Baffled fans of House of the Dragon producer fall for Matt Smith’s demon – The Hollywood Reporter
It was there from the first episode of Dragon House. And after last week’s episode, the thirsty tweets and memes really exploded: murderous demon Targaryen (Matt Smith) is an object of desire online.
Two moments, in particular, seemed to send admirers to the top: the prince helping his estranged brother, the ailing King Viserys, as he stumbled on his way to the Iron Throne; then beheading Vaemond Velaryon, who committed treason by insulting Daemon’s wife, Rhaenyra. (Nevermind Daemon also murdered his previous wife because she was just annoying – that was four whole episodes ago!)
The Hollywood Reporter recently chatted with Dragon writer and executive producer Sara Hess and director Clare Kilner on the ninth episode of HBO’s fantasy hit and asked the following question: Some viewers really fell for Daemon after the last episode where he helped his brother as he stumbled his way to the Throne to decide the heir of Driftmark. But wasn’t this Demon helping the king do what he wanted him to do anyway: make a decision in favor of his daughter? If Viserys was about to speak out against Rhaenyra, Daemon would have let his brother fall flat on his face. In other words, aren’t all of Daemon’s moments, even seemingly kind ones, ultimately selfish?
Hess replied, “I agree with you. He became internet boyfriend in a way that baffles me. Not that Matt isn’t incredibly charismatic and wonderful, and he’s amazing in the role. But Daemon himself is… I don’t want him to be my boyfriend! I’m a little bewildered at how they’re all like, ‘Oh, daddy!’ And I’m like, ‘Really?’ How – in what way – was he a good partner, father or brother – for anybody? You got me. It’s not Paul Rudd. What do you think, Claire?
Kilner, for his part, seemed to relate a little to the sensations.
“I love that people are so engaged with these characters, and I think that’s part of the fun,” she said. “One minute you love someone, and the next minute you love someone else. But I’m not surprised. Matt takes so many risks in his performances and he has this little smile and, you know…you don’t “You can’t help it! He’s charismatic. People love a bad guy. But I don’t think he’s a particularly good father or brother.”
Hess teased that – possible light spoiler alert – fans‘ views on Daemon could be challenged again by Sunday’s finale, as well as in season two, which is due sometime in 2024.
“We’ll see another side of him,” Hess said of the finale. “And right now we’re writing season 2 and looking at what is the nature of her relationship with Rhaenyra? There are many interpretations [in George R.R. Martin’s book Fire & Blood] so that.”