- Share this article on Facebook
- Share this article on Twitter
- Share this article on Email
- Show additional share options
- Share this article on Print
- Share this article on Comment
- Share this article on Whatsapp
- Share this article on Linkedin
- Share this article on Reddit
- Share this article on Pinit
- Share this article on Tumblr
It was there from the first episode of House of the Dragon. And after last week’s episode, the thirsty tweets and memes really exploded: The murderous Daemon Targaryen (Matt Smith) is an object of online desire.
Two moments, in particular, seemed to send admirers over the top: The prince helping his estranged brother, ailing King Viserys, as he stumbled on his way to the Iron Throne; and then beheading Vaemond Velaryon, who committed treason by insulting Daemon’s wife, Rhaenyra. (Never mind that Daemon also murdered his previous wife merely because she was inconvenient — that was four whole episodes ago!)
The Hollywood Reporter recently chatted with Dragon writer and executive producer Sara Hess and director Clare Kilner about the ninth episode of the HBO fantasy hit and threw in the following question: Some viewers have really fallen for Daemon after the last episode when he helped his brother as he stumbled on the way to the Throne to decide the heir of Driftmark. But wasn’t that Daemon helping the king do what he wanted him to do anyway — to make a ruling in his daughter’s favor? If Viserys was about to rule against Rhaenyra, Daemon would have let his brother fall flat on his face. In other words, aren’t all of Daemon’s moments, even the seemingly benevolent ones, ultimately self-serving?
Hess replied: “I agree with you. He’s become Internet Boyfriend in a way that baffles me. Not that Matt isn’t incredibly charismatic and wonderful, and he’s incredible in the role. But Daemon himself is … I don’t want him to be my boyfriend! I’m a little baffled how they’re all, ‘Oh, daddy!’ And I’m just like: ‘Really?’ How — in what way — was he a good partner, father or brother — to anybody? You got me. He ain’t Paul Rudd. What do you think, Clare?”
Kilner, for her part, seemed to relate a bit to the feels.
“I just love the fact people are so involved with these characters, and I think that’s part of the fun of it,” she said. “One minute you like someone, and the next minute you like someone else. But I’m not surprised. Matt is such a risk-taker in his performances and he’s got that little smile and, you know … you can’t help it! He is charismatic. People love a baddie. But I don’t think he’s particularly a good father or a good brother.”
Hess teased that — possible mild spoiler alert — fans’ view of Daemon might be challenged again by Sunday’s finale, as well as in season two, which is expected sometime in 2024.
“We will see a different side of him,” Hess said of the finale. “And right now, we’re writing season two and figuring out, what is the nature of his relationship with Rhaenyra? There are many interpretations [in George R.R. Martin’s book Fire & Blood] to that.”
Sign up for THR news straight to your inbox every day