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Ewan Mitchell's Full-Frontal House Of The Dragon Nude Scene, Explained

Contains spoilers for "House of the Dragon" Season 2 Episode 3 — "The Burning Mill"

Ever since his legendarily large dragon Vhagar killed both his nephew and another dragon, Prince Aemond Targaryen, played by Ewan Mitchell, has been seriously out of sorts. Though Aemond's intentions weren't quite clear at the end of "House of the Dragon" Season 1, when the battle occurs, it's slowly revealed during Aemond's scenes with brothel proprietor Sylvi (Michelle Bonnard) in Season 2 that he deeply regrets what happened to Lucerys Velaryon (Elliott Grihault). These apparent therapy sessions, however, may be coming to an end after the third episode, "The Burning Mill," where Aemond is discovered in Sylvi's arms by his cruel older brother King Aegon II Targaryen (Tom Glynn-Carney). Aemond walks away from Sylvi, saying she's worth nothing to him ... and in the process, Mitchell appears completely nude.

In an interview with Vulture, Mitchell told interviewer Sean T. Collins that he wanted Aemond's completely nude moment to completely surprise the audience. Collins prompts Mitchell with a question about the logistics, saying, "I have a feeling you're about to get a reaction at a volume few people on this show have seen before. Did you have that in mind while shooting it?"

"Scenes like this start with a conversation about how far you're prepared to go," Mitchell responded. "It wasn't a choice we made lightly. But it's true to Aemond that he shocks the audience. Weakness is not part of Aemond's vocabulary."

Ewan Mitchell says that Aemond's cool fury is an attempt to prove himself after a difficult childhood

During the first season of "House of the Dragon," Aemond Targaryen loses an eye — and unfortunately, it's the fault of a young Lucerys (played at that point by Harvey Sadler, with Leo Ashton as a young Aemond). As Ewan Mitchell told Sean T. Collins, this definitely informs his performance as the adult Aemond; as a child, his character is left without a dragon and eventually steals Vhagar out from under everyone's nose. Still, as an adult, Aemond knows he's dangerous, and treats difficult situations with an icy fury. "You rarely see him lose his cool," Mitchell said. "As soon as you start raising your voice and shouting, you lose the power. It's not to say Aemond isn't as angry as everyone else behind the smile. He probably is. But he's able to keep a lid on it and channel it in different ways."

Aemond doesn't raise his voice to Aegon in this scene when he's caught out in a vulnerable situation — but after being bullied as a child, he decides that his best move is to simply shake off Aegon's cruelty and abandon a woman that he genuinely cares about. Why? He has to. "Aemond has a [...] code that stops him from being hurt like he was as a kid," Mitchell explained. "That's why he's able to walk out on the madam in that scene. He's humiliated by his brother and all his crew, and it's like this switch flips. The madam is no more. All of these people in front of him? They mean nothing. He stands up, he owns it. 'Yeah, I'm bulletproof. Anything you say, it will not work.'"

Aemond is one of the most terrifying characters on House of the Dragon

Throughout his interview with Sean T. Collins, Ewan Mitchell makes it quite clear that he views Aemond Targaryen as one of the most formidable villains in the entire series, which is really saying something (especially when you consider just how awful Aegon is). One of Aemond's most terrifying qualities, according to Mitchell, is that he's completely inscrutable. "You don't know what he's thinking," Mitchell said. "People who sit back and smile, don't say much — they're the people whose brains you want to pick, but at the same time, you don't know where you stand."

Not only that, but Mitchell says that, based once again on the fact that Aemond felt small and bullied as a child, he's a particularly fierce adult ... and based on the actor's descriptions of Aemond's desire to appear completely invulnerable, it seems as if the audience may not see the softer side he shows to Sylvi ever again. "That's the image Aemond wants to co-opt, that he's godlike," Mitchell mused. "He operates on a different plane. It comes from that cold exterior he's cultivated over the years, down to the sapphire stone in his eye socket. You don't know what is going on behind his eye." The power move of simply walking away from his brother and Sylvi while completely naked is just that: a power move. Aemond is potentially ready to strike again, and audiences will have to wait and see how his next attack unfolds.

"House of the Dragon" airs new episodes on Sundays at 9 P.M. EST on HBO and Max.