Emilia Clarke Watched Videos of Ruthless Dictators for Game of Thrones Role

Emilia Clarke stars as Daenerys Targaryen in a scene from Game of Thrones's series finale
Emilia Clarke stars as Daenerys Targaryen in a scene from Game of Thrones's series finale
HBO

How does one prepare to portray a dictator? By watching a dictator, of course. So when Game of Thrones actor Emilia Clarke found out that her character would give a speech to her army after her victory over Cersei Lannister—which involved burning King's Landing to the ground and killing many of its innocent civilians—in the show's season finale, she told Variety that she used real-life rulers to help her get into character.

"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," Clarke said. "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.'"

The scene is a significant part of Daenerys’s transformation, and the pressure to nail the lines weighed heavily on Clarke.

“I’ve had a lot of Dothraki, Valyrian, fake languages to learn, and I’ve had a lot of speeches to give, but I put so much pressure on myself with this [scene],” Clarke said. “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. This is learning a fake language on top of that! It almost killed me.”

The 32-year-old actress explained that she was rehearing her lines to everyone and everything for about two months, and it ended up paying off.

“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,” Clarke recalled. “That’s the only time I got through that speech without getting anything wrong, when it was on camera. If you had asked me to do it the next day, I’d already forgotten it.”

As for her character's turn from would-be breaker of the wheel to tragic villain, Clarke told Entertainment Weekly that "after 10 years of working on this show, it’s logical. Where else can she go? I tried to think what the ending will be. It’s not like she’s suddenly going to go, ‘Okay, I’m gonna put a kettle on and put cookies in the oven and we’ll just sit down and have a lovely time and pop a few kids out.’ That was never going to happen. She’s a Targaryen. ... But having said all of the things I’ve just said, I stand by Daenerys. I stand by her! I can’t not.”

[h/t Variety]

Stranger Things Fans Can Now Buy a 6-Foot-Tall Demogorgon Sprinkler

BigMouth Inc., Amazon
BigMouth Inc., Amazon

Some fans watch a show and then talk about it. Others create art inspired by it. Others develop far-out theories. But sometimes, fans go even further than that—like when pool accessory company BigMouth Inc. revealed its massive Stranger Things-inspired, inflatable Demogorgon sprinkler, which is now available for any fan to purchase.

The sprinkler, the perfect gift for those wishing to combine their love of sci-fi monstrosities and thorough lawn irrigation, stands 6 feet tall and can be connected to any standard hose, allowing it to spurt water from its horrifying open face, according to House Beautiful. And for fans thinking it can only be found in the far corners of the internet, fear not: the sprinkler is available now at Target and on Amazon.

If you want a less flashy way to show off your Stranger Things fandom this summer, BigMouth Inc. also sells a plethora of other novelty items based on the show, like an Upside Down-themed pool tube, Scoops Ahoy floating cupholders, and a float based on one of Eleven’s trademark waffles. (See all the options on Amazon here.)

This marks the latest in a series of collaborations for the hugely successful Netflix series. Prior to its release, Stranger Things teamed with both H&M and Nike to release clothing and shoes inspired by the series. It also collaborated with Coca-Cola to produce a limited edition collection of New Coke cans inspired by a moment in the third season.

We’re glad there’s a plethora of Stranger Things merchandise available, even the terrifying Demogorgon sprinkler—it sounds just ridiculous enough to buy right away. It's available at Target or Amazon for $100.

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we choose all products independently and only get commission on items you buy and don't return, so we're only happy if you're happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

Three Major Game of Thrones Stars Submitted Themselves for Emmys After HBO Chose Not To

Gwendoline Christie and Maisie Williams in Game of Thrones.
Gwendoline Christie and Maisie Williams in Game of Thrones.
Helen Sloan/Courtesy of HBO

HBO dominated the 2019 Emmy nominations, which were announced earlier this week, with a record-breaking 32 nominations for Game of Thrones's highly contentious final season alone.

Ten of Game of Thrones's nominations came via the acting categories, several of which were hardly surprising: Kit Harington and Emilia Clarke landed nominations for Outstanding Lead Actor and Actress in a Drama Series, respectively. Peter Dinklage, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Lena Headey, Sophie Turner, and Maisie Williams will compete against each other in the Outstanding Supporting Actor and Actress categories. What did come as a surprise, however, were the first-time nominations for Alfie Allen, Gwendoline Christie, and Carice van Houten—not because they didn’t deserve them, but because HBO didn't submit them for consideration.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, HBO confirmed that the network did not enter the three actors for consideration by the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. This means that the actors’ representatives shelled out the $225 entry fees themselves.

While this might seem unfair, self-submissions are a pretty common practice. As Game of Thrones has many, many characters, all of them played by great actors, it's simply not possible for the network to enter every one of them. As it stands now, four of the six nominees for Outstanding Supporting Actress are Game of Thrones co-stars (van Houten was nominated in the Guest Actress category), while three of the Outstanding Supporting Actor nominees are from Westeros.

Whether they made it onto the official ballot because of HBO or not, Game of Thrones fans are ecstatic that Allen, Christie, and van Houten are finally getting the Emmy recognition they deserve. Can one of them triumph? We'll just have to wait until September 22 to find out.

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