With production of season 2 on the horizon it’s time to start looking ahead!
Ewan Mitchell gave his first ever interview for House of the Dragon in December (Inside the Episode featurettes notwithstanding), in which he discussed why his character, Aemond Targaryen, is the way he is and what we can look forward to next season.
The notoriously shy 25-year old discussed the change his character underwent in season 1 with The Face, describing the Aemond we meet in episodes 6 and 7, played by Leo Ashton, as a “neglected, friendless, bullied boy who really never found a place in the family,” and explaining that this experience enables him to connect to the behemoth, Vhagar.
“She’s enormous but also the loneliest. She’s so big she can’t fit within the confines of any castle wall, like Aemond,” he said. “He doesn’t fit in anywhere, and so he identifies with her … Not only does he find his voice, but he also makes a friend. A character like Aemond never really felt that unconditional love from his family, but he’s found it in this dragon. What does that do? It changes him.”
Indeed, Mitchell seems to fully accept his character’s propensity for villainy, calling him “a whole other monster” and drawing parallels between his one-eyed character and famous mythological terrors.
“That was one of the first things Ryan Condal and Miguel Sapochnik wanted to think about: the legend of The Cyclops in Greek mythology, and how he ultimately traded one of his eyes to Hades in order to see the day he would die,” Mitchell said. “What does that do to a person, to possess that extreme degree of self-certainty? To know the day you’re going to go down, and feel bulletproof to a point. I’m not saying Aemond is a seer, but he’s scary perceptive.”
As perceptive as Aemond may be, he very much escalated the conflict between the Greens and Blacks by accidentally killing his nephew in the last episode of the season.
“I guess Aemond is the guy who kickstarts the domino effect that’ll lead to the Dance of the Dragons,” Mitchell admitted. “If season one was about seeing Aemond getting warmed up, season two is all-out war.”
While the term “fan favorite” is a bit hard to assign to any character in a show with a cast as large as House of the Dragon’s, Aemond certainly made a strong (heh heh ) impression on viewers, and Mitchell has appreciated the fan response.
“It’s been endearing to have people come up to you, be it positively or negatively. To know that you’ve elicited a reaction through your performance as a collective, to have made that impression, is brilliant.”
Pre-production for season 2 is currently underway and Mitchell has shaved his head for wig fittings. Shooting will take eight months and Mitchell is excited to get back to it: “I really want to see the work speak for itself,” he said. “I want to get back into Westeros as soon as I can, and get back to work.”
In other exciting season 2 news, show writer Sara Hess confirmed to Variety that fans can look forward to another major moment in canon, the infamous Blood and Cheese. (Do not google that, o Unsullied ones!)
“We are currently writing the finale of Season 2,” Hess told Variety when asked last month if the “House of the Dragon” writers’ room had already penned the on-screen version of the infamous Blood and Cheese storyline. “I don’t think you will be disappointed.”
The heinous Blood and Cheese, if written and played off well, will effect show fans as powerfully as it has impacted book readers.