Emilia Clarke improvised an entire Valyrian speech in 'Game Of Thrones'

Gregory Wakeman
·Contributor
·2-min read

Watch: Emilia Clarke improvised epic Game Of Thrones speech

While Daenerys Targaryen’s trajectory across all eight seasons of Game Of Thrones drew plenty of criticism, it was widely acknowledged that Emilia Clarke did an impressive job as the character.

Fire Cannot Kill A Dragon, the new book from Entertainment Weekly’s James Hibberd on the making of the hit HBO show, has revealed that Clarke’s talents extended beyond reciting the lines written for her, though.

In fact, Clarke improvised an entire monologue in Valyrian during the fifth season.

The scene in question unfolded in Kill The Boy, the fifth episode of that season, when Daenerys ordered the deaths of three noblemen from Mereen who had allegedly conspired against her.

Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen (HBO)
Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen in Game Of Thrones. (HBO)

Originally the plan was for her to talk to the men in English. But director Jeremy Podeswa told Hibberd that after shooting the scene a few times in this way, show-runners David Benioff and Dan Weiss said that they wished it was in Valyrian.

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Usually, it takes “a lot of preparation” to translate a scene into another language, especially since Clarke had to perform a huge monologue.

But Podeswa said that Clarke had no hesitation whatsoever when asked if she could do it in Valyrian.

“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?’"

(FILES) In this file photo taken on April 3, 2019 British actress Emilia Clarke arrives for the "Game of Thrones" eighth and final season premiere at Radio City Music Hall in New York city. - "Game of Thrones" will seek to make Emmy history one final time September 22, 2019 when television's best and brightest gather at a glamorous ceremony in Los Angeles to bid farewell to a number of long-running hit shows. Despite its misfiring finale which divided fans, the fantasy epic about feuding families and flame-shooting dragons secured a whopping 32 nominations for this year's Emmys -- television's version of the Oscars. The most decorated fictional show in Emmys history, "Thrones" has twice won 12 awards in a single season. (Photo by Angela Weiss / AFP)        (Photo credit should read ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images)
Clarke arrives for the Game Of Thrones eighth and final season premiere at Radio City Music Hall in New York, 3 April, 2019. (Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images)

“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.”

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Podeswa said Clarke “knew the language well enough” by this point of the show to “make it all work,” and even though the Valyrian translation didn’t completely match up to the script, audiences still “completely understood what she was meant to be saying”.