matt smith as the doctor in BBC's Doctor Who

The Old Comfort Character vs Current Comfort Character Meme Came for My Jugular

When we talk about old comfort characters and new comfort characters, you can usually see why someone likes both of them. There’s often a clear connection in them—a through-line of character, if you will. There’s been a meme on TikTok for a while where the two meet each other and talk to one another, normally at the expense of the person posting it. The old comfort character asks “How is she/he/they” and the current comfort character usually has some smart response about how the person in question is worse than before. Sometimes, it’s the same character or two characters played by the same actor so they laugh, but you get the idea.

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I have so many characters I have loved throughout the years that I never could really do the meme; my comfort characters are legion. But a character that has meant a lot to me from the moment he appeared on the hit show Doctor Who is the Eleventh Doctor. So color me read to filth when TikTok user kayylord shared a video of Matt Smith as the Eleventh Doctor asking the famed “how is she” with Daemon Targaryen from House of the Dragon responding “Worse. So much worse.”

Yeah, okay, you’re not WRONG, fine. But it is hilarious to look at these two characters and realize that yes, I suppose Daemon is my current comfort character because I love tuning in each week to see what he’s doing to make a mess in Westeros but it also is hilarious that…I learned how I was doing so much worse from this TikTok.

The 11th Doctor

Matt Smith crying as the eleventh Doctor on BBC's Doctor Who.

I was lucky enough to be in London when Matt Smith premiered as the Eleventh Doctor and the minute I saw his flopsy hair and watched him befriend a child with fish sticks and custard, I knew that I was a goner. I loved Eleven so much because he was an older take on the Doctor in a younger body and he was hot-headed and angry while also struggling to find his own sense of happiness and purpose.

He’d have grand speeches that often didn’t work out and I will never forget when he said “I will always remember when the Doctor was me.” He is still, in a lot of ways, my comfort character. I go back to those Steven Moffat seasons with Matt Smith and rewatch them over and over again because I just find such joy in the story arcs and the journey that Matt Smith and his crew of the TARDIS took us on. So it really isn’t that surprising that I love everything Daemon has done, because Matt Smith is for sure through-line in my life.

Daemon Targaryen

Daemon Targaryen in House of the Dragon

Oh my dramatic FOOL! Much like Eleven, Daemon loves to be dramatic. And I love him for it. I don’t necessarily think I’m doing worse than I was when I fell in love with Eleven but I guess these two characters would know more than I would.

He’s different from what the book gave us and maybe that’s why I haven’t been turned off of Daemon Targaryen yet. He is overzealous, loves his niece/wife, and is dedicated to his children and I do like that about him and so I’m not mad about my love of Daemon. But this TikTok did make me throw my phone and yell OH NO out into the darkness of my room so!!!


I guess, someone save me?

Who are your old and new comfort characters, and what would they make of each other (and you?)

(image: BBC)

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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.