The sixth episode of HBO’s House of the Dragon finally unveiled the older versions of Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen (Emma D’Arcy) and Queen Alicent Hightower (Olivia Cooke). The ten-year time jump required a recast of the younger characters which were fulfilled by Milly Alcock and Emily Carey from Episodes 1 to 5, respectively.
House of the Dragon follows the reign of the House Targaryen two hundred years before the events in Game of Thrones. The prequel series is based on George R.R. Martin’s novel, Fire & Blood, which depicts the rise and fall of the most powerful house in Westeros, and the foreboding civil war known as the Dance of the Dragons.
Fans Loved Emma D’Arcy and Olivia Cooke’s Performance In Episode 6
Rhaenyra and Alicent’s ensuing feud strengthens now that both of them have children. Episode 6 showed the princess giving birth to her third son, which stirred controversy across the kingdom regarding her children’s true parentage. Alicent, on the other hand, is hell-bent on securing her son’s claim to the throne.
Fans from Twitter shared their reactions to House of the Dragon’s Episode 6 and raved about D’Arcy and Cooke’s performances:
— rhaenyra targaryen's lawyer (@Targ_Nation) September 26, 2022
A huge round of applause to both Olivia Cooke and Emma D’Arcy for their debut performances tonight. They gave us a master class in ACTING. Does anyone have anymore questions of their ability to perform their roles? No? Didn’t think so. #HouseOfTheDragon pic.twitter.com/hjMlRxK4rX
— out of context house of the dragon (@oochotd) September 26, 2022
Round of applause for Emma D’Arcy & Olivia Cooke they proved in tonight’s episode that the show is in great hands for the rest of the series, amazing performances from both. #HouseOfTheDragon pic.twitter.com/dcNpGIvV6u
— House Of The Dragon Source (@HOTDsource) September 26, 2022
— special master (@special_master_) September 26, 2022
Before the recast, many have been expressing their dread and doubt about the new actors. Alcock and Carey delivered a very compelling performance and have been equally praised for bringing their characters to life. In a span of just five episodes, the fans have become attached to them that some even suggested using cosmetics to age up the actresses instead of permanently replacing them.
Rhaenyra And Alicent’s Feud Grows Stronger Each Episode
After the gripping episode last Sunday, fans have finally accepted that D’Arcy and Cooke will carry on the roles from now on – and they did not disappoint! The chemistry between the two actresses has indeed caused tension on screen, and there will be more of that in future episodes.
Although, there have been rumors of the possibility that the younger versions of Rhaenyra and Alicent might return in the series. Alcock confirmed that there had been talks, indeed, although she has no idea how the showrunners would execute it. The only possible way of bringing back these two beloved characters is through flashbacks.
Rhaenyra and Alicent’s severed friendship already looks like a hopeless case as the ending of Episode 6 saw Larys Strong (Matthew Needham) seemingly take justice into his hand and orchestrated the death of his father, Lord Lyonel Strong (Gavin Spokes), and brother, Ser Harwin Strong (Ryan Corr), the rumored father of Rhaenyra’s children, by burning Harrenhal. Although Alicent proves to be innocent of this crime, the tragedy will drive more conflict between the princess and the queen.