We all know lots about Daenerys Stormborn of the House Targaryen, First of Her Name, the Unburnt, Queen of the Andals and the First Men, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Breaker of Chains and Mother of Dragons. But there's probably a ton you don't know about the actress who plays her. Emilia Clarke has had almost as fascinating a life as the woman she plays, and for her birthday today, let's look at 10 interesting facts about her.
1. She's wanted to act since she was three
Clarke's father was a theatre sound engineer. When she was three, she saw a show her dad was working on, the musical "Showboat." She's wanted to become an actor ever since. Now, she's on one of the most popular TV shows in the world. She did it!
2. She played an Audrey Hepburn character on Broadway
In 2013, Clarke made her Broadway debut as Holly Golightly in a staged version of "Breakfast at Tiffany's." The play only ran from March to April of that year. Despite Clarke's acting skills, the play received poor reviews and suffered from low ticket sales.
3. She is the second person to play Daenerys Targaryen
In the original unaired pilot of "Game of Thrones," Dany was played by Tamzin Merchant. The original pilot had a number of problems and was reportedly not very good. David Benioff and D.B. Weiss had to reshoot 90 percent of the pilot to create "Winter is Coming," the series' first episode. Those reshoots included, for a still-undisclosed reason, a recasting of Daenerys Targaryen. Clarke has since won multiple awards for her performance.
4. She is the second 'Game of Thrones' actress to play Sarah Connor
Clarke starred alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger in "Terminator: Genisys," playing the role of Sarah Connor. The part was previously played by Cersei Lannister herself, Lena Headey, in the 2008 TV series, "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles." Schwarzenegger has complimented how well Clarke followed in the original Sarah Connor, Linda Hamilton's footsteps.
5. Clarke idolized Schwarzenegger growing up
After being forced to watch the first two "Terminator" movies by her brother as a child, Clarke became a huge fan of the series and of Arnold Schwarzenegger himself. She's described herself as silently geeking out the first time she heard him say "I'll be back" in "Terminator: Genisys."
6. She's got pipes and the musical skills to back them up
Emilia Clarke is exceptionally musically talented. With her alto voice, she can expertly sing ballads, blues, cabaret and jazz numbers. She also has skills on the piano, flute and guitar. With that in mind, a Daenerys Targaryen solo-musical would be perfect.
7. Fans often don't recognize her in public
If you only know Emilia Clarke from "Game of Thrones," you could be forgiven for thinking she has long platinum blonde hair in real life. That was just a wig until she dyed her hair blonde in Sept. 2017. Her natural color is much darker, and as a result, she's confessed she still isn't recognized much in the outside world when her hair is brown.
8. She worked anywhere from three to six jobs at once before being cast
Actors have to do a lot to make ends meet before their big break. Before landing her role on "Game of Thrones," Clarke worked as a server, a bartender, a call center agent and was even a licensed real estate agent.
9. She had other jobs in mind
Everyone tells actors to have a backup plan and Emilia Clarke was no different. If acting hadn't worked out, she thinks she would have been a singer, an architect or a graphic designer. Given how talented we already know her to be, she could probably pull any of those off.
10. She was bullied for her eyebrows as a child
They're one of her defining features now, and a big reason people love her as Daenerys Targaryen, but she wasn't always a fan of them. Despite the teasing, her mother convinced her to keep her eyebrows the way they were. Her mother's rules were, "Don't do drugs, don't have sex, and don't touch your eyebrows."