It takes a certain internal fortitude to approach a Targaryen princess with nothing but a helmet and a smile. But in House of the Dragon‘s premiere, that’s precisely what a dashing, mysterious knight named Ser Criston Cole did.
So when we chatted with Fabien Frankel, who plays Ser Criston in the Game of Thrones prequel, we wondered what was behind the character’s decision to ask Princess Rhaenyra for her favor during the tournament in Episode 1. (Read a full recap here, and ponder our burning questions about one particular premiere detail.) And once the Brit got past his fear of saying too much (“I’m scared!” he admitted, to co-star Milly Alcock’s great entertainment), he reflected on Criston’s outsider status in King’s Landing.
“I think he’s a pretty ballsy guy,” Frankel told TVLine’s Dave Nemetz, noting that Criston’s Dornish heritage — and the dark hair that comes along with it — makes him a highly visible “outsider, from the get-go,” particularly when surrounded by platinum blonde Targaryens.
But that didn’t stop him from besting a cocky Daemon in their joust-turned-fistfight, did it? “There’s definitely a feeling of isolation, and that comes with a boldness,” Frankel explains.
Press PLAY on the video above to hear what else Frankel has to say about the strength Criston pulls from his other-ness, then hit the comments with your thoughts!