Warning: Contains SPOILERS for House of the Dragon season 1, episode 5, “We Light The Way.”House of the Dragon season 1, episode 5 may have been the last viewers see of the young Rhaenyra Targaryen and Alicent Hightower actors, Milly Alcock and Emily Carey. Rhaenyra and Alicent’s friendship-cum-rivalry is at the very heart of House of the Dragon‘s story, as the two increasingly find themselves on opposing sides in the build-up to the Targaryen civil war, the Dance of the Dragons. That split is shown on screen with different actors playing the characters, with Alicent and Rhaenyra set to be recast as Olivia Cooke and Emma D’Arcy step into the roles.
That’s no easy feat for House of the Dragon, nor for the show’s viewers, because Alcock and Carey have been so brilliant in the roles. They’ve added even greater depth to the characters from George R.R. Martin’s Fire & Blood book, making them as sympathetic as they are complex. Still, there’s been a hidden countdown throughout all of House of the Dragon‘s episodes, as coming into the season it had already been confirmed the actors would change, and that is seemingly about to happen.
Yes, House of the Dragon season 1, episode 5 is the last with Alcock’s Rhaenyra and Carey’s Alicent, at least for now. It had been revealed previously that Rhaenyra and Alicent’s recasting would happen at the midway point of the season, with a 10-year time jump allowing the switch to occur; with five episodes down and five to go, that point is now here. Alcock and Carey are also only credited through to episode 5 on IMDb, with D’Arcy and Cooke credited for episodes 6-10. As it stands, season 1, episode 5 is the last time the younger Rhaenyra and Alicent actors will appear in House of the Dragon, though that doesn’t mean a return is completely out of the question, despite no official word on the matter.
How Alcock’s Rhaenyra & Carey’s Alicent Could Return In House Of The Dragon
There are a couple of ways Alcock’s Rhaenyra and Carey’s Alicent could return in House of the Dragon. For starters, there were deleted scenes of Rhaenyra and Alicent, which would have shown the pair during the build-up Alicent’s wedding where she married Viserys (which the show ended up skipping over instead). It’s possible these scenes, since they were shot, could still be used later in the season as flashbacks, highlighting just how much the characters have changed.
Similarly, with so much of House of the Dragon‘s story about Rhaenyra and Alicent – and yet the pair set to be kept apart for much for it after the former leaves King’s Landing – then bringing the younger actors back for flashbacks or dream sequences in season 2 would also be effective at exploring their relationship and increasing differences. Alcock has confirmed that “conversations have happened” about House of the Dragon season 2 including young Rhaenyra and Alicent but that, while she “would love” to return, she has no idea if it will happen.
What Milly Alcock & Emily Carey Are Doing After House Of The Dragon
Neither Milly Alcock nor Emily Carey have a huge amount of projects lined-up at the time of writing. Alcock will appear in Upright season 2, an Australian TV show of which she was also in season 1, and the short film Furlough. Carey will next be in the voice cast of animated movie The Canterville Ghost, based on Oscar Wilde’s short story about the ghost who haunts an English mansion an American family moves into. However, given their work on the show, it would be surprising if there weren’t many more offers and roles coming to Alcock and Carey after House of the Dragon.
House of the Dragon releases new episodes Sundays on HBO and HBO Max.
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