Matt Smith's Daemon Targaryen Is 'There To Cause Chaos' In House Of The Dragon

If "Game of Thrones" had an abundance of anything, it was characters. There were enough names and titles (especially titles) to fill an entire library — and make audiences confused about who is who. The show had its fair share of good and innocent characters, evil bastards, criminals, jerks, opportunists, and more. But some of the most memorable characters fell in one of two camps: Smart manipulators like Varys, or chaotic monsters like Ramsay Bolton.

Those characters represented two approaches to the titular game of thrones, exemplifying opposite ends of the spectrum in terms of what a character could do in order to survive and thrive amid the turmoil of Westeros. Either you are able to scheme and manipulate to get your way up the ladder, or be so detached you can kickstart wars and unspeakable horror for the hell of it, hoping to rule over the ashes.

After years of political intrigue, sexposition, great battles, and a final season so bad it set a new bar for disappointing finales, we're about to embark on a new journey back to Westeros with "House of the Dragon." The prequel show will have a narrower focus, centering (at least initially) on a single family rather than a continent-spanning group of adventurers. Still, some things remain familiar, like our new chaotic prince: Matt Smith's Daemon Targaryen.

Chaos reigns

In the latest issue of Empire Magazine, the cast of "House of the Dragon" spoke about what makes their characters stand out. 

"Daemon is there to cause chaos and piss people off because, simply, it entertains him," Smith said of his character, the younger brother of Paddy Considine's King Viserys. "Daemon and [Hand of the King, Otto Hightower] loathe one another. They're winding each other up, needling one another." 

While Daemon may be all about chaos and getting in the way of others, he is far from the sadistic monster that Ramsay was. If you haven't read the source material, just know that Daemon is more of a cocky rebel than an actual chaotic gremlin. We may expect him to get on everyone's nerves, but probably not loose his hounds to torture and kill people for pleasure.

But Daemon is only one player in a struggle for power in "House of the Dragon." Also fighting for King Viserys' ear is Otto Hightower, who appears to be more of the smart manipulator-type of character we recognize from the main show.

Rhys Ifans described Otto as "a high-flying political creature, a black belt in statecraft, a pragmatist and a manipulator." Meanwhile, Ifans described Daemon as "the king's kryptonite."

But perhaps even more curious is the idea that, according to Considine, Viserys is something we've never seen in the world of "Game of Thrones" before (and one could argue not in the real world, either): a good monarch. "He really shouldn't be king," Considine said. "He's not really cut out to be a ruler. He's a pleaser of people."

"House of the Dragon" premieres August 21, 2022 on HBO.