Attention: THE MAIN SPOILERS for the first episode of “House of the Dragon” on HBO.
“House of the Dragon” has finally debuted on HBO, more than three years after the end of “Game of Thrones.” The new show begins with House Targaryen in power with a host of dragonriders, but still with a fight over who should be next in line for the Iron Throne. The desire of King Viserys to inherit his son led to the bloodiest scene of the series premiere, and, oddly enough, it was not because of Damon’s raid on the criminals of King’s Landing or a jousting tournament, but because of Queen Emma’s labor and the unsuccessful delivery of their son. .
Emma made it clear to her husband that this would be her last pregnancy, because she could not stand it anymore, and Viserys was sure that she would have a boy. They were both ultimately right, though not in the way expected. The baby Prince was cut out of Emma (with Viserys’ permission) for an extremely bloody scene. Paddy Considine, who played Viserys in the TV series “House of the Dragon”, thanked actress Sian Brooke for her work as the queen and told CinemaBlend about it at a press conference:
Sian had most of it. She carried it. It was very physical, like being dragged out of bed. We had a midwife there… There are a lot of buckets of blood, pumps and the like. It was a tough physical day for her and it was an emotional day. This scene was actually more emotional than even in the final version. [For] Viserys [had] several versions where he was completely distraught. I do not know if they felt that they should not show him so devastated, if you like, but yes, it was a hard day of filming. Sian was the real driving force behind it.
Sian Brooke may not have spent the most time on screen in the first episode of House of the Dragon, but the actress ensured that her performance was one of the most memorable. Between Emma’s obviously difficult pregnancy, her attempts to give birth, and her reaction when she realized Viserys had allowed her to open her up to save the baby while she was still fully conscious, it’s not hard to see why it was emotional. shoot!
According to Paddy Considine, he shot some versions as a more devastated Viserys. The king is certainly unhappy with the finished product; obviously, the bloody loss of his wife (and son shortly after) caused more damage in different takes. The actor told in detail what his partner went through for the sake of Emma’s birth scene:
She had to be dragged off the bed, and that was also very cruel, but the thing is, you’re trying to make it authentic, but it’s also very, very technical. There are a lot of technical things going on. There are pumps there… and it tires Sian out, because if something technically goes wrong, we have to come back and pick it up again. But do you know who’s complaining? It worked.
Authenticity was the key to selling this scene, and the finished product definitely concealed any technical tricks and pumping used to terrify what Emma was going through and what her husband put her through for the sake of getting an heir. What they were shooting wasn’t exactly straightforward in case they needed to do take after take, which was very different from a non-gore dialogue scene like the one that delivered a big “Game of Thrones” tie that may not have been entirely necessary. .
But as Paddy Considine said, it worked! Sian Brooke was not listed in the series when HBO published the list of characters, so it’s not surprising that Queen Emma didn’t last long. The actors had to find a way to sell a love marriage that had already produced one healthy child with Rainira without spending much time together. Considine explained:
We have invested! We haven’t known each other for so long. We needed to make their relationship believable in a short time, and sometimes it was very, very difficult. You need time to get to know someone, but she came in a few days later and broke it up, and we got along really well, and it was believable. Her shadow hangs over this series and hangs over Viserys for a very long time.
Despite the fact that Queen Emma is gone (and will most likely be replaced sooner or later, judging by the trailer), her life and death will obviously remain with her husband. He had already taken a big step by naming their daughter the heir to the throne; no matter how he moved forward, she would not be forgotten.
However, at some point there will be a time jump, as the old versions of Rainira and Alicent Hightower were involved and widely presented in the preliminary shots. It should be interesting to see if Emma’s legacy continues to weigh on Viserys after the time jump, or if his mourning will remain in the past. It’s safe to say that no matter what happens next, there could be serious chaos in the Seven Kingdoms.
Keep tuning in to HBO on Sundays at 21:00. ET for new episodes of House of the Dragon in the 2022 TV program.