House of the Dragon - Queen Alicent and Princess Rhaenyra as adults

House of the Dragon – Ep 6 ages up two major players

Posted Filed under

We welcome Olivia Cooke and Emma D’Arcy as the adult versions of Alicent and Rhaenyra. 

We’ve known from the outset that House of the Dragon would incorporate a narrative time jump during its first season. The Game of Thrones prequel draws its story from George R. R. Martin’s Fire and Blood; it chronicles an approximately 30-year period known as “The Dance of the Dragons” – a Targaryen civil war.

With the show seemingly on course to replicate its predecessor’s success, reportedly pulling 29 million viewers per episode across linear and streaming (Variety), it will be interesting to see how fans take to the recasting of two central characters. Both now shift from approximately 19 years old to being in their late 20s.

While other shows have recast to show the passing of time, such as The Crown, it’s not something Game of Thrones ever did (save for the odd flashback).

Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen

Heir to the Iron Throne, the teenage Princess Rhaenyra has been played by Milly Alcock. Emma D’Arcy (Wild Bill, Misbehaviour) now plays the adult Rhaenyra.

House of the Dragon - Emma D'Arcy as Princess Rhaenyra

The Princess was last seen marrying Ser Laenor Velaryon, in a move set to cement the relationship between the two dragon riding houses. However, the union is  a political match rather than anything else and the brutal scenes as the festivities began do not augur well.

Queen Alicent

So far, Emily Carey has played Alicent Hightower, King Viserys’ second wife. Olivia Cooke (Ready Player One, Bates Motel) now takes on the role.

House of the Dragon - Olivia Cooke as Alicent Hightower

As mother to the ailing King’s other children, Alicent remains a central figure. She’s also in possession of a certain secret regarding the Princess too, having stopped Ser Criston Cole from commiting suicide. While her father Otto Hightower was dismissed as the Hand, she still maintains the support of the influential House Hightower.

Certainly we’d expect both of these actors to be sticking around as the show has already been recommissioned – albeit with one new co-showrunner.

‘The Princess and The Queen’

Ahead of episode 6, HBO have released a preview which shows the pair in action… and seemingly at odds:

Given the time jump, it appears that we are naturally going to get to know both Rhaenyra and Alicent’s children, whomsoever their fathers may be!

House of the Dragon continues this Sunday, 25th Sept on HBO. For us Brits, that’s the early hours of Monday 26th on Sky Atlantic. It airs again at 9 PM too and also streams on NOW.