5 Things You Might Not Know About Emilia Clarke, Dragon-Rearing Daenerys Targaryen On ‘Game Of Thrones’

By now you should be in full-blown Game Of Thrones mode (and already have the perfect excuse to call in sick next Monday in order to recover from whatever season-opening chaos unfolds). There will surely be a lot of new facesand naked bodies — to familiarize yourself with, but let’s be honest, there’s really only one Westerosi who owns your heart: Daenerys Targaryen.

I’ve done a little background work on miss Mother of Dragons, Emilia Clarke, to give you some insight into how she landed her GOT part and what she’ll be doing later this year.

1. She dreams of guest-starring on Girls. Futurama fans got a little Emilia on last season’s “Stench and Stenchability” episode, but animation doesn’t really do Clarke justice. The guest role that Clarke is really after is on HBO’s other show about people stabbing each other in the back, Girls. Clarke revealed in a GQ interview last year that she’d love to make her way over to Brooklyn for a spot on the show.

“I’d give my right arm to be, like, a random extra on Girls. Just to walk past one of the scenarios. I’d love that more than anything. Only, without the wig, they wouldn’t recognize me.”

Make it happen, Lena Dunham!

2. There was almost a different Daenerys. “No!” Yes! It’s hard to imagine a dragon hanging out on the shoulder of any other actress, but Clarke wasn’t the first choice for Daenerys. In the original pilot, actress Tamzin Merchant from The Tudors played Daenerys. The choice to cut Merchant and bring in Clarke hasn’t been explained, but producers obviously made the right call.

3. Clarke won the part by doing the funky chicken. On Clarke’s recent appearance on The Tonight Show, she told Jimmy Fallon her audition process for the role somehow included the funky chicken dance. (Yes, it’s a bit confusing how one of the worst dances in history factors into a British actress’ audition for a medieval fantasy-drama series, but whatever it takes I guess.) Noticing Clarke’s anxiety, GOT showrunner David Benioff suggested she do a dance, and that’s when Clarke busted out the funky chicken.

4. She’ll be following in the footsteps of Linda Hamilton. Clarke will be the third actress to play the role of cyborg ass-kicker Sarah Connor in next year’s Terminator: Genesis, following in the footsteps of Linda Hamilton (The Terminator, Terminator 2) and GOT co-star Lena Headey (The Sarah Connor Chronicles). If she’s going to take down SkyNet, Clarke had better be ready to terminate some bad habits. Which means hitting the gym and cutting sweets, according to an interview last month: “I’ve been spending all day, every day in weapons training,” she told InStyle. “I’ve been shooting guns, weightlifting, kickboxing and generally kicking a lot of ass.”

5. There are a LOT of Emilia Clarke fan sites. Making buckets of money for dressing up and playing make believe has got to be the most appealing part of being a famous actor. Knowing that people are setting up shrines in your honor seems like a slightly creepy drawback. I came up with 18 websites, Facebook pages and Twitter feeds dedicated to Emilia with very minimal research. Everything from e-clark.net to Emila Clarke Daily and @Queen_Daenerys_.

Basically, there’s no shortage of places to bow down and worship your dragon queen.