As if we’re living in 2011 again, HBO’s House of the Dragon has yet again stimulated our once-idle Game of Thrones stan-hood. And if you’ve been caught up with the prequel, you’ll notice that it has its own emotional moments that can rival the original. But little known fact: A particular scene was actually improvised. Spoilers ahead!
READ: Matt Smith improvised a touching scene in “House of the Dragon”
In the series eight episode titled The Lord of the Tides, a visibly ill King Viserys Targaryen (Paddy Considine) trudges on towards the Iron Throne, despite his worsening condition weakening his physique. On the way, he stumbles in his steps, causing his crown to fall from his head. This prompts his estranged brother Daemon Targaryen (Matt Smith) to pick it up for him and place it back on his head. Despite his initial insistence on heading there himself, Viserys then allows Daemon to walk him to the throne.
It’s a silent move heavy-laden with meaning, given their relationship and how Daemon was eyeing the throne for himself. But according to the episode’s director Geeta Patel, the moment wasn’t actually included in the original script but was in fact improvised by Matt.
“When we were shooting that—I think the rehearsal again, the first day—the crown fell off of Paddy's head and Matt picked it up and we just kept going. We didn't stop [filming].” She told Entertainment Weekly in an interview.
“There was a discovery there of this moment. So then the three of us got together and they were like, ‘We felt this. This felt like the turning point in our relationship.’”
Because of this, Geeta mentioned that she was thankful that the crown had accidentally fallen off, since it became a turning point for a storyline that built up from the pilot. “[It was like] ‘Hey, I want your crown and by the end here I'm gonna put the crown back on your head and I'm gonna help you to your throne.’”
The conclusion for the brothers’ relationship was supposed to be a speech delivered by Daemon during a family dinner, but it was eventually cut for time. Geeta also thought that the scene would’ve been overshadowed by the accidental moment.
“Every time the crown fell off, all of us just caught our breath and at the same time we thought, ‘Will we have anywhere to go by the time we get to the dinner?’” She said.
“Then when you got to the dinner, it was more of an aftermath moment. It was more about the dinner when Daemon gives that speech, there's too many people in the room almost for that to be the emotional moment.”
We do love a serendipitous happy accident!
New episodes of House of the Dragon air weekly on HBO Go every Monday at 9 a.m. Philippine time.
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