House of the Dragon star Bethany Antonia responds to racist, violent fan message

Actors receiving despicable hate messages online is nothing new, but at least House of the Dragon star Bethany Antonia (Baela Targaryen) isn't letting them get to her.
House of the Dragon Episode 10
House of the Dragon Episode 10 /

There are a lot of characters on House of the Dragon, HBO's Game of Thrones prequel series, too many for us to get to know well in the first season. But come season 2, we'll spend more time with supporting characters like Baela Targaryen, the dragon-riding daughter of Daemon Targaryen and the late Laena Velaryon. I think my favorite part from the first trailer for House of the Dragon season 2 is a shot of Baela, atop her dragon Moondancer, screaming in fury. War is afoot!

I'm looking forward to what Baela actor Bethany Antonia will do with some of the juicy new material in season 2. The show could seriously raise her profile, although that comes with some drawbacks; namely unsolicited, deplorable hatred from complete randos online, some of which Antonia shared on her Instagram.

If you like, you can read the message in full here, although it is especially vile, racist stuff. "You look like a piece of shit," it reads in part. "I hope you accidentally die on set."

Unfortunately, these kinds of messages are pretty standard if you have any kind of a public profile online. And they tend to be worse and more common if you're a woman, and again if you're a person of color. Antonia is both.

In these situations, I think the best options are to unplug or to develop a defense mechanism that makes you capable of laughing this sort of thing off. Antonia has gone for the latter approach. "Wait till they find out I'm gay too," she wrote on her Instagram. She also included a picture of herself smiling:

Like I said, it looks like Baela has a lot to do in the second season of House of the Dragon; if all goes well, Bethany Antonia could come out the other end of this a star. It's absurd that part of being a star these days means finding a way to deal with disgusting hatred online, but it looks like she's prepared.

House of the Dragon season 2 premieres on HBO and Max on Sunday, June 16.

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