Being Daenerys: The Game of Thrones Cast Reflects on Their Roles

Game of Thrones’ 8th and final season premieres this Sunday. HBO’s world-conquering series has just six more episodes left. The long-simmering battle between the living and the dead will finally explode. In the run-up to the premiere, HBO has shined a light on the folks who make the series possible. From the visual effects department who breathe life into Dany’s dragons to the stunt professionals who willingly light themselves on fire to the prosthetics department turning actors into White Walkers, it takes a village to make Game of Thrones.

With less than a week to go, HBO has just released a bunch of new videos celebrating those other, crucial members of the massive GoT family—the actors. The cast reflects on what it’s been like to take on these now iconic, life-changing roles. Lene Heady on Cersei, Kit Harington on Jon Snow, Emilia Clarke on Daenerys, Maisie Williams on Arya Stark—the whole gang is here.

What was it like to join the sprawling cast of a fantasy series and watch as it becomes a global phenomenon? Lena Headey sums it up perfectly: “It’s been absolutely life-changing.” Emilia Clarke began working on GoT when she was only 22-years old—she’s been playing Daenerys for nearly 35% of her life. Maisie Williams reflects on how she’s thrown every tool she has as an actor into Arya Stark. “I get Tyrion yelled at me more than I get Peter yelled at me on the street,” Peter Dinklage says. “I’ve grown up with these people, I’ve changed so much as a person,” Sophie Turner reflects. Like Maisie Williams, Turner has quite literally grown up during Game of Thrones production. Her character Sansa has changed alongside her. Sansa has gone from the pampered eldest Stark daughter to the smart, fierce young leader of the North.

Check out the videos below. Game of Thrones is back this Sunday, April 14.

Featured image: Season 8: Emilia Clarke. Photo: Helen Sloane/HBO


Bryan Abrams

Bryan Abrams is the Editor-in-chief of The Credits. He's run the site since its launch in 2012. He lives in New York.