The Rise of…Emilia Clarke


The mother of dragons.

Widow of a Dothraki Khal.

Game of Thrones’ ultimate badass.

Yes. I’m talking Daenerys Targaryn. Since George R. R. Martin’s novel A Song of Ice and Fire became HBO’s greatest television series there has been a lot of love, obsession, and revered praise for Daenerys as she vies for the throne and leadership over all of Westeros. The actress behind the delicate looking Daenerys who is nothing bar a strong-willed, conqueror with pet dragons as her children. Yes. Daenerys Targaryn is literally one of the best characters to grace our television screens.

The actress behind all of that is Emilia Clarke who is gifting film lovers and tear duct abusers today as she stars in romantic drama Me Before You opposite Sam Claflin. The film sees her play carer Louisa who learns a lot about life and love when she meets the paralysed Will. Based on a book by Jojo Moyles, the latest adaptation is set to lubricate our eyeballs with sadness and happiness.

The 29 year old actresses was born in London but grew up in Berkshire; After seeing the musical Show Boat, the performer had the sparks of drama burst into flames. Studying in the Drama Centre in London, the passion for acting grew as she developed her talent in student short films and plays with her fellow classmates.

Clarke’s professional roles began in episodes of Doctors and Triassic Attack, small television roles that caught the attention of producers and audiences.

She then took the reins of a very popular character…

Her aforementioned performance in Game of Thrones earned her two Emmy nominations. She also quickly became a fan favourite. So much so that we’re all a bunch of Jorah Mormonts following her on her quest to free slaves and become the empress of the show. Clarke was able to tackle the role with a royal gusto that still caught the emotional turmoil of a young girl thrust into prominence and leadership. Without overselling the regal Game of Thrones voice, Clarke was able to establish herself as innocence moulded into power. When it tackled the depth of many traumatic scenes, Clarke handled it with gravitas and glory.

Her screen prominence since Game of Thrones has risen steadily. She starred in the highly underrated independent film Spike Island and appeared as Jude Law’s daughter in film Don Hemmingway. She also took over the role of Sarah O’Connor in Terminator Genysis. We’ll forgive her for that because she was very good despite the shoddy, awful, and quite frankly ridiculous film. Clarke has always appeared on Broadway as Holly Golightly in the acclaimed Breakfast at Tiffany’s where she won praise for her portrayal of the role.

Though small her experience may seem, Emilia Clarke has made a fiery impact and is destined to give more to cinema and television as the year’s progress. She is set to star in Voice from a Stone and Above Suspicion too. There are also rumours that she’ll be working with Helena Bonham Carter in the seasoned performer’s new film.

Whatever happens next, Clarke is bound for greatness. Much like Daenerys, Clarke has made an indelible mark, forged in the heart of a dragon…


Me Before You – Review

(There may be spoilers here.)

If a book becomes a number-one best seller then, you can bet somewhere someone is adapting it for the screen. Romances, dramas, and crime stories all will be snapped up and produced to gain a new cinema-based audience.

The latest weepy novel to get the adaptation treatment is Me Before You starring Game of Thrones’ Emilia Clarke and The Hunger Games’ Sam Claflin. Despite being filled with the standard plot and twists of the genre, the team behind this have made an enjoyable and sweet film.

Will Traynor (Claflin), is a young wealthy guy enjoying life to the full until he is hit by a motor bike. Louisa Clark (Clarke), is a local waitress who lives at home until she loses her job and must find a new one. She is offered the job of caring for Will, two years after his accident, now paralysed from the neck down. Will is bitter and un-communitive towards Louise but slowly the two bond and get to know each other. But can their relationship make Will believe he can live a full and happy life?


The film is based on the best-selling novel of the same name by Jojo Moyes; adapted for the screen by Moyes herself and directed by theatre director Thea Sharrock. The film also has two female producers and is fuelled by Emilia Clarkes (and Claflin’s), star power. The team behind the film makes this a female fuelled project which is a rarity in cinema.

In terms of the narrative in the film, this is standard stuff: Boy and girl meet, are completely different, eventually bond and then fall in love. The twist in this tale is Will’s inability to deal with his disability. He believes his life is over but inspires Louisa to live hers to the full.

Despite the clichés, the film is cute without being sickly. The two stars shine onscreen and you route for Louisa and enjoy the journey the two take together. The film mixes wit and humour with sad and tragic moments making it a rollercoaster for those invested in the characters.

The film, despite its cuteness, deals with difficult subject matter. Will genuinely believes his life is not worth living in a wheelchair. His frustration at everyday life, the pain, and illness that comes with that are clear to see. The film shows both sides of this argument well despite his wishes being hard to hear. Claflin here physically and emotionally portrays the struggles of a disabled man. When we are first introduced to him he feels cold and indifferent. Slowly he opens up, despite the different tragedies that befall him throughout. You always sense his frustration at his disability but with Louisa, he becomes a character you fall for.

Some have viewed the film as an endorsement of euthanasia in cases of disability. The use of an abled-bodied actor in place of a disabled one has also meet with criticism. It is true that disabled actors have little viability on out screens which is something that must change.

Although the idea of euthanasia in Will’s case is a difficult idea, it addresses the small number of cases where people in his position do chose to end their life. No other character views Will as a burden or lacking as a person but the issues the film deals with are understandable difficult for some.


Emilia Clarke here leaves behind her ‘Mother of all Dragons’ role for something less fantasy. She portrays Louisa as cute and awkward, but kind and warm. Her character can go from funny to weepy moments with ease. At times Louisa feels overly simple (like not knowing what pesto is) and her working-class family life is ramped up for dramatic effect but this is a solid performance. Clarke also demonstrates that she has the most expressive (sometimes overly) eyebrows possible.

The comic relief comes in the form of Neville Longbottom himself Matthew Lewis. Lewis plays Patrick, Louisa’s fitness obsessed boyfriend. His complete ignorance of his girlfriend’s needs makes the audience route for Will even more. But his long rants regarding fitness to a usually unimpressed crowd makes his screen time the wittiest.

It may bear all the usual hallmarks of a romantic drama but despite its clichés, this is an enjoyable film.

Take your mum, she will love it.