House of the Dragon used teenaged pictures of Emma D’Arcy to cast Miley Alcock


The first season of HBO’s Game of Thrones prequel series House of the Dragon tried something unique: for the first five episodes, a couple of the most important roles — including heir apparent to the throne Rhaenrya Targaryen and her best friend/step-mother/arch-rival Alicent Hightower — were played by younger actors: Miley Alcock and Emily Carey respectively. Then there was a huge time jump. On the other side of it, the roles were played by Emma D’Arcy and Olivia Cooke.

It was a risky strategy that could have resulted in disaster, but casting director Kate Rhode James did a great job of finding actors and the transition was very smooth. James talked about the process in the new book House of the Dragon: Inside the Creation of a Targaryen Dynasty by Gina McIntyre, which is out on store shelves now. She cast D’Arcy as Adult Rhaenyra first, and then asked D’Arcy to send in teenaged pictures of themself. Her goal was to match the younger actor to the elder. “Whether it’s the shape of the nose or the shape of the eyes — it’s got to be something,” James said.

James saw Alcock perform in the 2019 Australian Upright and thought she had the same-shaped eyes as D’Arcy. “She’s very like Emma in the sense that she is a one-off,” James said. “She’s unique. She’s not trained — she’s all instinct.”

See what House of the Dragon star Emma D’Arcy looked like in their younger years

We’re not sure if these are photo of D’Arcy from when they were a teenager, but they were definitely younger:

House of the Dragon showrunner Ryan Condal gave their take on D’Arcy, who has quickly become something of a pop culture icon. “I see Emma as a very old soul,” Condal said. “They’re one of the smartest actors I’ve ever met or spoken to. A lot of actors, there’s one dimension they bring to a role. Then there are these unicorn actors who can convey subtle emotion through minor changes in just the way they breathe, or a glance. Emma had that. Emma is a completely different entity in a really good way.”

D’Arcy will return as Rhaenerya in House of the Dragon season 2 in 2024.

Next. Game of Thrones Studio Tour offers discounts, new wedding costumes display. dark

To stay up to date on everything fantasy, science fiction, and WiC, follow our all-encompassing Facebook page and sign up for our exclusive newsletter.

Get HBO, Starz, Showtime and MORE for FREE with a no-risk, 7-day free trial of Amazon Channels

h/t Insider