‘House Of The Dragon’s’ Ewan Mitchell Is Ready To Make Excuses For Aemond’s Bad Boy Nature

Just a few seconds into our interview with Ewan Mitchell for House of the Dragon season two, it becomes clear: No one is a bigger Aemond apologist than the actor who plays him on screen. When talk turns to bloody season one cliffhangers and murdered cousins and slain dragons, he’s quick to defend the one-eyed Westerosi bad boy.

“Oh, it wasn’t Aemond’s fault. He’s innocent.”

Cheeky, delusional character denial aside, Mitchell is deeply attuned to the tragic figure he plays on the hit series that’s catapulted him to the kind of stardom that makes it hard to walk down city streets without attracting notice. Though the various time jumps in season one meant limited minutes for HotD’s “eye-patch guy,” it’s return is building the bulk of the tension (and bloodshed) around the Green’s deadliest weapon.

In the opening episodes of season two, Mitchell stalks the dimly lit halls of the Red Keep, plotting in secret to escalate the war between families and threatening to go scorched earth (literally) on House Hightower’s enemies. He’s a man on the edge and in the spotlight, a dangerous combination that sets up a long-awaited showdown between two second sons with something to prove.

Before that happens though, UPROXX spoke with Mitchell about Aemond’s “most wanted” status, the weird manifestations of the character’s mommy issues, and his love of fan letters.

Only a few days have passed between the end of season one and the premiere of season two. What does Aemond’s return to King’s Landing after Storm’s End look like?

Yeah, he’s faced with a choice between seasons one and two. He can either admit that he was at fault and that it was a mistake, [that he didn’t mean to kill Lucerys and be at the hands of Rhaenrya’s mercy or he can return to King’s Landing and claim the kill and in a way, become the most wanted man in the realm. Regardless of what choice he makes, there’s an awfully big target on his back.

As someone who’s lived on the periphery of his own family for so long, is any attention good attention for Aemond at this point?

For sure. Maybe there’s even a romantic element to it. Maybe he likes to be that wanted. There’s an ego [thing]. It’s dangerous.

Why do you think fans were so quick to jump on the Aemond Targaryen bandwagon in season one?

I’m not sure. I always think of that young, neglected boy who wasn’t given a dragon egg like the rest of the kids in the family. He was different and he was bullied for being different, and yet he managed to claim the largest, baddest dragon in the known world. Tt’s certainly a feat of courage. So there’s something commendable about staring adversity in the face in that regard, I think that is one of the most redeeming elements of the character, the kid that he was.

It’s the ultimate underdog story.

That’s exactly it.

Aemond’s mommy issues rise to the surface in some interesting ways this season. Not to kink shame him, but what about that relationship fuels some of his bad behavior in season two?

[laughs] Kink shaming Aemond. That’s funny. I don’t know if he has mum issues or rather he just wishes that he was loved by his mum a little bit more. He never really felt that unconditional love as a kid. He was very much the spare and it’s the duty of the spare son to fight the war, and so he had to look for that unconditional love somewhere else and he found it in Vhagar. Who was also an older lady, a surrogate [mother].

Speaking of spare sons, Aemond and Daemon are clear adversaries this season…

Who’s your favorite?

No. Nice try though. What can fans expect from seeing those two face off?

They’re very similar in a lot of ways. They’re both princes who stand to inherit nothing, and so they recognize that what they want in life, they’re going to have to go out and get it for themselves. I think Daemon has a lot to prove and by hook or by crook, he’s going to prove it.

In terms of popularity, House of the Dragon is on a different level. How do you handle the added attention, to your work and your personal life?

Everything changes, but nothing changes at the same time. I very much like to stay in the work. I don’t have social media, and so it often promotes these beautifully written and often badass fan letters from the fans, and it means the world to me. I take all of that and I use it as motivation. I even write back when I have some free time.


Yes, I do. It means a lot to me. I never take it for granted.

It can also open up doors, professionally. Has working on a show this massive, with such high expectations, emboldened you to go after more challenging projects?

Yeah, any challenge, I’m up for it. I’m in New York City at the moment and I’ve just fallen in love with it a little bit. I’d love to maybe do a project here maybe …


With the Safdie brothers. [laughs] Yeah, maybe Broadway. Never say never. It’s just such a cinematic city. There’s a real ambience when you walk down the sidewalk. It’s almost like you can imagine hearing Bernard Herman’s score from Taxi Driver as you walk down the street. I dunno, it’s so visceral. I really like it here.

You tend to go a bit method while playing Aemond. Does the eye patch always stay on, even between shooting scenes?

It does, yeah. The eye patch is the cherry on top sometimes during specific scenes. I do like to keep it on. It really does add an interesting dynamic and twist to the character. It’s one of the best parts of the job. When that eye patch goes on, Ewan’s gone and all that’s left is a Aemond.

‘House Of The Dragon’ returns for its 2nd season premiere Sunday, June 16 on HBO.