With House of the Dragon’s premiere date just over a month away, HBO’s media onslaught is in full effect. Cover stories! A featurette! A two-part deep dive into House with a look at the other Game of Thrones spinoffs that didn’t make it to the air! (Bloodmoon sounds way more interesting than anything still in development.)
Amidst all that are a passel of actors, some in uncomfortable-looking wigs. One of those is our former Doctor, Matt Smith, who plays the arrogant Prince Daemon Targaryen. He’s probably going to succeed at war. First, he just has to remember the names of all those pesky dragons.
The first part of The Hollywood Reporter’s House of the Dragon story is very much about the show’s development and not so much about its filming, but Smith makes an appearance right at at the start.
“I want patrols along the island’s perimeter,” declares the glowering Daemon, clad in all black with long, silver-blond hair. “Conscript the dragon riders, they’re capable fighters … we have Syrax, Caraxes and Tyraxes and …”
Smith, pauses. What’s the name of the fourth dragon again?
“Ah, for fuck’s sake!” Smith yells. “No fucking fuck! I want … ah fuck it!”
What is the name of the fourth dragon? I certainly don’t know. And no one wants to tell us, though Smith’s co-star, Emma D’arcy, understands his plight: “All the dragons have weird names with Xes in them!”
Clearly, this dragon-naming convention is long lost by the time Daenerys Targaryen names her dragon children Drogon, Rhaegal, and Viserion. But there are likely to be a lot more dragons in House of the Dragon, as it’s set hundreds of years earlier, when dragonriders were a bit more common. So common, in fact, that Smith says “I literally got to the point where I thought I was naming Santa’s reindeer.”
Can we take the dragons seriously if even the actors can’t? We’ll find out when House of the Dragon premieres on HBO on August 21st.