House Of The Dragon’s Fabien Frankel Reveals Which Actor Ser Criston Cole Was Supposed To Look Like

Fabien Frankel as Criston Cole holding up a sword on House of the Dragon.
(Image credit: HBO)

Honestly, I’d say the last person I’d compare House of the Dragon’s Ser Criston Cole to is Game of Thrones’ Khal Drogo. As it turns out when they were casting the king's guard member for the prequel, Fabien Frankel, who plays Cole, said the casting directors were looking for an actor with the physique of Jason Momoa.

I do understand why they’d want someone built like the Aquaman actor for the role. Cole is one of the mightiest knights, he defeats Daemon in a dual, he kills multiple people, and he is for sure not afraid of a fight. While chatting with NYT Frankel discussed the casting process, and the original vision for his character, he said: 

I did the audition, and heard nothing back other than that they were looking for a slightly more Jason Momoa type for the part. That certainly wasn’t me, and I really didn’t think about it again.

Jason Momoa as Khal Drogo in Game of Thrones

(Image credit: HBO)

I think Frankel felt how I felt when I found out this information, because these two actors are not two people I would compare, especially when it comes to physique. Also, like me, the actor behind Ser Criston is curious why he got cast when they were looking for someone who looks like a superhuman, rather than a very in shape human. He continued his casting story, saying: 

What I still don’t know, and I’m fascinated to know, is whether they couldn’t find their Jason Momoa type, or if they decided to change their casting brief. If the opportunity arises to ask them, I will.

I hope he does ask, and maybe we’ll get an answer come Season 2. 

What is kind of cool about this comparison is Momoa’s past with the Game of Thrones franchise. He played Khal Drogo proudly in the early episodes of the hit show. Momoa also had great relationships with the cast, especially with Emilia Clarke who he greeted with “hey wifey” when they met the first time. Based on interviews and Instagram posts I’ve seen of the HOTD cast they seem to think Frankel is quite the fun-loving guy as well.

One comparison you can make between the two characters is they both have extremely brutal moments in the show. However, while Drogo was a loved character, Cole is by no means a fan favorite. One prime example of this is all the big reactions fans had after he killed a man at Rhaenyra’s wedding, and then the roast continued into the next week because of how angry fans were at the knight. 

While Frankel might not be built like Momoa, he is perfect for the role. It’s clear that he is an accomplished and fit knight who is one of the mightiest of the king's guard. 

To see Frankel and the rest of the HOTD ensemble in one of the more anticipated finales of the 2022 TV schedule you can tune in on Sunday at 9 p.m. on HBO or with an HBO Max subscription. 

Riley Utley
Weekend Editor

Riley Utley is a Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. She spent many years working in local journalism across the country writing about art, news and sports. One of her favorite films is When Harry Met Sally and she walks around constantly quoting Ted Lasso.