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Game of Thrones’ Amrita Amcharia on Speaking Dothraki, Playing With Dragons, and Last Night’s Big Twist

Amrita Acharia
Amrita Amcharia. Photo: Tim Whitby/Getty Images

Even close readers of the books would have been shocked at the conclusion of Sunday night’s episode of Game of Thrones [spoiler alert ahead], when Daenerys Tarygaryen finds her entire Khalasar murdered and her baby dragons stolen. Her handmaiden Irri (played by Amrita Amcharia) is among those who are now dead on the show, despite the character being very much alive in book three. Was this all a tactic to give Dany a stronger reason to enter the House of the Undying, to reclaim her dragons and avenge her people? We’ll have to stay tuned to find out. In the meantime, Amcharia chatted with Vulture about her character’s death, playing with dragons, and starting up a Dothraki language club.

I have to say I was a bit surprised about what happened — not just to your character, but to the whole Khalasar, and the dragons. I was kind of expecting Irri to stick around.
I know! Because this doesn’t happen to Irri at all in the books. In fact, there’s some naughty scenes with Irri in book three [A Storm of Swords]. So I was surprised, too. I wasn’t expecting this, either.

Perhaps it’s also to signal to the fans that even if you’ve read the books, this is its own story. We’ve had some minor changes, but this is a big one. And it continues to underscore that no one is safe in this world.
You don’t know what’s going to come! There will be a lot of twists. It does seem like a whole series of crazy stuff is happening. I think in this case, it’s because Irri was a more minor character, and there are so many characters coming in and out, that they have to fuse some story lines. But in the third season, there will be even more surprises. I’m going to miss it.

What else are you going to miss?
I’m going to miss being on set. I’m going to miss being part of our little group, our three girls, and being a part of everything. Although I will have fun watching it, when season three comes around.

Are you going to miss the dragons?
I’m going to miss not being able to play with them. Seeing all of that unfold was amazing. It looks different to us, versus the audience, but we have these toy dragons to use that look like something out of Jurassic Park. Dinosaurs are almost dragons, right? But Irri didn’t get to play with them so much.

Are you going to miss speaking Dothraki? Is there any way you can still use it?
What, like start a language club? [Laughs.] Teach people to speak Dothraki? Sure. I’m up for whatever. It was a really fun part of the project, but I’m afraid I haven’t learned the whole language. I knew my lines. I know some phrases, some small words.

Such as?
“It is known.” That’s Me nem nesa. Irri says that all the time. I thought I should definitely get that one right, at least, if I’m to rep the Dothraki clan! But I had a lot of help with the language and the freedom to make it my own. I was so impressed when Jason [Momoa] had that massive monologue.

Jason said he had written something that might help resurrect his character, if you guys are up for more departures from the books. He has some ideas. 
I’m sure he does. [Laughs.] I wouldn’t be surprised to see him back from the dead — maybe as a dream, or as a zombie?

So you could do that, too.
Exactly. [Laughs.] He was lovely, by the way. We had that Viserys Targaryen death scene together. That was a cool one. I’ll have to see what he thinks about my death scene. I like a good death scene. It had to look real, like I had to look like I had been strangled. We had some time with the stunt guy for that one. It wasn’t the last scene I filmed, though, so for me, I didn’t end on that note. My last scene that I shot was the one in the garden in Qarth. I really enjoyed that set, where things were quite green and fertile, after being in the desert with no water. Although I really enjoyed the desert, too! I got to be dirty. And we were just pretending to be dehydrated. We were kept hydrated, don’t you worry!

Kit Harington and Richard Madden said they like to swap theories on set. Do you have any theories, such as who will ultimately take the Iron Throne?
I think Dany will, because she’s the best. [Laughs.] I’m biased, of course, but she kicks some serious ass, and she deserves it, because she’s been through a lot, and she really wants it. Plus, she’s a good queen. She cares about her people. She’s regal. She’s honest. And she will do what it takes. If you want to win the game of thrones, you need a winning queen. Maybe she and Jon Snow could eventually rule together? He’ll need a good queen.

Did you steal any souvenirs from the set?
I wanted to take one of those massive swords! I did some stage fighting when I was training with those, but I’m very clumsy with them. So I had my eye on that. But I’m a good girl, and I didn’t take anything. I should have.

Game of Thrones’ Irri on Last Night’s Big Twist