"Game of Thrones" star Emilia Clarke said she watched recordings of Adolf Hitler and other historic dictators to prepare for her epic speech as Daenerys Targaryen in Sunday’s series finale.
Clarke’s character, also known as the Mother of Dragons and about a half-dozen other names, delivered a warmongering speech in two fictional languages, Valyrian and Dothraki, which the actress had to learn over the course of the eight-season series.
“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,” the 32-year-old told Variety in an interview published Tuesday.
“And you can! You absolutely can understand what Hitler’s f—ing saying,” Clarke said. “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.'”
Clark said despite giving many speeches over the 10 years she’s worked on "Game of Thrones," preparing for the finale “almost killed” her.
“I knew that this was one of the most solidifying, integral moments for Daenerys as a character,” Clarke said, referencing Daenerys’ transformation into the Mad Queen.
The actress, who lives in Belfast, Northern Ireland, said she stayed up late every night for two months rehearsing the speech to co-workers, to her refrigerator and even out her window before finally performing it in front of a green screen.
“And the morning of, I had gotten no sleep whatsoever because I’d been up all night tearfully thinking, ‘I can’t do this. I can’t get through it without messing up my lines.’ Clarke 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,” Clarke continued, admitting that she had already forgotten the speech by the next day.
The "Game of Thrones" series finale set a new all-time HBO ratings record after 13.6 viewers tuned in to its initial airing Sunday night, according to the Hollywood Reporter.