Ser Criston didn’t expect the sex scene in House of the Dragon‘s so-called “Hot Girl Summer” episode to happen. The actor (Fabien Frankel) who played him, however, knew well in advance and even spent nearly two-thirds of a year preparing. Disrobing on camera is quite one thing, and surely, Frankel paid mind to his physical condition, but even more than that, he (and Milly Alcock) did emotional and mental prep work.
As Frankel told Entertainment Weekly, the scene was “something we talked about over seven months.” He wanted to ensure that the scene wasn’t “another gratuitous, sweat-glistening-off-their-back sex scene,” and yes, there were plenty of nuances involved. That includes Criston’s struggle to abandon his vow of chastity, which he apparently settled by the next episode while he proposed marriage to Princess Rhaenyra. Then when she rejected him in favor of her duty-bound marriage, he lost it and went ballistic, pummeling the life out of Laenor’s gay lover, Joffrey. But before that happened, Frankel wanted to ensure that the sex scene was believable and not automatically graceful because onscreen intimacy (and real-life intimacy) is awkward stuff:
“I just remember back and forth texts, back and forth phone calls, back and forth meetings between Clare, myself, Milly, and our intimacy coordinator. But particularly me, Clare, and Milly going, ‘How do we make this human?’”
From there, Frankel addressed how difficult it would have been for Ser Criston to shed that armor in a real-life scenario. “These are the things I really cared about,” Frankel said by stressing that he wanted the scene to feel authentic. “For even a world-quality squire, you’ve got 10 minutes to get the armor off… There’s no way Rhaneyra and Cole are gonna take that armor off in 10 seconds.” All that hard work went into a worthy scene, although the aftereffects weren’t so great for Westeros or the House of Targaryen.
This week, we’ll see the followup to an episode that was (rightfully or not) compared to the famed Game of Thrones “Red Wedding,” which ended with Criston and Queen Alicent forming an alliance. Ten years later, we’ll see whether that still stands.
(Via Entertainment Weekly)