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Are Milly Alcock And Emily Carey From House Of The Dragon Friends In Real Life?

HBO's "House of the Dragon" has now aired five of the ten episodes in its first season, which means that the show will jump ahead ten years for Episode 6. This will be the biggest time jump in the season yet, and while it will no doubt have major implications for all of the characters, the two most affected will be Rhaenerya Targaryen and Alicent Hightower. That's because the young actresses who play them, Milly Alcock and Emily Carey, will be giving way to Emma D'Arcy and Olivia Cooke, respectively.

Before that happens, however, let's take a moment to look back on the performances by Alcock and Carey. As characters, Rhaenerya and Alicent start off as the best of friends, before political circumstance forces them into a more complicated situation–more on this below. Naturally, given how close their characters are, that leads us to wonder whether Alcock and Carey are actually friends in real life. Here's what they've said.

Alcock and Carey bonded over their shared challenges

Currently, Alcock is 22 years old (via IMDb), while Carey is 19 (via IMDb). Both have appeared in movies and on television before–Alcock has appeared in several TV series in her native Australia, while Carey played young Diana in 2017's "Wonder Woman" and young Lara Croft in 2018's "Tomb Raider." But for both actresses, these are the biggest roles in their careers, by far. Being cast in a prequel to one of the biggest series in the history of television is an experience that few can relate to. Because of that, Alcock and Carey gravitated towards each other. 

"We're very lucky in that we get along in real life, so the chemistry came very organically. We're quite like our characters," Carey told the New York Times.

"Me and Em went through a very similar experience that our characters went through: We were both thrown into this massive role, and when it actually happened, you don't know how to react," Alcock explained. "We're two very young women who haven't done massive projects before, in an environment full of men, having to live up to this opportunity. We were forced to hang on to each other for dear life."

Their friendship deepened as the series went on. Being cast in the show was just one of the challenges for the young actresses. Not being able to speak about it with anyone else made their bond even stronger. "I see Millie as a big sister," Carey told E! News. "I don't think that will ever diminish. It's such a strange, niche set experience and the kind of thing that you can't really talk about with anyone else."

Portraying friends whose friendship is deteriorating brought Alcock and Carey closer together

Of course, the relationship between Rhanerya and Alicent doesn't stay idyllic forever. The pair's lifelong friendship is tested when Alicent's father Otto (Rhys Ifans) maneuvers her into becoming the new wife of King Viserys I (Paddy Considine), who also happens to be Rhaenerya's father. Meanwhile, Rhaenerya is struggling with her father's decision to name her his heir, particularly the requirement that she agree to a political marriage not of her choosing. When Alicent is enlisted to help sway her best friend/stepdaughter, it changes their friendship forever.

The relationship between the characters is highly complicated, and playing it is a unique acting challenge–how many other shows have a relationship that resembles this one? Having to play such a complex dynamic made Alcock and Carey admire each other even more.

"And there's something just really lovely about getting to be someone who works alongside an actor that you adore," Alcock told Collider. "There's something really nice about it. Having to be sad, or having to be confused or angry, there's something that's really lovely about that. That's what I loved most about our relationship. You meet them at such a happy point within their adolescence."

It's not a requirement that actors playing friends actually be friends in real life, but in this case, the bond between Alcock and Carey definitely shows up onscreen.