If you were picking up strong Leni Riefenstahl vibes while watching Daenerys Targaryen shout about total global conquest from the steps of the Red Keep, know that you weren't alone. In fact, the eerie echoes of Nuremberg were a sign that actress Emilia Clarke was coming across exactly how she wanted in the Game of Thrones finale.
The actress revealed in an interview with Variety that she watched speeches by foreign dictators like Adolf Hitler to prepare herself to give a fiery speech in High Valyrian.
"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," she explained. "And you can! You absolutely can understand what Hitler’s fucking 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.'"
Clarke told the magazine that she drilled herself relentlessly on the lines for her character's final big speech, noting the importance of the words on Dany's overall character arc.
"I knew that this was one of the most solidifying, integral moments for Daenerys as a character," she said.
Of course, shortly after Dany delivered that speech, she was done away with by one of her closest followers. While many fans took offense at the way that the final season and Clarke's character in particular were handled, she thought it was as good an ending as could be expected given the themes of the show.
"I think that [the show] is essentially a discussion on humans and how we can live together in a world that is ruled by the politics of individuals. That question is asked in the final episode and I don’t think it’s answered because it shouldn’t be answered," she said. "We can’t. There is no answer. We’re just trying to do it all the time. Where I think we got with the show is as good an answer as there could be."