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How Fans Really Feel About The House Of The Dragon Cast Overhaul

This Article Contains General Spoilers for House of the Dragon

Televised time jumps can be tricky to pull off. For instance, "The Blacklist" lost viewers when it jumped forward after killing off Liz Keen (Megan Boone). Ratings stuck to the status quo when "Riverdale" jumped ahead to explore its central figures' adult worlds, and shows like "Parks and Recreation" and "Desperate Housewives" held on to their audiences with late-act forward jumps. It takes tenacity and nimble footedness from actors and showrunners alike to make it through casting changes — never mind making sure that the skip in the story's timeline makes sense.

"House of the Dragon" has jumped forward in time not just once, but twice. After pushing its timeline ahead by three years during Episode 3, the show has taken another leap forward in Episode 6 – this time by 10 years. The show's bold gambit has, in many cases, required it to recast several leading roles to reflect this span of lost time. Most notably, Emily Carey and Milly Alcock have been replaced by Olivia Cooke and Emma D'Arcy, respectively. But thus far it's a strategy that's paid off for the program, leading to rock-solid ratings and impressive fan support. How does the show's newfound audience feel about this switch-up?

Fans seem on board with the time jump

Fans who gather at the "House of the Dragon" subreddit are thus far fairly pleased with what they're seeing. A post by u/LoretiTV lauding the hard work of the show's new cast members has gotten over seven thousand upvotes at press time, with many fans weighing in to praise both individual actors and the generally positive comments regarding the program's casting at large.

Many fans are enjoying D'Arcy's take on Rhaenyra in particular. "Emma's first scene. Incredible. The agony on her face and the sounds of the birthing, it was pretty magnificent and gorey all at once. What an introduction!" remarked u/TofkaSpin, who was not alone in finding D'Arcy's portrayal of pain and agony wholeheartedly realistic, and enjoying her strong presence as a grown-up Rhaenyra.

But many had high praise for Cooke's portrayal of Alicent Hightower, as well. "She knew what she wanted to do with the role and just delivered," said u/babalon124. Many fans noted that Cooke's pedigree for excellent performances presages her ability to do well as Alicent, noting her work in "Thoroughbreds," among other films. 

Not every fan had praise for the show's big time jump — specifically pertaining to the fact that much of the cast is still the same. "Love the logic of how only half the cast actually ages. Oh its been 10 years, give them a new haircut that will do," snarked u/gogommpr13.

One clear favorite has emerged from the pack

While D'Arcy and the other actors have drawn praise for their individual performances, one character and actor seems to be standing out among the rest for viewers. "I love the actor they picked for Aegon [Ty Tennant]. He's got such a regal vibe while still feeling like a dumb teenager," said u/quenchy-cactus-juice. They definitely aren't alone in this estimation; Aegon seems to be the most popular among the many sons Alicent and Rhaenyra have produced during the time skip. Tennant has won many plaudits on the subreddit for accurately portraying a bratty and bullying teenager with a sense of panache. Multiple fans are speaking up to praise both Tennant and Aegon alike — even though it seems the character is being set up as a Joffrey-like bully.

That's not to say that every single person on the subreddit thinks the character — or actor — is wonderful. Plenty of fans are willing to point out that Aegon comes off as a bad seed, with some even joking that they prefer the original actor for the part (who was a baby). Perhaps time and a little seasoning will change their tune. In any event, this new fleet of actors has definitely won a lot of plaudits from viewers worldwide.