Most fans of the new HBO series “House of the Dragon” can agree that Daemon Targaryen (Matt Smith) stole the third episode like it was a freakin’ dragon egg.
Spoilers for “House of the Dragon” below!
The final scene of the episode, called “Second of His Name,” focused on a battle sequence in which the prince fights an enemy’s army solo like “Game of Thrones” protagonist Jon Snow in the “Battle of the Bastards.”
It was exciting, emotionally potent and deliciously satisfying when Daemon achieved victory in the end.
But what makes the episode’s final moments most impressive is that Smith’s Daemon doesn’t utter a single line throughout the whole sequence, as fans pointed out on Twitter.
It was a performance so good that even longtime fans of Smith’s career had to be thinking, “Doctor who?” while watching.
The third episode deals with how the decisions of King Viserys (Paddy Considine) in prior episodes affected Daemon, who is his younger brother, and Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen (Milly Alcock), his daughter.
Viserys chose Rhaenyra to be his heir and rule over the continent of Westeros instead of the prince — and Daemon, a deliciously petty character, eventually retaliated by starting a war without Viserys’ consent.
Daemon teamed up with Corlys Velaryon (Steve Toussaint) to win back the Stepstones islands, an important shipping route, from the Crabfeeder (Daniel Scott-Smith), a menacing figure who earned his nickname by crucifying his enemies on beaches to be eaten alive by crabs.
Winning the battle would offer Daemon vindication after Viserys rejected him — and, let’s be honest, also send a big, petulant “fuck you” to his big bro.
But in the third episode, things aren’t looking great for Daemon and Corlys. They’re losing the battle and need help.
So, Viserys sends word to his little brother that he’s calling in reinforcements. When Daemon receives the message, all hell breaks loose. The prince will not let his brother win this war for him.
Daemon bashes in the messenger’s head, heads into the battlefield in a rowboat and seemingly surrenders by offering his sword to an enemy soldier.
But in a dishonorable twist, Daemon kills the soldier — unleashing a firestorm.
He battles off other soldiers and almost appears defeated until Corlys’ men come to Daemon’s aid with a dragon in tow. As the battle rages, Daemon sneaks into a cave where the Crabfeeder is hiding and hacks him in two. He then drags the butchered torso outside in victory — proving that Daemon certainly doesn’t need Caraxes, his dragon, to unleash his inner fire.