Inside That Gory ‘Home of the Dragon’ Premiere Episode

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If there was one factor you might all the time rely on Game of Thrones for, it was graphic, horrific violence. (And intercourse.) There have been canine maulings and cranium squishes, big zombies and unwilling testicle removing. Issues bought wild on that present, and typically, it felt prefer it got here out of nowhere.

That’s actually what occurs within the premiere episode of Home of the Dragon, HBO’s new Thrones prequel. [Warning: Spoilers ahead.] After King Viserys Targaryen (Paddy Considine) convenes a kingdom-wide jousting match to rejoice the upcoming start of the kid he is aware of will likely be a son, we see his brother Daemon (Matt Smith) go head-to-head—or hand-to-hand, because it have been—with the mysterious and good-looking Ser Criston Cole (Fabien Frankel).

Across the identical time, Viserys is summoned to his queen’s chamber, the place he finds out that the child is breech, making supply an impossibility. He’s given a alternative: Both the physician can reduce the child out of his beloved spouse—with out anesthesia or her consent! Whee!—or they’ll roll the cube and danger the deaths of each his spouse and the child. Viserys takes the previous, and the ensuing scene is brutal and grotesque, exemplifying the cruelty of the Thrones world, the place typically, it’s actually all nearly preserving the road it doesn’t matter what. The infant is born, on the expense of the all-too-short lifetime of Aemma Targaryen (Sian Brooks), and, sadly, dies shortly thereafter.

WIRED talked to the solid of Home of the Dragon concerning the episode’s brutal first bang—and what it means for his or her characters’ futures in King’s Touchdown.

Capturing the Joust Was a Large, Humorous Manufacturing

The premiere’s huge joust scene required not solely a quintain space, but in addition large stands and a platform on which members of the king’s court docket may watch. Twenty or so core gamers have been on that dais and at the very least 100 extras have been on the set at any given time. “It was our first group scene,” says Emily Carey, who performs younger Alicent Hightower. It was simply capturing on the studio backlot, however Carey says doing that scene was the primary second the place she was actually reminded that, “Hey, that is Sport of Thrones. Individuals are going at one another with lances.”

Carey says that whereas the motion within the scene may get intense, the precise capturing was light-hearted, if solely as a result of Considine and Rhys Ifans, who performs Otto Hightower, have been like “uncles at a marriage, the place one in all them cracks a joke after which the opposite has to make a funnier joke, after which they hold one-upping themselves.”

Don’t Fear: That Wasn’t Matt Smith Doing His Personal Stunts

Whereas Matt Smith says he was on set for a lot of the jousting shoot, he wasn’t really taking his personal falls. As a substitute, it was his stunt double, Eduardo Gago Muñoz. “It’s not my pure habitat to be on a horse,” Smith says, including that he and Frankel would pop into the scenes after the doubles took their falls.

That doesn’t imply the duo didn’t be taught to journey, although: Frankel says the Dragon gang took classes at The Devil’s Horsemen, “a extremely outdated British establishment that’s been instructing actors to journey for years.” Since Frankel had by no means ridden earlier than, he began gradual, on a really primary horse, and labored his means up the proverbial ranks. By the top, he says, “you’re hopefully in a position to canter and maintain some sort of sword in your hand.”

Daemon’s Large Dragon Helmet Is Fairly—Heavy

Whereas many of the joust rivals have pretty primary or conventional armor, Daemon enters the competitors sporting a helmet lined with ornate designs and protruding dragon wings. Smith says the piece of costuming was “fairly heavy,” weighing an estimated 5 kilograms (about 11 kilos). “All the armor is sort of heavy,” he says, “but it surely seems fabulous.” He credit HOTD costume designer Jany Temime with making the helmet “really feel form of dragon-like, but in addition elegant and trendy on the identical time.”

All the pieces Is Painful for Rhaenys Targaryen, the Queen Who By no means Was

At first of the premiere, we see the king’s eldest grandchild, Rhaenys Targaryen, being handed over in favor of her youthful male cousin, Viserys. It’s a wound that festers even now, with members of the dominion nonetheless believing she would have been a greater ruler. That’s clear when one of many knights asks for her favor on the joust, calling her “the Queen Who By no means Was.” Eve Greatest, who performs Rhaenys, says that transfer was “tremendous harmful in all features,” suggesting that her character would relatively not remind the world of her declare to the throne.

“I don’t need him to say it in any respect, and never solely as a result of I do not need it to be continually thrown in my face,” she says. “It was the largest supply of disgrace in Rhaenys’ life, and the truth that it’s continually being referred to is actually, actually annoying.”

What Rhaenys and husband Lord Corlys Valaryon (Steve Toussaint) do have is particular perception into the workings at court docket and the historical past of the dominion. When Rhaenys remarks on the match that each one the fighters have, as Greatest places it, “their arms filled with metal and none of them have ever identified actual battle,” it’s a reminder that King’s Touchdown has been underneath Targaryen rule for hundreds of years, leaving the empire relatively lax and mushy.

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