With Aemond Targaryen, House Of The Dragon Has Its First Anime Character

"House of the Dragon" is quickly becoming the best George R. R. Martin adaptation yet, a show that embraces the best parts of "Game of Thrones" but does away with what didn't work there. Sure, we may lack some of the sense of urgency from "Game of Thrones" and its catchy "Winter Is Coming" tagline, but by taking what is essentially just a history book and filling in the gaps of the story, we're getting a faithful-yet-surprising and poignant-yet-entertaining tragedy about the fall of a family due to very stupid choices.

But the show is not all violence, boobs, and funerals. "House of the Dragon" is also unafraid to be outright weird. After all, this is the show that gave us the gift that was Craghas Drahar, aka the Crabfeeder (rest in peace, king) and his army of crabs that ate people (but were not crab people, sadly). Now, the show is topping itself by introducing the one thing Westeros was severely lacking — an anime villain.

That's right, we're here to talk about the best new character on the show, the heir to the throne of sadistic, blood-thirsty, white-haired weirdos currently occupied by Daemon Targaryen. Welcome, Aemond "One-Eye" Targaryen.

I mean, just look at him

The second child of Viserys "The Walking Corpse" and Alicent "The Likable Cersei," Aemond starts out as the unremarkable younger brother to the little piece of s*** Aegon without any political prospects. Sure, he is a brat, but he is not sadistic. At first.

By the end of last week's episode, Aemond had crossed a line when he went ahead and stole/kidnapped Vhagar the floppy dragon and claimed it as his own. Following his ordeal/achievement, he lost his eye in a fight with his nephews, and now he's full turned into Kakashi Hatake from "Naruto."

But it is in episode 8 that Aemond blossoms into one of the best characters in the show. He already has the pearly white hair of an overpowered anime character, joining the ranks of Killua, Inuyasha, Gojo, Kaneki, and Griffith. White hair in anime usually signals that we're meeting a powerful and usually mysterious or otherwordly character who has gone through some suffering in order to be so mighty. Well, that definitely fits Aemond, the only Targaryen child on the show to have actually accomplished something (even if it was stealing) and then paying the bloody price for it.

Our evil cartoon prince

When we meet Aemond again, its like we just went through an epic shonen anime time skip, where the characters go from being bright-eyed middle school kids, to edgy young adults ready to take over the world. Like Goku in "Dragon Ball" or Simon in "Gurren Lagann," the change in actor for Aemond is night and day, with Ewan Mitchell playing the character as the deranged villain he was always meant to be. 

This is Daemon without any of the already-limited restraint he may have shown, a one-eyed menace on the verge of striking down everyone just because they walked funny. The moment he recognizes and acknowledges his nephews, his glance is enough to send shivers down your spine.

Like Griffith in "Berserk," Mao from "Code Geass," Pegasus and Marik from "Yu-Gi-Oh!" and Vicious from "Cowboy Bebop," this white haired, scarred character is sadism and sociopathy incarnate. More than that, Mitchell plays the character like a caricature. 

In the same episode that gave us Paddy Considine in the most tragic performance in a TV show this season, Mitchell goes the opposite way and gives a performance that shows that there is more than one tone that fits this show. "House of the Dragon" can be ridiculous and funny, and it has space for cartoonishly evil villains as well as nuanced characters. Perhaps, with the rise of the show's anime villain, there may come an anime hero with spiky hair to match.