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House of the Dragon casting director explains why Matt Smith is the perfect choice for Daemon Targaryen




One of the best features of the Game of Thrones franchise has always been its character casting. Even the creator of the GOTverse, George R. R. Martin, is in awe of them. Martin has repeatedly stated that Daemon Targaryen is his favorite Targaryen, and he loved writing about it. Portraying the character was a tough job, and Matt Smith did a phenomenal job at it.

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How casting Daemon was the hardest choice for directors

In a recent interview with IndieWire, House of the Dragon casting director Kate Rhodes James recalled the casting process of Daemon, “Everyone has an image in their head that they struggle to articulate [of Daemon].  need to know what’s in his heart.” 

“This is what’s so brilliant about them investing in the younger versions of Rhaenyra and Allicent, because [the series shows] what the adults do to children, how they destroyed them, which their own parents did,” James said. “We needed somebody that wasn’t obvious.”


How Matt Smith brings out the unpredictability in Daemon

One of the most impeccable things about Daemon is his unpredictability, and Matt Smith portrays it wonderfully. James discovered that Smith not only avoided being overt or acting in a way that emphasizes a character’s ultimate goodness or wickedness but also possessed a certain unpredictable quality that always grabs attention and elicits a response, even if he is merely resting against a doorway. “It’s people who [when they] lean in, you lean back. If someone leans back, you go, oh. And that’s what Matt does beautifully,” James said.

Read Next: Emma D’Arcy and Matt Smith explain the necessity of Rhaenyra and Daemon’s incestuous relationship in House of the Dragon


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