The Surprising Way Jason Momoa Was Cast as Khal Drogo in 'Game of Thrones'

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 23:   Jason Momoa attends an after party celebrating the re-opening of the Louis Vuitton New Bond Street Maison at Annabel's on October 23, 2019 in London, England.  (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for Louis Vuitton)
Louis Vuitton New Bond Street Maison Re-Opening After Party at Annabels | David M. Benett/Getty Images

Jason Momoa became the “moon of our lives” as Daenerys Targaryen’s (Emilia Clarke) warrior husband, Khal Drogo, on the hard-hitting HBO series Game of Thrones. Though Momoa was seemingly made for the role, the show’s creators D.B. Weiss and David Benioff found the Hawaiian actor in a pretty unconventional way.

NME reports that Weiss and Benioff spoke at the Austin Film Festival, during which the pair explained that they don't have the casting department to thank for Momoa, but fans themselves. Benioff shared, “It was really hard to find a good Khal Drogo. We had all these auditions and no one was quite right. And then we’re looking at some website that had ‘Fan Casting of Game of Thrones.’”

He continued, “A lot of it was kinda knuckle-headed, but some of it was really smart. And there was one person, or maybe a few people, who said, ‘Oh, it should be this guy Jason Momoa.’”

Though Momoa already had a following from his role of Jason Ioane on Baywatch Hawaii, the showrunners didn't know him. Benioff added, “We’d never heard of Jason before. And I apologize to the Baywatch fans, but I haven’t gotten around to it. But I saw a picture of him, we both did, and I thought, ‘Well, that really does look like Khal Drogo.’”

Though Drogo was sadly killed in the first season, Momoa has always been a fan-favorite. It is good to know that showrunners sometimes do take fan castings into consideration.