An upcoming book about the making of House of the Dragon reveals an image from a deleted scene depicting the crowning of Ser Criston Cole as a member of the Kingsguard.
Ser Criston Cole (played by Fabien Frankel) was one of the most important characters in House of the Dragon Season 1. He was first introduced in Episode 1 during the dueling scene, where he matched Daemon Targaryen’s accomplishments as a knight.
Later in the season, Rhaenyra Targaryen chose Ser Criston as a member of the Kingsguard for his experience in battle. Cole replaced Ser Harold Westerling in the Kingsguard, who had been promoted earlier, leaving his position vacant.
Over the episodes, young Rhaenyra developed an intimate friendship with Ser Criston. The two slept with each other in House of the Dragon Episode 4, after which things grew increasingly complicated for the two. Cole changed his mind about Rhaenyra after she refused his offer to run away with him and let go of the throne.
The reports of Entertainment Weekly reveal an exclusive at a new book by Gina McIntyre, titled House of the Dragon: Inside the Creation of a Targaryen Dynasty.
The book contains an image from a deleted scene from House of the Dragon Season 1, depicting the crowning of Ser Criston Cole as a member of the Kingsguard. The significant scene did not make the final cut, but nevertheless remains extremely important in terms of Criston’s character development.
The director of the episode in question, Greg Yaitanes, along with co-showrunner Ryan Condal, explains the significance of the scene in the book. Check out the page from the book below-
In House of the Dragon Season 1, Viserys gives Rhaenyra the responsibility of choosing a new member in the Kingsguard to give her some sense of importance as the heir. Rhaenyra chooses Criston based on his previous experience in combat, ignoring other more established candidates.
Little did she know, this choice would come back later to bite her in the back. Over the course of Season 1, Criston slowly changes sides and shifts his loyalty towards Alicent Hightower, after Rhaenyra rejects his proposal to run away with him.
In the latter half of Season 1 and after the time-jump, Cole remains fiercely loyal to Alicent Hightower and defends her. He grows increasingly against Rhaenyra and supports the unlawful crowning of Aegon II over Rhaenyra, upon Viserys’ death.
The inclusion of the scene depicting Cole’s crowning would make his change even more tragic, as it would further establish how much faith both Rhaenyra and King Viserys had in him. He was crowned so that he could protect Viserys and later, Rhaenyra. But instead, he aids in Rhaenyra’s downfall.
It would also further establish the early bond between Criston and Rhaenyra, which will further deteriorate in Season 2. Having said that, the decision not to include such an important scene probably came because several existing scenes already established the bond between Criston and Rhaenyra.
Rhaenyra and Criston shared some beautiful moments together during Aegon II’s naming ceremony. So, it was already clear that the two were quite close to each other. In the context of their previous bond, their turning into staunch enemies is definitely tragic.
It is not likely that House of the Dragon will include the scene of Criston’s crowning. But going by Martin’s book, Fire and Blood, Cole will be crowned the Hand of the King during Aegon II’s reign.
So, even if we don’t see his crowning as a member of the Kingsguard, we might get a scene where he is crowned as the Hand of the King. However, it is not clear whether the crowning will take place in Season 2 or in other subsequent seasons.
About House Of The Dragon
House of the Dragon is the prequel series to HBO’s blockbuster Game of Thrones based on George R. R. Martin’s book Fire & Blood.
Set three hundred years before the events of Game of Thrones, House of the Dragon will show Westeros under the Targaryen family’s rule before the dragons went extinct. It will follow the Dance of the Dragons, the Targaryen civil war between siblings Aegon II and Rhaenyra, who fought for the throne after the death of their father, Viserys I.
Directed by Ryan Condall and Miguel Sapochnik, the show stars Paddy Considine as Viserys I Targaryen, Emma D’Arcy as Rhaenyra Targaryen, Olivia Cooke as Alicent Hightower, Matt Smith as Daemon Targaryen, Tom Glynn-Craney as Aegon II Targaryen, Rhys Ifans as Otto Hightower, Steve Toussaint as Corlys Velaryon, Eve Best as Rhaenys Velaryon, Sonoya Mizuno as Mysaria, Fabien Frankel as Criston Cole, and Graham McTavish.