In the world of Game of Thrones, some of the most shocking moments in the series usually involve a beloved character getting killed off unceremoniously. It’s pretty much the essence of the series: you never know who’s safe and who’s going to get the proverbial axe in the next episode. That much is also true for House of the Dragon, but what’s even more shocking is when we got two main characters replaced. Not because they died but because the actresses’ ages no longer matched their characters’. When Milly Alcock and Emily Carey could no longer play their House of the Dragon characters, some fans were truly shocked. Why not use make-up or re-adapt the story to fit their ages?
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Whatever the case, one thing has been thoroughly confirmed: Milly Alcock and Emily Carey are out of House of the Dragon for good. And there’s been a clear divide among House of the Dragon fans as soon as the two actresses left the show. Rhaenyra Targaryen and Alicent Hightower might as well just be two different characters by now, mostly because of the acting efforts of Emma D’Arcy and Olivia Cooke.
It’s not to say that Emma D’Arcy and Olivia Cooke are not as good as Milly Alcock and Emily Carey – it’s just that they had vastly different approaches to their House of the Dragon characters, and it shows. With an epic show like this, consistent characters become a necessity for the audience, especially when they have to keep tabs on so many moving pieces and family affairs.
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Rhaenyra and Alicent’s recast can be seen as the straw that broke the camel’s back for many House of the Dragon fans, and I understand why they might feel that way. After all, Alcock’s Rhaenyra was essentially the face of the show in pre-release material – just as Sean Bean’s Ned Stark was for Game of Thrones. What I mean is that, when it comes to these shows, the fate of the series doesn’t depend on a single character.
So far, House of the Dragon‘s first season has been nothing short of fantastic for die-hard Game of Thrones fans. Sure, the recasts might have been a bit confusing at first, but there are always some other aspects to pay attention to. One such glimmer of hope is Matt Smith’s Daemon Targaryen.
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True, Fire and Blood is, in good part, a chronicle of Rhaenyra’s life and times, but let’s not forget that both the novels and the book that precedes the A Song of Ice and Fire series focus on the Targaryen lineage as a whole. This means that, as much as the show might suffer without Milly Alcock and Emily Carey, they are not the only actresses that House of the Dragon fans should pay attention to.
It might be a bit too soon to tell whether House of the Dragon will fix all of the Game of Thrones late-series flaws, and if I’m being honest, I don’t think that this first season has lived up to GoT‘s phenomenal premiere season just yet. One thing I know, however, is that these shows are better than the sum of their parts, and I do believe that I’ll definitely keep watching the show, even if no one could ever replace the powerful performances that Milly Alcock and Emily Carey gave us in just a few episodes.
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Tell us, do you think House of the Dragon will survive without Milly Alcock and Emily Carey?