Leo Ashton portrays the petulant teen Aemond Targaryen on HBO’s “House of the Dragon.” In episode seven, Aemond pulls off the biggest dragon heist Westeros has ever seen by claiming the dragon Vhagar after his aunt’s funeral.
Leo Ashton plays Aemond Targaryen in the HBO fantasy “House of the Dragon.” Aemond is the second-born son and third child of King Viserys I Targaryen and Queen Alicent. He is introduced as a sulky teenager, bullied by his brother and nephews for not having a dragon.
In real life, Ashton is self-deprecating, silly, and humble. He is constantly thanking people on his 6,000-strong Instagram. In a reel at the end of production, he honors the crew, HBO, mum, and his driver – who he cheekily asked to adopt him.
Main Facts about Leo
Ashton is from Chorley in Lancashire, England. The young actor gave up his spot at Parklands High School in favor of homeschooling due to his hectic schedule. Actress mum, Melanie Ash, runs an acting school in Lancashire called “Meladrama.”
At 14, the teen already has an impressive list of TV and movie credits like the horror teen drama Red Rose, The Bay, Peterloo, Deep Water, and Doctors. He has acted alongside acting greats such as Morven Christie, Anna Friel, and Maxine Peake.
Like his “Dragon” character, Ashton has had some setbacks before finding success. In an inspirational post, he admits that there were a lot of no’s before he got a yes.
How Leo Becomes Aemond
In the seventh episode of “Dragon,” Aemond is maimed, causing him to lose an eye. The bloody effect took the make-up team 90 minutes. In a post praising their skill, Ashton shared photos of the intricate process with prosthetics and a bold cap behind the scenes.
In the source material, “A Dance with Dragons” by George R. R. Martin, Aemond draws first blood in an epic battle.
He also thanked fans for their positive comments on his acting ability. He confided that his hip was broken during the shoot, which he thinks made him as tough as his character.
(L-R) Harvey Sadler, Evie Allen, Leo Hart, Eva Ossei-Gerning, Shani Smethurst and Leo Ashton attend the “House Of The Dragon” Premiere on August 15, 2022, in London, England. | Source: Getty Images
What Does Leo Say about Playing Aemond?
The actor seemed to have drawn the inspiration for his character’s villainous turn from the “James Bond” films he watched as a toddler. He quipped on Instagram that it was his mum’s fault if he was a “psycho” on the show. Ashton said on “Inside the Episode”:
“Aemond is quite an introverted, sad kid who’s gone through many hardships. Obviously, when he gets that dragon, his mood changes and he feels like he can do anything he wants. And that’s where that villain comes into play.”
Ashton gave a shout-out to his stunt double Patch Davies, who is also an actor. Due to labor laws, child actors are only permitted to work a few hours a day, and Davies filled in when he was at school.
Siblings of Aemond and His Future
The Targaryen family tree becomes more intertwined the higher one goes. The King has a daughter, Rhaenyra, played by Emma D’Arcy as an adult and Milly Alcock as a teen, with his first wife, Queen Aemma Arryn.
After his wife dies trying to bear him a son, Viserys marries Rhaenyra’s childhood confidant, Alicent Hightower (Olivia Cooke as an adult and Emily Carey as a teen). His second marriage produces four children who all become dragon-riders: Aegon, Helaena, Aemond, and Daeron.
Many see Aegon (Tom Glynn-Carney) as the rightful heir instead of his half-sister Rhaenyra, despite his disinterest. Helaena (Phia Saban) is an early pawn in the complicated family dynamics when she temporarily promised to her cousin.
In the source material, “A Dance with Dragons” by George R. R. Martin, Aemond draws first blood in an epic battle. Ewan Mitchell will portray the adult iteration of the King’s second-born son. The show is notorious for its time jumps and character changes.