“You need to play a powerful leader of men but speak no lines in English. You will learn a completely different, newly-created language and act as though you’ve spoken it all your life. When you need to communicate with any sort of emotion to your love interest—or anyone–you’ll be doing it with your eyes, and with your body, since no one watching the television will understand the words coming out of your mouth. Here’s the Dothraki dictionary in pdf form.”
“Oh, and brush up on ripping tongues out of throats with your bare hands. In your spare time. If you can.”
Say what you want about the guyliner—and it was kohl, I always imagined, like the Babylonians and the Egyptians used to use—Jason Momoa wins, hands down, the award for Manliest of the Manly Men on this show. Sure, the Greatjon tried to cut Robb’s meat, and yeah, Jaime taunted a grieving, rock-armed wife while he was helpless and chained to a stake, but Drogo…
Drogo pwnd. He did it with the thunder in his voice, he did it with his bare hands. His braid was never cut. It could even be argued he was so badass that only he could self-inflict the wound that eventually proved his undoing. Jason took a role that anyone with less charisma would have floundered in. How do you come across as anything other than a brute if all you do in your introductory episode is grunt the word “No” while raping your young, virginal wife?
Reaction to his character after the first episode was less-than flattering. Fans of the books didn’t expect such a brutal consummation, and new viewers only understood the brutality of what they were being given on the screen; there were cries of racial stereotyping (which I personally found more than a little odd), and some people accused him of being one-note. Jason was not in the running for “most popular” Game of Thrones actor after the first episode.
But he sure as hell was by the time episode eight came and went. It wasn’t just the exponential badassery; it was Drogo’s entire journey that Jason was able to capture. I’m the guy that followed the Twitter comments, so I saw the slow shift, through his dedication to the role and his onscreen chemistry (eyes, body language, everything) with Emilia Clarke, how Jason was able to win the masses. Especially to the non-readers; the Khal Drogo in A Song of Ice and Fire may have felt like a plot device to some people, but onscreen he loomed larger than life. He was gigantic, heroic.
And that was all Jason. At the end… it really was a shame to see him go.
Luckily, we’ve not seen the last of Jason Momoa. He made heads turn on Stargate Atlantis as Ronon Dex, and then garnered himself a floodton more fans as Drogo, and it doesn’t end there. Most of you know where to find him next: in the starring role of CONAN, in Conan the Barbarian, guest-starring Ron freaking Pearlman. It opens August 19—less than two months away. You can bet your asses I’ll be there front and center on day one to see that.
I might not have, without Momoa there.
(Hopefully not. I guess we’ll know next season.)
And he’ll always be that dude’s dude who came in and freaked out the casting assistants by throwing down a Maori Haka.
Best of luck, Jason. You will be missed, warrior. We here at House Gatewatch salute you. You were the freaking Khal, man.
And that makes you immortal.