Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Emilia Clarke is the new Daenerys Targaryen

While running down some of the important members of the cast yesterday, I didn't add the the recasting of Daenerys Targaryen (The exiled princess of Westeros, one of the last members of the ancient Targaryen Dynasty) because I thought the topic deserved its own post.

Originally Tamzin Merchant was cast to play the role of Daenerys, and I (along with a lot of the fan base) did not agree with that casting choice. Daenerys' has 1/3 of the storyline solely dedicated to her, and her character arc is going to be a tough one to play for any actress. What makes the actress playing Daenerys even more important is that she might be one of those make or break characters for the ordinary HBO viewer, so whoever plays her better be a damn good actress. Merchant wasn't certainly isn't averse to doing to nude scenes (much to my delight) as evidenced by her role as Katherine Howard on the Tudors. However, I was worried if she would be able to pull of a character like Dany. She wasn't anything special on the Tudors, she never stood out even with all her scenes of seduction. Daenerys' character has a lot more to her than Katherine Howard did, and if she couldn't stand out in that role the she wasn't going to cut it as Daenerys. It seems as if HBO came to the same realization, since they recast her even after shooting the pilot.

After holding auditions in Dublin, Belfast, and London, the team behind Game of Thrones settled on a relative unknown by the name of Emilia Clarke (pictured left). Here is what George RR Martin had to say on Emilia getting cast to play Daenerys.
"I haven't had the chance to meet Emilia yet, but I've seen her auditions. She gave some kickass readings, winning out over some amazing competition from all around the world. She should make a great Dany."
There really isn't much to judge Clarke on since her her only accredited work (on IMDB) is starring in one episode of a show called Doctors. I'm assuming it's some sort of British soap opera, since the show has more than 1,300 episodes over a 7 year span. Luckily for you guys, someone put all of her clips from that particular episode online. Feel free to see for yourselves how she would be as Daenerys.

Soon after her casting, Clarke commented through a Facebook message, and it appeared on a German Lord of the Rings fansite (I think they are following GoT because of Sean Bean's involvement).

"I am so excited to have been chosen to play such an awesome role! I am a big fan of the books and Dany is also my favorite character! I will do my very best not to let the fans down!"

Best wishes,
Emilia x

I don't know if she became a fan of the books, before or after, she got the part of Daenerys either way, it's good to see she is a fan of the source material.

Thanks for reading!

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Credit to the excellent blog Winter is Coming and the Chicago Tribune's Mo Ryan's Blog
for a lot of the info on here.