Fabien Frankel spent “over seven months” preparing for his House of the Dragon sex scene.
The 28-year-old actor – who plays Ser Criston Cole in the Game of Thrones prequel series – shared an intimate scene with Milly Alcock (Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen) in the fourth episode, and a lot of care was given to make sure it wasn’t too “gratuitous”.
Speaking to Entertainment Weekly‘s West of Westeros podcast, he said: “It was something we talked about over seven months. It was one of the first things I was very keen to talk about.
“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.”
He noted that he didn’t want the scene to be an idealised version of sex, while pointing too the “practical side”.
He added: “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.”
During the episode, Rhaenya goes out with her uncle, Prince Daemon Targaryen (Matth Smith) where they go to a brothel, before she returns to her chambers and brings her protector Ser Criston into her bed.
Fabien added: “I just remember back and forth texts, back and forth phone calls, back and forth meetings between Clare, myself, Milly, and our intimacy coordinator. But particularly me, Clare, and Milly going, ‘How do we make this human?’ “
One key way was to not shy away from awkward moments, such as the amount of time it would have taken a knight to take off his armour, which would have been a “struggle”.
He explained: “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.”