Let’s start here with an understatement: a lot of gruesome stuff happened on Game of Thrones. That includes pretty much every wedding scene, as well as Dany chomping on a horse heart, multiple instances of sexual assault, and Theon losing his “favorite toy.” The list goes on and on, but one of the more brutal fight scenes (other than the Red Viper/The Mountain showdown) involved a doozy from Jason Momoa’s Khal Drogo.
That’d be the moment when Khal Drogo gets to show off his fight moves, and his finishing flourish sees him rip Mago’s tongue out of his throat. Mago had committed the grave offense of insulting the Khaleesi, and here he is, paying the price.
As it turns out, the gross-tongue thing came straight from Momoa’s brain, according to James Hibberd’s new oral history, Fire Cannot Kill a Dragon, which is yielding all sorts of previously unknown tidbits. Episode director Daniel Minahan related that Momoa was opposed to turning this into a beheading scene because that seemed too, you know, run of the mill (Momoa is quoted as saying, “We’ve chopped off so many people’s heads. I think I should cut his throat open and pull his tongue out through his throat”). Yet where did that idea come from, exactly? The Aquaman star nabbed it from his own bizarre dream: “I had a dream where somebody dumped on my wife and I ripped his tongue out through his throat.”
I don’t even want to know if Momoa meant “dumped” in a literal or figurative sense, but co-showrunner David Benoiff added that the fight scene probably wouldn’t have happened at all if Momoa hadn’t insisted upon Drogo being able to demonstrate his prowess, rather than having people take the show’s word for it:
“Jason had a high batting average of ideas he’d come to us [for, and] that we liked and ended up using. And one thing he said fairly early on was, ‘I’m supposed to be the baddest man on the planet, I got this long braid because I’ve never lost a fight, and everybody is afraid of me. But nobody sees me fight, and isn’t that kind of lame?’ We told him, ‘No, it’s good, you’re so badass you don’t have to prove yourself. You’re the victor of a thousand battles, Jason, go back to your trailer.’ But there was something kind of strange with not getting to see this guy do what he does best.”
And that’s how we got the Khal Drogo “come at me bro” meme, so it’s a good thing that people listen to Jason Momoa.
(Via James Hibberd’s Fire Cannot Kill A Dragon)