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House of the Dragon stunt coordinator explains Rhea Royce’s “horse-riding accident”



Despite the fact that Game of Thrones focuses on the beauty of its characters’ little nuances, it is also renowned for its willingness to murder off important people. The prequel House of the Dragon is following in its footsteps, and has already killed off several fan-favorite characters. One of them was the death of Rhea Royce, caused by her husband Daemon Targaryen.

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Can you really spook a horse the way Daemon did to Rhea’s horse?

House of the Dragon’s stunt coordinator Rowley Irlam explained in an interview with THR if it’s really possible to scare a horse into throwing off its rider, “Yes. The way we did it was Matt grabs the reins of the horse and pulls hard. I promise you: If you do that to a horse, it will pull back, even when there’s an actor on them.”


“If a horse is startled and someone grabs hold of its head, it will want to go up — not necessarily up and over backward, that’s a cinematic interpretation of what happened — but, yes, that is a real thing that could happen. The horse that went over backward was mechanical, by the way.”

How Matt Smith learned to joust

Irlam also recalled how he taught Smith how to joust, “With Daemon [Targaryen, played by Matt Smith], the idea is that jousting is a bit like polo to him; it’s a rich man’s sport and he’s good at it, but he finds it boring. What can we do to embarrass him but not hurt him, and that hasn’t been done before? That’s how we came up with the idea of laying him on the rail. It really pressed the right buttons for his character.”

Read Next: Runes on Rhea Royce’s armor foreshadow a dark end for another character from House of the Dragon


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