Despite the negative reaction fans gave the ending of Game of Thrones, it was the sad end of an era. The show will undoubtedly go down in history as one of the most followed series in history. Its cult-following was and remains nearly unparalleled, which is why the director, Jeremy Podeswa’s most recent remarks on Emilia Clarke’s role in the show has fans buzzing.
Remember Daenerys Targaryen’s profound, lengthy monologue in the fifth episode of season five, spoken entirely in the made-up language Valyrian? Well, it turns out that Clarke ad-libbed the entire thing.
Podeswa revealed that the speech delivered by Khaleesi was originally supposed to be said in English, but there was a slight change in plans. “Then [showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss] came down – they were watching the scene being shot – and they said, “Wouldn’t it be great if the scene was in Valyrian?,” he told Entertainment Weekly.
Normally, scenes spoken in Valyrian or Dothraki — another one of GoT’s made-up languages — are decided on and planned well in advance with the help of the show’s linguist, David Peterson.
“I went over to Emilia and I was like, ‘I know this is a really big ask, but do you think you could figure out a way to do this in Valyrian?’ She said, ‘Yeah, sure, I think I can do this.’ And I’m all, ‘Really?,'” the director explained. Apparently, within minutes, Clarke “cobbled together things that Daenerys had said in the past that made sense.”
Ultimately, Clarke was able to deliver a gripping, sinister monologue practically on the fly, in a fictional language. “I just had to hand it to Emilia for taking on the challenge and making it completely credible,” Podeswa went on. “Every single take, every intonation, and the way she phrased everything, you completely understood what she was meant to be saying. Then the subtitles all seemed authentic to what she was doing.”
While Emilia faced struggles of her own over the course of the series, like fearing Beyoncé’s disapproval, feeling pressured into filming nude scenes, and dealing with health issues, you gotta hand it to her — she always pulled through.