Christina Pellegrini
June 04, 2016 9:55 am
HBO

Daenerys Targaryen might be able to walk through fire, but Emilia Clarke, the actress who plays the young Queen of Meereen, says she feels the heat when it comes to Game of Thrones critics.

Emilia recently spoke to Time about the fact that she’s starred in a bunch of beloved franchises, including Broadway’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s adaptation, the Terminator sequel Terminator Genisys, and Me Before You, based on the bestselling Jojo Moyes novel. And we all know how sensitive people can be about their favorite books and movies (hey, we’re guilty of it, too!).

“I’ve made the naive choices to take on roles that are beloved in books, that’s literally everything I’ve done. For better or worse, I’ve worked really hard on all of them and tried very hard to make sure all the fans were happy and that I was on the right track,” Emilia told TIME. “For the first time ever in [Me Before You], I read it and said I know her. I’ve got this.”

Despite her formidable appearance on GoT, Emilia is actually a very happy-go-lucky kinda gal, always cracking jokes (she definitely seems like someone we’d befriend IRL). But despite Dany’s undeniable fierceness and two Emmy nods, Emilia still gets a lot a flak from detractors who don’t think she’s doing Daenerys-from-the-books justice.

“It’s like I’m voluntarily walking into the fire every time,” Emilia went on. “I’m like, ‘hello I’m sorry I’m currently having a good time, I would quite like to be in pain.’ With Game of Thrones there’s always that pressure. And the bigger it gets, the bigger the pressure. I’m like, don’t let this be the season where she f—s it up because I really could.”

We think she’s doing an amazing job. Hang in there, Dany!

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