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House Of The Dragon Star Olivia Cooke Also Has A Hard Time With All Those Targaryen Names

With the premiere of its 10th episode, the debut season of "House of the Dragon" concluded on October 23, 2022, and for the most part, the batch of episodes seemed to stick the landing with viewers. In the wake of the highly controversial final season of "Game of Thrones" from 2019, many were understandably skeptical about the idea of returning to Westeros. Nevertheless, HBO went ahead with the House Targaryen-centric prequel program, and in no time at all, it became crystalized that fans wanted to see more out of author George R.R. Martin's fictional world after all.

Right out of the gate, "House of the Dragon" made it impossible for fans of "Game of Thrones" or curious franchise newcomers alike to look away. The story of House Targaryen's steady decline, as realized with a stable of new, fascinating characters, proved just too intriguing to abandon. Among the most interesting characters introduced on "House of the Dragon" is Alicent Hightower (Emily Carey, Olivia Cooke), who grew up close to the Targaryen royal family, specifically Princess Rhaeynara (Milly Alcock, Emma D'Arcy) and eventually became queen to King Viserys (Paddy Considine).

Alicent Hightower is a main player on "House of the Dragon," but that doesn't mean that Olivia Cooke can fully put herself in her character's shoes. As it turns out, Cooke has quite a bit of trouble keeping track of all of those repetitive, similar Targaryen given names.

Rhaenyra's children often left Cooke stumped

Shortly after the "House of the Dragon" Season 1 finale arrived, Olivia Cooke spoke with Variety about the show and her experience portraying Alicent Hightower. In doing so, she touched on the laundry list of names that stem from Alicent Hightower and Rhaeynara Targaryen's shared lineage. While she mentions that when it comes to Alicent's children, she had no trouble keeping all of the names straight, when it comes to Rhaeynara's kids, she struggled a bit. "I just completely forgot because I never met them. I do get confused, and everyone follows the same names. Everyone's called Aegon or Rhaenys or Rhaenyra," Cooke admitted.

Instead of checking the script or asking one of the minds behind "House of the Dragon" for clarification, Cooke went right to the source: Emma D'Arcy. She recalls, "There was one moment in Episode 8, I was watching and took a picture and sent it to Emma being like, 'Who's that?'" Cooke couldn't recognize the young child by D'Arcy's side, but eventually, she put the pieces together. "I was like, "Oh, that's the person that you gave birth to in Episode 6, right," she continues, and given how confusing all of those Targaryen names can be, we don't blame her for having to double-check once in a while.

With Season 2 of "House of the Dragon" on the way, one can only hope that the Targaryen clan doesn't expand much more for Olivia Cooke's sake.