House of the Dragon stars praise recasting of Rhaenyra and Alicent while fans bemoan decision

Emma D’Arcy replaces Milly Alcock as Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen

Tom Murray
Monday 26 September 2022 02:27 BST
House of the Dragon episode 6 trailer

*Spoilers for House of the Dragon below – you have been warned*

House of the Dragon stars Matt Smith and Paddy Considine both had positive words about the show’s cast change, which fans have lamented since the series started.

Episode five marked the end of the journey for actors Milly Alcock and Emily Carey, who played Rhaenyra Targaryen and Alicent Hightower.

Episode six (released 25 September) saw time in the fictional world jump forward by 10 years and the two actors were replaced by Emma D’Arcy and Olivia Cooke, respectively.

Laena and Laenor Valaryon actors Nova Fouellis-Mose and Theo Nate were also replaced by Nanna Blondell and John MacMillan.

“It was brilliant, actually,” Smith, who plays Daemon Targaryen, E! News of the cast change, “because I think they’ve done brilliant work.”

Milly Alcock and Matt Smith in ‘House of the Dragon’ (Ollie Upton / HBO)

He added: “It gave you a completely different context for the age thing to play off.”

Considine also praised the switch, saying: “Yeah, I loved it. I loved it because they were the same character, but they [had] different energy.”

Under 22-year-old Alcock’s stewardship, Rhaenyra was aged 15-17 in the show while 19-year-old Carey’s Alicent was supposed to be of a similar age.

Fans were distraught over the stars’ departure, particularly Alcock’s as she quickly won favour with fans for her performance as the young princess.

Milly Alcock and Emily Carey in ‘House of the Dragon’ (HBO)

“Milly Alcock as young Rhaenyra Targaryen is one of the most perfect castings ever, I’ll never get over it,” one complained.

The change is made even more surprising due to the fact that Aegon II, who is supposed to be around 14 in the series, will be played by 27-year-old actor Tom Glynn-Carney.

D’Arcy is eight years older than Alcock at 30 while Cooke is nine years older than Carey at 28.

House of the Dragon airs weekly on Sundays in the US, with the UK premiere arriving 2am the following morning on Sky. The episodes are then repeated at 9pm on Mondays, and will be available to stream on Sky and NOW after their initial airing.

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