This week has been a big one for Game of Thrones. Not only did the final season come flying in Sunday night like Jon Snow on the back of a dragon, but now one of the series’ main stars has shown us that she’s a lot more amazing than we may have known.
Emilia Clarke, who plays Daenerys Targaryen, Mother of Dragons, can now add another line to her resume, as Time Magazine has named her one of the 100 most influential people of 2019, joining Pope Francis, Jane Goodall, Dwayne Johnson and LeBron James, among others.
An appearance on the list is something you have to work hard for, too, as both famous and infamous people can make the cut, for good deeds or bad. The editors at Time choose the 100 picks and then let readers vote on them. Both this year and last, the South Korean pop band BTS earned the top spot.
Once the list is compiled, other celebrities are then asked to write a letter gushing about those who made it. Harry Potter actress Emma Thompson was the one who wrote about Clarke, and gush she did. But not before making some interesting—and funny—comments about her friend.
“Emilia Clarke, they said. I confess—I worried. Ten years on Game of Thrones is enough to turn anyone funny. Would she still have bone-white hair and eat only raw horse?”
I’d forgotten about the stallion heart scene until now. Thanks, Emma.
Thompson then goes on to talk about the first time she met Clarke, saying:
“Bear in mind that I despise the word bubbly, but my first encounter with Emilia left me with the impression of having just drunk a glass of high-quality champagne rather quickly. Steady on, I thought. First impressions can mislead. The intimacy of a nine-week shoot will reveal all. Especially one that starts—starts, mind you—at 2 a.m.”
The Dragon Queen is no stranger to hard work; her close call with death after filming season 1 and pushing through seasons 2 and 3 after life-threatening brain surgery shows just how devoted she is to her craft. Their first encounter left Thompson with quite the impression, too, and she deeply admires her co-star in the upcoming movie Last Christmas, as is evident in her letter to Time.
“What was revealed was a woman of mickle might, whose instincts, whetted by years of hard work in environments that were not always safe or healthy, are as finely honed as any I’ve encountered.
She has the courage of a small lion, the stamina of a Welsh pit pony and the soul of a clown.”
She closes her letter with words that not only Clarke’s real-life comrades most likely agree with, but Dany’s allies and foes on GoT should also take to heart.
“A powerhouse to watch and an ally to die for.”
For more, you can read Time’s full list via the link below, and then prepare yourself for the eighth and final season of Game of Thrones to return this Sunday with the as yet unnamed episode 2.