On Game of Thrones, Iwan Rheon's character Ramsay Bolton was the most hated man in Westeros. As Bolton, Rheon personified a character devoid of human empathy or, really, any trace of common decency. As Inhumans' Maximus, well, Rheon is playing a different type of character. According to Rheon, his version of Black Bolt's brother (thus a member of the Royal Family) is less like Ramsay Bolton and more like an Inhuman freedom fighter.
In answering speaking with the press at Comic-Con International, Rheon touched on the question of whether Maximus is truly an evil character. "You approach every character in a very different way," the actor replied. "You have to find out why you do these things. Maximus is a conflicted character; he’s incredibly loyal, but on the other side, he believes that now is the time for change." The change Rheon refers to has to do with the ongoing Inhuman outbreak on Earth, and the pending discovery of Attilan, the Inhumans' home on the dark side of the moon.
"There’s a threat that humanity is going to discover them," Rheon continued. "Black Bolt’s idea on how to [handle] it is very different to how Maximus thinks that they should deal with the situation. There, you get the conflict between the two brothers. He’s not evil, he doesn’t want to hurt people; he wants to resolve this peacefully. You know he’s ruthless in his ideas, he thinks this is the only way to do it... and he may be right."
In the comics, Maximus has long been motivated by his own madness and desire to rule. According to Rheon, however, his motivations are different on ABC's Inhumans. "He wants to change this archaic caste system where the people who get a rubbish powers go live in the mines and dig for all the rich people who’ve got better powers. He thinks that’s wrong, and I agree with him."
The caste system Rheon is referring to correlates directly to Inhuman rituals surrounding Terrigen transformation. When an Inhuman passes through the Terrigen mists, his or her genetic powers are released. These powers determine their position in society, and once that position has been assigned, it cannot be changed. This is the injustice Maximus wants to fight. While that might sound like a noble cause, there is always the risk that Maximus might be using this political platform for his own gain -- something we've seen explored in comic book storylines, Shakespearian plays and other forms of political and familial media before.
Debuting first in IMAX theaters on September 1 and then on ABC on September 29, Inhumans is a production of ABC Studios and Marvel Television starring Anson Mount, Iwan Rheon, Serinda Swan, Eme Ikwuakor, Isabelle Cornish, Ken Leung, Ellen Woglom, Sonya Balmores and Mike Moh.