The House of the Dragon casting director explains how they searched for young Rhaenyra

The first season of Game of Thronesspinoff series, House of the Dragon, was released by HBO last year and the show recently won the Golden Award for Best Drama Series. The show stars Emma D’Arcy as Rhaenyra Targaryen, but they weren’t the first actor to take on the role. In the earlier episodes, young Rhaenyra was played by Milly Alcock. The new book, House of the Dragon: In the creation of a Targaryen dynasty, details some of the casting that went into the show, including how Alcock landed the role.

Casting director Kate Rhode James explains that after casting D’Arcy, the actor shared photos of their teenage selves, showing the House of the Dragon casting department in their search for Alcock. “Whether it’s the shape of the nose or the shape of the eyes — it’s got to be something,” James explained (via Insider). “She’s very similar to Emma in the sense that she’s one-off,” James added to Alcock. “She’s unique. She’s not trained — she’s all instinct.”

“I see Emma as a very old soul,” House of the Dragon added showrunner Ryan Condal. “They’re some of the smartest actors I’ve ever met or spoken to. A lot of actors, there’s one dimension they add to a role. Then there are these unicorn actors who can convey subtle emotions through small changes in the way they “breath, or a look. Emma had that. Emma is a very different entity in a very good way.”

What’s next for Milly Alcock?

Earlier, Alcock made it clear that it was “exciting” to join such a huge franchise, and she recently told The Herald Sun that she’s not interested in any more fantasy roles.

“I don’t play fantasy roles,” Alcock shared. “I don’t want to do something like that. I’ve done it and I don’t need to do it again. I’m just waiting for the right project. I’m in no rush to jump on anything.” She added: “I’d rather not work a lot and do work that I’m really proud and passionate about. When you sign up for a project, you have to get used to talking about it for six months or a year of your life … so you want to make sure you really love it and I wait for that project to come along and surprise me.

Stay tuned for updates on the upcoming second season of House of the Dragon.

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