Hollywood has its own share of ups and downs where not everyone is fortunate enough to make it big right off the bat. Actor Jason Momoa, who is currently busy with his upcoming mega role in Dune, faced this reality in the harshest way even though he was once a part of the hit HBO series Game of Thrones and will always be remembered as the powerful Dothraki leader Khal Drogo. But his exit from the show was a blow that left his family “starving” and financially struggling.
Season 1 of Game of Thrones introduced Jason Momoa as “The Great Khal” Khal Drogo, the fearsome warlord of a Dothraki khalasar, who married Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke). But even though he went on to become an instant favourite for fans of the series, the one thing the HBO series was notoriously famous for was not holding itself back when it came to killing a beloved character whether George R. R. Martin’s stories, the ones GoT was based on, demanded it on not.
That was the fate that befell Momoa’s Khal Drogo as after appearing for just 10 episodes, his character was killed off in 2011. The actor had shared with Entertainment Weekly that he already knew that it was going to happen when he was auditioning for the role as he had read Martin’s book on which the first season was based on.
“I was reading it and I was like: “Holy sh*t! F**k, I’m dead!” … It’s amazing what [George R. R. Martin] sets up. Here’s your lead characters, you’re supposed to think about them one way, and you hate them, then you love them, and then they’re killed and it’s a whirlwind of emotion. All the little kids and even the smallest of characters just grow and grow and grow. He built a beautiful world. I’m bummed I’m not going back. To play Khal Drogo was phenomenal and I wished there was more stuff he could have done, I’m going to miss that character.”
But what Jason Momoa wasn’t expecting was for his GoT stint to not give his career the push his impactful role of Khal Drogo should have possessed. This could be because his part in the story came to an end long before the HBO series attained worldwide fame as well as the long string of awards well into its eighth and final season. As the other projects the actor was working on failed to take off as well, post his GoT exit he was financially crippled and his family was “starving” as he struggled to pay the bills.
“I mean, we were starving after Game of Thrones. I couldn’t get work. It’s very challenging when you have babies and you’re completely in debt.”
But thankfully that past is behind him. Ever since he landed the coveted role of the sea lord Aquaman in 2014’s Justice League, followed by starring in the standalone Aquaman in 2018, which earned $1.1 billion worldwide and became DC’s highest-grossing film to date, there has been no looking back for Jason Momoa. Today, the actor is balancing a busy schedule up until 2024, juggling multiple projects of which one is the upcoming science-fiction flick Dune whose trailer was a moment of true wonder for Momoa.
“It was ‘Josh Brolin, Jason Momoa, Javier Bardem,’ and I’m just like, ‘Oh my god. I can’t believe my name was with those names.’ I feel like I’m still a kid, freaking out.”
Dune, all set for an October 2021 release, will see Momoa as the warrior Duncan Idaho opposite Timothée Chalamet’s Paul Atreides as they fight a doomed war on a desert planet, Arrakis. This news comes to us via InStyle.