Actor Joe Naufahu Talks Playing the New Khal on ‘Game of Thrones’ and Khaleesi’s Plight

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The New Zealander discusses joining the epic world of Westeros and what’s in store for the Mother of Dragons.

In the first episode of the Game of Thrones six season, Khaleesi (Emilia Clarke) is introduced to Khal Moro (Joe Naufahu), the new leader of the Dothraki. Moro is clearly attracted to the powerful queen, as much for her beauty as for her strength. But upon discovering that she is the widow of Khal Drogo (Jason Momoa), he immediately decrees that she is headed to Vaes Dothrak to join the rest of the previous Khals’ widows.

Then, in the second episode we learn that Khaleesi may not even be allowed to stay at Vaes Dothrak if a council made up of the various high-ranking Dothraki do not agree to it. Does this mean they’d kill her or simply banish her? We’re betting on the former. This is the Dothraki we’re talking about.

Naufahu spoke with Celebuzz exclusively about joining the sprawling HBO show and his role in Khaleesi’s fate. Could the new Khal help the queen gain her freedom?

Khal Moro “could be an ally,” said Naufahu. “It would be a massive break from tradition and also quite a jump for the storyline too.”

The Khals of Game of Thrones are some of the most brutal leaders depicted. Treating women like chattel and garnering leadership for their victories and sheer physical ability, like killing lots and lots of people.

Daenerys Targaryen has lost her royal status in her new environment and could face some brutal new challenges in order to survive. But Naufahu hinted that although she isn’t surrounded by the unsullied right now, she is still a force to be reckoned with.

“The thing about Khaleesi… Even when she’s in the direst of situations … she’s got pretty wicked weapons at her disposal. No matter what the situation.”

Jorah Mormont (Iain Glen) and Khaleesi’s latest lover Daario Naharis (Michael Huisman) have set off to find her, and her largest dragon is on the loose…somewhere. She also still has an army currently keeping order in Meereen. So yeah, she has many cards to play.

Naufahu also discussed the pressure he felt when cast in the HBO show, considering the feverish fandom.

“It’s like when, maybe, if you’re playing football (soccer, to you Americans) and you get traded to a new team. The fans there have their expectations. You know, you’re coming into a franchise that’s already set up and established and…it can be daunting.”

How soon will we know if the new Khal is a friend or a foe to Daenerys?

“This next episode will be really cool,” Naufahu said. “I’ve got some good stuff… I think the question will probably be answered.”