Game of Thrones actor Pilou Asbæk is addressing the show’s divisive final season. Or, rather, fans are addressing it with him!
During an interview on PEOPLE, Entertainment Weekly & TNT’s red carpet pre-show ahead of the 2020 Screen Actors Guild Awards, Asbæk, 37, said that fans often ask him about the hit HBO series’ controversial finale.
Game of Thrones, which wrapped up an eight-season run in May 2019, is nominated for outstanding performance by an ensemble in a drama series at Sunday night’s SAG Awards.
“You know, what I get most now is like, ‘Why did you guys f— up season 8?'” Asbæk — who played Euron Greyjoy — joked, before explaining what it was like to read through the final season with the rest of the cast.
“When we had the read-through in Belfast, like two and half years ago, we ended up standing and doing a standing ovation for 15, 20 minutes,” Asbæk explained. “It was a perfect ending but people were upset.”
However, the actor also said that he understood fans’ concerns — because he used to be a fan of the show himself before he joined the cast.
“I kind of get it, because I was a big fan of the show before I started it and became a part of it, and if it had ended in that way I would have been angry as well,” Asbæk said. “Because when something you like so much says no… it’s like a breakup.”
“It was like a breakup and Game of Thrones broke up with millions of people all over the world and they got upset,” he added.
The season 8 finale of Game of Thrones concluded with Jon Snow (Kit Harington) returning to the Night’s Watch and heading beyond the Wall — after he killed his lover (and aunt) Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke). Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) was named Queen in the North, while her younger brother Bran was named king.
The backlash surprised the cast, and HBO Programming president Casey Bloys has said that it didn’t factor into the premium cable network’s spinoff plans but instead proved how passionate a fan base Game of Thrones has.
“I take all of the activity around the finale as, there are very, very few downsides to having a hugely popular show,” Bloys said in July at the Television Critics Association summer press tour. “One I can think of is when you try to end it, many people have opinions on how it should end. That comes with the territory. A petition shows a lot of enthusiasm and passion for the show, but it wasn’t something we seriously considered.”
Despite the backlash surrounding the finale of the beloved fantasy series, it concluded its eight-season run to critical acclaim, snagging 12 awards at last year’s Emmys, including outstanding drama series.
The 26th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards are airing live Sunday starting at 8 p.m. ET on TNT and TBS.
Watch the PEOPLE, Entertainment Weekly & TNT Red Carpet Live: 26th Screen Actors Guild Awards on Sunday starting at 5:30 p.m. ET/2:30 p.m. PT on People.com. Stay tuned for the annual SAG Awards airing on TNT and TBS at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.