House of the Dragon Stars Explain Why the Rhaenyra-Alicent Re-Casting Makes Sense

In an exclusive chat with E! News, House of the Dragon stars Matt Smith and Paddy Considine defended the show's re-casting of Rheanyra and Alicent. Find out what they had to say.

By Leanne Aguilera, Daniel Trainor Sep 19, 2022 8:14 PMTags
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The stars of House of the Dragon are putting out some controversial casting fires. 

With the news that Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen, played by Milly Alcock, and Alicent Hightower, played by Emily Carey, would be re-cast as the Game of Thrones prequel series takes a ten-year time jump in the sixth episode, some viewers mourned the loss of the actresses they had barely gotten to know.

"I also think people would have less of a hard time processing the re-casting of the leads if it wasn't done mid-season," one fan wrote on Twitter. "Look at The Crown—everyone understands the need to switch out actors every two seasons."

Another viewer wrote, "She came, she conquered & now she's gone. The show won't be the same without Milly Alcock."

However, two of the series' leading men found the re-casting process to be quite successful.

"It was brilliant, actually," Matt Smith, who plays Prince Daemon Targaryen, exclusively told E! News, "because I think they've done brilliant work."

Moving forward, Rhaenyra will be played by Emma D'Arcy and Alicent will be played by Olivia Cooke

Smith went on to further compliment the decision, explaining, "It gave you a completely different context for the age thing to play off."

And he wasn't alone.

Paddy Considine, who plays King Viserys Targaryen, also appreciated the depth it brought to the proceedings.

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"Yeah, I loved it," he said. "I loved it because they were the same character, but they [had] different energy."

In addition, Laenor Velaryon, previously played by Theo Nate, will now be played by John MacMillan and Laena Velaryon, who was played by Savannah Steyn, will now be portrayed by Black Widow's Nanna Blondell.

The time jump will introduce House of the Dragon viewers to Aegon Targaryen, Viserys and Alicent's first son, to be played by Tom Glynn-Carney.


Watch D'Arcy and Cooke step into the roles of Rhaenyra and Alicent, respectively, when House of the Dragon airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on HBO.

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