In the court of io9 I too am guilty of finding Daemon Targaryen himself, Matt Smith, surprisingly attractive. For me it happened somewhere between Last Night in Soho and his dancing sequence in Morbius. Maybe there were hints of it in The Crown but never really occurred to me when he was the Eleventh Doctor in Doctor Who. Handsome and earnest, yes. Hottie? Not until he entered his villain era.
Sure, it’s distressing for House of the Dragon executive producer and writer Sarah Hess that Smith has become the internet’s boyfriend for reasons wholly different than during his Doctor Who era. She told the Hollywood Reporter, “Not that Matt isn’t incredibly charismatic and wonderful, and he’s incredible in the role. But Daemon himself… I don’t want him to be my boyfriend! I’m a little baffled how they’re all, ‘Oh, daddy!’ And I’m just like: ‘Really?’ How—in what way—was he a good partner, father or brother—to anybody? You got me. He ain’t Paul Rudd.” Respectfully, we disagree.
Smith may eventually be on the road to win sexiest man alive (a title Rudd’s won), despite whatever other atrocities Daemon is about to commit. The sheer surprise of Smith turning heel seems to be really doing it for audiences—even more specifically, the manner in which his acting prowess took his dark-haired leading man looks and shifted into a dementedly charming white-haired prince, who should be by all counts irredeemable. He killed his wife but by the time he singlehandedly slayed an army and Crabfeeder we all but forgot.
And yet he’s what internet slang calls a “Babygirl Meow Meow” to fix (not seriously, I hope). Smith has gone from a goody-goody, fish-fingers-and-custard-eating time-traveling hero with a TARDIS to a finger-cutting maniac who stomps through human custard for his family’s name on a dragon. The only competition he’s got is fellow disaster bi Lestat from Interview with the Vampire.
Excuse the cringe, but he’s BAE-mon Targaryen now. He’s so bad it’s sick and we can’t get enough of it.
House of the Dragon airs Sunday on HBO and streams on HBO Max.
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