Physical Address

304 North Cardinal St.
Dorchester Center, MA 02124

How House of the Dragon Deepened Baela Targaryen's Character

How House of the Dragon Deepened Baela Targaryen’s Character

Like *Game of Thrones*, *House of the Dragon* boasts an ensemble cast. Season 2 introduces us more deeply to Daemon Targaryen’s daughters—Baela, portrayed by Bethany Antonia, and Rhaena, played by Phoebe Campbell. In the latest episode titled “The Burning Mill,” Rhaena is sent to the Vale with a stash of dragon eggs, while Baela surveys enemy troops with her dragon, Moondancer. Although these characters have yet to captivate the audience the way Arya and Sansa did in *Game of Thrones*, this episode marks a significant improvement.

Director Geeta Patel, in a conversation with *Screenrant*, discussed the effort to build out these characters. “To make the scene where Baela encounters Criston Cole on her dragon impactful, viewers had to care about Baela,” Patel explained. “We had never really gotten to know her before.” She emphasized the show’s preference for non-verbal exposition, ensuring a high bar for character development. Patel shared that she spent a considerable amount of time with Antonia and Campbell, engaging in improvisational exercises that took them back to their characters’ childhoods. She suggested that Rhaena always excelled academically but never had a dragon, while Baela, who was more rebellious, did.

Despite Baela and Rhaena feeling somewhat generic initially, they began to come alive in this episode. This transformation was fueled by the collaborative efforts of Patel, Campbell, and Antonia. The director recalled, “We all started pitching ideas to the writer, constructing the characters’ layers to make them human and give them compelling backstories.”

Patel lauded showrunner Ryan Condal and the writing team for embracing the idea and weaving it throughout the season, adding subtle nuances to Baela’s character. Antonia also contributed her perspective on how Baela would act in different scenarios, making the development process truly collaborative.

One notable outcome of this teamwork was Baela’s best scene to date. When she reports back to Rhaenyra about Criston’s movements, she confidently admits breaking the rules by engaging with him, showcasing her maverick nature. “We wanted to show that Baela is someone who pushes boundaries. That scene needed to have a narrative arc,” Patel explained.

Baela and Rhaena will continue to appear in the second season of *House of the Dragon*, airing new episodes on Sunday nights on HBO and Max. Fans of George R.R. Martin’s *Fire & Blood* know these characters stick around for a while, and there’s hope that the show’s cast and crew will keep collaborating to make them as intriguing as possible.

Source: Screenrant