Marvel’s Inhumans features a "very interesting" relationship between the villainous Maximus and the presumably-heroic Medusa. Game of Thrones alum Iwan Rheon plays Maximus, the brother of mute monarch Black Bolt. Tron: Legacy’s Serinda Swan plays Medusa, Black Bolt’s wife/telepathic translator, who also has prehensile hair. And Hell on Wheels’ Anson Mount is portraying Black Bolt, who can’t speak because his voice can level cities.
This talk of intricate interpersonal relationships plays into the idea that Inhumans could be a throne-based family drama akin to Rheon’s last gig, which has been hinted at by the show's marketing - including, these moody Inhumans posters. However, Inhumans’ poorly-received trailers have pointed towards a more over-the-top tone, not least by laying focus on Black Bolt’s slathering pet, a humungous teleporting dog named Lockjaw.
It’s thanks to Rheon himself that these new Maximus/Medusa details have come to light. In an interview with Collider, the former Ramsay Bolton actor described Maximus and Medusa’s interplay as "very interesting", before going into lots of detail as to why:
“I think the relationship between him and Medusa is very interesting as well because in this story that they were very good friends when they were younger and I think Maximus always had a bit of a thing for her, thinking that you know one day maybe they’d be together and maybe even be on the thrown together.”
Rheon did go on to mention that Maximus and Medusa are on “amicable” terms when the show starts, even though Medusa’s decision to “go off with Black Bolt” instead of pairing up with him has “always kind of been a bit of an issue”. Maximus’ unresolved feelings for Medusa were the focus of a tense Inhumans clip, in which Medusa used her hair powers to bat away Maximus’ advances.
However, Rheon’s latest quotes suggest that the tension here might be a little more complicated than unrequited love. There’s also the small matter that everyone “kind of looks down on Maximus because he’s a human”. This lack of a cool Inhuman ability means that “he’s not really got any power” and Maximus “kind of looks on as a bit of a runt of the family which is kind of hard for him.”
Apparently, it’s only Maximus’ high-flying brother, Black Bolt, that has saved him from a lifetime of “working down the mines” on the Inhumans' lunar base. With that on his mind, as well as his romantic failings, it should come as no surprise that Maximus ends up on a villainous path. That being said, Rheon has previously stated that his character is “ruthless”, rather than evil, so it should be interesting to watch his arc unfold.
Inhumans premieres in IMAX theaters on September 1. A longer version of that first episode airs on ABC September 29.