WARNING: This article contains spoilers for Game of Thrones.
Whether you thought the Game of Thrones series finale got most of it right or very, very wrong, one thing is clear — Emilia Clarke’s performance as Daenerys Targaryen, the “Mother of Dragons,” was on point throughout much of “The Iron Throne.” This was especially the case when, standing amid the ruins of King’s Landing following the end of the penultimate episode, “The Bells,” Dany delivers a fiery speech to the Unsullied and Dothraki about her future plans for Westeros and the world.
It’s one hell of a speech, to be sure, but Clarke had to be even more convincing than usual since she had to “[give] the speech just to a green screen” during shooting. “There was no one there, just a camera and green and an empty room,” she told Variety in a new interview. “So there’s a kind of disconnect there. I knew I had to be completely and utterly prepared to make an utter fool of myself.”
To make it work, she watched videos of “dictators and powerful leaders speaking a different language,” including none other than Adolf Hitler:
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. 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.”
In terms of acting preparation, it makes sense. Watching numerous examples of powerful people giving impressive orations is surely a start in firing oneself up for speaking in “fake languages” like Dothraki and Valyrian. Then again, if you take a moment to think about it, Clarke got into character as Dany for her final speech by watching Hitler. Holy sh…