Game of Thrones star Emilia Clarke hails portrayal of women in fantasy show
Game Of Thrones actress Emilia Clarke has praised the show for creating female characters which "accept our femininity".
The HBO drama, based on George RR Martin's epic fantasy novels, much of it filmed at locations in Northern Ireland, has been a huge hit around the globe but has also widely been accused of misogyny because of its depiction of sexual violence.
Clarke, who plays royal exile Daenerys Targaryen, told Radio Times magazine that the female characters had become stronger.
She said of the new, fifth series: "You start to see all of the women in the show accepting who they are and embodying that with such power that it's palpable.
"I think that's the beauty of the show: as women, we accept our femininity and take strength from it, as opposed to trying to hide it and behave in a masculine way."
Maisie Williams, who plays Arya Stark, promised big changes in the new episodes, which are broadcast on Sky Atlantic in the UK.
"When I say, 'There's a massive change in Game of Thrones', I think it's the first time I've actually meant it.
"People are going to think, 'You go through a change every year!'
"But this year it's on a completely different level, and that's why it's so exciting.
"It sounds so broad, but actually 'change' is really, really specific," she said.