Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

How House Of The Dragon's Milly Alcock And Emily Carey Really Feel About Handing Off Their Roles

"House of the Dragon" might be gaining new cast members, but sadly, it's also saying goodbye to two of its stars.

Thanks to a large time jump within the world of Westeros, "House of the Dragon," which will eventually work its way around to depicting the Targaryen civil war known as the Dance of the Dragons, is bidding farewell to Milly Alcock and Emily Carey, who both led the show through its first five episodes. Alcock portrayed Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen, a headstrong dragon rider who, in the series premiere, is named by her father, King Viserys I (Paddy Considine), as his chosen heir; Carey played Alicent Hightower, who becomes Viserys' second wife and gives birth to a son, Aegon II, who could supplant his half-sister on the Iron Throne.

Alcock and Carey sat down with The New York Times to discuss what it feels like to pass these roles over to Emma D'Arcy and Olivia Cooke, who will take over in the series' sixth episode as Rhaenyra and Alicent, respectively. Here's how these two actors feel about passing the Targaryen torch to these new performers.

Alcock and Carey are actually excited for these new actors

Speaking to the Times, Alcock and Carey revealed that actually, they're really excited about passing their respective torches — largely because they're looking forward to seeing what D'Arcy and Cooke do with these juicy roles.

"I'm so excited to see what Emma did with Rhaenyra," Alcock said, "There's no way I could have played her in the later stages of her life because I don't have the same lived experience that Emma has. So I'm so keen."

Agreeing with Alcock, Carey chimed in: "I love the way you worded that, Mil. That's so true. When people say, 'Do you wish you could do the rest of it?,' I'm always like, 'I don't know.' I don't think I have the capacity."

Carey — whose pronouns are she/they — did admit they feel a bit like they were only just getting started with Alicent, but the excitement is still there. "But I will be honest: It's strange handing off a character that is so personal," Carey revealed. "As actors, we put so much of ourselves into the people we play. So it's strange having to leave someone's story halfway through. At the same time, it doesn't feel unfinished because it's going into obviously amazing hands with Olivia. It's going to be really cool — and weird — to watch the show as a viewer and not be critiquing our own performances, and just take it in and appreciate the show for what it is."

Alicent and Rhaenyra's rivalry will continue with new actors

Ultimately, all that matters is that D'Arcy and Cooke — two formidable actors in their own right — will certainly continue Alicent and Rhaenyra's rivalry and perhaps even breathe new life into it entirely. At the end of the show's fifth episode, "We Light the Way," it definitely seems like Viserys dies, perfectly setting up the conflict between Alicent and Rhaenyra as they vy for the realm's seat of power.

As Alicent and Rhaenyra, Cooke and D'Arcy will likely kick off the Dance of Dragons, the infighting that places Rhaenyra against her half-brother and Alicent's son, Aegon II. With Alicent's faction in green and Rhaenyra's in black, this civil war, as detailed in George R.R. Martin's backstory "Fire & Blood," is particularly brutal... and sees two women who once loved each other pitted against one another.

"House of the Dragon” has already been renewed for a second season, so when it comes to Alicent and Rhaenyra's story, there's plenty more of it to be told. "House of the Dragon" airs on Sundays at 9PM EST on HBO and HBO Max.