Daemon and Rhaenyra on House of the Dragon

Emma D’Arcy Talking About Matt Smith’s Aura? Thank Goodness

It is no shock that I love Daemon Targaryen so much on House of the Dragon. He is sassy, overly dramatic, and someone who is ready and willing to fight at any chance afforded to him. Which makes his relationship with Rhaenyra so fascinating to unpack. But it was also seemingly such fun for actor Emma D’Arcy to be working with Matt Smith—which is maybe why their chemistry is so good!

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D’Arcy was featured on the HBO Max Twitter account promoting the upcoming episode of House of the Dragon, and in their interview, they were talking about working with Smith and what it was like to not only learn from him but about his aura, as well. This isn’t the only time that D’Arcy has gushed about Smith in interviews; in most of their joint interviews with co-star Olivia Cooke, D’Arcy has something positive to say about the Doctor Who star.

And now they’re gushing once more about his aura, working with him, and how he made the process easier for them from the start. “God, I’m so grateful to Matt,” D’Arcy says. “I’ve learned a lot from him. I’ve learned how to play in what can be an intense environment.”

They went on to talk about the pressures of the job and everything that was weighing on them prior to filming, and how Smith made it easier. “He has taught me how to ignore the various pressures, the time pressures, all the things that come with shooting on this scale, and tap back into those first principles. I was really scared coming to this whole process because no one knows who the hell I am. I don’t even know who the hell I am. I don’t even know why I am here. Like…and then suddenly, working with Matt Smith, who has an extraordinary aura, I love working with him.”

Shipping Daemon and Rhaenyra

I know they’re uncle and niece as well as husband and wife, but look—they’re cute together, and it is also Westeros, so it is the norm at this point. And shipping the two isn’t entirely our fault. D’Arcy and Smith have brilliant chemistry together, so I can put this shame on them instead of my own soul.

But I’m also not alone in this; many online have had to come to terms with loving Rhaenyra and Daemon together because … well, it is incest, but they also seem to be the only couple (outside of the time when Rhaenys and Corlys Velaryon were happy) who actually enjoy being together.

And most of that love and appreciation for this couple does come from the tiny moments, the little things that Smith and D’Arcy do together in scenes that make it work, and that all comes down to what D’Arcy said about Smith making them feel like it was going to be fine. Matt Smith’s aura is, for me, one of the things I love the most and it is why I think he’s such a fascinating performer (and one I love with my whole being). To know that D’Arcy also commented on it and picked up on the little things about Matt Smith that make him special?

I knew I could trust D’Arcy and their taste, especially after the negroni sbagliato obsession.

(via Collider, image: HBO)


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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh. She has multiple podcasts, normally has opinions on any bit of pop culture, and can tell you can actors entire filmography off the top of her head. Her work at the Mary Sue often includes Star Wars, Marvel, DC, movie reviews, and interviews.