‘House of the Dragon’: The ‘Rock N’ Roll’ Reason Ser Criston Cole Asked for Rhaenyra’s Favor

[Warning: This article contains spoilers for House of the Dragon.]

On House of the Dragon, Ser Criston Cole (Fabien Frankel) first met Rhaenyra Targaryen (Milly Alcock) after his duel with Daemon (Matt Smith). Criston won the duel and asked for Rhaenyra’s favor. Rhaenyra is still growing up, and will soon be played by Emma D’Arcy, but Frankel said Criston had good reason for asking her favor. 

Rhaenyra is the only one with favor to give on ‘House of the Dragon’

Even the very first episode of House of the Dragon centers Rhaenyra as the available princess. Others in the court have already given their favor, but Frankel said Criston didn’t enter the duel to make a play for Rhaenyra. 

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Ser Criston Cole began courting Rhaenyra to spite Daemon in ‘House of the Dragon’

The duel was a striking set piece that began as a joust and proceeded to a mace fight. Criston won and Daemon was not sportsmanlike. So Frankel thinks Criston’s initial request of Rhaenyra was just to get back at his opponent. 

“Alicent’s favor’s already been asked for,” Frankel said on the House of the Dragon podcast. “Rhaenys’s favor has already been asked for. I don’t know that he’s going into this tournament going I’m going to ask for Rhaenyra’s favor.”

So begins an epic courtship

Frankel was aware of Rhaenyra’s age in the scene, and says Criston was too. Alcock is 22 but plays young Rhaenyra as a teenager

“I think the fact that Rhaenyra is Daemon’s niece and Daemon has refused to shake his hand at the end of the bout, it’s sort of Criston going, ‘You know, I’m going to go and do this thing that feels kind of rock n’ roll,’” Frankel said. 

“She’s obviously really beautiful but she’s also like 14 years old,” Frankel said. “So I’m just not sure at that point he’s going, ‘There’s the woman of my dreams.”

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Rhaenyra has her own agenda in the House Targaryen too. She goes to confront Daemon with her dragon when he’s not cooperating. She tries to keep the peace with her dad when he marries Alicent. So, Criston and Rhaenyra being of like mind the more events occur seems to suggest a long term alliance, inadvertently or not. 

However, Criston and Rhaenyra’s relationship got closer. Just a few episodes later, they had a romantic sex scene. That, too, may have happened independent of the tournament. Criston is a knight in King Viserys (Paddy Considine)’s kingsguard so he would be in close proximity to Rhaenyra frequently. 

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