Daenerys first onscreen appearance in Game of Thrones' Season 7 premiere was majestic, but when she ate that stallion heart in Season 1, it was a most non-majestic and stomach-churning moment for audiences. It was even worse for Emilia Clarke, though, and the Game of Thrones actress shared just what it was about the scene that made her vomit a lot below:
It was very helpful to be given something so truly disgusting to eat, so there wasn't much acting required. They made the heart out of solidified jam but it tasted like bleach and raw pasta. I ate roughly 28 hearts throughout the days we filmed that scene. Fortunately, they gave me a spit bucket because I was vomiting in it quite often.
In addition to actually vomiting, Emilia Clarke has previously stated in a DVD commentary (beyond her interview with Mirror) that after Dany swallowed her final bite, retching and then falling to her hands and knees was her legitimate response to finishing that heart. Like Dany was so adamant about not vomiting to impress Khal Drogo, so too was Clarke, as she knew spewing so would potentially ruin the scene and force her to take yet another bite of that horrid-tasting prop heart.
Just imagining a plate of bleach and raw pasta is enough to get that gag reflex going, so kudos to the lovable Emilia Clarke for chewing (as well as horking) that thing up multiple times just for a Game of Thrones scene. Those who don't remember the scene specifically may not fully appreciate this feat, but do realize the stallion's heart was about half the size of Clarke's head. Surely watching her purge the fifteenth heart would have gotten someone to question whether this scene had to be done completely with practical effects, right?
Apparently not, and it's probably because the fake stallion heart wasn't exactly supposed to taste good. A three-pound gummy bear injected with sugary syrup that resembles blood sounds like a sweet tooth coma well worth the effort, but showrunners were concerned such a treat would not get the reaction they wanted from Emilia Clarke. For that reason, the crew was instructed to intentionally make the heart taste bad, on top of giving it a realistic texture, so that Clarke felt as though she was actually eating a heart. The crew used dried pasta for the veins and injected a little bleach, which is presumably why Clarke tasted both so strongly.
Unfortunately for Emilia Clarke, the vomiting wasn't the end of the stallion heart's vengeance. Clarke said the sugary blood had a glue-like effect on her body, and by the time filming was done, it was everywhere. This then caused Clarke to constantly get her body parts stuck together as well as accidentally glue herself to a toilet seat. Anyone who doesn't instantly want Dany to have the Iron Throne for having to go through this awful experience needs to soften those Joffrey-like hearts.
Game of Thrones is currently airing Season 7 on HBO, and is all new on Sunday, July 23, at 9 p.m. ET. Those who have seen the premiere may want to read about how Maisie Williams felt about that opening scene, or read about some crazy theories on the show that might actually be true. Fans looking for shows to watch beyond the world of Westeros should visit our summer premiere guide.