If there was one factor you might at all times rely on Game of Thrones for, it was graphic, horrific violence. (And intercourse.) There have been canine maulings and cranium squishes, large zombies and unwilling testicle removing. Issues acquired wild on that present, and typically, it felt prefer it got here out of nowhere.
That’s definitely what occurs within the premiere episode of Home of the Dragon, HBO’s new Thrones prequel. [Warning: Spoilers ahead.] After King Viserys Targaryen (Paddy Considine) convenes a kingdom-wide jousting event to have fun the approaching delivery of the kid he is aware of will likely be a son, we see his brother Daemon (Matt Smith) go head-to-head—or hand-to-hand, because it had been—with the mysterious and good-looking Ser Criston Cole (Fabien Frankel).
Across the similar time, Viserys is summoned to his queen’s chamber, the place he finds out that the child is breech, making supply an impossibility. He’s given a alternative: Both the physician can reduce the child out of his beloved spouse—with out anesthesia or her consent! Whee!—or they will roll the cube and threat the deaths of each his spouse and the child. Viserys takes the previous, and the ensuing scene is brutal and grotesque, exemplifying the cruelty of the Thrones world, the place typically, it’s actually all nearly preserving the road it doesn’t matter what. The newborn is born, on the expense of the all-too-short lifetime of Aemma Targaryen (Sian Brooks), and, sadly, dies shortly thereafter.
WIRED talked to the forged of Home of the Dragon concerning the episode’s brutal first bang—and what it means for his or her characters’ futures in King’s Touchdown.
Capturing the Joust Was a Large, Humorous Manufacturing
The premiere’s massive joust scene required not solely a quintain space, but in addition huge stands and a platform on which members of the king’s court docket might watch. Twenty or so core gamers had been on that dais and at the least 100 extras had been on the set at any given time. “It was our first group scene,” says Emily Carey, who performs younger Alicent Hightower. It was simply taking pictures on the studio backlot, however Carey says doing that scene was the primary second the place she was actually reminded that, “Hey, that is Recreation of Thrones. Individuals are going at one another with lances.”
Carey says that whereas the motion within the scene might get intense, the precise taking pictures was light-hearted, if solely as a result of Considine and Rhys Ifans, who performs Otto Hightower, had been like “uncles at a marriage, the place one among them cracks a joke after which the opposite has to make a funnier joke, after which they maintain one-upping themselves.”
Don’t Fear: That Wasn’t Matt Smith Doing His Personal Stunts
Whereas Matt Smith says he was on set for a lot of the jousting shoot, he wasn’t really taking his personal falls. As a substitute, it was his stunt double, Eduardo Gago Muñoz. “It’s not my pure habitat to be on a horse,” Smith says, including that he and Frankel would pop into the scenes after the doubles took their falls.
That doesn’t imply the duo didn’t be taught to journey, although: Frankel says the Dragon gang took classes at The Devil’s Horsemen, “a extremely outdated British establishment that’s been educating actors to journey for years.” Since Frankel had by no means ridden earlier than, he began sluggish, on a really primary horse, and labored his method up the proverbial ranks. By the top, he says, “you’re hopefully capable of canter and maintain some form of sword in your hand.”
Daemon’s Large Dragon Helmet Is Fairly—Heavy
Whereas many of the joust opponents have pretty primary or conventional armor, Daemon enters the competitors carrying a helmet lined with ornate designs and protruding dragon wings. Smith says the piece of costuming was “fairly heavy,” weighing an estimated 5 kilograms (about 11 kilos). “All the armor is kind of heavy,” he says, “but it surely seems fabulous.” He credit HOTD costume designer Jany Temime with making the helmet “really feel form of dragon-like, but in addition elegant and classy on the similar time.”
All the things Is Painful for Rhaenys Targaryen, the Queen Who By no means Was
To start with of the premiere, we see the king’s eldest grandchild, Rhaenys Targaryen, being handed over in favor of her youthful male cousin, Viserys. It’s a wound that festers even now, with members of the dominion nonetheless believing she would have been a greater ruler. That’s clear when one of many knights asks for her favor on the joust, calling her “the Queen Who By no means Was.” Eve Finest, who performs Rhaenys, says that transfer was “tremendous harmful in all points,” suggesting that her character would somewhat not remind the world of her declare to the throne.
“I don’t need him to say it in any respect, and never solely as a result of I do not need it to be continually thrown in my face,” she says. “It was the largest supply of disgrace in Rhaenys’ life, and the truth that it’s continually being referred to is de facto, actually annoying.”
What Rhaenys and husband Lord Corlys Valaryon (Steve Toussaint) do have is particular perception into the workings at court docket and the historical past of the dominion. When Rhaenys remarks on the event that each one the fighters have, as Finest places it, “their palms stuffed with metal and none of them have ever recognized actual battle,” it’s a reminder that King’s Touchdown has been below Targaryen rule for hundreds of years, leaving the empire somewhat lax and gentle.