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The One House Of The Dragon Scene Fabien Frankel Needed Months To Emotionally Prepare For

Fabian Frankel's time on "House of the Dragon" has already been a rollercoaster, and apparently, one scene required more prep than you'd expect.

As Ser Criston Cole, a knight named to the Kingsguard by the Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen (Milly Alcock), Frankel, who has done everything from unseat formidable foe Daemon Targaryen (Matt Smith) in a jousting tournament to battle a wild boar. However, according to a recent interview, Frankel's toughest scene had nothing to do with fighting... in fact, it was something completely different.

In the show's fourth episode, "King of the Narrow Sea," Ser Criston is initially taken aback when Rhaenyra, fresh off a failed tryst with her uncle Daemon (yes, her uncle), arrives home from a raucous night in King's Landing and seduces him, but he gives in eventually, and the pair spends the night together. Ser Criston immediately falls for the princess — in the very next episode, he begs her to run away with him and commits a full-on murder at her wedding for no reason — all thanks to that night. As it turns out, that scene was actually pretty tricky to film. Here's the story behind that one House of the Dragon scene Fabien Frankel took months to prepare for mentally.

Fabian Frankel needed a long time to prepare for this major love scene

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly on their "West of Westeros" podcast, Frankel admitted that Ser Criston's love scene with Rhaenyra was especially daunting to film.

"It was something we talked about over seven months. It was one of the first things I was very keen to talk about," the actor told EW. "We were incredibly fortunate that episode 4 was directed by Clare Kilner, who I think is one of the great TV directors working today. The big thing for me was about it not feeling like another gratuitous, sweat-glistening-off-their-back sex scene, 'cause it's just not like that. Anyone who's ever had sex will tell you sex ain't that beautiful. It isn't some picturesque, amazing thing. It's awkward, especially when you are young. There's an uncomfortability that one has to sit in, and there's a discovery and understanding of each other's bodies — not to mention the practical side of the whole thing."

So what's the practical side? As Frankel revealed, "I remember just saying to them, 'There's no way this armor comes off without the help.' Knights would have squires, and squires would take off their armor. For even a world-quality squire, you've got 10 minutes to get the armor off. Let's say five, maybe at best. There's no way Rhaneyra and Cole are gonna take that armor off in 10 seconds. So I was like, 'Well, you have to have that in. It's important that that's what it is. It's important that it's a struggle to get the armor off.' It's heavy. How do we get the buckle off? How do we get the boots off? These are all the things I really cared about, 'cause they take away this sort of, to my mind, archaic sexual sex scenes that have existed for so long in television and film, and make it feel real and how it would be."

Clearly, Frankel felt safe on set, but there was plenty to consider. One can only imagine there will be more love scenes like this one going forward while "House of the Dragon" wraps up its inaugural season.