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House of the Dragon: Eve Best signed up to ride dragons, here’s what she thought

Eve Best at House of the Dragon premiere
Eve Best wanted to be a dragon rider on House of the Dragon. Pic credit: ©Imagecollect.com/Billy Bennight/AdMedia

House of the Dragon is about to debut this Sunday night on HBO Max. It is a prequel series to Game of Thrones and fans of the original show are eager to see what will happen next.

Concentrating on House Targaryen, House of the Dragon will explore the powerful house while they were in their heyday, some 200 years prior to the events that unfolded in Game of Thrones.

Already, the trailer has revealed the struggle for the Iron Throne was still occurring, even back then as King Viserys (Paddy Considine) decides his line of succession will follow through to his daughter, Rhaenyra (Emma D’Arcy), rather than his brother, Daemon (Matt Smith).

This usurps the precedent set that is supposed to see male heirs preferred over females and leads to much tension in the realm.

Eve Best will portray Rhaenys Targaryen and had not watched the original series before she signed up.

However, when she heard there was dragon riding involved, she was instantly a fan.

Eve Best signed on because of the dragons

Eve Best stars as Princess Rhaenys Targaryen in Season 1 of HBO's House of the Dragon
Eve Best stars as Princess Rhaenys Targaryen in Season 1 of House of the Dragon. Pic credit: HBO

In a recent interview with The Guardian, Eve Best revealed she had auditioned for House of the Dragon without having watched the original series.

“I was a complete Game of Thrones virgin. I knew it was a big deal but was unprepared for the sheer, gobsmacking scale of it,” Best said.

However, it was the dragon riding that really sold her on the TV show.

“They told me my character was a dragon rider. I was in!”

In Fire and Blood, the book on which House of the Dragon is based, Best’s character has a dragon named Meleys, who is also referred to as the Red Queen.

The actor then went on to describe what it was like to ride dragons — albeit mechanical ones that had not yet undergone CGI to make them come to life.

“Someone described it as like a bucking bronco meets a wild rollercoaster,” Best explained.

“I can’t bear fairground rides, so it was slightly filling me with dread. But it was amazing. You climb up a huge ladder onto this extraordinary machine, then get strapped in. It moves and makes alarming noises, while a wind machine blasts you. I was bruised to hell the next day.”

Eve Best as Rhaenys Targaryen and Steve Toussaint as Lord Corlys Velaryon, as seen in Season 1 of HBO's House of the Dragon
Eve Best as Rhaenys Targaryen and Steve Toussaint as Lord Corlys Velaryon, as seen in Season 1 of House of the Dragon. Pic credit: HBO/Ollie Upton

Eve Best portrays Rhaenys Targaryen

In the book, Princess Rhaenys Targaryen is also known as “The Queen Who Never Was.”

This is because she should have been heir to the Iron Throne after her father (the heir apparent) died before the actual king, Jaehaerys I Targaryen (her grandfather). However, Jaehaerys decided to hand his rule over to his second son rather than following the line of his firstborn son to Rhaenys.

Then, this second son also died before the king and the line of succession was in dispute once more. If the line of succession from Jaehaerys were to be followed, Rhaenys’ son, Laenor, should have been named an heir (if the king still wanted to avoid putting a woman on the throne), but that branch of the family tree was overlooked once again.

Instead, Rhaenys’ cousin, Viserys, was given the title. In House of the Dragon, Viserys is currently reigning in Westeros, but the line of succession is still in chaos due to the fact that he only has one child, a girl.

This time, though, he has opted to put his daughter next in line, something that will likely upset Rhaenys as her family has been overlooked once more when it comes to ruling over Westeros.

As for how this goes remains to be seen and viewers will have to tune in on Sunday night in order to find out more.

Season 1 of House of the Dragon will premiere on August 21 on HBO Max.

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