House of the Dragon Post-Mortem of “The Heirs of the Dragon”

Aemma (Sian Brooke), Viserys (Paddy Considine), King's Landing 1x01 (1)-min

The much anticipated series premiere of House of the Dragon finally hit our screens last night, and it did not disappoint. The action packed episode brought us a Great Council, brutal street justice, a bloody tourney and even bloodier birth, a heartwrenching funeral, and the naming of a new heir – and of course some brothel scenes thrown in for good measure. While we anxiously await what next Sunday will bring, let’s go behind the scenes with today’s interviews and videos!

Young Rhaenyra (Milly Alcock), Funeral 1x01

First up, Milly Alcock discusses the “interesting” dynamic young Rhaenyra has with her uncle, Daemon Targaryen (Matt Smith), in the New York Post. “Me and Matt came to a mutual understanding: that [the relationship] is charged, but it’s under the surface. It’s almost like they’re having two conversations in every scene. It’s like what they’re actually saying, and what they’re saying in their body language, and in their eyes, and in their tone.” She adds, “It was really fun to play with, and to work with Matt. He’s such a generous actor, and he’s so kind and considerate, it elevated my performance.

Alcock goes on to share that Rhaenyra’s youth and naivete play a role in her confused feelings about her uncle. “I think Rhaenyra is at an age where she can’t tell the difference between platonic love, romantic love, and lust, because she hasn’t lived long enough and gone through those experiences. So, I think that she understands that there’s a feeling here [with Daemon], but she’s not quite sure where it lands, and how to behave with it and navigate it.” Time will tell whether Daemon will use that confusion to his advantage to get what he wants.

For more of Alcock’s thoughts on Rhaenyra, check out the entire article here.

Corlys (Steve Toussaint), Small Council 1x01

The casting of Steve Toussaint as Corlys Velaryon has been criticized by some fans and book purists (very unfairly as his performance so far has been outstanding), but he isn’t fazed by it. He tells Men’s Health, “For the most part of this whole experience, I’ve been sanguine about it…What has been wonderful is for every toxic person that has somehow found their way into my timeline, there have been so many others who have been so supportive and been like, ‘Oh my god, I can’t wait, this is going to be great!'”

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Toussaint hasn’t let it distract him from breathing life into Corlys, one of Westeros’ most iconic characters though. He’s all about legacy and about getting as close as possible to the throne. This season is a lot about interpersonal relationships, political maneuvering, and is slightly more intimate than Thrones at its height.” He adds, “But ultimately, for me, what his engine is, is the fact that he’s trying to elevate his family, elevate his name. When his wife was passed over for the crown, he seems to take it that much more personally than she does. Ambition is his driving force for most of the season.”

Be sure to check out the full interview at Men’s Health for additional insight into Toussaint’s character.

Criston Cole (Fabien Frankel), Daemon Targaryen (Matt Smith), Tourney 1x01

Last night we got a brief – albeit memorable – introducton to Criston Cole (Fabien Frankel), who gave the cocky Daemon Targaryen a beatdown and defeated him during the heir’s tourney. Frankel tells TV Line that his character is “a pretty ballsy guy, and I think that there is definitely a feeling, being from a lowborn family…he’s of Dornish descent, always an outsider from the get-go.”

Frankel thinks Cole’s outsider status is a positive in some ways. “There’s definitely a feeling of isolation, and therefore that comes with a boldness, and that enables him to be in the position to ask for Milly’s [Rhaenyra’s] favor.” It will be interesting to see the ramifications of that boldness in the weeks to come…

The video is worth a watch (if for no other reason than to see Frankel in all his handsome glory), so be sure to head over to TV Line.

Aemma (Sian Brooke), King's Landing 1x01 (1)

The saddest and most brutal scene in the premiere was the death of Aemma Arryn (Sian Brooke) in childbirth via forced c-section. Brooke goes into the mechanics of filming the bloody scene in an interview with Variety. “It was a bloodbath. Behind that belly was a whole bag full of blood and fluid. When the incision was made, they would have to time it with pumping this blood out of the belly.” She explains that the blood was also “cold and wet, seeping all over” and by the time they finished shooting “it looked like a horror movie.” It certainly was horrific to watch.

As difficult as it was for viewers, it took quite a toll on Brooke herself. “I was definitely quite hoarse…For a couple of days after filming, it sounded like I’d been out on a very good night and had a very good time. Sadly that didn’t happen; I was lying on the bed screaming.” She continues, “Thank goodness for modern medicine. Going into labor, you do feel like you’ve been in some sort of battle by the end of it, because every ounce of you goes into it. But it’s much worse in those times.”

Read the rest here.


In this week’s “Inside the Episode,” Ryan Condal, Miguel Sapochnik, Paddy Considine, Milly Alcock, and Matt Smith discuss Targaryen family dynamics and the role of women in Westeros.

In case you missed it, here is the preview for the weeks to come.

4 Comments

  1. I really liked the « Game revealed » videos they made during the last couple of seasons… I was hopping for the same this time around because I find the behind the scenes stuffs for those shows almost as interesting as the shows themselves! Let’s wait for the end of the season or the DVD I guess

  2. Balba,

    I like them too, but sometimes they add to the confusion.

    i.e. “Dany kind of forgot about the iron fleet”, “the end of the Dothraki”, etc…

  3. Mr Derp,

    Weren’t those comments on the “inside the episode” video, I don’t remember? Anyway, I loved to hear the art director, the vfx and sfx guys, etc. when they talk about their work, that’s what I’m interested in, I don’t know how that might be confusing haha! They deserve soooo much credits (regardless of the plot) and I think those featurettes did them justice in a way

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