Even though Daemon Targaryen didn’t have much to say in the most recent episode of House of the Dragon, fans are praising Matt Smith’s portrayal of the anti-hero. House of the Dragon is an in-depth look at the upheaval within one of Westeros’ most notorious houses, the Targaryens. The events are set 200 years before Game of Thrones. Smith portrays Daemon Targaryen, the cunning and crafty younger brother of King Viserys Targaryen, in the HBO series House of the Dragon (Paddy Considine). The match that would eventually spark the Targaryen civil war was struck when Daemon was removed from succession line to the Iron Throne.
There have been several large time leaps throughout season 1 of House of the Dragon. For instance, the series shows Daemon returning to the family after a period of painful exile. He bowed to King Viserys and married his niece and heir, Rhaenyra Targaryen (Emma D’Arcy). Fan’s reaction to Smith’s casting as Daemon was initially negative because of concerns about his physical appearance and his lack of prior experience portraying darker characters. Now, he’s established himself as a standout member of the formidable House of the Dragon cast.
Throughout the House of the Dragon season 1, viewers may have observed a decline in Daemon’s dialogue. This may be a bad sign for some characters. But Daemon’s followers on Twitter seem to really like that he’s conveyed so much in so few words. See Twitter for viewers’ reaction to Smith’s acting despite Daemon’s sparse dialogue:
Now Daemon is on the verge of becoming the Queen’s consort. It’s a powerful position as the Iron Throne’s spouse, so, Daemon resorts to more direct methods to acquire what he wants. Before, he would have done something reckless and maybe fatal to win a war (as in episode 3 of House of the Dragon). But now he has demonstrated that he plans for a more consequential future. He has started the years-long process of hatching dragon eggs, though his brutality remains unchanged. To further the lie that Rhaenyra’s children from her first marriage are of Velaryon blood, Daemon perpetrated a theatrical murder in front of the King’s court.
He has always been a watchful, cunning figure ready to pounce at a moment’s notice. Daemon can be seen in the corner of nearly every episode of House of the Dragon, sipping a drink and watching the carnage unfold before making his own mark. Daemon was one of the few Targaryens at King Viserys’ farewell banquet who did not give a statement (episode 8 of House of the Dragon). Yet he did surprise Viserys by helping him ascend to the throne. Daemon’s lack of dialogue in the promo for episode 9 of season 1 of House of the Dragon is apt. Moreover, it suggests that his subdued position may persist until the series’ conclusion.