Matt Smith Talks House of the Dragon Season 2

    The highly anticipated second season of HBO’s epic fantasy drama “House of the Dragon” is finally upon us, and with it comes a wave of anticipation and speculation. The tumultuous relationship between Rhaenyra Targaryen (Emma D’Arcy) and her husband/uncle, Daemon (Matt Smith), is at the heart of House of the Dragon Season 2. As the aftermath of the devastating battle that claimed the life of Lucerys Velaryon (Elliot Grihault) unfolds, the couple must navigate the uncharted waters of grief, loss, and the ever-shifting political landscape of Westeros.

    In a recent press conference, the show’s lead actors, Emma D’Arcy and Matt Smith, discussed the emotional complexities that will shape season two’s narrative. Their insights shed light on the challenges Rhaenyra and Daemon face as individuals and as a couple, as they strive to maintain their grip on power and their relationship in the face of unimaginable tragedy.

    Rhaenyra’s Grief and the Strain on Her Marriage

    The loss of her second-born son, Lucerys, has left an indelible mark on Rhaenyra. She must now confront the harsh realities of mourning while continuing her quest for the Iron Throne. According to D’Arcy, this profound grief can potentially disrupt the delicate balance of Rhaenyra’s relationship with Daemon.

    “I don’t know if they can find solace in each other in the losses,” D’Arcy shared, hinting at the emotional dislocation that may arise between the two. The actors suggest that Daemon’s own struggles with the death of his brother, Viserys, further complicate their ability to support one another during this turbulent time.

    Daemon’s Chaotic Nature and the Test of Their Love

    Daemon, known for his impulsive and unpredictable nature, maybe a source of comfort and complication for Rhaenyra. Smith described his character as “a vortex of chaos,” acknowledging the challenges Daemon’s volatile tendencies could bring to their marriage.

    “I believe there is a deep sense of love that is challenged and tested in season two,” Smith stated, alluding to the strain that the events surrounding Viserys’ death and Lucerys’ demise will have on their relationship. The actor also noted that Daemon may feel “unaccepted” by Rhaenyra, further fueling his mercurial responses.

    The Crumbling Friendship Between Rhaenyra and Alicent

    The once-close friendship between Rhaenyra and Alicent Hightower (Olivia Cooke) has spiralled into a bitter rivalry. The two women now lead opposing factions in the impending civil war. Showrunner Ryan J. Condal teased that the characters’ arcs will maintain a strong connection despite their physical separation.

    “In the editing, we found ways to connect those characters even if they’re literally islands apart,” Condal revealed, hinting at the parallels that will continue to bind the former best friends turned sworn enemies.

    Criston Cole’s Descent into Villainy

    A significant thread of season two is the continued descent of Ser Criston Cole (Fabien Frankel) into villainy. Jilted by Rhaenyra’s rejection, Criston firmly aligns himself with Alicent’s faction. Season 2 sees him becoming a thorn in the side of his former lover.

    Condal acknowledged the fascination surrounding Criston’s character, noting that his status as a “self-made man” in the world of Westeros lends a unique perspective to his actions. As the realm transitions from peace to war, the showrunner teased that “interesting pressure” will be applied to Criston’s character, further exploring his complex motivations.

    The Parallels Between Rhaenyra and Alicent’s Arcs

    Despite their bitter rivalry, Rhaenyra and Alicent’s narratives continue to intersect in meaningful ways. Condal revealed that the editing team found creative methods to connect the two characters. For example, even when they are physically separated, adding “dimensionality to this story.”

    This parallel exploration of their journeys, both as leaders and as women navigating the treacherous political landscape of Westeros, promises to be a captivating aspect of House of the Dragon Season 2.

    The Looming Threat of the Dance of the Dragons

    As the realm is torn apart by the impending civil war known as the Dance of the Dragons, Rhaenyra and Daemon’s relationship will be tested. The loss of Lucerys has only heightened the stakes, and the couple must find a way to navigate the chaos and bloodshed that lies ahead.

    The trailer for season two has already hinted at the emotional turmoil that will unfold, with Rhaenyra questioning whether Daemon truly sees her as a queen. This crisis of confidence, coupled with the external pressures they face, will undoubtedly shape their relationship’s trajectory and the Seven Kingdoms’ fate.

    Exploring the Nuances of Criston Cole’s Character

    Criston Cole’s transformation from a principled knight to a vengeful antagonist has fascinated both the showrunners and the audience. Condal’s comments on the character’s unique status as a “self-made man” in Westeros suggest that deeper layers to his motivations will be explored in season two.

    As the realm descends into war, the “interesting pressure” applied to Criston’s character will likely reveal more about his internal struggles and the complex emotions that drive his actions. Fans will be eager to see how this complex and polarizing figure continues to shape the narrative.

    The Enduring Appeal of Rhaenyra and Daemon’s Relationship

    Despite their challenges, the enduring appeal of Rhaenyra and Daemon’s relationship lies in the depth of their connection and the undeniable chemistry between the actors. Smith’s assertion that there is a “deep sense of love” between the two, even as it is “challenged and tested,” suggests that their bond will remain a central focus of the story.

    Audiences will be captivated to see how Rhaenyra and Daemon navigate the turbulent waters of grief, political upheaval, and the ever-present threat of the Dance of the Dragons. Their ability to find solace and strength in one another, even in the face of unimaginable tragedy, will be a key element in the unfolding drama.

    The Enduring Legacy of House of the Dragon

    As House of the Dragon Season 2 unfolds, it is clear that the series will continue to captivate audiences with its rich character development, intricate political machinations, and timeless themes of power, loyalty, and the consequences of ambition.

    The insights the show’s actors and creators provide promise a season filled with emotional depth, high-stakes conflict, and the enduring legacy of the Targaryen dynasty. Fans of the “Game of Thrones” universe will undoubtedly be enthralled by the new chapter in this epic saga, as the stage is set for the legendary Dance of the Dragons.


    The highly anticipated House of the Dragon Season 2 promises to be a captivating exploration of the emotional turmoil that plagues the Targaryen dynasty. With the loss of Lucerys Velaryon weighing heavily on Rhaenyra, her relationship with Daemon faces new challenges. Both struggle to grapple with grief and the ever-shifting political landscape.

    As the realm descends into civil war, the parallels between Rhaenyra and Alicent’s narratives will continue to captivate, while the complex and polarizing figure of Criston Cole adds an additional layer of intrigue. Ultimately, the enduring appeal of Rhaenyra and Daemon’s relationship will be a central focus as they navigate the treacherous path towards the Dance of the Dragons.

    House of the Dragon Season 2 premieres on HBO on June 16th. It will also be available exclusively on Sky Atlantic in the United Kingdom. Fans will need to use NowTV to stream the second season.

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    Jack Trestrail
    Jack Trestrail
    Pop-Culture nerd and uber Sci-Fi fan! Jack is frequently found telling everyone about the latest Star Wars developments or nerding out on the newest Star Trek starships! ?

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