On the temptation – or perhaps lack of – to delve into the A Song of Ice and Fire series…. I haven’t read ahead at all and so I don’t know exactly what lies in store for my character. When I was asked to do this there was a commitment to a few years and, while you want to get as much of a feel for the character as possible, it’s important that this functions as a screenplay. I quite like the surprise of not knowing where it is going. I read the first book but then I got the impression that the writers wanted the actors to come into it as fresh as possible from the screenplay and not questioning them on why this or that wasn’t in from the books. Of course there are others who have read the books and could let you know bits and pieces, plus I’m very close to Dan and David [Weiss and Benioff, Game of Thrones writers], and they give you hints.
On working opposite Emilia Clarke… It’s a treat. She’s a lovely girl and we got on well from the word go. It’s her first big, proper gig really, and we’ve become very good friends. Our storyline follows a nomadic tribe that travels from place to place, so we are always on the move. The majority of the storyline is filmed in cold, wet Northern Ireland and then we turn up to shoot in Malta, Croatia and Morocco.
On keeping his Dothraki tongue up to scratch… The Dothraki language is a nightmare. I’ve seen actors disintegrate on camera trying to get their Dothraki right. You have to get it spot on or it just doesn’t work. I learn it, learn it again and then learn it again. It’s a real head-fuck. Bless her, Emilia has the worst of it.
On his Game of Thrones highlight [Note: season one spoiler alert]… Working on something of this scale is a constant highlight. It’s a dream job. If I had to pick one then I’d say the culminating scene of the first season when Khal Drogo was burned on the pyre. I approach Emilia in the aftermath of the burning embers and the dragons emerge for the first time. All the elements just felt right. It felt like something we’d never done before, as if we’d all realised that this was indeed something special.