- In an interview with Variety, Emilia Clarke revealed that she watched videos of “dictators and powerful leaders” to prepare for her victory speech on the HBO’s “Game of Thrones” series finale.
- Clarke was candid about her nerves going into filming that pivotal scene, sharing that she was “utterly” prepared to make a fool of herself.
- “I knew that this was one of the most solidifying, integral moments for Daenerys as a character,” said Clarke of her finale speech.
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Emilia Clarke prepared for one of her most pivotal moments on HBO’s “Game of Thrones” by watching videos of dictators, she said in an interview with Variety.
While discussing her approach to filming Daenerys’ victory speech on the steps of the Red Keep during the series finale that aired Sunday, Clarke shared some interesting details about her preparation.
“I’ve had a lot of Dothraki, Valyrian, fake languages to learn and I’ve had a lot of speeches to give, but I put so much pressure on myself with this one,” she told Variety.
In one of the finale’s most gripping scenes, Daenerys Targaryen, standing on the steps of the Red Keep, gives an impassioned speech to the Unsullied and Dothraki forces after they successfully took King’s Landing.
Tyrion and Jon Snow are reeling from Dany’s controversial decision to decimate King’s Landing (and all the innocent people in it) with dragon fire, but she still sees herself and her forces as liberators.
“You have freed the people of King’s Landing from the grip of a tyrant,” Dany says to the forces gathered below her. “But the war is not over. We will not lay down our spears until we have liberated all the people of the world!”
Dany’s suggestion of global warfare didn’t go over well with anyone who wasn’t Unsullied or Dothraki. In fact, it ultimately led to her demise at the hands of her lover/nephew Jon Snow later on the finale.
Clarke said she recognized the importance of the dramatic finale scene.
“I knew that this was one of the most solidifying, integral moments for Daenerys as a character,” she told Variety.
When asked how she prepared for Dany’s final speech, Clarke was candid about her nerves, and the unorthodox approach she took to emulating a powerful leader.
“In giving all these speeches in fake languages, I watched a lot of videos of – now it seems funny – dictators and powerful leaders speaking a different language to see if I could understand what they were saying without knowing the language,” she told Variety. “And you can! You absolutely can understand what Hitler’s f-ing saying, these single focus orators speaking a foreign language.”
“So I thought, ‘If I can believe every single word I’m saying, the audience won’t need to be looking at the subtitles too much,'” Clarke said.
- HBO screengrab
Clarke’s research paid off, as Dany’s victory speech is easily one of the more chilling scenes from the finale. Standing on the steps of the ruined Red Keep, denouncing the status quo of Westeros with her forces beneath her, Clarke does an excellent job of portraying Daenerys as one of the very people she fought to unseat: a ruthless, power-hungry dictator.