The 28-year-old actor claims he spent an extraordinary seven months prepping for his sex scene on House of the Dragon during an interview with the West of Westeros podcast. In the fourth episode of the prequel, Ser Criston Colehas, played by Frankel, had a sexual encounter with Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen, played by Milly Alcock.
“It was something we talked about over seven months. It was one of the first things I was very keen to talk about,” Frankel said. “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. Anyone who’s ever had sex will tell you sex ain’t that beautiful. It isn’t some picturesque, amazing thing.”
The British actor continued by saying that in order to make sure the scene was perfect and presented realistically, he, Alcock, and Kilner had numerous conversations with their “intimacy coordinator.”
“It’s awkward, especially when you are young,” he said about sex. “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 … 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?’”
“Knights would have squires, and squires would take off their armor,” he explained. “For even a world-quality squire, you’ve got 10 minutes to get the armor off. Let’s say five, maybe at best. There’s no way Rhaenyra and Cole are gonna take that armor off in 10 seconds. So I was like, ‘Well, you have to have that in. It’s important that that’s what it is. It’s important that it’s a struggle to get the armor off.’ It’s heavy. How do we get the buckle off? How do we get the boots off? 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.”