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Game of Thrones nearly killed Jason Momoa’s career for a stupid reason

Jason Momoa is known around the world as Duncan Idaho, Aquaman, and Khal Drogo. But, if it weren't for Snyder Game of Thrones might have ruined all his hopes.

Jason Momoa as Khal Drogo in Game of Thrones

Jason Momoa is Hollywood royalty right now. He’s been a part of some of the world’s biggest franchises, and the name ‘Jason Momoa‘ has become a massive draw for audiences, knowing that the star is bound to deliver a fun performance.

But, before Dune, and before the DCU and his time as one of the best DC characters, Momoa’s career was defined by Game of Thrones. Regarded in its heyday as one of the best TV series of the modern era, Game of Thrones led a resurgence of interest in the fantasy genre, and brought Momoa instant recognition. In the first two seasons he starred as the vicious and brutal Khal Drogo, torn straight from the pages of George RR Martin’s books.

However, while Momoa was brilliant in the Game of Thrones cast, the show almost ended his career. Speaking with Jimmy Fallon, Momoa revealed that he seriously struggled to find new roles after his time on the HBO show, because, “not a lot of people thought I spoke English.”

No, he wasn’t joking. Because Khal Drogo spoke the fictional language Dothraki in Game of Thrones, people assumed he couldn’t speak English and it hurt his chances when it came to audition. Momoa specifically recalled how he met Fred Armisen, the creator of the sketch comedy series Portlandia, and even Armisen said, “I didn’t even know you spoke English.” Momoa said it was, “heart-breaking! That’s why I wasn’t getting any jobs!”

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Momoa continued, explaining it wasn’t just the perceived language barrier that was holding him back, but also typecasting. “It’s like, what do you do with [the actor who plays] Drogo? You’re not going to put him in a comedy, you’re not going to put him in a romance: pigeon-holed.”

But, everything changed when Momoa auditioned for the DCU and met Zack Snyder. “That whole audition process was pretty crazy. Zack was a huge fan of Game of Thrones… he called me and wanted me to take Aquaman.” He continued, “So, thank you Game of Thrones. Now I’m Aquaman.”

Jason Momoa as Aquaman holding trident in Aquaman

So, if it wasn’t for Zack Snyder’s passion for Game of Thrones, and his vision for where Momoa could slot into his DCU, the fantasy series could have spelled disaster for the actor’s career. Since then, though, Momoa has led one of the DCU’s biggest hits, as well as taking on a major role in the best science fiction movie of recent times: Dune. It’s all worked out pretty well, then, for one of the most charismatic actors in Hollywood.

If you’re a Game of Thrones fan, check out our picks for the best Game of Thrones characters. If that’s not enough, see our guide to watching the DC movies in order, our picks for the best movies of all time.