Antagonists who have the love of fans

In the universe of Game of Thrones and House of the Dragon, the fiercest competition is between the antagonists. In a universe of gray morals, the “villains” defend violence, betrayals, and murders with ease, but not all of them have the love of the fans. This is the case now for Daemon Targaryen (Matt Smith) and Aemond Targaryen (Ewan Mitchell) – uncle and nephew – with much in common, but on opposite sides.

They are the spares, the substitutes, who will only have a purpose in life if the older brother dies. This secondary function becomes more difficult if the princes have personality, ability, and ambitions, which is the case for both Aemond and Daemon. “Aemond idolizes Daemon” admits Ewan. And why don’t they understand each other? It’s just that for Aemond to stay close to power it’s better than his brother, Aegon, being king. Otherwise, he would be eighth in succession, and for Daemon, married to the Queen, nothing better than Rhaenyra (Emma D’Arcy) on the throne.

Matt Smith was already known to the general public before House of the Dragon, but Ewan Mitchell was not. Supporting in independent films and in The Last Kingdom series, even with few scenes like “adult Aemond” – there are only 3 episodes with him – he put the audience in his pocket and left. Without much to find out about him, the interview with The Face is a good source.

They talk about Ewan’s walk, which was decisive for the role and for the series, where there is confidence and carelessness that makes Aemond even more frightening. Unlike the book, the prince accidentally kills his nephew Lucerys, who had gouged out one of his eyes years earlier. Just like the book, this assassination triggers civil war among the Targaryens, or, as he puts it, “all-out war”.

There is much speculation between Reddit and other sources that Aemond is indeed the father of the children believed to be those of his brother, Aegon, with a hidden relationship with their sister, Helaena. It could be that as early as season two, Aemond begins his time as regent of Westeros, which is clearly even worse for Rhaenyra. It will also be the season where you meet and fall in love with Allys Rivers. That is, we will have A LOT of Ewan in season two, something we can celebrate.

Below are some highlights from the interview.

  • His nickname is The Iceberg. His mysterious air in the series is similar behind the scenes, he talks and drinks a little. “My friends call me that because I’m seen as cool and in control. I don’t show much. I’m just floating along the seas.”
  • He debuted as an actor in 2015, straight from school, in TV series in England. “I love every aspect of the business,” he says in the interview. “I love acting. My earliest memory was wanting to be an actor. I always think of that quote from GoodFellas: ‘For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to be a gangster.’ Acting for me was that thing.”
  • “For Aemond’s walk, there was something I thought was interesting about ’80s horror icons,” he explained with a smile. “No matter how slow they go, they always catch up with Jamie Lee Curtis. There’s something about the physicality of Freddy [Krueger], Michael Myers, Jeepers Creepers.” It also alludes that Aemond’s “long, big coat” is like the bogeyman.
  • For Ewan, Aemond’s Shakespearean side is also strong. “Shakespeare said that the eyes are the windows to the soul. So what does it mean to have just one of them? How do you compensate? Is it through physicality? Either way, Aemond is such a melting pot of emotions that just because he’s smiling doesn’t mean he’s happy. He’s ready to go any minute.”
  • Dressing in black, one of the colors of House Targaryen and not the Green of the Hightowers, came from inspiration from Johnny Cash, who said wearing this color “represents the poor and oppressed. And that’s what Aemond is”, he comments.
  • Ewan decided that Aemond would always avoid looking at his uncle, Daemon, even looking at him, and he arranged this with Ryan Condal, the showrunner. “Because there’s this moment in episode eight where we have that intense stare. I thought there was something about experimenting and saving that moment for them. Aemond idolizes Daemon, and this is the first time he has made any kind of contact with him. Their family tree is actually a circle!”, joked. Interesting to compare them again!
  • He watches a movie a day, following the advice he read from Tom Cruise in an interview. “I try to watch one movie a day. Or a TV show. I watch a movie and I feel like I can’t [help but] be a better actor on the other side, in a weird way, [in terms of] what I can get out of it. Even if it’s a bad movie, I can figure it out and learn what not to do on screen.”
  • In addition to House of the Dragon will be seen next year in Emerald Fennell‘s Saltburn, a “story of obsession and identity. And find your own identity in this obsession. I play a character named Michael Gavy. It’s all about equations and crunchy bars. That is all I will say!”
  • About the second season of House of the Dragon? “No comment,” he said. “” I’m afraid HBO will detonate this charge in my head if I say anything remotely spoilery, but stay tuned. The best is yet to come.”

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