Emilia Clarke: TV exec apologises for calling her short and dumpy in speech

·Contributor
·3-min read
Emilia Clarke as  Daenerys Targaryen in Game of Thrones
Emilia Clarke was described as 'short and dumpy' in Game of Thrones by an Australian TV exec. (HBO)

Game of Thrones star Emilia Clarke has received an apology from an Australian TV executive who called her a "dumpy girl" at the premiere of new spin-off series House Of The Dragon.

Foxtel’s chief executive Patrick Delany was introducing the spin-off at the season launch in Sydney, Australia and began by confessing he was initially sceptical at how successful Game of Thrones would be.

Delany told the audience: “I was like, ‘What’s this show with the short dumpy girl who walks into the flames?’”

Read more: How House of the Dragon characters are related to Game of Thrones

A Foxtel spokesperson told Crikey afterwards: “On behalf of Mr Delany, the Foxtel Group apologises if his remarks were misunderstood and caused any offence.

Foxtel CEO Patrick Delany who made the remarks about Emilia Clarke in his speech. (Getty Images)
Foxtel CEO Patrick Delany who made the remarks about Emilia Clarke in his speech. (Getty Images)

“The aim was to convey that for him, Games of Thrones was something very different for television in 2011 and that Emilia Clarke went from relatively unknown to one of the most recognised and most-loved actors in television and film."

They added that the comments were meant to be “self-deprecating and light-hearted”.

One audience member told Crikey: “It felt like he was expecting us to laugh along but people in the room were obviously shocked by it."

Matt Smith stars in the GoT spin-off House of The Dragon. (HBO)
Matt Smith stars in the GoT spin-off House of The Dragon. (HBO)

Another added: “There was a bit of a gasp."

Foxtel has the rights to air the fantasy series in Australia.

Clarke, 35, played villainous queen Daenerys Targaryen in Game of Thrones from 2011 to 2019.

Spin-off House Of The Dragon stars Matt Smith as Prince Daemon Targaryen.

Kit Harington as Jon Snow and Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen in 'Game of Thrones'. (Credit: HBO)
Kit Harington as Jon Snow and Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen in Game of Thrones. (HBO)

The prequel is set 300 years before the events of the fantasy drama and is inspired by Game of Thrones creator George R R Martin's book Fire & Blood.

Clarke has said she believes Kit Harington will reprise his role as Jon Snow in his own spin-off series.

Asked about it by the BBC, Clarke said: “He has told me about it. And I know it exists. It's happening."

"It's been created by Kit as far as I can understand, so he's in it from the ground up.

Emilia Clarke, pictured July 2022, is starring in The Seagull in London's Harold Pinter Theatre. (Getty Images)
Emilia Clarke, pictured July 2022, is starring in The Seagull in London's Harold Pinter Theatre. (Getty Images)

“So what you will be watching, hopefully, if it happens, is certified by Kit Harington."

Asked if she would reprise her own role she said: "No, I think I'm done."

Read more: Emilia Clarke says her brain has 'quite a bit missing' following aneurysms

Clarke has previously spoken about having had brain aneurysms in 2011 and 2013 while she was starring in the hit HBO show.

Watch: House Of The Dragon cast discuss influence of Game of Thrones