House of the Dragon: Fabien Frankel on ‘nerve-wracking’ rehearsals and meeting George R.R. Martin

Virgin Radio

26 Aug 2022, 07:31

(L-R) Fabien Frankel, George R.R Martin

Credit: Rex

The pressure was on for the House of the Dragon cast.

Not only did they have to grapple with the extensive history of Game of Thrones for the highly-anticipated prequel, they also had to get to grips with the elaborate language too.

Set 200 years before the original GoT series, Matt Smith stars as Prince Daemon Targaryen, a formidable warrior who believes himself to be next in line for the Iron Throne. Daemon’s ambitions concern his brother, King Viserys, played by Paddy Considine, and the tensions start to mount as Daemon’s quest for power threatens to destroy the dynasty. 

Fans of Game of Thrones will know about the intricacies and complexities of the names and locations within Westeros, but how did the newbies in the House of the Dragon cast fare?

According to Criston Cole star, Fabien Frankel, they had some help in the way of a dialect coach, but not during the original read-throughs to work out the scenes. 

Fabien explained to “We had…our dialect coach, so I didn’t feel that much pressure. But at the read through, it's nerve-wracking because everyone's just throwing their shot at words. 

“When you hear them and then you can see like someone snigger because you've said it wrong. And you're like, ‘Okay, that wasn't what it was supposed to be’.

The man behind the words of Game of Thrones, author George R.R. Martin, had a hand in making both series, and Fabien recalled how the famed writer never made it to set, but his presence was always felt. 

“He never turned up on set, but there was an ominous chair,” Fabien continued. “They have those like actor chairs with the names on the back. There was this chair that had George R.R Martin on it. 

“I did get to meet him at Comic Con. He was great. We talked about Lord of the Rings, which was really fun. And yeah, he was really lovely, really lovely. I think he's such an iconic looking man, that when you see him, I remember just being like, ‘Oh my God, that's George R.R. Martin.That's incredibly weird that he is sat right there.'”

Learning the language might have been a bit tricky for co-star Eve Best, who told that she hadn’t watched a second of Game of Thrones before landing the part, and the reason why she refused to do so before filming.

House of the Dragon is available to watch exclusively on Sky Atlantic and streaming service NOW.