained married through the series finale.

Sarah Hyland Wanted More For Her Modern Family Character, Haley

Haley stands in a doorway on Modern Family

Sarah Hyland played Haley Dunphy on Modern Family from 2009 to 2020, but her decreasing screen time and underwhelming closure for her character left a lot to be desired for the actor. In 2020, Hyland told BuzzFeed how she thought the lovable Modern Family character’s arc should have concluded on the show, taking umbrage with a scene involving her grandpa’s funeral that she was neither a part of nor aware of before it was filmed.

Taking to Instagram, Hyland wrote, “I guess I should have put a spoiler alert for Grandpa Frank dying, but I was just caught off-guard. As his granddaughter, you’d think I’d be invited to the funeral.” Hyland later told Cosmopolitan that “there are so many amazing mothers that are also hard workers and excel in their jobs…that would have been a really cool thing to see, especially from Haley” who could have become “a badass stylist or brand mogul”

Laurie Holden Hated Andrea’s Death On The Walking Dead

Andrea appears in a crowd on The Walking Dead

Laurie Holden has blasted her character Andrea’s unceremonious exit on The Walking Dead, who was shockingly killed at the end of season 3. Vastly departing from the source material, Holden stated at Walker Stalker Convention in 2017 (via, that Andrea’s sudden death was “complete and utter nonsense.”

Holden added, “I think the departure from book Andrea to the screen was a mistake. I mean, it’s not like I couldn’t pull it off. I did the best that I could to tell that narrative and to justify it where Andrea kept her heart.”

NEXT: House Of The Dragon – 10 Biggest Mistakes The Blacks Made In Season 1

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