One of the show’s most rewarding character arcs, Daenarys Targaryen went from politically crucial trophy wife and chess piece of her brother Viserys, to a strong and cofindent player in her own right. At the end of Game Of Thrones Season 1, we left Daenarys standing amid her reduced horde, fire-blackened and cradling three young dragons.
We caught up with actor Emilia Clarke at the launch party for Game Of Thrones The Complete First Season on DVD and Blu-ray, to get the first word on the Mother of Dragons in Season 2…
What was it like going into Season 2 of Game Of Thrones? A lot of the characters you shared scenes with have all died now!
I know, I know! They’re sorely, sorely missed. It was really interesting, it was really good – it feels very different to Season 1, definitely. I had a lot fun in Season 2.
How do you deal with dragons? Do you have a soft toy on your shoulder?
Basically, when we begun the rehearsals we had these life-scale, weighted models made of them that I got really weirdly maternally attached to. When we filmed the actually thing there was nothing there at all, so that was kind of… interesting, but difficult. [laughs]
Were you surprised by how big Game Of Thrones has become?
Yeah, completely! I knew it was HBO and it was going to be something incredible, I knew that the books already had a massive following but I was completely taken aback as to the extent of how brilliantly it’s been received.
Is Season 2 bigger?
I saw episodes one and two the other night and it’s phenomenal – I’m so proud. I feel like it’s even better than Season 1, actually.
You’re a lot of people’s favourite character…
It always scared me when I hear that because you just get worried that you’re not … that was my main thing, I just wanted to keep the fans as happy as possible. When you’re dealing with someone’s favourite character from someone’s favourite book you want to be very careful with how you play it.
Do you check out fan comments?
No, never! I did once, I remember when I first got the job, I looked at something and it was bad, so that’s it – I’m never looking at anything ever again! I keep some distance, basically.
Daenerys is the strongest female character in a cast of really strong female characters – do you feel under a lot of pressure?
It’s unusual for a young girl to play this kind of character, as well. With this whole experience I try and take each day as it comes, and not take too many steps back otherwise it’ll get so daunting I’ll feel like I’m going to break down, but it’s the same with Dany – it’s less that I look at her on a big scale and think, ‘My goodness, there’s so much to deal with!’, I take each scene as it comes and try and keep to the truth of her and that sort of keeps me going.
Do you have a new found passion for horses now?
I’m getting there, I’m getting there! It’s just when you get me in front of a camera on a horse I kinda freak out a little bit.
Game Of Thrones Season 2 begins April 2 on Sky Atlantic HD.
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