Are you ready to delve right back into the “Game of Thrones” universe? In the prequel “House of the Dragon”, viewers will get to witness the downfall of House Targaryen, civil war, and of course, lots of fire-breathing action from the dragons. In addition, fans will also be introduced to many new characters – one of which is Ser Criston Cole.
Fabien Frankel is ready to slay as Criston Cole. In “House of the Dragon”, the Anglo-French actor plays a dashing knight that goes on to become a kingmaker. “He’s not what you think he’s going to be,” the 28-year-old was quoted as saying. “Over the course of the series, he changes a great deal.” In this interview, Fabien Frankel talks about preparing for this interesting role, his experience on set, and more.
Q: Introduce Ser Criston…
Ser Criston Cole is the son of a steward in Blackhaven. At the time of which you meet him, he is a knight with limited prospects due to his lowborn upbringing but he is a remarkably skilled fighter.
Q: Ser Criston is a knight. What does he wear?
It takes some getting used to because you’re literally in armour. And that’s pretty weird. It was made for me but it still took about three weeks to figure out how to sit down.
Q: How do you sit down in armour?
It takes as many spare hands as there are on offer! There’s a neck plate that you have to remove in order to actually move your body. I can’t imagine how people did it in mediaeval times when they actually had to wear steel armour — I think ours was quite a lot lighter than theirs would have been. But even so, I was very much a source of comedy for the cast members, majority of which were in long flowing dresses for the entirety of the shoot.
Matt Smith and Fabien Frankel behind the Scenes of ‘House of the Dragon’
Picture 📷 Empire Magazine.#MattSmith #FabienFrankel #DaemonTargaryen #CristonCole #HouseOfTheDragon #Hotd pic.twitter.com/jZyK9vqhSY
— MATT SMITH NEWS PAGE UK (@Matt_SmithNews) August 4, 2022
Q: What sort of man is Ser Criston?
I would say morally he’s of good intention but inevitably circumstance changes where he sits on the moral scale. I certainly don’t believe he has any big ambitions to start with — it all happens quite accidentally and then slowly, with exposure to that kind of power and those kind of games that are played throughout the show, he starts to develop more ambition. He wises up, basically.
Q: How did you feel about landing such a major role in “House of the Dragon”?
Well, you know, I was a massive “Game of Thrones” fan beforehand. I’d watched the whole show and thought it was absolutely incredible, I loved it. But I wasn’t privy to the “House of the Dragon” scripts until after I’d had the offer of a part, so I really didn’t know anything other than what Miguel [Sapochnik] and Ryan [Condal] had said to me on Zoom about where this Ser Criston Cole’s future lies. Then I got to read the scripts and they were amazing.
Q: What was day one of filming like?
On the first day, we were shooting on this incredible island which you can only get to by boat or by car, depending on what time of the day it is. They were hiding us because some people had got wind that we were filming there. So you felt like you were like an MI5 agent. It made you realise how much people care. And that was my first day — the most nervous you could ever imagine anyone to be.
Q: How did you prepare for the role?
I read up on Dornish history and found they were looked upon almost as the Irish used to be looked upon in England. The Dornish are really spoken ill of by people in Westeros. I come from there, I look Dornish but I wasn’t born there, so I don’t speak with a Dornish accent. I felt Ser Criston Cole is certainly looked down upon by characters like Daemon and people from the wealthy families in Westeros.
Q: Give us some idea of the scale of the “House of the Dragon” shoot?
Like a city. I felt like I was at Glastonbury. It was surreal – you can’t believe the scale of this thing. It’s a huge crew and cast … completely unlike anything I’ve ever seen before, but the best people I have ever worked with.
Catch “House of the Dragon” when it premieres on 22nd August on HBO GO.
Images by HBO GO.