House of the Dragon: Why Matt Smith's Targaryen Cast Is So Split

Matt Smith played Daemon Targaryen in the Game of Thrones prequel House of the Dragon, but his casting and appearance initially divided fans.

Warning! SPOILERS for House of the Dragon ahead!

Matt Smith plays the role of Daemon Targaryen House of the Dragon, but why is his casting (and appearance) in the Game of Thrones prequels dividing fans? Based on George R.R. Martin's Fire and Blood, which was written as a cosmic history detailing the Targaryen dynasty of Westeros, House of the Dragon takes place 172 years before the events of Game of Thrones. Centered on Viserys I, the fifth Targaryen king, it would eventually lead to the civil war known as the Dance of the Dragons, in which Daemon Targaryen was a key player. Matt Smith, a Game of Thrones spin-off character considered one of the best and fiercest fighters of his time, amid tensions between Hightower's Greens and Targaryen's loyal Blacks In the lead, Matt Smith played exactly this role has been stepped on.

While Smith is widely loved for his work as the Eleventh Doctor in Doctor Who, his name's acceptance among the cast of House of the Dragon was more mixed prior to the show. When news of Matt Smith's Game of Thrones spinoff first surfaced, there was some chatter on social media Fans from A Song of Ice and Fire weren't happy with this choice, as they didn't think he was right for the role (from Winter Comes). This continues as production begins on House of the Dragon, again leading some to object that Smith doesn't look Targaryen enough (via The Things) - see Matt Smith's House of Dragon character stay Shoulder-length blonde hair is a lot to absorb at first. This kind of division isn't uncommon when casting characters based on favorite source material, and it's been the case with the Game of Thrones cast as well. It also talks about the dangers of typecasting and casting based only on looks, and the need to see the show before really judging.

How Matt Smith's Daemon Is Proving Critics Wrong

Smith is best known for his role as The Doctor, playing a curious childlike alien. That's great, but it doesn't initially make him the obvious choice for the role of House Targaryen, patrons of dragons, a character who's arrogant, ambitious, powerful, and bad-tempered. However, Smith was able to cover all the more geeky parts The on-screen personality of the daemon. From his fight with Crab Feeder to taking Rhaenyra to a brothel as a young girl, the actor has proven he's capable of taking on Daemon Targaryen's smirking immorality.

Another initial concern had to do with the actor's appearance. He had the usual silver-blond hair of House Targaryen, combined with their usual otherworldly good looks, though he might have been a bit grim. The costume designers managed to remove any insecurities about his appearance, as he looks a lot like a Targaryen. He might not be the best choice for Game of Thrones spin-off Matt Smith, but that in itself makes casting interesting in its own right.

Not only that, but Smith has completely mastered the role of House Targaryen, the Dragon Demon. The actor dominates as the rogue prince, and when he's at his most lascivious, he's very believable. He dominates his scenes with the tiniest smirk that can signify anything from outright espionage to a moment of sincerity. Every movement of the characters screams authenticity. Whether he kills his own wife or mourns the death of his second wife just to appease his wife Niece, Daemon Targaryen's duplicity is brought to life by Matt Smith's performance as the prince. While initial issues raised by critics, such as his looks and acting skills, caused a stir, the actor has proven that he is not only capable of taking on the role, but can also shine in it.

Matt Smith's Resume Actually Set Him Up Well To Play Daemon

The actor's work on The Crown, Last Night in SoHo, and other less enjoyable projects also proved the so-called "credentials problem" wrong. While he's best known as Doctor Who, he did have other acting gigs that helped ground him in the role, allowing him to take on sharper, less likable characters. Ultimately, Matt Smith proved critics wrong about his portrayal of the Daemon Targaryen House of the Dragon character — but given his penchant for portraying similar characters Skill, which is not surprising in retrospect. He looks like the character, plays the character, and really embodies the malevolence that Daemon sneers on screen. House of the Dragon's most controversial casting turned out to be less controversial, as actor Matt Smith has proven he's the right choice to play the rogue prince.

What's Coming For Daemon In Future Seasons?

House of the Demon Targaryen Dragon Characters don't have happy endings. In true George R.R. Martin fashion, with A Dance with Dragons in full swing, the troubled fan-favorite character meets a rather sticky end. When audiences last saw Daemon, he was revealing Luceris' death - while he was plotting Rhaenyra's war. Later in A Dance with Dragons, Daemon and his dragon Karax land at Harrenhal, which lets the squatters flee and the prince waits for the Greens' revenge. About two weeks later, Aemond Targaryen and his dragon Vhagar arrived, and the two fought. During the battle above the God's Eye, Daemon heroically jumped from his dragon saddle and stabbed Aemond in the blinded eye. Unfortunately, both dragons collide with the Eye of God, and the dragons (and their riders) fall to the ground. Years later, the bodies of Emond and Vhagar were found in the lake, but Daemon's body was never found. It's a sad end for the Patronus of Dragons, but his death appears to be a character in the Game of Thrones universe.

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