Movies & TV Shows

House Of The Dragon’s Matt Smith Hypes Older Rhaenyra & Alicent Actors

House of the Dragon star Matt Smith hypes up the show’s incoming older Rhaenyra and Alicent actors. HBO’s first Game of Thrones spinoff has recaptured the fantasy flavor of the original smash hit series. And at the center of the show’s early success has been the relationship between Princess Rhaenyra and Queen Alicent.


Though House of the Dragon is only haflway through its first season on HBO, a lot has already happened to and between Rhaenyra and Alicent. Indeed, the show’s most shocking early moment involved Rhaenyra and the series’ main bad guy, her incestuous, war-making uncle Daemon (Smith). And things haven’t been much easier for Alicent after gaining the trust of widower king Viserys (Paddy Considine) and becoming his queen. Throughout the show’s early run, these characters have been brought to vivid life by actors Milly Alcock (Rhaenyra) and Emily Carey (Alicent).

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But as House of the Dragon fans were long-ago warned, they’ll be saying goodbye to the younger versions of Rhaenyra and Alicent, as the show executes a multi-year time jump in episode 6. In place of actors Alcock and Carey, the princess and queen will now be played by Emma D’Arcy and Olivia Cooke respectively. Appearing recently on the Happy Sad Confused podcast, Daemon actor Smith took a moment to shout out the new additions to the cast, and assure fans that the characters they’ve already come to love are in good hands:

And also what’s really exciting is we’ve got Emma D’Arcy coming through, who’s just absolutely fabulous. And [Olivia Cooke] who plays [Emily Carey’s] character, who plays Alicent. That’s an odd thing for them. They’re coming in now and these characters have already been established. But actually I think all the fans of the show will be really pleased because they’re just brilliant, and really move the show forward in an exciting way.


New Rhaenyra & Alicent Actors Have Tough Acts to Follow

Smith brings up an interesting point when discussing the odd situation new Rhaenyra and Alicent actors D’Arcy and Cooke find themselves in. Of course, it’s nothing new for shows to recast characters during the course of their runs. But it is somewhat strange for a show as big as House of the Dragon to go in with a plan of swapping out two of its main stars in the middle of season 1.

Making things even tougher for D’Arcy and Cooke is the fact that fans have already come to love Rhaenyra and Alicent, thanks in large part of the performances of Alcock and Carey. Alcock in particular has made a big impression in the role of strong-willed Rhaenyra, who has everything it takes to be the leader of Westeros, but finds herself constantly underestimated and patronized due to her being female. D’Arcy now has the task of depicting Rhaenyra several years down the road from where the show left the character in episode 5, which depicted her very dramatic (and bloody) wedding to Laenor (Theo Nate). Cooke meanwhile takes over for Carey as Alicent, who also finds herself in a difficult position with the king seemingly on the verge of death, and the future of the Seven Kingdoms hanging in the balance.

It will indeed be fascinating to see how fans react to the arrival of D’Arcy and Cooke in these roles, after having already gotten attached to Alcock and Carey. The instinctive response for some will naturally be to reject the new performers, while other fans will certainly be more open-minded about the new actors’ interpretations. And given the state of modern fandom, no doubt both sides will be voiced loudly and even angrily over the internet. At the end of the day, HBO knew what it was getting in to when it signed off on the idea to execute this big mid-season House of the Dragon time jump and recast after already thoroughly setting up these characters with the original actors. The show might actually be better off had Alcock and Carey not done such a good job in their roles.

Source: Happy Sad Confused

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