House of the Dragon makes Daemon a Game of Thrones a white knight

At first glance, Devil Targaryen Looks like he’s been positioned as one of the heroes Dragon HouseAnd the Although this impression does not last long. He played Matt Smith, who is arguably the most well-known actor in the initial cast, and has been tapped as “the character who deconstructs the things that everyone around him is invested in,” making him the closest thing to the series. for a character like Game of thronesFan favorite Tyrion Lannister. Subsequent events have since made it clear that the rogue prince is even more ferocious than the prince, as he repeatedly exiled his brother Damon, pushed boundaries with his niece, and was generally at odds with everyone else.

But if not a hero Dragon HouseSatan has He wasn’t her villain either. That’s not to say he didn’t do some terrible things in the course of the series. In the end, it falls somewhere between “morally ambiguous” at best and “morally reprehensible” at worst. But while a lot of Daemon’s actions can be considered “evil” on the surface, the series has taken great care to maintain a certain level of mystery, staying away and preventing the full depiction of Daemon’s actions from being visible to the public. In doing so, a distance is created between his villainy and the audience, whose appreciation is best protected in our eyes. we He hears About Satan doing bad things, but we rarely do We see He does those things. And even when he’s doing a villain on screen, usually presented in a sympathetic way, it’s best to prevent him from regressing into the full-blown villain in our minds.

For example, at the end of Premiere of “Heirs of the Dragon” episode, Daemon appears to be the series’ central villain: After reports of toasting his deceased infant nephew as a “one-day heir,” Daemon is disinherited and banished from King’s Landing by King Viserys (Paddy Considine)Subsequently, Viziris appointed his daughter, Rhinera, as his heir. As Daemon heads into exile, the episode concludes with a traditional hero shot confirming Rhaenyra as the protagonist of the story.

Demon leans against the wall with his back slightly to the camera while Viserys stands in front of him, leaning on a stick and looking terrified.

Photo: Ollie Upton/HBO

Emma Darcy as Princess Rhinera Targaryen and Matt Smith as Demon Prince Targaryen in House of the Dragon

Photo: Ollie Upton/HBO

However, we never actually did that We see Satan pronounces the phrase “heir to the day.” When called upon, Daemon neither confirmed nor denied that he said “Heir to a Day” (indeed, his response to Viserys’ questioning—”we should all grieve our own way”—fits the rhythm and rhyme of Daemon’s toast as conveyed earlier in the episode, indicating To it might be what a Daemon In fact He said that night). It’s an influential choice: while Dragon Housesource material, the book fire and bloodIt’s supposed to be an autobiographical account of History of Targaryen Written by an author in the universe Derived from a series of limited (and biased) sourcesthe show’s producers said the TV show represented an objective accounting of these events.

Whether Daemon speaks the words or not does not matter in the end; The main takeaway here is the mystery. In this so-called objective account of history, we don’t know for sure if Satan committed the sin that originally cast him in the role of the villain series. And it’s a technique that the series will continue to use to control the seemingly objective gaze of the camera as it prevents Daemon from slipping into a total villain. when is He steals a dragon’s egg in “The Rogue Prince” It also happens off-screen, with a clear focus only on the reaction to it and his motivation for doing it in the first place. It is not an act of evil looking to harm or cause trouble, but the work of a brother and an uncle to attract the attention of his ostracized family. Even when one of the messengers of Viserys is killed At the bottom of Episode 3This moment is the prelude to his most heroic act in the series, as he risks himself (Through a continuous shot to put the devil in the role of the hero) and immediate termination of the Crabfeeder threat. That victory is what sticks in the public’s mind, not a previous assault on a person just to deliver news he didn’t like.

When he confronts his legitimate wife, Rhea Royce, In “We Light the Way”, It seems clear that murder is in the mind of Satan. However, their encounter is depicted in such a way that it is unclear whether or not Rhea’s horse was bred as a direct result of the actions of a demon. And when a demon approaches the now paralyzed Rhea with a large boulder in hand, the result is clear, even if the camera snaps away.

A demon standing with a cloak and hood up, walking toward a woman on a horse with her back facing us

Photo: Ollie Upton/HBO

This snippet is noteworthy, as the sight of the devil trembling in his wife’s skull rescued us. we I know It does happen, but not showing the deed prevents Satan from being seen as a ruthless villain. Compare this later in the same episode, when the camera is less concerned with protecting our view of Sir Kriston Cole (Fabian Frankl), as we see it Joffrey Lonemouth’s face in the pulp. The creators clearly have no problem sparking a deep reaction in the audience for Kriston’s actions – they want us to blow up the intensity of what he’s doing to Joffrey, and not to like him as a result (better cement it) From a fierce ally of Rahinera to a loyal enemy). However, Daemon, who does the same with Rhea earlier in the episode (while apparently acting maliciously and poised in exchange for Kriston Cole’s fiery passion), gets more free editing – because he’s not really the villain in the story.

This sympathetic framing of Daemon in the face of what, on paper, is atrocious acts, is clearly a distinct choice in a sea of ​​morally ambiguous characters, even as he does things that might offend the audience’s feelings. The Episode Four crackling, “King of the Narrow Sea,” He can be described as “the one in whom a demon seduces his niece”. But while this is technically accurate, viewing their actions is more complex. Their actions in “the bowels of the den of pleasure,” as Otto Heitor put it, are not presented through performances or directives as insane or illicit. Millie Alcock Rainera portrays herself as enjoying herself during her physical interactions, and the physical intimacy scenes are not portrayed in an exploitative way or in a way that suggests what they’re doing is wrong. The sudden and obvious departure of the devil feelings About the situation is in direct conflict with the vile thing he is accused of. Rumors about their meeting led to big problems for Rhaenyra (and another denial of Daemon), but again, the seemingly insidious acts on paper are presented in a more subtle and ambiguous way to the audience.

It’s best to prepare his arc in Episode 7, when he’s He is reunited with Rhaenyra and the two decide to marry. Again, he’s mostly on the outskirts of the episode’s main event, but his motive – and the way the audience is asked to perceive it, even In the face of incest – rooted in his feelings as a character rather than an archetype he sticks to. Here, it becomes clear why the show has consistently kept the audience away from Daemon’s vile acts. We have come to a point where the battle lines have been drawn, and it has become clear that Alicent, and not Daemon, is Rhaenyra’s main antagonist. Rhaenyra and Daemon’s decision to marry Cement is her ally, not her rival. For the audience to accept this, there must be some distance between them and Daemon’s more morally questionable actions, and so the series has been keen from the start to present Daemon in a sympathetic manner, even when he does things the audience would otherwise do, mocking the actions of an obvious bad guy. For Daemon to be the partner Rhaenyra was destined to be, he had to stay away from his primary actions.

The end result of all this confusion is clear: Satan Targaryen is not a good man. But he’s also not the villain in this story, and the series tells us that all the time.

Leave a Comment