House of the Dragon will have a major character recasting

The highly anticipated Game of Thrones prequel series House of the Dragon finally debuted on HBO last Sunday. The show’s first episode introduced several key characters, and while it’s too early to tell who among them will earn the audience’s respect and admiration as the series progresses, a few of them have already made quite an impression. Your early favorite, however, may start to look different on screen in the succeeding episodes, as the show will be having a major character recasting during its freshman run.

Which House of the Dragon characters will be recast?

The “Weeks Ahead” trailer for House of the Dragon, which was shown at the end of the first episode, confirmed that the role of Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen will be recast. The trailer, which teases the consequences of the tradition-defying decision of King Viserys Targaryen (Paddy Considine) to name Rhaenyra as his heir, features Rhaenyra at two different ages in her life, played by two different actresses: Milly Alcock as young Rhaenyra and Emma D’Arcy as an older version of the character.

Alcock impressively portrayed the role of Rhaenyra in the show’s first episode, and while it’s unclear when the young actress’ last appearance would be, D’Arcy doing a press tour and all other sorts of marketing for the series suggests that she has more screen time as Rhaenyra than Alcock.

Emma D’Arcy as older Rhaenyra Targaryen in House of the Dragon

Also affected by the recasting is the role of Lady Alicent Hightower. Emily Carey made her debut appearance as young Alicent in the show’s first season, but an older Alicent played by Olivia Cooke will be introduced later in the series. Like in the case of Rhaenyra, it is believed that Alicent will be mostly played by Cooke during the show’s first season.

Olivia Cooke as older Lady Alicent Hightower in House of the Dragon

D’Arcy and Cooke’s roles in House of the Dragon have never been a secret, but casual fans may be caught unaware when the recasting happens in the show.

Milly Alcock as young Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen and Emily Carey as young Lady Alicent Hightower in House of the Dragon

Why is House of the Dragon recasting main characters in season 1?

House of the Dragon will be having a significant time jump at some point in season 1, and since Alcock and Carey are the youngest among the show’s main cast members, introducing older actresses to play their roles are necessary.

Though Alcock, 22, and Carey, 19, are both adults, noted that giving their roles to older actresses also allows the show to put Rhaenyra and Alicent in more adult-oriented scenes, which the Game of Thrones franchise has been known for. Since it seems that House of the Dragon focuses more on funerals, weddings, and births within the Targaryen family than battles between warring families, sexual scenes involving Rhaenyra and/or Alicent are highly likely.

House of the Dragon trailer for episode 2

House of the Dragon season 1, episode 2, titled The Rogue Prince, airs on Sunday, August 28th at 9 p.m. ET on HBO. You can watch the trailer for the episode below:


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