Sorry to break it to you, but that's not the real Emilia Clarke flying on the back of a dragon (it's definitely a real dragon, though). Like all shows and movies with demanding stunts and action set-pieces – or even scenes that require a long time to set up and light properly – Game of Thrones uses body doubles to stand in for the stars when their actual physical presence is either at risk or just not required.
Meet the unsung heroes of the Seven Kingdoms and the Lands Beyond the Narrow Sea...
1. Daenerys/Emilia Clarke – Rosie Mac
We're guessing Rosie's not a natural blonde either judging by the eyebrows. According to her Instagram bio, Rosie is a "Singer/Actress/Part time Mermaid/Daenerys Double (season 5) - Virgin until marriage".
The "mermaid" bit refers to her role as "Little Mermaid" in the upcoming non-Disney Little Mermaid film. The "virgin till marriage" bit is just an unusually public declaration of intent. Each to their own.
2. Daario/Michiel Huisman – Ignacio Jimenez Blanco
"My brother Gonzalo heard about HBO auditioning for extras nearby," model Ignacio says, "and asked me to go along with him. Because I was taking him I decided to audition as well." Good thing he did. Here he is without clothes, if that's your sort of thing:
3. Cersei/Lena Headey – Rebecca Van Cleave
That's not her actual face, but they are her shoulders. "It was one of the scariest, most wonderful, most gratifying experiences I could have imagined," Rebecca says. "I never in a million years would have thought I would be in Dubrovnik surrounded by hundreds of extras and crew members throwing food at me, but it was amazing."
She neglects to mention that she was also stark (Stark! there's some irony for you) naked through the gruelling shoot, where she stood in for a pregnant Lena Headey during Cersei's infamous Walk of Atonement.
4. Brienne/Gwendoline Christie – Mark Slaughter
"Hound Vs Brienne – 9 days in Iceland fighting and rolling down cliffs" wrote stunt performer Mark on Twitter, quite succinctly, about his experiences fighting a giant warrior while dressed as a woman. He's also stood in for Alexander Skarsgård in The Legend of Tarzan and worked on Outlander, Jack the Giant Slayer and In the Heart of the Sea.
5. Tyrion/Peter Dinklage – unknown
6. Missandei/Nathalie Emmanuel – unknown
7. Hizdahr Zo Loraq/Joel Fry – unknown
8. The Hound/Rory McCann – unknown
We think this might be stuntman Reg Wayment. But then we also think it might be stuntman Paul Heasman. Both worked on Game of Thrones in 2014. But Reg was in the special forces for 12 years, so we're inclined to let him take the credit, even if it was Paul's gig.
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