Alicent Hightower and Rhaenyra Targaryen are played by different actors in episode 6 of season 1 of “House of the Dragon.” There are a few reasons for this. Rhaenyra and Alicent were performed by Milly Alcock and Emily Carey, who did an outstanding job during the first five episodes of House of the Dragon.
It’s a big change for House of the Dragon season 1, episode 6 to replace two of the show’s best actors and most interesting characters with older actors, but it makes sense. After the shocking ending of season 1, episode 5, which had several twists at Rhaenyra and Laenor Velaryon’s wedding, House of the Dragon jumped ahead 10 years and changed the actors who played Rhaenyra and Alicent.
This time jump makes it necessary to recast because it changes Rhaenyra and Alicent the most. They go from being young women or characters who are still children to fully grown adults whose rivalry and resentment have grown for years. Most characters in House of the Dragon were already a lot older, so the changes weren’t as big as going from a teenager to someone in their late 20s.
This meant that they didn’t have to be recast. Changing the actors who play Alicent and Rhaenyra is a better way to show the break in the show’s timeline and the different versions of the characters that viewers will see.
This was supported by Ryan Condal, House of the Dragon’s co-showrunner, who told Insider: “The people that are truly children in this are the ones that get recast.”
Who Are The New Rhaenyra And Alicent Cast Members?
After Alicent and Rhaenyra were recast, Olivia Cooke and Emma D’Arcy took over their roles. Cooke played Alicent and D’Arcy played Rhaenyra. In the beginning of House of the Dragon season 1, episode 1, Rhaenyra’s voiceover narration was done by D’Arcy.
The pair will play the characters together starting with episode 6 until (as of now) their stories end. Cooke has played Samantha/Art3mis in the movie Ready Player One, Becky Sharp in the movie Vanity Fair and Emma Decody in the movie Bates Motel. D’Arcy has played Naomi in the movie Wanderlust and Astrid in the movie Truth Seekers.
Who Else Has Been Replaced on House of the Dragon Season 1, Episode 6?
Along with Alicent and Rhaenyra, the actors who play Laenor and Laena Velaryon have also been changed. Again, this is because they were children before the time jump and adults after it.
Matthew Carver played Laenor as a young child for a short time, but he was replaced by Theo Nate for House of the Dragon season 1, episodes 3 and 5. In episode 6, Nate is replaced by John Macmillan (The Nevers, Chewing Gum), who will continue to play the role in future episodes.
Nova Foueillis-Mose played Laena when she was set up to marry King Viserys. In episode 5, Savannah Steyn took over the role and then Nanna Blondell (Black Widow, Twin) took over the role after that.
Will Rhaenyra & Alicent’s Younger Actors Return?
Milly Alcock and Emily Carey don’t have any concrete plans to return to House of the Dragon right now, but that doesn’t mean it won’t happen. Alcock has said that season 2 of House of the Dragon has been talked about with the young Rhaenyra and Alicent actors, but she has “no idea” if it will happen.
Due to the change in time, they wouldn’t play the roles again in a big way, but it would be possible to bring back the younger cast through flashbacks or dream-like scenes, given how popular they were. But again, after the recasting in House of the Dragon season 1, episode 6, Rhaenyra and Alicent will be played by Emma D’Arcy and Olivia Cooke going forward.
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