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On House of the Dragon, viewers would be right to suspect any character. This is a Game of Thrones prequel, after all. Ser Criston Cole (Fabien Frankel) is a knight of King Viserys (Paddy Considine)’s kingsguard. Frankel says he is actually just a good guy, for now at least. 

[Warning: This article contains spoilers for the first four episodes of House of the Dragon.]

'House of the Dragon': Ser Criston Cole (Fabien Frankel) holds his helmet
Fabien Frankel | Ollie Upton/HBO

Frankel was a guest on the House of the Dragons podcast on Sept. 11. When asked about his motivations as Ser Criston Cole, Frankel indicated that there’s no ulterior motive with him, at least not in the episodes we’ve seen yet. New episodes of House of the Dragon premiere Sundays on HBO Max

Ser Criston Cole is an ally of the Targaryens

Ser Criston Cole wins a duel with Daemon (Matt Smith) in his introduction. By episode 4, he slept with Viserys’s daughter, Rhaenyra (Milly Alcock). Frankel said Criston is ride or die with the Targaryens.

“Criston is a knight born the son of a steward in Blackhaven who by hook or by crook ends up becoming an integral part in the dance of the dragons and the rise of the Targaryen family,” Frankel said on the House of the Dragon podcast.

With Ser Criston Cole, who you see is who you get on ‘House of the Dragon’

Frankel has already fielded questions about Ser Criston Cole’s intentions. As far as he knows, and as far as he’s playing it, he is the good guy on House of the Dragon.

“I think going in, his intentions are good,” Frankel said. “I certainly don’t think that Criston has some ulterior motives or Machiavellian desires to achieve greatness in this quite complex family dynamic.”

Of course, all that can change in a single episode. Frankel isn’t ahead of the writers or producers. For now, Frankel said not being born into a royal family gives Ser Criston Cole a more objective perspective.


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“It’s funny because we’ve been asked about our motivations a lot,” Frankel said. “Opposed to some of the other characters in the show who have been born in this world of incredible decadence and ambition and machiavellian behavior, he takes each day as it comes so I feel for him it’s like this day is to compete in this tournament and do the best I can in this tournament. I don’t know that he has any deep motivation other than to do well by himself, by his father, by his family.”

Comic-Con was brutal for Fabien Frankel

Even before anyone had seen an episode of House of the Dragon, Frankel encountered Ser Criston Cole haters. 

“While we were at comic-Con, someone went, ‘Oh yeah, that dude plays Criston Cole. I hate that guy,’” Frankel said. “I really thought oh, I hope he’s talking about Criston Cole. It would really suck if he was talking about me here.”