This is a first to be sure: a Curtain Call post for an actor playing what might be considered a throwaway role—a vile antagonist set before us merely to be bested. And yet what else is a villain’s part to play? They oft rise quickly as grim specters placed directly in the paths of our protagonists, and then pass before our eyes and exit just as quickly, battered and bested, unloved and unmourned.
We knew Kraznys mo Nakloz for the span of a mere three episodes, but in that short bit of a time Dan Hildebrand impressed the hell out of me. Sure, he played the role as equal parts misogynist douchebag, sneering slaver, and slimy used car salesman… but the point is he did it excellently—and all the while speaking none of his lines in an actual, existing language.
(“Tree drago,” “tou drago,” and “don” may count as English for some of you, sure…)
To say I was impressed is an understatement. Short-lived villains aren’t supposed to garner much attention, if any at all, but this portion of the Game of Thrones storyline raised the stakes to an entirely different level, and central to that was the antagonistic onscreen chemistry between Dan and Emilia Clarke (who was herself never better). It’s yet another example of the show taking a scene from the book and making it all the better. Props all around.
Dan is no stranger to good scripts. His two most notorious roles prior to playing the sharp-tongued Astapori slaver were in Sons of Anarchy and HBO’s Deadwood, two shows of exceedingly worthy repute. It’s no small thing to say he has garnered even more attention with this latest role.
To honor Dan’s skill, I have enlisted none other than David J. Peterson, creator of the Dothraki and High Valyrian languages (as well as the Ghisceri “Low Valyrian” tongue) to help me express to Dan the depths of my gratitude. (And yes, David was extremely impressed with Dan’s handling of the language.) I could not have done this post without David’s help; I am eternally grateful, and have promised him Hear Me Roar’s firstborn son as payment.
And so I leave him with these fine parting words for Dan, written first in Valyrian and then (liberally) translated beneath in the common tongue known as English:
Aeske Hildebrand, majin vaghoma av quvemagho, do av rijagho.
Master Hildebrand, I come to praise you, and with words to lift you up high.
Oa Valyre sa nagostova; sa qrugh, he unir ez j’Astapor, lislisari he orgoz himi nobisto.
Your Valyrian is spoken with sublime grace; the strength of Astapor’s might is behind every sentence, and it flows like honey.
Oa odri si narysta, si oa engo sa he mi tyvaro.
Your words move me, much as they have moved many.
Ima vi nejo emi hubre, si hin kizir sizi, gimin sko oo jelevre tuzis ji gunjda emi begisto dos.
You are a handsome man, and all rejoice at the mere sight of you.
Sir pigivas nya odri, Aeske Hildebrand, si gimis sko dory ilimozlivas vi murgho ez Kraznys mo Nakloz.
So read my words, Master Hildebrand, and know that the world is lessened by the passing of Kraznys mo Nakloz.
Some might consider him to be a “niche” actor for the roles he’s played thus far, but he has shown plenty to me in mastering this highly underrated and difficult character. I know that any production that has his name affixed to it will garner my immediate attention. I have a feeling we will be seeing him around.
And I am thrilled to be the one writing this Curtain Call for him.
Thanks so much, Dan, for this brief but vital spark to our beloved story, and for playing this short-lived but altogether excellent role. You have earned your rest, ser, as well as you have earned our love. Well done, and stay fabulous!
Valar Morghulis. ~FaB~