Fans are harassing ‘House of the Dragon’ actor Fabien Frankel online


Actor Fabien Frankel as Ser Criston Cole wearing a suit of armor in the show House of the Dragon

House of the Dragon fans: Consider this your reminder to separate the actor from the character.

Actor Fabien Frankel experienced the fandom’s intense hatred for his character Ser Criston Cole firsthand when people posted harassing comments on his Instagram account. It got so bad that Frankel reportedly had to limit comments on his recent posts.

“The Realm is going to war because you’re too busy serving face and fashion. Shame on you Ser Criston Cole,” commented one user on a post promoting a profile on Frankel in the style magazine Man About Town.

“I hate you. But you’re so handsome,” commented another on the same post. Some called out Cole’s — shall we say — negligence over the young Targaryen heir Jaehaerys being slain in bed, commenting, “Where were you when the heir to the throne was murdered?” Still others shared their desire for Frankel’s character to meet a gruesome death. “Man I hope someone jumps this guy,” said one commenter.

Ser Criston Cole was already a contender for the most detestable House of the Dragon character when he spitefully switched allegiances to Alicent Hightower in Season 1 — after being rejected by Rhaenyra Targaryen. But when he concocted episode 2’s evil twin plot, fueled by his own guilt about breaking his celibacy vow (a lot) by bedding Alicent while the heir presumptive was beheaded, Cole may have surpassed Joffrey Baratheon as the most hated character.

While some vocal House of the Dragon fans are publicly conflating the real Frankel and the fictional Cole, other fans swiftly came to the actor’s defense and gave the haters a reality check. “I’m sorry HOTD fans are bothering you, you don’t deserve any hate for playing a character, love you Fabien,” said one Instagram user in a comment that got 1,893 likes. “Yes. We hate Sir [sic] Criston Cole. Yes, we LOVE Fabien,” said another.

Many pointed out that Cole’s loathsome antics are a testament to Frankel’s acting. “You know an actor has mastered the craft when the audience is unable to separate the fictional character from the real-life human. You are doing an amazing job. Keep up the good work!” said one comment. “You’re a very talented actor, ignore the hate. You just play the character so well that people assume you’re the same person,” said another.

Yes, Ser Criston Cole sucks. But let’s keep the hatred to the fictional character who is destabilizing the realm with his impulsive, egotistical behavior, not the actor who makes Cole the character we love to hate.

How to watch: New episodes of House of the Dragon air Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on HBO and Max.

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