Jason Momoa may have only starred in eleven episodes of Game of Thrones as Khal Drogo, but the character is still fondly remembered by fans despite playing such a minor role in the overarching story told across the show’s eight seasons. You would think that portraying a popular cult favorite on the biggest TV series in the world would have led to countless opportunities in the immediate aftermath, but the 41 year-old has now admitted that it wasn’t quite that simple.
Momoa was a recognizable face after appearing in 38 episodes of Baywatch: Hawaii at the very beginning of his career, as well as spending four years as part of Stargate: Atlantis‘ main ensemble, but he was far from a major star. In fact, you could argue that things never really took off for him until he was cast as the DCEU’s Aquaman, which led to him playing the title role in the highest-grossing DC Comics adaptation ever made.
In a recent interview, Momoa admitted that he struggled to find any sustained work after he was killed off in Game of Thrones, and there were even genuine concerns that he might not have been able to pay the bills and provide for his family at one point.
“I mean, we were starving after Game of Thrones. I couldn’t get work. It’s very challenging when you have babies and you’re completely in debt.”
The same year Momoa debuted in Game of Thrones, he took his first big screen leading role in 2011’s awful Conan the Barbarian remake, which tanked at the box office. To recover, he went on to produce, co-write, direct and star in Road to Paloma three years later in an effort to distance himself from being typecast as a meathead action star, and taking control of his own destiny has clearly worked out pretty well for him since then.