Without getting any further into it, be advised that the following article contains some spoilers for Game of Thrones season 6, episode 4, “Book of the Stranger.” SPOILER ALERT! Okay, you’ve been warned. If you saw last night’s episode of Game of Thrones, then you saw the powerful last scene, in which Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) takes out the entire Dothraki leadership by setting fire to the Temple of the Dosh Khaleen while she’s still inside. Dany emerges from the inferno, head held high, naked as the day she entered the world, inspiring awe and fear in all present. Now, Clarke shares a few words on the nude scene and whether or not she used a body double.
Dany’s storyline in this episode was a great play on the ‘damsel in distress’ trope. When professional big, strong men Ser Jorah and Daario Naharis show up to save Dany from her captors, she not only has no interest in being saved, but has a plan to flip the situation to her extreme advantage. After delivering a brutal speech, putting the Dothraki leadership in their place, she knocks over the braziers lighting the room, engulfing the Temple in flames. This is the first time since season 1 that Dany has used her imperviousness to fire, reminding viewers that while she is immune to fire, her clothes are not.
About the nude scene, Clarke told EW:
“It’s so exciting, very tingly-making. Every season I get at least one spine-chilling moment. I just stand up and I go, ‘I’m hearing what you’re all saying, but funny thing, I’m going to kill you all. I forgot that I have an ace in my back pocket and now I win.’”
She went on to add:
“I’d like to remind people the last time I took my clothes off was season 3. That was awhile ago. It’s now season 6. But this is all me, all proud, all strong. I’m just feeling genuinely happy I said ‘Yes.’ That ain’t no body double!”
This scene serves as a nice contrast to a scene at the end of season 5, when another Sarah Connor had a nude scene. In the season finale of season 5, Lena Headey opted to use a body double when it came time for her character, Cersei Lannister, to be stripped down and paraded through the city in a Walk of Atonement for her sins. While Cersei’s nudity is shameful and degrading, Dany’s nudity is the exact opposite. It is regal and empowering. It’s wonderful to see Clarke embrace the power of that scene and revel in playing it.