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GAME OF THRONES

‘House of the Dragon’ Writer ‘Baffled’ by Thirst for Daemon Targaryen

Daniel Roman
Emma D’Arcy as Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen and Matt Smith as Prince Daemon Targaryen in ‘House of the Dragon.’
Emma D’Arcy as Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen and Matt Smith as Prince Daemon Targaryen in ‘House of the Dragon.’ / Ollie Upton/HBO
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This article contains spoilers for House of the Dragon.

Chances are good that if you’ve been on Twitter since House of the Dragon premiered back in August, you’ve come across some meme or another thirsting after Daemon Targaryen, the rogue prince played by Matt Smith.

Daemon is a gray character through and through—he has committed some of the most heinous acts on the show thus far, such as murdering his own wife and seducing his teenage niece. But he’s also charming and has also had some stand-up moments, like when he executed Vaemond Velaryon for accusing his wife (the same niece, but grown up) of having passed her bastard children off as legitimate, or helping his ailing brother Viserys onto the Iron Throne one last time.

House of the Dragon writer doesn’t understand why Daemon is an “Internet Boyfriend.”

The Hollywood Reporter recently interviewed House of the Dragon executive producer and writer Sara Hess and director Clare Kilner, who worked on Episode 9. Despite how many millions of fans around the world are obsessed with Daemon Targaryen, Hess says she simply doesn’t understand it.

“He’s become Internet Boyfriend in a way that baffles me,” Hess admitted. “Not that Matt isn’t incredibly charismatic and wonderful, and he’s incredible in the role. But Daemon himself is … I don’t want him to be my boyfriend! I’m a little baffled how they’re all, ‘Oh, daddy!’ And I’m just like: ‘Really?’ How—in what way—was he a good partner, father or brother—to anybody? You got me. He ain’t Paul Rudd.”

Kilner has a much easier time imagining it: “I just love the fact people are so involved with these characters, and I think that’s part of the fun of it,” she said. “One minute you like someone, and the next minute you like someone else. But I’m not surprised. Matt is such a risk-taker in his performances and he’s got that little smile and, you know … you can’t help it! He is charismatic. People love a baddie. But I don’t think he’s particularly a good father or a good brother.”

We will see a “different side” of Daemon Targaryen in the House of the Dragon finale.

Despite any confusion one way or the other about Daemon’s suitability as a romantic partner, there’s no denying that he’s a man who often lives on the edge. He’s as dangerous as he is entrancing. And with the greens usurping Rhaenyra’s throne in the most recent episode, Daemon will once more be going to war to defend his family’s birthright.

“We will see a different side of him,” Hess said. “And right now, we’re writing season two and figuring out, what is the nature of his relationship with Rhaenyra? There are many interpretations [in George R.R. Martin’s book Fire & Blood] to that.”

The House of the Dragon season finale airs this Sunday on HBO and HBO Max.

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