- Creator Ryan Condal told Variety he’s not ruling out Milly Alcock and Emily Carey returning.
- Emma D’Arcy and Olivia Cooke replaced the duo as their older counterparts after a time-jump.
- Condal says “House of the Dragon” can do things differently to “Game of Thrones.”
When “House of the Dragon” first premiered on HBO, fans quickly became invested in the tumultuous dynamic between Rhaenyra Targaryen (Milly Alcock) and Alicent Hightower (Emily Carey), as the fantasy-drama explores House Targaryen at the peak of its power in Westeros.
The first half of the season follows the duo as teenagers, as Rhaenyra grapples with her burgeoning duties as princess, while Alicent quickly finds herself in a powerful position when King Viserys Targaryen (Paddy Considine) marries her after his wife’s death.
But because the story is leading up to the infamous civil war dubbed “the Dance of Dragons,” the series makes a huge time jump between episode five and episode six, skipping ahead by 10 years.
Both Rhaenyra and Alicent have their own children by this time, and they’re now played by Emma D’Arcy and Olivia Cooke respectively. This isn’t something the stars have taken lightly, as D’Arcy previously recognized that they have big shoes to fill going into the back half of the season.
But this doesn’t necessarily mean that audiences have seen the last of Alcock and Carey, as creator Ryan Condal discussed their potential return when speaking to Variety. “I mean, look, I don’t know. [They] are not a part of the story that we’re telling yet,” he said, before adding, “That’s not a thing that we’re doing right now.”
Condal explained that the writers are treating the prequel series differently.
“‘Game of Thrones’ was not a flashback show,” he said, adding that “House of the Dragon” has the space to get “a little bit more fancy.”
The showrunner went on to say that plans for season two and beyond aren’t concrete, so Alcock and Carey’s return isn’t impossible. “There are things that we haven’t fully sorted out, I’m not closing the door on anything,” Condal said.
The end of episode five sees Rhaenyra marry Laenor Velaryon (Theo Nate), and she has a number of children during the 10-year gap, so there’s still plenty of room for Alcock to return and tell more chapters of House Targaryen’s history.
But where the overall story is concerned, showrunner Miguel Sapochnik previously told The Hollywood Reporter that they’re telling the plot in a specific way so audiences understand the growing conflict.
Sapochnik said: “We’re telling a story of a generational war. We set everything up so by the time that first sword stroke falls, you understand all the players — where they are and why they are. All the history is there instead of being told to you in exposition.”
“House of the Dragon” airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on HBO.