House of the Dragon Debuts New Look at Matt Smith’s Daemon Targaryen

HBO’s House of the Dragon has released a brand-new image featuring Matt Smith in full armor as Daemon Targaryen, one of the central characters in the upcoming Game of Thrones prequel. Matt Smith’s casting received mixed reactions initially due to the British star’s perceived good guy persona, thanks to his stint as Doctor Who. But the House of the Dragon promos have done a great job of showcasing Smith as the charismatic yet vicious dragon rider, Daemon Targaryen.

Like most of the characters in Game of Thrones, Daemon Targaryen is also morally gray and desires the Iron Throne. Matt Smith recently talked to Empire Magazine about Daemon and his loyalties, saying:

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“Daemon is there to cause chaos and pi*s people off because, simply, it entertains him. [Daemon] and Otto loathe one another. 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.”

Otto Hightower, played by Rhys Ifans, is the Hand of the King to Viserys I Targaryen (Paddy Considine). Otto’s daughter Alicent (Olivia Cooke) is married to Viserys, and the pair have two sons, Aegon and Aemond. As such, there is significant tension between Otto and Daemon, who both covet the Iron Throne for themselves or their family. However, Daemon is the King’s younger brother, and while their relationship is tumultuous, they are bound by blood, and the prince holds considerable sway over the King. And that’s something that doesn’t sit well with Otto.

Ifans also talked about the character, calling Otto a “high-flying political creature, a black belt in statecraft, a pragmatist and a manipulator.” He continued, “[Daemon is] volatile, violent and impulsive. Any influence he has on the king is detrimental to the status quo.”

House of the Dragon is nearly upon us. The highly anticipated show is set to premiere on HBO on August 21, 2022. Be sure to tune in to witness more of Daemon and Otto’s rivalry and the other deceptions, backstabbings, and shifting loyalties the franchise is famous for.

House Of The Dragon Will Not Have Any Likable Characters Like Game Of Thrones

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Daemon Targaryen won’t be the only shady figure in House of the Dragon. In fact, the show doesn’t have any likable characters at all, unlike Game of Thrones, which featured the likes of universally beloved Jon Snow and Arya Stark. George R.R. Martin teased the grounded, gritty nature of House of the Dragon recently, saying:

“It’s powerful, it’s visceral, it’s dark, it’s like a Shakespearean tragedy. There’s no Arya — a character everybody’s going to love. They’re all flawed. They’re all human. They do good things. They do bad things. They’re driven by lust for power, jealousy, old wounds — just like human beings. Just like I wrote them.”

While House of the Dragon will go back to the roots and deliver the treachery and power struggles the earlier seasons of Game of Thrones heavily relied upon, it won’t be short on spectacle either. The 10-episode series carries a budget of almost $200 million, and it’s not all for costumes and grand set-pieces. House of the Dragon will show the Targaryen dynasty at its absolute peak, so expect plenty of fiery dragons and wars.