Warning: There may be spoilers if you have not watched the series finale of Game of Thrones.
Emilia Clarke wanted to ensure Daenerys Targaryen would nail that war-mongering scene in the final episode of Game of Thrones.
The 32-year-old actress – who portrays Daenerys Stormborn of House Targaryen, the First of Her Name, Queen of the Andals and the First Men, Protector of the Seven Kingdoms, the Mother of Dragons, the Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, the Unburnt, the Breaker of Chains (that's one character) – did what was necessary to convincingly portray the chilling moment as she spoke in Dothraki and Valyrian.
Who was her inspiration? Dictators like Adolf Hitler, of course.
Speaking with Variety, Clarke said she had to learn many fake languages for her speeches, but Daenerys's final address for her troops was by far the most challenging.
Clarke said she put a lot of pressure on herself in preparation.
"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!"
You can watch her unnerving speech in the YouTube clip, below.
Game of Thrones 8x06 Final Episode | Daenerys Targaryen Speech Scene | *SPOILERS*www.youtube.com
She added that this crucial moment was of particular importance. "It almost killed me," she said, worrying she might "f***k it up."
Her rehearsal scene partners were very helpful.
"I stayed up so late every night for like two months. I said it to my cooker, I said it to my fridge. I said it to all of Belfast out my window! Well, the window was closed because I didn't want people to think I was actually barking mad."
#EmiliaClarke spent innumerable hours practicing her lines for the finale speech. https://t.co/2D4iw0LpF6— Indian Express Entertainment (@Indian Express Entertainment) 1558531200.0
Clarke studied clips of powerful leaders and dictators speaking in different languages to see if she could understand what they were conveying based on their manner of speech, presence tone.
The videos of historical speeches paid off for the dedicated actress.
"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."
"And you can!"
@nypost Sounds about right— Krassenstein Schmazenstein (@Krassenstein Schmazenstein) 1558557736.0
@nypost Highlight of the show tbh.— Robonometry (@Robonometry) 1558557816.0
"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.'"
Audiences were convinced by her performance, despite the fact that she filmed the disturbing scene in front of a green screen with "just a camera and green and an empty room."
@Bossip yikes. but I believe it. she actually played "crazy dictator" really, really well (even with the terrible writing).— Sharon Steed (@Sharon Steed) 1558537890.0
@thehill That entite scene was pure fascism 😂— Jordan (@Jordan) 1558470355.0
After enduring much anxiety in preparation, everything clicked for her the moment she began the scene. It was a perfect take.
@thehill I was watching her speech- looked over to my girlfriend and said "she's Hitler". So- I guess she nailed her intended performance.— gasping for breath (@gasping for breath) 1558470495.0
Practicing with appliances and obsessively watching dictators on YouTube proved to be extremely effective.
"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. If you had asked me to do it the next day, I'd already forgotten it."
Say what you will about the series finale or how her storyline carried out, but this scene & this speech was delive… https://t.co/JHJSa74nMT— Chase (@Chase) 1558578529.0
Now we know why that intense scene was unsettling to the core. Daenerys was Hitler-incarnate. Now that's disturbing.
This could have gone an entirely different route if she'd studied a more contemporary dictator.
@thehill It probably would have ended her career had she watched a #trump speech.— Marty Morton (@Marty Morton) 1558470480.0