House of the Dragon Main Leads Say Goodbye

Young Rhaenyra and Alicent actresses Milly Alcock and Emily Carey are replaced with Emma D’Arcy and Olivia Cooke. There are many mixed reactions. Let’s discuss!

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House of the Dragon

House of the Dragon has been a roller coaster of emotions, with many deaths that we knew were coming, but the executions still have us clutching our pearls. However, I don’t think anyone was prepared for the departure of Milly Alcock and Emily Carey. We knew it was coming right from the gate, considering many promos included an older Rhaenyra as the focal point. So what’s the deal?

As each episode came rolling in on Sunday nights, we grew with the characters and who they are in the Game of Thrones world. We see Alcock and Rhaenyra as the same entity, and now it’s getting stripped away midway through the season with another person.

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The problem is the fans aren’t ready to jump ten years ahead without Alcock and Carey. They want more time with young Rhaenyra and Alicent’s journey. In the last episode, we got a taste of who they’ll become in the time skip, and we want more. Carey’s performance walking in late to dinner with that beautiful evergreen dress has melted into our brains with no intention of dissolving. She doesn’t need words to tell us she was angry at Rhaenyra; that’s how spectacular of an actress Carey is.

And don’t get me started about Alcock’s acting because she is the queen and the star in each episode. Rhaenyra knows what she wants, and it’s Daemon Targaryen (Matt Smith) with Ser Criston (Fabien Frankel) as a side dish.

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There is a mixture of emotions in the fandom. A few people are completely against the change. The House of the Dragon has already been renewed for a second season. The writers could have allowed more screen time with Alcock and Carey for an entire season rather than switching actresses mid-way through. Slow the pacing a smidge, so we can fully digest the content.

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As far as fans are concerned, they’re in mourning and a bit skeptical about the chemistry between D’Arcy and Matt Smith for reasons unknown. But besides that, a lot of people are optimistic about the changeover. There’s no hate directed towards D’Arcy, but the fans will miss Alcock. From what we see in the trailers and sneak peeks, D’Arcy acts amazingly and fully embodies the character. We won’t know for sure until we see the next episode.

The first season of House of the Dragon appears so rushed because there was possibly not a chance at a second season. Perhaps this had something to do with the failure of Game of Thrones season 8, but that’s the problem. They rushed way too quickly with the series finale and thus prompted a huge “L” for the showrunners.

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At the end of the day, it’s going to happen, so let’s celebrate them and have an open mind to the newcomers. They are the same characters, but just at a different age. I don’t see it as losing two characters but rather seeing them at a different time. We shall see what unfolds this weekend and where everything leads us in the finale.

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