Based on a series of dense fantasy novels with only a cult following, HBO’s Game of Thrones became an unlikely cultural juggernaut. The elaborately and expensively rendered world of Westeros, as created by George R.R. Martin and developed by David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, has won multiple Emmys for Outstanding Drama Series and made stars out of many members of its gigantic cast. With the show coming to an end in 2019, actors like Peter Dinklage, Sophie Turner, Maisie Williams, and Kit Harington seem primed for silver-screen superstardom.
The show’s biggest breakthrough star, though, may be Emilia Clarke. As Daenerys Targaryen, she rode dragons and laid waste to King’s Landing, and got a jump on the next chapter of her career with a string of roles in high profile movies such as Terminator Genisys and Solo: A Star Wars Story. These are all very serious projects, but it would seem that on set, Clarke is just an endearing goofball. Here are some bloopers that show just how much fun she can have.
Goofing up is a language all its own
Game of Thrones presented a unique series of challenges for an actor. The show wasn’t exactly Full House, what with its location shooting in far-flung locales all over the world, dense literary dialogue, and special effects-laded sequences that (for Emilia Clarke in particular) involved pretending to act against dragons that weren’t actually there. For one scene, Clarke had to get out a lot of dialogue in the tricky fictional language of the show’s Dothraki people, all while wearing her elaborate Daenerys Targaryen costume and sitting atop the inanimate device that would become a dragon. It was just too much to handle, and Clarke flubbed her lines in the tongue-twisting Dothraki tongue over and over again. The only time it seems like she does nail the line is actually when she drops an f-bomb in amused, self-deprecating frustration. There are, after all, a lot of "ck" sounds in Dothraki.
It’s a regular British Invasion
Emilia Clarke was born and raised in England, a country that’s relatively small but rich with a surprisingly high volume of accents. There’s a distinctive Liverpool accent (demonstrated by Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney), a Newcastle accent, and the crisp, classy accent favored by actors and actresses in highbrow British television shows. That’s the kind Emilia Clarke used for her role as Daenerys Targaryen on Game of Thrones, and it isn’t all that different from her natural southern England accent. But as a highly trained and experienced actress (and a British person), she can recognize and replicate the difference between her country’s dialects. In this Thrones blooper, actor Michiel Huisman (as loyal Targaryen associate Daario Naharis) approaches with some flowers. As Daenerys, Clarke replies, "I’m a Khaleesi not a queen" in a perfect East London cockney accent. Then she follows it up with some expletives.
She can’t catch a brake
By 2016, Game of Thrones had been airing for five years, allowing Emilia Clarke to break into starring roles in major movies. In Me Before You, Sam Claflin (The Hunger Games) plays a man named Will, bitter and despondent after he’s paralyzed in an accident, and Clarke portrays Lou Clark (no relation), a paid companion hired to help Will out of his funk. It should come as no surprise that the two fall for each other.
Lou is about as far away from Daenerys Targaryen as possible. Between takes, though, the set of Me Before You had a lot in common with the Game of Thrones set, in that Clarke’s casual wit in the face of goof-ups is on full display in the blooper reel. In one particularly amusing outtake, Clarke, as Lou, is supposed to be driving a car. But cars don’t work properly if the hand brake is engaged. That’s what’s going on with this particular vehicle, and when the car doesn’t do what it’s supposed to, it immediately throws Clarke off her game. A crew member runs in to assist, prompting Clarke to turn to the camera and quip, "It’s a really good start."
Daenerys is a Samantha, not a Carrie
Obviously, Game of Thrones doesn’t take place in any real historical time period. It’s a sweeping fantasy set in a world of dragons and magic. Still, everyone does seem to have British accents for some reason. In this clip from the eighth season’s blooper reel, Daenerys Targaryen sits down for a chat with Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) — a rare moment of quiet and civility before their factions try to kill each other. At this point in the show’s timeline, Dany has taken a lover in Jon Snow, thought to be a long-lost member of the Stark family — specifically, Sansa’s brother.
Jon wound up being a Targaryen, but that little bit of incest is neither here nor there as Clarke uses the objective attractiveness of Jon Snow (as played by Kit Harington) as a jumping off point for some improv in a modern, classy, slang-laced British dialect. "I just fancy your brother loads," Clarke riffs. "I think he’s really sexy."
A backstage reel that demands to be seen
In these self-deprecating, playful, and often self-effacing on-set slip-ups (as well as in her many promotional interviews for Game of Thrones), Emilia Clarke seems like a charming and grounded individual. She doesn’t quite embody that Hollywood stereotype of the pretentious, self-absorbed, nightmare diva who can never be pleased. But if Clarke did act like that, she might be justified in her behavior — after all, she starred on one of the biggest TV shows on the planet for eight seasons, and became a huge star in the process of enduring some long and involved shoots. In this amusing backstage montage, Clarke gives viewers (and crew members) a taste of what it might be like if she were just plain awful. She stares into the camera and shrieks about the whereabouts of her blonde Daenerys wig, her "orange mocha Frappuccino," her kale chips, and (in a flawless impression of an American) her "accent."
Listen to the wind
Emilia Clarke might always be most associated with her breakthrough Game of Thrones role of Daenerys of the House Targaryen, the First of Her Name, Queen of Meereen, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Mother of Dragons and so forth. So many titles carry with them so much class and dignity. But hey, beyond all that, Dany is a human being, and so is Clarke, possessing a regular human body that may make embarrassing sounds at work. She’s just like everybody else.
It’s unclear if this audible raspberry on the set of Clarke’s romantic drama Me Before You actually came from the actress, or if it was the result of a squeaky couch cushion or some piece of malfunctioning movie-making equipment. But the telltale high-pitched sound of flatulence definitely emanated from Clarke’s direction. Somehow, she doesn’t immediately laugh, holding it in for a few seconds of silent mortification. But once costar Sam Claflin starts to laugh, Clarke can’t help but break up herself.