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House Of The Dragon Was A LOT To Film, But Matt Smith Said One Funny Thing Kept Him Going On Set

Matt Smith as Daemon Targaryen standing in all black in episode 2 of House of the Dragon.
(Image credit: HBO)

When an actor joins a project like HBO’s House of the Dragon or Game of Thrones, they have to have some idea of what they're in for. The gig includes brutal night shoots, tough weather, pretend flights on CGI dragons, intense stage fights and much, much more. While this can be taxing and tough on everyone, it would help immensely to work on a set that's fun. And Matt Smith, who plays the unpredictable and fiery Daemon Targaryen, shared a funny thing that was able to keep up good morale while shooting House of the Dragon

Matt Smith, believe it or not, is one of the older stars in the House of the Dragon cast. Many of their co-stars are relatively young new actors, like Fabien Frankel, who plays Ser Criston Cole. Smith, the man who's brought the the Eleventh Doctor and Targaryen prince to life, explained to Insider that he would always get a good laugh out of Frankel and the difficulties he experienced with his knight’s costume:

But I'll say that the cast got together and there was a great sense of camaraderie. We laughed our asses off because you have to — even if it was just laughing at Fabian trying to sit down in the armor. That gave me such joy every day. Poor Fabian. Bless him. He was in the armor the whole time and that's not easy, but there were some wonderful big characters on that set.

I mean, can you blame any of them? Like Matt Smith, who has also taken a few turns wearing armor on the show, most would find it quite funny to see a young man in a cool knight costume struggling to accomplish simple tasks, like sitting. I can’t imagine how hard it must be for Fabien Frankel to walk about wearing a heavy suit of armor all day, let alone trying to act like a 21st-century human in it while waiting for the next shot.

Fabien Frankel as Ser Criston Cole in armor on House of the Dragon

(Image credit: Photograph by Ollie Upton/HBO)

Spoilers can be found in this paragraph! It brings me joy to know the cast was able to have fun on set. The scenes from the show can’t be easy to film because of how emotionally heavy and vicious they can be, not to mention the long hours. In the premiere alone, there were multiple scenes that surely made viewers squeamish. For example, there was the violent visceral scene at King’s Landing in which Daemon and his king's guard brutally punish peasants. In that same episode, viewers saw a very bloody and brutal birth scene, which became a topic of mass discussion amongst fans, with some comparing the birth scene to the Red Wedding from Game of Thrones. 

Obviously, all the hard work and off-screen fun has paid off. The series has broken many records for HBO with just two episodes having and, as a result, the House of the Dragon Season 2 renewal has already come down the pipeline. While it may not look like the characters are having much fun in the episodes, it’s nice to know that actors like Matt Smith and Fabien Frankel have been able to joke around and find the silliness in trying to live modernly while sporting medieval costumes. 

House of the Dragon airs new episodes on Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on HBO and episodes can later be streamed 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.