Matt Smith’s Daemon could prove to be ‘a bit of a liability’ in ‘House of the Dragon’

Matt Smith in costume as Daemon Targaryen
Image via HBO

Prince Daemon Targaryen, played by Matt Smith in HBO Max’s hit Game of Thrones sequel House of the Dragon, is famed throughout the Kingdom of Westeros as a Dragonrider, heir apparent to the throne, and one of the deadliest and most capable warriors in the land. He may also be one of the ruling House Targaryen’s biggest liabilities.

At least that’s the opinion of Paddy Considine, who plays Daemon’s elder brother and current sovereign King Viserys I Targaryen. Considine recently sat down to discuss the new spinoff with Collider, and he didn’t pull any punches when it came to describing Daemon’s limitations.

“Daemon is just an irresponsible, attention-seeking younger brother, and a troublesome guy. As long as Daemon’s occupied and Viserys is not hearing his name mentioned, he’s happy. He’s always having to defend him against the council and make excuses for him. He gets away with behavior that other people would be sentenced to death for. So, in Viserys’ eyes, Daemon’s a bit of a liability.”

— Paddy Considine

It’s almost strange to think of the more-than-imposing Daemon as someone’s annoying and distracted younger brother, but Considine’s description of the dynamic between Viserys and his younger sibling sounds like it would feel just as natural if it were a plotline in HBO’s highly successful satirical black comedy-drama Succession.

They’re complete opposites. They’re different creatures. “Even though they’re brothers and they’re the same blood, they’re so such polar opposites of each other,” Considine explained. “I think Daemon would die for Viserys. That’s the difference. Daemon would die for Viserys, but Viserys wouldn’t die for Daemon. That’s a fact.”

Considine admits that he used the opinion of the brother’s relationship in crafting his own portrayal of Viserys. “He loves his brother, but secretly, there’s a part of Viserys that doesn’t like Daemon. That was my secret playing it. I think you always have to have a little secret. If Viserys heard that, in some battle, Daemon actually lost his life, there might be sadness, but also a bit of relief.”

It will take some time to find out whether the King’s relationship with his sibling results in relief or regret for the powerful ruling house.

Episode one of House of the Dragon is currently streaming on HBO Max. New episodes are released on Sundays.