‘House of the Dragon’: Matt Smith Describes Prince Daemon as ‘Agent of Chaos’
“House of the Dragon” is bringing back those massive battle scenes, sprawling, stunning sets, and of course those fire-breathing dragons that “Game of Thrones” fans can’t get enough of.
The prequel is about to debut on HBO, with new faces to tell the epic story of the Targaryen dynasty, set 200 years before Daenerys’ reign as the Mother of Dragons.
“Extra’s” Jenn Lahmers caught up with cast members Matt Smith, Paddy Considine, Olivia Cooke and Emma D’Arcy to find out more about the series.
Smith, who starred in “The Crown,” is taking on another royal role, this time as Prince Daemon Targaryn, brother to Considine’s King Viserys.
Smith describes him as “a dragon rider,” saying, “He’s a bit chaotic, bit mad, does what he wants.”
That’s a huge contrast to Viserys, whom Paddy describes as a “very good ruler, righteous man, handsome, loving, caring, compassionate, patient.”
“Game of Thrones” was known for violence, but Considine said as the king he had to “contain my violence… You can’t be a king if ya go around swiping everyone’s head off. That’s not very responsible.”
Meanwhile, Smith describes Daemon as an “agent of chaos.”
“I love playing a villain,” he said, clarifying, “not that he’s a straight villain, Daemon; I think there’s more depth… I don't think he wants the throne. That was a big question when we started the series and the producers were like, 'He wants the throne. Does he want the throne?' And I don't think, I think he's just an agent of chaos and he wants to cause conflict and arguments and disharmony — that’s when he feels alive.”
His adversary is his niece Rhaenyra, played by actresses Emma D’Arcy and Milly Alcock, as the show jumps back and forth between two time periods. Despite being the king’s firstborn, she is not expected to inherit the throne.
Emma explained, “Rhaenyra is a person trying to live authentically.” When asked if she wants the throne, D’Arcy would only say, “No comment,” while Olivia teases, “Of course she does.”
The star further explained, “I think fundamentally what she wants is agency. She’s a person who receives power and has no agency… She’s reaching out for actually a masculine freedom where it’s available. She sees, for example, her Uncle Daemon. They are very alike, yet the rules are applied completely differently. And he has the freedom to access to everything she craves and she is always looking to push at the edges of womanhood, at the space afforded her, and eventually she starts carving out a new space to occupy.”
Olivia plays Lady Alicent Hightower, whose father is the Hand of the King. She told Jenn her character is “best mates to Rhaenyra Targyran,” adding her character quickly realizes she’s “a pawn in his political agenda.”
See all their characters in action when “House of the Dragon” premieres August 21 on HBO and HBO Max.