If you want to be the Khal, you’ve got to beat the Khal. Problem is, when that Khal is Jason Momoa, your hands better be ready for some Game of Thrones-style treachery if you go up against Khal Drogo in a high-stakes, alcohol-fueled round of…the slap game?!
Yes, the slap game. Of all the matchups that Game of Thrones co-creator David Benioff could have picked as a way to challenge a burly, bellicose horse warrior, he had to go and pick one that pairs two of Momoa’s reputed fortés: booze and brawn.
The story of how Momoa slapped Benioff right into the emergency room is the subject of a fun new animated short feature fresh from HBO. Benioff begins the tale with what sounds like solid reasoning for getting his Game of Thrones slap game on with Momoa: “I’m going to challenge the Khal,” he explains, “because if I beat the Khal, I’m the Khal.”
One of three launch-day videos in HBO’s new animated series of behind-the-scenes looks at its biggest shows, “HBO Backstories: Game of Thrones” unfurls Benioff’s humbling ordeal as he realized, after a fateful evening of drinking with Momoa and fellow co-creator D.B. Weiss, he’d never, ever get to be the Khal.
Yes, Benioff’s swollen hands, which “doubled in size overnight” after taking one too many Dothraki hits, eventually landed him at the hospital. After some x-rays and a recounting of how he ended up with “catcher’s mitt hands,” Benioff says the doctor’s diagnosis “was that Jason Momoa had squished my hands.”
Momoa’s stint on GoT ended tragically all the way back in 2012, leaving Danaerys to face a cruel future with only her dragons (and Jorah Mormont) to console her. But some memories linger — and Benioff sounds like he’ll carry his ill-fated encounter with the hands of the Khal until long after Game of Thrones has passed from this existence and ridden across the sky. Until then, though, we’ll be keeping a close eye on everyone’s paws as Game of Thrones wends its way through its 8th and final season at HBO.