House Of The Dragon: Matt Smith’s Daemon Targaryen Is ‘There To Cause Chaos And Piss People Off’ – Exclusive Image

House Of The Dragon – Daemon Targaryen exclusive

by Ben Travis |
Published on

Game Of Thrones had more than its fair share of bastards – so much so, it even had a battle of them. From the petulant Joffrey Baratheon, to the sadistic Ramsay Bolton, to the evil zombified Night King, Westeros has proven to be a kingdom (or, seven) with more villains than heroes. Caught somewhere between the two was Daenerys Targaryen – who spent much of Thrones garnering audience sympathy with her rise to power, before going full scorched-earth tyrant when she finally flew her dragons to King’s Landing. If you think you’ve seen what a tooled-up Targaryen with a grudge is capable of, just you wait; House Of The Dragon has plenty more where that came from.

Set 200 years before Thrones and telling the story of the twisted Targaryen civil war that caused the great family’s downfall, House Of The Dragon is packed with blonde-haired backstabbers. If there’s one you need to keep an eye on, it’s Matt Smith’s Daemon Targaryen, younger brother of Paddy Considine’s King Viserys. “Daemon is there to cause chaos and piss people off because, simply, it entertains him,” Smith tells Empire, teasing a power struggle between the King, the marauding Daemon, and Rhys Ifans’ Hand Of The King, Otto Hightower. “[Daemon] and Otto loathe one another,” explains Smith. “They’re winding each other up, needling one another. And in the middle of it is Paddy, who plays Viserys. They’re both vying for his attention and his love.”

While Ifans applauds Otto for his tactical brilliance – describing him as “a high-flying political creature, a black belt in statecraft, a pragmatist and a manipulator” – he promises a formidable foe in Daemon. He’s “the king’s kryptonite,” Ifans says. “[Daemon is] volatile, violent and impulsive. Any influence he has on the king is detrimental to the status quo.” Get your flame-proof clothing on: a fresh batch of bastards are about to arrive.

House Of The Dragon

Read Empire’s full House Of The Dragon feature – speaking to showrunners Ryan Condal and Miguel Sapochnik, plus stars Paddy Considine, Emma D’Arcy, Olivia Cooke, Matt Smith, and Rhys Ifans, and packed with exclusive images – in the upcoming issue, on sale Thursday 4 August and available to pre-order online here. House Of The Dragon airs on Sky Atlantic / NOW from 22 August.

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