Emilia Clarke’s Expert Take: Why ‘Game of Thrones’ Succeeded

Emilia Clarke: the woman responsible for bringing George R.R. Martin’s Daenerys Targaryen to life. With poise, courage, mercy, and an unwavering sense of quiet determination, Daenerys Targaryen has found her way into the hearts of fans everywhere.

Emilia Clarke
Emilia Clarke | Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images

Before Game of Thrones, Emilia Clarke was a virtual unknown who had recently finished drama school and was ready to spread her wings (who knew how literal this would become) and venture into the world of Hollywood. When cast in HBO’s hit show – one that quickly received critical and audience acclaim – her life changed overnight.

Emilia Clarke is now deeply tied to the character she portrays on the show and, as the series finale approaches, fans anxiously await to see Daenerys Targaryen’s final fate. Will she seize the Iron Throne? Emilia Clarke sat down with Digital Spy to discuss Game of Thrones, paparazzi, as well as her theory regarding why the show became as popular as it did.

Emilia Clarke talks ‘Game of Thrones,’ distraction, and escapism

Discussing the show’s success with Digital Spy, Emilia Clarke weighed in to add a likely theory to the mix. Clarke stated:

“I think it caught Western society at exactly the right moment. I don’t know about you, but when I watch something, it’s escapism. I’m feeling crappy; I’m just sad, moody, depressed, upset, angry, whatever it is. I know that distraction is what makes me get better. Distraction is what really, really helps me.”

According to Emilia Clarke, Game of Thrones came at the right time, and then delivered on the need to break away from the current socio-political climate. This, though a bit general, is a strong explanation given the show’s approach.

Game of Thrones is exceedingly disparate from the real world; from the time and place to the mystical creatures abound, it takes viewers out of the little suburb or urban town they exist within, and into an entirely new universe.

Game of Thrones does not remind you of work, as many sitcoms do, nor does it comment on the banal of the everyday, which would only further remind audiences of their ordinary lifestyles. Instead, GoT presents battles fraught with familial conflict, internal turmoil, love, revenge, and more. Game of Thrones is escapism at its finest. The show does not ask you to escape into its world, it begs you to, as though it has cast an intoxicating spell.

Emilia Clarke on handling her fame resulting from ‘Game of Thrones’

During her interview with Digital Spy, Emilia Clarke explained that, since starring on Game of Thrones, she tries to remain under the radar. Emilia Clarke told the magazine that she moves “like a shark” when she’s out in public; meaning, she keeps her head down and walks on.

Emilia Clarke wishes to lead a normal life, so she doesn’t walk around with “six security men and big sunglasses and a bizarre coat,” she explained. Instead, she tries to seamlessly blend in with those around her.

Emilia Clark was thrown into fame rather abruptly, as was Kit Harington, and it’s more than likely that she will remain in the public spotlight for years to come. However, with the long blonde locks now gone, she may find it easier to go unnoticed for a little while.