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SYFY WIRE House of the Dragon

'House of the Dragon' producers 'baffled' at how Daemon has become the new 'Internet Boyfriend'

"I’m a little baffled how they’re all, ‘Oh, daddy!’ And I’m just like: ‘Really?’"

By Josh Weiss
Matt Smith as Daemon Targaryen in House of the Dragon Season 1 Episode 7

There's no denying Prince Daemon Targaryen is a really bad dude. We're talking really, really bad.

He openly mocked the death of his infant nephew, caused the death of his first wife, and sliced a guy's head in half without a second thought. But all of that hasn't stopped the internet from falling head over heels with the manipulative royal on HBO's House of the Dragon. In particular, fans showed their unwavering support for the morally questionable character (played by Doctor Who alum, Matt Smith) after he stood up for his now-late brother, King Viserys (Paddy Considine), and third wife, Princess Rhaenyra (Emma D'Arcy), during the events of Episode 8 when the latter's claim to the Iron Throne was questioned by Ser Vaemond Velaryon (Wil Johnson).

Vaemond, of course, ended up losing half his head for speaking aloud what we all know to be true: Rhaenyra's children are bastards with no genuine links to Driftmark. And yes, while you don't cast aspersions on the most powerful family in the realm and get away with it, Daemon's eagerness to dispatch any threat to his own position shows just how cruel and cunning the man can be.

"He’s become Internet Boyfriend in a way that baffles me," executive producer and writer Sara Hess stated during a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter. "Not that Matt isn’t incredibly charismatic and wonderful, and he’s incredible in the role. But Daemon himself is … I don’t want him to be my boyfriend! I’m a little baffled how they’re all, ‘Oh, daddy!’ And I’m just like: ‘Really?’ How — in what way — was he a good partner, father or brother — to anybody? You got me. He ain’t Paul Rudd."

“I just love the fact people are so involved with these characters, and I think that’s part of the fun of it,” added series director, Clare Kilner. “One minute you like someone, and the next minute you like someone else. But I’m not surprised. Matt is such a risk-taker in his performances and he’s got that little smile and, you know … you can’t help it! He is charismatic. People love a baddie. But I don’t think he’s particularly a good father or a good brother.”

Both Daemon and Rhaenyra were nowhere to be found in the most recent episode, which focused on the aftermath of the king's death and the Hightowers' unscrupulous power grab. The absence of core characters was the right choice, underscoring just how out of the loop they are as their supposed family members stage an effective coup d'état that places Aegon II on the throne (Tom Glynn-Carney). There isn't much time to celebrate the new king's reign, however, because a Targaryen civil war (a fiery conflict known as the "Dance of the Dragons") kicks off this Sunday — Oct. 23 — in the Season 1 finale. If you thought Daemon was vicious before, just you wait.

“We will see a different side of him,” Hess teased to THR. “And right now, we’re writing Season 2 and figuring out, 'What is the nature of his relationship with Rhaenyra?' There are many interpretations [in George R.R. Martin’s book Fire & Blood] to that.”

Episodes 1-9 of House of the Dragon are now streaming on HBO Max.

Looking for more fantasy adventure? The entire Harry Potter film saga is streaming now on Peacock.