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How Ryan Condal locked down Matt Smith as Daemon in House of the Dragon during the COVID pandemic

The showrunner needed two weeks of preparations just to meet Matt Smith.



Daemon begins to prepare for war
Credits: Max

It’s quite hard to believe that we have lived through a time when wearing masks and being vaccinated was as necessary as oxygen to breathe. The COVID-19 pandemic shut down various systems and threatened to disrupt entire industries. So, when Miguel Sapochnik and Ryan Condal envisioned a Game of Thrones spinoff show focusing on the Targaryens, they knew they had to act fast and see what becomes of it. Matt Smith was one of the first actors they thought of.

HBO was not too keen on monopolizing the Westeros universe. They felt that the story needed new angles and perspectives. Subsequently, HBO canceled the other spinoff titled Bloodmoon after it reportedly went over budget. House of the Dragon was a saving grace since it would give fans something refreshing while ensuring success for the channel.

Ryan Condal had Matt Smith in mind while creating the Targaryen-based prequel


Credit: Max

Matt Smith was one of the actors who made an instant impact on showrunner Ryan Condal’s mind. He was a potential star who could fit perfectly in the murky alleys of King’s Landing. Moreover, his recent performance as King Phillip in The Crown further propelled Condal to sign him on. According to Variety, Condal said, “He’s playing second fiddle, in that case, to his wife. In this case, it’s first to his brother, then to his niece, then to his wife.

The showrunner added, “It was one of those rare instances where you have an actor’s headshot up on the writers’ board. We had to go through two weeks of preparations just to get in the room with the guy. And he was dazzling.

Smith’s portrayal of Daemon Targaryen is beyond extraordinary. He truly connects with the role and exhibits all the qualities of a black sheep from rebellion to the uncurbed confidence that he deserves the world.

Also Read: Showrunner Ryan Condal describes House of the Dragon as a never-heard-before song cover

Smith had some concerns about House of the Dragon

daemon gold cloak Matt Smith

Credits: Max

Being a prequel to one of the most successful television series in the history of cinema, Smith was understandably concerned about the performance of House of the Dragon. He wanted to see if the fans truly want it and how they can make House of the Dragon a different entity than Game of Thrones.

Audiences have changed,” Smith says. “The way TV is consumed has changed. You can see a market saturate itself and envelop itself, and become obsolete. My concern is that we’ve seen this story told.

🔥🐉 Embark on a journey through Westeros with our Game of Thrones themed games – 🔡Hodordle | 🐲 Flappy Dragon or you can use our Valyrian Dictionary and Dothraki Dictionary to learn new words. You can also interact with fans of the show on our Discord group🔥🐉

Smith can see the response for himself as fans are cheering for more seasons and can’t wait to see the ultimate Dance of the Dragons. House of the Dragon has charted newer levels of success and excitement, something comparable to the cultural zeitgeist of Game of Thrones.

Also Read: Ryan Condal was George R.R. Martin’s choice for House of The Dragon because ‘he knew about the books and loves fantasy’

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Vidhi has been an entertainment writer for the past 4 years. She has a knack for identifying subtleties and intricacies of movies and television shows that can add a new dimension to her content. Having watched Game of Thrones and House of the Dragon countless times, she knows most details by heart and thrives in trivia contests related to the same!


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