House of the Dragon’s Emily Carey Discusses Her Character

Photo: EW

Anyone familiar with George R.R. Martin’s Fire and Blood knows that there’s one key plot point not shown in HBO’s House of the Dragons.

The series follows the Targaryens as they face civil war within their lineage after King Viserys I Targaryen (Paddy Considine) declares his daughter, Princess Rhaenyra (Milly Alcock), heir to the Iron Throne.

After the death of Queen Aemma (Sian Brooke), Viserys remarries and has a son named Aegon II (Tom Glyn Carney), who eventually splits the kingdom in two due to succession issues.

That was revealed a lot before the premiere. But another big thing kept secret is the detail that Rhaenyra’s best friend Alicent Hightower (Emily Carey) is the one who marries Viserys and bears Aegon.

“I’m so glad I can talk about this now. This is a big one,” Carey, who prefers to be referred to as she/they, said in an interview with EW on the West of Westeros podcast following the revelation in the second episode of House of the Dragon

“It changes one of the branches of the show, if that makes sense. It pushes things in a different direction. And for my character, it’s, of course, a massive turn.” 

Carey asked House of the Dragon co-producer Miguel Sapochnik (alongside Ryan Condal) about the matter.

“He just went, ‘Yes. That!'” she recounts. “I was like, ‘What?’ And he was like, ‘All of it. That’s what we want.'” 

She then proceeded to play into the bewilderment. 

“I was confused as an actor in not knowing what Alicent should be feeling, and then I also realized that’s exactly how she’s feeling, ‘I should be happy. This should be what I want, but is it actually what I want?” Carey elaborates. 

Fans might then mark Alicent as a villain. But Carrie wants to understand and consider the character’s situation, mentioning the “huge pressures that should not be placed on 14-year-old girls.” 

Alicent’s case was on his father as he orchestrated her engagement to Viserys. 

Read also: House of the Dragon Producer Says the Show Portrays No Sexual Violence

Carey Bonds with Cast Members

Carey also confessed that she was nervous initially reading the House of the Dragon script. At 17, when she started the show, she would have to portray a young girl in a romantic tie with a fully grown man. (Carey is currently 19, while Considine is 48.) 

But Considine and the producers made Carey feel safe and at ease. She bonded with Considine through RuPaul’s Drag Race

“Paddy is a massive Drag Race fan, and so am I,” Carey said. “So, I’d come into the set and be like, ‘Hey, Paddy, did you watch the new episode of All Stars?’ He’d be like, ‘Oh my God, yes! Let’s talk about it.’ And so that’s how we’d start every morning.” 

She recounts one point while shooting the premiere episode. Everyone was feeling a tad bit ecstatic after a long day of filming. 

“It felt like a weird school trip or a family day out with all of us there at one time,” Carey states. 

“The stunt guys would line up to joust at the other end. There’d be these big sweeping wide shots. They couldn’t really hear what we were saying. So, the horses would whinny or whatever, and then you’d hear from behind us, ‘Two jousters stand before me. Are you ready to joust? For. Your. Life?!” 

That would be courtesy of Considine. “It was so funny. He was really getting into it.”

Read also: Game of Thrones Prequel Performs Well on its Premiere

Posted by Anatha Simmons

Anatha is a singer and songwriter. She loves writing about music and everything that comes with it.

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