While he’s currently best well-known as DC’s live-action version of Aquaman, Jason Momoa first made fans’ radars when he starred on Game of Thrones as the powerful Khal Drogo. He only performed the character for the first season of the series, but Momoa’s Drogo made a serious effect with those watching the show and remains one of favorite casting decisions throughout the show.
With a character as crucial as Khal Drogo early on, you’d think that the minds behind Game of Thrones put lots of time and effort into casting him, particularly considering how great Momoa turned out to be in the role. However, this casting can in fact be credited to the readers of the books.
If you follow Game of Thrones at all, you’ve perhaps seen the viral thread about creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss that has had everyone talking on social media. The thread of tweets is basically just a recap of a panel with the two makers, which reveals some pretty informative insight into how little they really knew about writing TV when they first landed the job with HBO.
At one point, Benioff and Weiss disclosed that they turned to online casting forums to get ideas for certain characters, including Khal Drogo.
Yes, as said by Benioff, Momoa was cast in Game of Thrones as the creators weren’t sure what to search for and they saw a fan online state that he could be excellent for the character. There’s something to be said for giving the fans what they desire, but this seems to be more about having no idea where to look and following the suggestion of book readers.
David is also saying that he went to fan casting pages and that is how they found Jason Mamoa.
— Needle & Pen (@ForArya) October 26, 2019
Casting wasn’t the single part of the work Benioff and Weiss explored on fan forums. Weiss revealed at one point that they were “geographically challenged,” and turned to the people online for their maps and breakdowns of Westeros.
This is definitely a weird approach to go about putting together one of the leading shows in history, but it also helps make sense of the end the show experienced in the final two seasons. Once there was no more source material to rely on, and no more fans online with idea of what’s to come, the story of the show found itself struggling.