If you were to ask me to rate my personal amount of Game of Thrones fan devotion, I think I'd probably be like a 4 or 5, assuming the scale goes from "1: Never Heard of It" to "10: Physically Transforms Self Into Characters." Interestingly enough, there's one GoT fan who literally embodies that level 10 status, now that he's essentially morphed himself into Dothraki leader Khal Drogo.
A 29-year-old graphic designer from California named René Koiter takes his cosplay so seriously, he spent 10 months working to turn himself into Drogo -- a process which included lifting weights, learning Dothraki (!), and growing out his hair for extensions. A costume designer helped him create the right outfit, and he employed a hair and makeup artist to change his appearance. The results, which he revealed at his company's costume party: FREAKISHLY AMAZING.
Koiter packed on at least 10 pounds of muscle in order to take on the role of Drogo, reportedly ditching sugar and carbs for veggies, fruits, eggs, oatmeal, chicken, lean beef, fish, and protein shakes. (Sigh. No one ever gets in awesome shape by absently eating like 47 fistfuls of dry Golden Grahams in one sitting, do they?) Despite his personal dedication to the project, Koiter says that he couldn't have pulled it off without some outside help:
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.
As for what he looks like in full Drogo Mode, I'd say he pulled it off big time:
Here's the viral video of him appearing at his Blizzard Entertainment costume party, complete with authentic Dothraki speech and cowled translator:
The only downside of looking like a hot beefy hunk of Horse Lord?
Many marriage proposals have been flung at me. My joking response to these women is usually, ‘Can you eat a horse heart like Daenerys 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.
Koiter's already got plans for another Game of Thrones project. Based on this photo of him NOT in costume, can you guess who he'll transform into next?
Images via HBO, Kenneth Pfeifer Photography, René Koiter