Daemon Targaryen has always been something of a morally dubious individual, but for many fans of George R.R. Martin's Fire and Blood, the version of the character Matt Smith plays in HBO's House of the Dragon made the jump to outright villainy - and they are not happy about it.
In the recent season finale, Daemon violently chokes his wife/niece Rhaenyra when she brings up Viserys' "The Prince Who Was Promised" prophecy - hours after she gave birth to their stillborn child.
We've seen Daemon do some pretty heinous stuff over the course of the season (including bashing his first wife's head in with a rock), but for many, putting his hands on Rhaenyra was a step too far. This does mark a departure from the book, though nothing we've seen from Daemon in the series up until now suggests that he wouldn't be capable of this kind of act.
Even so, showrunner/co-creator Ryan Condal has clearly taken note. "Yeah, please explain to me and George who Daemon is as a character, everybody," Condal sarcastically responded to EW (via SFFGazette) when asked about the backlash.
"Well, I mean... he killed his wife," he added. "We've seen Daemon do very questionable things all season long, but he's being played incredibly by an actor who's exuding charisma," Condal says of Smith. "He's fun and fascinating and dangerous the way these great Game of Thrones characters are, like Bronn [Jerome Flynn] and Jamie [Nikolaj Coster-Waldau] and the Red Viper [Pascal]. We're really drawn to those characters as an audience, but that doesn't mean that they are unimpeachable heroes that are not capable of doing really questionable things."
Condal does have a point, and it's important to keep in mind that Fire and Blood is written in the form of a historical record based on various (potentially unreliable) narrators, so there is definitely some room for interpretation.
What do you guys make of Condal's explanation? Do you feel Daemon has been inaccurately portrayed in the show? Drop us a comment down below.