*Warning - spoilers for the first episode of House of the Dragon season 2*


The second season of House of the Dragon has now kicked off, following up directly on the shocking end to season 1, which saw Rhaenyra's child Lucerys being killed.

In the first episode of season 2, Matt Smith's character Daemon tried to get Eve Best's Rhaenys to come with him on a mission to kill Aemond and his dragon Vhagar, but she questioned his authority and refused, even as he accused her of being the reason Lucerys died.

Eve Best spoke exclusively with RadioTimes.com about filming this crucial scene, and revealed that it changed in the filming of it, as she found an "empathy" within Rhaenys for Daemon, which she previously thought did not exist.

She explained: "The scene with Daemon in episode 1, when we did it at the read-through it felt very [much] like it would be just a kind of Top Trumps sort of, you know, who's got the most power, kind of power play sort of a scene.

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"And then just thinking about it a little bit more and digging a bit deeper, and then coming to do it as well with Matt, it felt like what came out of it was an awful lot of compassion that Rhaenys felt for Daemon, which was very surprising."

Matt Smith as Daemon Targaryen in House of the Dragon season 2 in armour with hands clasped
Matt Smith as Daemon Targaryen in House of the Dragon season 2. HBO

Best continued: "Because I feel like she's always kept him at an arm's length and profoundly distrusted him as a character, but actually discovering in that scene a lot of empathy for him. In that moment, in that scene, [she] suddenly sees him as this hopeless little lost boy.

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"For example, when he says to her, 'If you'd have killed everybody when you had the chance then Lucerys would still be alive,' people have asked me, 'Is that a moment where she suddenly has a moment of guilt?' and I felt like absolutely not.

"She is very clear in that moment that that was absolutely the right thing to do, and appalling that, as a result, this personal tragedy has happened, but on a bigger scale, choosing not to start a nuclear war is always a good choice.

"But also, what he throws at her in that moment is entirely reflective of him, and his own vulnerability and his own sort of desperate need to blame somebody. How she empathised with him so much was in the strange position that, oddly, they are both in, that weirdly mirrors each other.

"That they are both slight outsiders, these sort of displaced characters who should have - in her case, rightly so - should have been placed in a position of power and leadership and is denied because of her sex, and him in his own head equally should have placed in that position too.

"And the feeling of sort of role-lessness that one has in that position. It's very difficult - how do I position myself? And I know a lot of my work in season 1 was working that out with Rhaenys and discovering that all the time, was where do you put yourself when you don't actually have a role and you feel like you should have a role?

"And you have some kind of status but you don't have any status. And that's a very strange, difficult path to tread for one's own sense of self and self-esteem and value."

House of the Dragon has already been renewed for a third season, which will follow this current run, which itself is slightly shorter than season 1, at eight episodes instead of 10.

House of the Dragon season 2 continues Mondays on Sky Atlantic and NOW – find out more about how to sign up for Sky TV.


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