Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen.
Thanks to modern technology, it’s now possible to fake nude scenes by digitally pasting an actor’s head on top of a double’s body, leaving pervy viewers unclear about whose breasts they’re actually seeing. But after Emilia Clarke’s climactic nude scene on Sunday’s episode of Game of Thrones — which saw Clarke’s Daenerys Targaryen burn down a Dothraki temple with a dozen khals inside, then emerge from the wreckage like a fiery version of Botticelli’s Venus — the actress wants to be clear that no digital trickery was used. “This is all me, all proud, all strong,” Clarke told EW. “I’m just feeling genuinely happy I said ‘Yes.’ That ain’t no body double!”
As Clarke notes, though Game of Thrones has a reputation for being a show about “tits and dragons,” she herself hadn’t done a nude scene on the show for three years. Clarke’s part of Sunday’s scene was shot on a closed set in Northern Ireland, which was then edited together with wider angles shot at the Vaes Dothrak set in Spain. “Taking off my clothes is not the easiest thing, but with the magic of the effects, I don’t have to do a season one and go on a cliff and do it,” she explains. “I’m in control of it.”
That’s a point Clarke also emphasized last year, when tabloids erroneously reported that she couldn’t stand her Thrones sex scenes. “In drama, if a nude scene forwards a story or is shot in a way that adds insight into characters, I’m perfectly fine with it,” she clarified on Instagram afterward. “If it’s gratuitous[…] then I will discuss with a director on how to make it more subtle. In either case, like a good Mother of Dragons, I’m always in control.”