Emilia Clarke was so worried she was going to ruin her character’s epic speech in the Game Of Thrones finale her intense preparation “almost killed” her.
In the last-ever episode of the hit HBO drama, Emilia’s character Daenerys Targaryen gave an epic victory speech to her assembled army on the steps of the Red Keep, and the British actress has admitted that the lengthy speech required two months of intense learning outside of her taxing shooting schedule and she wasn’t convinced she could pull it off.
“I put so much pressure on myself with this one. Any actor will tell you the days on set are long and then you go home and do your homework, which is learning your lines for the next day,” Emilia told Variety. “This is learning a fake language on top of that! It almost killed me. I normally pick up these things quite quickly, but this speech meant so much to me. I was so worried that I was going to f**k it up. I stayed up so late every night for like two months.”
The night before the shoot the 32-year-old couldn’t sleep because she was convinced she would mess it up, but when it came to delivering the speech to a green screen, she did it perfectly on the first try.
“I’d been up all night tearfully thinking, ‘I can’t do this. I can’t get through it without messing up my lines.’ I knew that this was one of the most solidifying, integral moments for Daenerys as a character,” she said. “Then the weirdest thing happened – I walked on set, didn’t need a rehearsal, and I got through the whole thing perfect on the first go. The rest of the day it was like Daenerys was just with me. That’s the only time I got through that speech without getting anything wrong, when it was on camera.”
As well as learning the lines, Emilia also watched videos of powerful leaders and dictators, such as Adolf Hitler, delivering speeches to see if she could understand what they were saying even if she didn’t know the language.
“You absolutely can understand what Hitler’s f**king saying… 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,'” she admitted.