Regardless of your opinion of what went down, nobody can deny that Game of Thrones did in fact end. Long-running plotlines were resolved and Westeros was left in a state of relative stability now that most of your favorite characters have been variously pierced with arrows, crushed by rocks, beheaded and burnt alive. One of the more controversial developments in the final two episodes though was Daenerys Targaryen’s quick evolution from spunky desert princess to a genocidal maniac who lost her mind and wiped out a city.
Perhaps as an indication of how far Daenerys has come since her earliest days on the show, Emilia Clarke recently revealed a surprising inspiration for her big moment in the finale. This comes when she’s delivering a thunderous speech to her gathered army, assuring them that their conquest will not stop with King’s Landing and that she’ll go on to “break the wheel” for the foreseeable future. It’s a chilling moment, and Tyrion, Arya and Jon Snow all conclude that she must be stopped.
Here’s Clarke on her preparation:
“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. 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.”
I have to hand it to her, she really did sound convincing delivering this speech in both Valyrian and Dothraki, and the cinematography of the scene seemed as if it was subtly quoting Leni Riefenstahl’s depiction of the Nuremberg Rally in Triumph of the Will. I picked up on this Hitler influence while watching the episode, so fair play to Clarke for knocking it out the park.
That said, the speech was absolutely Daenerys’ best moment in the Game of Thrones finale, as her anticlimactic death at the hands of Jon Snow was a bit lame. After all that she’s been through succumbing to a knife in the guts feels a bit unimaginative. Oh well, we never saw what actually happened to her body so knows, maybe she’ll one day be back horror movie-style to terrorize Westeros as the new Queen of the Dead?