In season seven of the TV series Game Of Thrones, the young woman and would-be conqueror vacillates between egalitarian and tyrannical, vulnerable and brutal.

Who doesn’t have strong feelings about the Khaleesi?

London-born actor Emilia Clarke is seen here in her role as Daenerys Targaryen, rendered to iconic stature by the masterful hand of artist John Ed De Vera. The same role launched the 30-year-old to stardom in 2011, and she has parlayed that fame into movie roles, as in the sci-fi franchise Terminator Genisys and in the romantic drama Me Before You.

Clarke, a graduate of the Drama Center London and a veteran of stage plays, now splits her time between London and Los Angeles as she steps further into the limelight with a role in the upcoming Star Wars Han Solo movie.

An outspoken women’s rights activist, she has frequently advocated against sexism and gender inequality in the film industry, while keeping her own sense of success in careful check.

In a 2012 interview with the UK press, she has confessed that her “. . .life is unrecognizable compared to what it was—Game of Thrones has opened doors that were never there before. But it can be dangerous to see it in those terms, I think. It’s best to take it as it comes and work as hard as you come, and hopefully the other things fall into place.”

~ KARL R. De MESA, TV and Movie Critic