Jason Momoa slapped the Game of Thrones creator so hard he had to go to hospital – but to be fair, he was asking for it.
Literally. For some reason, co-creator David Benioff decided to challenge Khal Drogo himself to a ‘slap game’, in which opponents slap each other’s hands repeatedly until one of them can’t take it any more.
Admittedly it’s not the most sophisticated game, but they were obviously having fun and, of course, they’d had a few drinks beforehand.
The moment was recreated in a new animated short, released as part of HBO’s Backstories initiative:
The GoT creator explained the dangerous game took place a few years ago, when Momoa returned to the show to film his season two cameo. To celebrate the actor’s return, the cast and crew went drinking in Belfast, and that’s when things took a painful turn. At least, they did for Benioff.
The screenwriter challenged 6’3″ Momoa, and the pair consumed a few beers to help numb the pain that was about to come their way.
Remembering his thought process at the time, Benioff said:
I was like, I’m going to challenge the Khal. Because if I beat the Khal, I’m the Khal.
Needless to say, Benioff did not beat the Khal. Although the hopeful man got in a few slaps at the start, Jason Momoa soon unleashed his ‘firecracker’-like hits on the writer’s poor hands.
But Benioff didn’t want to go down too easily, as he explained:
I looked in Momoa’s eyes, I saw no mercy there, but I wouldn’t quit because I had my pride.
After a while, GoT star Emilia Clarke pointed out that the losing man’s hands did not look okay. More specifically, they looked like ‘catchers’ mitts with bubonic plague on them’.
The slap game came to an end, with a clear winner, and Benioff hoped his hands would look better in the morning. But time did him no favours, and they unfortunately ‘doubled in size’ overnight.
After enduring a long flight back to LA, the show creator went to the emergency room, where the doctor told him that ‘Jason Momoa had squished [his] hands’.
Benioff certainly learned his lesson, as he said:
It just goes to show, don’t challenge the Khal.
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Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.