'Game Of Thrones': Emilia Clarke On Charges Of Sexism

Among the things Game of Thrones has been criticized for is one that especially irks Emilia Clarke, who plays Daenerys Targaryen: sexism. Entertainment Weekly talked to her about the subject and got her to tease a bit of what we can expect in season 6 of GOT.

Before diving into season 6, Emilia talked about last season of Game of Thrones and what it meant for her character. Season 5 ended with Daenerys being captured by the Dothraki, the people of her deceased husband, after riding off on one of her dragons, Drogon. Clarke understood its mix of defeat due to her capture juxtaposed with a symbol of her power, her "child," Drogon. The significance of that scene was not lost on Emilia.

"It was lovely because you got that sweet-and-sour of riding off into the distance at last – and then it's like: 'Where the f— am I?' This season it feels like she's learning the last lesson she needs to learn. She's not being swayed by anyone. She knows what's-what. There's just few remnants of being a human being that she's shaking off."
Clarke also explained the significance of Daenerys being back with the Dothraki again for the first time since season 2. In a sense, her heart is with the Dothraki because they taught her strength. At the same time, explained Emilia, "She knows all too well that getting on the wrong side of the Dothraki is not what you want to be doing."

Indeed Clarke believes that it may only be the fact that Dany was once married to a Dothraki that keeps them from killing her. She has a point, especially since she is a woman. Emilia acknowledges that the Dothraki of Game of Thrones treat females as slaves. Which leads us to the one criticism about GOT that really bothers Clarke.

EW asked Emilia Clarke about the sexism charges despite the fact that the show has many strong female characters. She had this to say.
"There are women depicted as sexual tools, women who have zero rights, women who are queens but only to a man, and then there are women who are literally unstoppable and as powerful as you can possibly imagine. So it pains me to hear people taking Thrones out of context with anti-feminist spin – because you can't do that about this show. It shows the range that happens to women, and ultimately shows women are not only equal, but have a lot of strength."
Emilia isn't the only Game of Thrones female to come out against charges of sexism on the show. Natalie Dormer, who plays another strong Game of Thrones woman, Margaery Tyrell, defended the graphic violence and the depiction of women on GOT to The Mirror.
"The horror of human nature is prevalent in our world, and I appreciate that some people want to turn on the telly for escapism – but if that's what you want, don't watch Game of Thrones. I choose fantasy to vent, to process complex political, sexual and social politics at the safe distance of fiction. For me, that's what art should be."
Twenty-nine-year-old Emilia Clarke was born in London, England. Her father is a theater sound engineer. Emilia's interest in acting began at a young age when she saw a production of Showboat on which her father worked. Clarke attended the Drama Centre London and graduated in 2009. She has received five awards and 15 nominations for her performance on Game of Thrones.

Check out this video of some of the best GOT moments for Emilia Clarke's character, Daenerys Targaryen. This is no weak woman who will be controlled by a man or anyone else.

[Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images]