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‘Home of the Dragon’ Director on That Sport-Altering Episode 8 (and What Occurred to Dyana) 


[Warning: This story contains spoilers for House of the Dragon, episode eight.]

Home of the Dragon simply aired what’s arguably its strongest episode but: a game-changing hour that served as a finale of types for the present’s first eight episodes, in addition to a pilot for the remainder of the sequence.

In “The Lord of Tides,” all the main characters (save an ailing Corlys Velaryon) got here collectively for what is perhaps the final time on the Purple Hold for a petition to find out Velaryon’s inheritor. However the true event was unstated: dying King Viserys (Paddy Considine) desperately making a last-ditch effort to forestall a civil warfare amongst his feuding household. It additionally marked the primary time all of the youthful characters — who had been beforehand performed by totally different actors — are embodied by their “important” performers.

The episode was written by Eileen Shim and directed by Geeta Patel (Meet the Patels), who infused every scene with creeping dread {that a} Targaryen doomsday was simply across the nook — if solely appointed inheritor, Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen (Emma D’Arcy), and the king’s spouse, Queen Alicent Hightower (Olivia Cooke), might put aside their rising variations. Patel discusses the episode with The Hollywood Reporter within the interview under.

This episode felt like a second pilot for the remainder of the sequence, did it really feel like that in some methods for the creatives as nicely? 
I don’t know. Once I learn it, it felt just like the end result of numerous setup for Viserys’ storyline that began from the start. It felt like the tip of a movie and organising the following piece. So I simply keep in mind being so comfortable I obtained to direct it.

At the beginning of the episode, there was the scene with Dyana, who was then famous as lacking. Is she simply recovering or transferred to a different a part of the Purple Hold? What are we purported to assume occurred to her when she didn’t return?

I believe we’re all ready for the reply on that. I do know [showrunners Ryan Condal and Miguel Sapochnik] had been speaking about Alicent paying her off and that she would disappear.

Okay. However the tea actually was simply to forestall being pregnant and Alicent was being honest — she didn’t secretly, like, have her killed or one thing.

Oh, the tea was undoubtedly to forestall being pregnant — the identical tea Younger Rhaenyra obtained. However after this, I’m curious the place we go along with that character. Does she come up once more?

The scene with Dyana and Alicent was a sensible method to delicate subject material — to give attention to her verbally conveying the horror of Aegon’s assault.

[Showrunners] Ryan Condal and Miguel Sapochnik and [executive producer and writer] Sara Hess, after they had been creating the story, made that selection. There have been older actresses who had been [not underage] who would’ve been simpler to shoot with as a result of you’ll be able to have extra hours with them. Then once we noticed that younger actress [Maddie Evans] throughout her audition and all of us had tears in our eyes. I mentioned to Ryan, “That is going to screw up my schedule, however we now have to have her.” She conveyed the vulnerability, she conveyed the tragedy.

After which Olivia stepped up for the event. As a result of the massive problem of this episode was, I actually needed to be in Alicent’s sneakers. I didn’t like her anymore. So coming into this episode, we would have liked to like her. We would have liked to really feel her viewpoint. My feeling was: Let’s make this like a day within the lifetime of a working mother. You see all the pieces she’s coping with. You see when she’s doing ugly issues, however you perceive her vulnerability. You perceive she’s choosing between two evils. In order that scene had at all times anxious me as a result of I needed so desperately for us to know Alicent, however the phrases she’s saying and actions she’s taking are all fairly harsh and according to a villain. So numerous the prep of these scenes like, cinematically, how will we stroll by the door and be together with her?

Then Olivia introduced a lot dimension. I keep in mind after her first take, I used to be like, “Oh, thank God.” She introduced all the pieces, and a lot greater than I might have even considered. In order that was one in all my favourite scenes to work on as a result of I felt prefer it had the dimension with Alicent we had been in search of.

You can also’t take your eyes off King Viserys on this. He’s like a ghoulish ticking bomb with each wheezy breath as a result of we all know as quickly as he dies that each one hell goes to interrupt free. His return to the throne is so emotional, but easy. It’s simply: “Can a person stroll throughout a room and sit down?” But you’re on the sting of your seat.

That scene was actually difficult. In filmmaking and TV, you simply don’t have time as a result of you will have a lot to do. We obtained to the purpose the place Paddy walked down the aisle the primary time and we’re all taking a look at our watches going, “Oh, we’re screwed. We’re by no means gonna make this schedule as a result of it takes so lengthy for him to stroll.” Some folks approached me and mentioned, “Perhaps we must always reduce this down as a result of that is going to eat up our day.” I thought of it and was like, no, as a result of it’s really a narrative second. This isn’t a kind of moments the place someone simply reveals up at a door so we will reduce out displaying them driving up and parking exterior. The entire story is the exertion this man is giving towards his aim and that’s taking place as he’s strolling. All the things that we constructed from the pilot is going on proper there. Paddy’s again was hurting, he was pushing so laborious on that cane.

Then once we rehearsed it, and Rhaenyra simply occurred to have been in the midst of speaking when he is available in. Impulsively, it got here collectively in my head. I known as Ryan and mentioned, “Wait a minute. He’s not strolling to the throne. He’s strolling to his daughter. He’s doing this for her, he’s lastly selecting household.” So on the final minute, we discovered get some footage of Rhaenyra taking a look at Viserys and Viserys taking a look at her. I had tears in my eyes as a result of the love a father has for his daughter is so stunning and so primal. And the truth that it got here to fruition amid all of the wrestle, it was simply superior.

For the dinner scene, it felt like studying a chapter in one in all George R.R. Martin’s books. What are among the subtleties followers might need missed amongst all that was occurring? 

There was a lot as a result of each character in that at that desk had a narrative to inform, had an opinion and had a giant shift. So I hope we obtained numerous it as a result of we labored so laborious to get round that desk to each single interplay. I believe one in all among the extra refined moments might need been Aegon and his relationship with Viserys — the very fact he doesn’t actually have the love that he needs from his father. That’s what’s driving numerous his habits and lack of esteem. He comes throughout as a whole jerk. However there have been appears he was giving Viserys the place he’s a bit like a teen. And within the throne room, too. [Actor] Tom Glynn-Carney had actually come to know the historical past of his character and the humanity of his character.

My favourite bit might need been Daemon sizing up Aemond as they handed one another. Daemon appears form of amused this man is stealing his look and in addition on the similar time they’re mutually acknowledging they’re destined to battle sooner or later.

Really, that was a notice I obtained from Ryan. He identified one thing that’s to return sooner or later and the way that second was actually necessary. And that was all Matt Smith, simply letting him be Daemon in these moments. It’s a good thing about getting so far within the season the place everybody has a extremely good thought of what their character needs and what’s standing in the way in which of it.

Simply how honest had been Rhaenyra and Alicent throughout these toasts? 

In order that was one other second! They had been honest, however they had been nonetheless themselves. The aim was to get to that scene and perceive how lonely every of them was and the way they each missed one another not directly. Ryan and Miguel and I talked for a yr about how we’ve obtained to earn that second. The concept was we might really feel it coming earlier within the throne room after they each see Viserys was so weak. Rhaenyra realized Alicent wasn’t mendacity to to her and she or he was telling the reality that Viserys was struggling and that Alicent actually cherished him.

So that you’ve obtained this father on his deathbed and these two combating “daughters” of his sitting on both facet of him to mourn him, and in some way the chemistry of each of them got here collectively. It was laborious as a result of they by no means really say [the toasts] to one another. They needed to in some way do it in between all of the strains of them saying hurtful issues. It was one of the crucial difficult issues I’ve been part of as a director.

So throughout Viserysdying scene, did Alicent intentionally misunderstand what the king meant when he was speaking about Aegon’s Ice and Fireplace prophecy? Or at the very least embrace it regardless of its fuzziness as a result of it’s what she needs to listen to anyway? Or does she genuinely assume — when he’s delirious on milk of the poppy — that he believes he made a complete mistake and desires her son Aegon on the Iron Throne?

It attention-grabbing you say that as a result of that was my worry entering into. The intention was that she genuinely thought he was telling her that her son was going to be the inheritor. The one method to get even near attaining that was to really feel the vulnerability and innocence in Alicent. We needed to really feel much less of the conniving and extra of the lady that we grew up with in episode one. The truth that you had been even confused makes me really feel good as a result of I felt like that was such a excessive bar for us popping out of Miguel’s [episode seven] when she was was hanging out with Larys within the final scene. The joke is, I known as Miguel and I used to be like, “Are you able to please, like, do one thing on the finish of your episode to assist me a bit of bit with Alicent?” Nope, you’re by yourself!

And what was Viserys whispering as he was dying — there aren’t any subtitles on press screeners and I wasn’t certain if it was purported to be obvious or not?

When he was dying, it was Paddy’s personal world. We’re not purported to know what he’s saying.

OK. I stored wanting Rhaenyra to drag Alicent apart and simply say: “ that you simply and your children are going to be secure, proper? I wouldn’t damage them.” I really feel like that’s just like the one factor she wants to listen to.

That’s true. And the factor that that stands in the way in which, after all, is all this delight. All of them have delight at this level.

‘Home of the Dragon’ Director on That Sport-Altering Episode 8 (and What Occurred to Dyana) 

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