Game of Thrones’ Emilia Clarke improvised an entire Daenerys speech in a fictional language

Annabel Nugent
·2-min read
Daenyrys, Queen of Dragons, played by Emilia Clarke (HBO)
Daenyrys, Queen of Dragons, played by Emilia Clarke (HBO)

Game of Thrones star Emilia Clarke improvised an entire monologue delivered in “Valyrian” while shooting a scene in season five, director Jeremy Podewsa has revealed.

Podeswa applauded Clarke – who famously portrayed Daenerys Targaryen on the hit HBO series – for delivering a monologue on the spot in a wholly fictional language.

He told Entertainment Weekly that the scene had been originally filmed in English for the first few takes before showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss suggested that it be reshot in Valyrian – a fictional language used throughout the series.

“There’s usually a lot of preparation for that sort of thing and so much consideration that goes into it and she had quite a big monologue before she sets the guy on fire,” said Podeswa.

He recalled:“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?’

HBO
HBO

“Then she went off and cobbled together things that [Daenerys] had said in the past that made sense. She came back in 10 minutes and had this whole monologue down.”

Podeswa went on to commend Clarke for “taking on the challenge and making it completely credible”.

He said: “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. She knew the language well enough at that point to make it all work,” he said. “It wasn’t tracking perfectly in Valyrian, but no fan ever noticed it. She did an amazing job.”

The scene in question sees Clarke’s character deliver a powerful speech before ordering her dragons to set her captives on fire.

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