When HBO showed the media a 15-minute trailer for its epic fantasy series 'Game of Thrones' in January, two things were immediately apparent: First, the Wall (a 700-foot ice structure at the northern edge of the kingdom of Westeros) looked amazing.
Another thing that jumped out at me: Newcomer Emilia Clarke was giving a very compelling performance as the exiled royal Daenerys Targaryen.
No actor on the show had a greater challenge: Clarke's character was viewed by her haughty brother Viserys (Harry Lloyd) as a mere bargaining chip in his quest to regain the throne of Westeros. He sold Daenerys to Khal Drogo (Jason Momao), the ferocious king of the warlike Dothraki people, in return for assistance from Drogo's army. Dany didn't know the language or the customs of her new tribe, nor was she used to riding for hours every day, which is the way of the horse-obsessed Dothraki. Her new life was alienating, lonely and strange in myriad ways.