The internet may be fired up about a certain Targaryen uncle, but one House of the Dragon creator doesn’t really get why fans are feeling the heat. Ever since the Game of Thrones prequel began, social media has been flooded with thirsty tweets, memes, and jokes about dragon-riding bad-boy Daemon Targaryen every Sunday night. In one sense, it’s easy to see why fans have fallen for actor Matt Smith’s white-haired rebel, but writer and executive producer Sara Hess is pretty confused by fans’ passionate response to Daemon.
Hess shared her bewildered reaction to Daemon becoming the internet’s collective crush in an Oct. 18 interview with The Hollywood Reporter. Although Daemon wasn’t present in Season 1’s penultimate episode, which aired Oct. 16, the thirst is still very real among the HOTD fandom. Hess said she gets why Smith’s natural charm would make viewers swoon, but she can’t wrap her head around anyone actually wanting to date someone as selfish and controlling as Daemon.
“He’s become Internet Boyfriend in a way that baffles me,” Hess said. “Not that Matt isn’t incredibly charismatic and wonderful, and he’s incredible in the role. But Daemon himself is … I don’t want him to be my boyfriend! I’m a little baffled how they’re all, ‘Oh, daddy!’ And I’m just like: ‘Really?’ How — in what way — was he a good partner, father, or brother — to anybody? You got me. He ain’t Paul Rudd.”
Director Clare Kilner agreed with Hess’ point that Daemon would probably be a terrible partner IRL, but said she wasn’t shocked to see fans become obsessed with the character.
“I’m not surprised,” Kilner replied. “Matt is such a risk-taker in his performances and he’s got that little smile and, you know … you can’t help it! He is charismatic. People love a baddie. But I don’t think he’s particularly a good father or a good brother.”
Well, love him or hate him, Daemon isn’t going anywhere. House of the Dragon has already been renewed for a second season, which is expected to premiere in 2024. So the Daemon thirst will be going strong for the foreseeable future, even if he may continue to make some questionable choices.