‘House of the Dragon’: Steve Toussaint & Eve Best on Why a Taste of Power is Never Enough


From co-showrunners Ryan Condal (Colony) and Miguel Sapochnik (Game of Thrones), who’re additionally government producers together with creator George R.R. Martin, the HBO collection House of the Dragon explores the Targaryen household with all the facility, hazard, rivalry, jealous, betrayal, homicide and love that would both make them invincible or tear them aside. When you throw in highly effective dragons, it turns into inconceivable to know who to belief or the place loyalties lie, and the Iron Throne that they’re all preventing for just isn’t type in its embrace of whoever sits upon it.

Collider bought the chance to sit down down with co-stars Steve Toussaint (who performs Lord Corlys Velaryon, the richest man in Westeros that shares two kids along with his spouse, Princess Rhaenys Targaryen) and Eve Best (who performs Princess Rhaenys Targaryen, as soon as a potential contender for the Iron Throne) to talk about what retains them related to their characters, how harmful it’s to have ambition in a world like this, the important thing to survival, and why a style of energy simply by no means appears to be sufficient.


Collider: I’m so fascinated by all the things occurring on this present. Everything is so difficult and layered, and I can’t think about what it’s prefer to preserve monitor of all of that. Is there one factor that basically at all times connects you again to the character, that helps you wrap your head across the scope of all of it?

EVE BEST: For me, it’s at all times the opposite particular person within the scene, and fairly often it’s [Steve Toussaint]. All of the difficult stuff could be a actual minefield and an actual head fry. But truly, the underside line is that that’s, actually, any individual else’s enterprise. I’ve discovered, previously, that may be a supply of slight frustration, coming from a theater background the place it’s tremendous collaborative. It’s all very collaborative, however fairly often, within the theater, as a result of there are simply a lot fewer folks concerned, and the size is way smaller, one’s very concerned proper at the start, on seems to be and costumes and wigs, in a really hands-on method, or at the very least I’m. In one thing like this, when the size is simply so big and other people have been engaged on it for years upfront, together with the scripts and designs, and a lot info and analysis has gone on, by the point we arrive, a lot of that artistic work has been carried out and stated. I at all times felt like my job is the script and the opposite actors, the relationships that go on, and the chemistry that occurs between us, which is a really, very huge and sophisticated world, however is sort of a easy set of boundaries to carry onto. That’s, ultimately, at all times what I do.

STEVE TOUSSAINT: For me, and definitely for the character and his motivation, I simply preserve coming again to legacy and household. Those are his overriding issues. Whatever he does, it’s about securing his household’s legacy. If he’s plotting about this and plotting about that, in the end that’s why. Even if it’s ill-advised, his argument could be, “Well, it’s to take care of the family and secure the family.” He’ll take heed to his spouse, and his spouse will say, “No, you shouldn’t do that.” But he’s like, “No, I should,” and he’ll do it. He could possibly be improper, after which he’ll go, “You were right, I shouldn’t have done that.” So, I feel that’s his overriding factor. He needs to safe their place in historical past.

How harmful is that, when everyone else can also be doing that very same factor?

BEST: It’s extraordinarily harmful.

TOUSSAINT: Yeah. In a world the place even a phrase misplaced can find yourself with you being killed, you’ve gotten to have the ability to navigate a high quality line between getting what you need, not exhibiting your hand an excessive amount of, and being respectful. In the primary episode, my character is explaining an imminent hazard to the small council, and so they’re probably not listening, and he’s actually offended. There had been scenes like that the place I must say to Miguel [Sapochnik] or Ryan [Condal], “How far can I push this? Can I come in and do this?” And they’d say, “No, because then they’d cut your head off, so you can’t do that.” And I used to be like, “Okay, fine.” That was a relentless factor, attempting to ensure when your life is within the palms of somebody who can try this and have you ever die. You’ve bought to barter your personal anger or frustration.

BEST: It’s studying easy methods to be actually, actually good negotiators, which I’m not, as an individual, in any respect, and actually good politicians, which I’m not. I’m endlessly getting far too passionate, or far too concerned or engaged. It’s about studying to be a very nice poker participant. It’s completely understanding easy methods to very actually play the sport of chess and being conscious of all of the strikes. My character’s approach is partly a political astuteness, but additionally has to do with self-protection. She should stay together with her hand extremely near her chest, and gained’t ever show her playing cards till the very, very, very, final second, when she does. You have to stay a supply of thriller to everybody else round you. That could be a method of sustaining your personal energy, once you really feel it’s been stripped away from you.

There really are dysfunctional households in each style and each time interval, however actions don’t at all times end in beheadings and there aren’t at all times dragons that may blow your face off.

TOUSSAINT: Right, precisely.

That has to affect the best way you behave.

TOUSSAINT: Absolutely, once you put it like that. That’s true.

Are they a household the place, as soon as they get a style of energy, is it sufficient? Do they need extra? Is there going to be a line that they draw for themselves? How formidable are they?

TOUSSAINT: That’s actually fascinating. He is tremendous formidable.

BEST: I feel she truly can also be, due to what she’s been by way of. She needs to not be. Actually, her deepest want could be to get the hell out, if she may, and simply go dwell in Spain and drink cocktails, and produce up her household and have a pleasant, simple life. But she will be able to’t try this.

TOUSSAINT: There is a second within the collection the place she says one thing alongside the traces of, “We have enough money,” or one thing like that. His ambition is, “We should be the preeminent family, and so whatever I have to do to achieve that, I will do.” One method or one other, he has to get burned earlier than he takes a step again and appears on the larger image and thinks, “Well, actually, we’re doing okay. We’re the richest people here.”

BEST: It’s disingenuous to say that she’s not formidable due to course she is. It’s a method of coping with a pissed off ambition, the place half of the self needs to simply depart and kiss goodbye to the bullshit that surrounds you.

It’s the dragons and the beheadings that you need to fear about.

TOUSSAINT: Absolutely, yeah.

House of the Dragon airs on HBO on Sundays and is on the market to stream at HBO Max.

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