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 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:
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.
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Riley Utley is a Weekend Editor and resident Swiftie at CinemaBlend. She also adores (and writes about) Ted Lasso, rom-coms and whatever streaming series is gracing our screens.