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Khal Drogo: The Jason Momoa Effect

Credit: HBO

The story goes that when Jason Momoa was auditioning for the role of the warlord Khal Drogo in HBO’s hit original series Game of Thrones, he did the Maori haka in order to prove the kind of ferocity and base physical presence he was capable of. Coincidentally enough, one of the people in the room happened to be Kerry Barden, the casting director of the Conan the Barbarian 2011 remake. It wasn’t long before that traditional war dance nabbed Momoa two major roles.

Check out the audition tape below the cut!

In the years that’ve passed since that fateful audition, Jason Momoa has gone from supporting role in Stargate: Atlantis to playing the villain opposite Sylvester Stallone and Christian Slater in the next year’s Bullet to the Head. The Hawaiian native, who just celebrated his 33rd birthday earlier this month, has also earned a legion of fans with his emphatic and sympathetic portrayal of the dominant yet ill-fated barbarian lord Drogo in the first season of Game of Thrones.

In fact, his character’s surge in popularity must’ve impressed producers David Benioff and D. B. Weiss so much that they wrote an original scene in the second season just for him. The episode’s already aired here in Singapore, so I’m not really concerned about spoiling it for anyone. Momoa returns as Drogo in a poignant scene with Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) in the House of the Undying. This scene does not appear in the books by George R. R. Martin, so it’s safe to say that there’s a bit of fanservice right there.

The scene itself is relatively short, barely three minutes, but even then, it is to Momoa’s credit that the Dothraki language, limited to analogies of violence and sex, can actually sound romantic when spoken by Khal Drogo. We even feel compelled to share Daenerys’ bittersweet smile as he tries to explain his “presence” – something about the Great Stallion that I can’t repeat on the blog.

But you’re more than welcome to check out the scene below!

Will we see more of Khal Drogo in the next season of Game of Thrones, premiering March 31st 2013? It’s anyone’s guess. Jason Momoa next appears in Bullet to the Head, currently scheduled for February 2013.

Peter Lin

His teenage years spent nursing a giant man-crush on Steve Rogers, the first Captain America, Peter naturally found himself drawn to many other heroes who depicted strong, manly qualities, including the honour-bound warrior Worf, first Klingon in Starfleet, and the muscular rock hard abs of The Thing.

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