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Emily Carey Talks About House of the Dragon Character

Emily Carey

Photo: EW

Anyone who has read George R.R. Martin’s Fire and Blood knows there’s an important plot point that hasn’t been shown in HBO’s House of the Dragon before.

The series chronicles the Targaryens as they go through a civil war within their family lines after King Viserys I Targaryen (Paddy Considine) named his daughter, Princess Rhaenyra (Milly Alcock), heir to the Iron Throne.

Following the death of Queen Aemma (Sian Brooke), Viserys marries again and has a son named Aegon II (Tom Glynn-Carney), who eventually splits the kingdom in two due to succession issues.

This was revealed much before the premiere. However, the other big thing that has been kept under wraps is the detail that Rhaenyra’s best friend Alicent Hightower (Emily Carey) is the person who marries Viserys and carries 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 said he asked House of the Dragon co-producer Miguel Sapochnik (alongside Ryan Condal) about it.

“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 started performing in the mess.

“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. 

After that, fans may tag Alicent as a villain; However, Carey wants to understand and consider the character’s situation, pointing to 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: ‘Euphoria’ Star Barbie Ferreira Bids the Show Goodbye

Carey and the Cast Members Have Fun

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: House of the Dragon Do Not Portray Sexual Violence, Says Showrunner

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