Real-Life Khal Drogo Looks even More Awesome than the TV Series Character

29-year-old Rene Koiter spent the past ten months exercising like a maniac. And now, all his efforts have finally paid off. After putting on 10 pounds of pure muscle, he has succeeded in perfectly resembling the terrifying Khal Drogo, leader of the Dothraki and husband of Daeneyrs Targaryen in The Game of Thrones TV series.

Koiter’s ‘before’ and ‘after’ pictures are pretty unbelievable. He used to be this regular guy, and look what he’s transformed into! He’s now a major heartthrob and women are practically queuing up at his doorstep with marriage proposals.

A big fan of the Game of Thrones universe, Koiter pretty much had his heart set on looking like Khal for his company’s annual Halloween cosplay. “Blizzard Entertainment, the company I work for, has these yearly Halloween competitions where the most creative employees show off their costumes and stage skills for the chance to procure prizes and glory,” he said in an interview.


Photos: Kenneth Pfeifer Photography

“I was always impressed by some of the portrayals in the previous years so I thought it would be fun to participate myself. Almost a year before the event, it struck me to go as Khal Drogo as I believed to have very similar physical characteristics.”


Photos: Kenneth Pfeifer Photography

In spite of these similarities, the transformation was no easy task. Koiter went about it professionally – he hired an eight-member team to help him look like the Khal, played by Jason Momoa in the hit TV series. A costume designer, a make-up artist and a hair stylist were part of the team that recreated the look.


Photos: Kenneth Pfeifer Photography

But the real transformation came from Koiter’s grit and determination for the past one year. He attended a boot camp class three times a week, worked out at the gym during lunch breaks and took long walks during the weekends. He also went on bike rides in the Californian sunshine to beef up, and also improve his tan. Thanks to his rigorous training regime, he is now strong enough to flip an 850-pound tire (almost as heavy as a horse).


Photos: Kenneth Pfeifer Photography

It wasn’t just about pumping iron, Koiter also changed his diet completely. “I used to be a big cereal junkie. I would eat that for breakfast, lunch and dessert. But no more,” he said. “I had to quit all sugars and simple carbs to achieve this look. Now I eat things like veggies, fruits, eggs, oatmeal, chicken, lean beef, fish and protein shakes.”


Photo: WoW Wiki

“Drogo was indeed a juggernaut of a character to bring to life. The whole process took almost ten months and what I’ll say is that you really need a team of people to build him properly. I spent months growing out my hair for extensions, pumping iron like a mad man and then mimicking his Dothraki speech and mannerisms.” Koiter was already fluent in five languages before he added Khal Drogo’s fictional dialect to the list.


Photo: Renee Koiter

The video of Koiter’s debut as Khal at the staff party was an instant hit – it went viral overnight with over a quarter million hits on YouTube. “Honestly, I had no idea what the reaction would be towards my transformation,” he said.

“Many marriage proposals have been flung at me. My joking response to these women is usually, ‘Can you eat a horse heart like Daeneyrs famously does in the TV series?’ Imagine my surprise when they come back to me, saying they would eat two hearts for me. It’s flattering of course, but I worry that people are mixing up the fantasy from the reality.”


Photos: Kenneth Pfeifer Photography

Nevertheless, Koiter loves the fact that he is able to entertain so many people. “For me the whole gig was to embrace something culturally and specifically American. I wanted to entertain my colleagues for a day and embrace my inner geek. In turn, it went viral and projected an amazing image of our company culture to the outside world. I am very proud of that.”

Don’t miss the video of Koiter’s performance as Khal, if you haven’t already seen it, that is. It’s immensely entertaining. He doesn’t speak a word of English, and even has a translator to communicate with the judges and the audience. He is extremely convincing as the powerful and feared warlord.


For his next project, Koiter is considering transforming into Jon Snow, another Game of Thrones character, played by Kit Harrington. Now that is certainly something to look forward to!

Photos: Kenneth Pfeifer Photography

via Geekpron

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