House of the Dragon’s Most Enviable Couple on What Makes Their Relationship Work

House of the Dragon’s Most Enviable Couple on What Makes Their Relationship Work

They don’t always agree, and they’ve endured tragedies that would be enough to fracture any marriage, much less one between two of Westeros’ most powerful families. But Lord Corlys Velaryon (Steve Toussaint) and Princess Rhaenys Targaryen (Eve Best) still somehow have the most enviable relationship on House of the Dragon. On a show featuring mostly couples with operatic problems, Corlys and Rhaenys enjoy a mutual respect and affection that feels all too rare.

Speaking to a group of journalists, including io9, ahead of House of the Dragon’s season two premiere, Toussaint and Best were asked for their best relationship advice, in the context of their characters on the Game of Thrones prequel.

“Talk to each other,” Best said. “[Rhaenys] has been sort of cross with [Corlys] because things come up in season two that actually aren’t war-related, but that severely test this bond. Rhaenys has been irritated with Corlys, because [there’s] somebody who wants to talk and deal with the elephant in the room and somebody who doesn’t want to talk and wants to just shut everything under the carpet, and it’s intensely annoying,” she said, understandably not wanting to give away any plot spoilers.

“But I also feel that what I want to say to her is: you have to show your vulnerability because she’s so indomitable, she’s so strong, and she’s so good at keeping her cool,” Best continued. “She never lets him know, really, to what extent she’s hurting because I think her heart is broken. That was so, so hard to hold that. I wanted to say to her, ‘Let him see how much pain you’re in! You don’t have to hold everything together. You don’t have to do all the work.’ This is a two-way thing. So I would say communication is key and allowing yourself to be vulnerable [are] my two pieces of advice.”

Toussaint agreed. “I think that for Corlys it’s the same. But my thing would be: pay attention to your wife because sometimes, your partner may not say something overtly, but you can tell by the way that they behave. But he doesn’t, in the sense of ‘if you don’t say [something about it], it’s fine.’ I have learned over the years to pay attention to behavior just as much as the spoken word, and also how something is said, is just as much as important as what is said.”

io9 also got a chance to ask Toussaint about two mysterious new characters the Sea Snake will interact with in season two: Alyn of Hull, played by Abubakar Salim, who was in the season premiere—and Alyn’s brother, Addam, who’s played by Clinton Liberty and will debut in episode two.

“What can I tell you without them dragging me away and beating me up in a small room?,” a spoiler-aware Toussaint joked. “I think I can tell you that Alyn is very much his own man. He’s a self-made man. He doesn’t need help from anybody. I think that’s very much what Corlys was like when he was younger, and he recognizes that spirit in him. He admires that independence of spirit, and—here’s a phrase I don’t use very often—his derring-do. He admires that about him, and that will play a role in their interactions as we go along. Corlys has less to do with Addam until, I think, much later in the season. But again, Addam—much like Clinton, who plays him—is a very sweet and innocent soul. And I think those who come into contact with him can’t help but be enamored of him. That is as much as I can tell you, I’m afraid.”

New episodes of House of the Dragon arrive Sundays on HBO and Max.

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