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House Of The Dragon Star Emma D'Arcy's Favorite Game Of Thrones Character Is An Odd Choice

"House of the Dragon" actor Emma D'Arcy has revealed their somewhat unorthodox favorite character from the main "Game of Thrones" series. During an interview with The Guardian, D'Arcy — who plays Rhaenyra Targaryen in the HBO prequel — opened up about auditioning for "House of the Dragon" and how they binge-watched the entirety of "Game of Thrones" to prepare for their role as Rhaenyra.

Fans were introduced to Rhaenyra via a different actor, with Milly Alcock portraying a younger version of the Targaryen princess for the first five episodes of Season 1. Episode 6, "The Princess and the Queen," saw D'Arcy step into Rhaenyra's shoes following a ten-year time jump in the story, an adaptation of George R.R. Martin's "Fire and Blood," portraying the civil war known as the Dance of the Dragons that decimated House Targaryen nearly 200 years before the main series.

During their interview with The Guardian, D'Arcy revealed what it was like to "share custody" of Rhaenyra with Milly Alcock, how going viral on TikTok felt, and which unexpected "Game of Thrones" character they have a "soft spot" for.

Emma D'Arcy has a soft spot for the Hound from Game of Thrones

Before landing the role of Rhaenyra Targaryen, Emma D'Arcy hadn't watched a single episode of "Game of Thrones." Being cast in "House of the Dragon" led to D'Arcy binge-watching all eight seasons of the original series. Surprisingly enough, their favorite turned out to be none other than the Hound, aka Sandor Clegane (Rory McCann). "I had a real soft spot for the Hound!" the actor told The Guardian.

Binging "Game of Thrones" was only part of D'Arcy's preparation to play Rhaenyra — the actor also had to hand the reins to Milly Alcock for the first five episodes of Season 1, debuting in Episode 6 after fans had grown accustomed to Alcock's portrayal of the character. "We shared custody of this person. As we got closer to episode six, I was quite anxious; people had just lost actors they'd spent five hours with and connected to."

D'Arcy's on-screen debut as Rhaenyra is more than memorable. "The Princess and the Queen" opens with D'Arcy's Rhaenyra giving birth to her third son, Joffrey Velaryon, before being summoned to the queen's chambers mere moments after her labor. Rhaenyra's rivalry-slash-friendship with Queen Alicent (Olivia Cooke) drives much of the drama in Season 1 leading to the Dance of the Dragons.

How Emma D'Arcy has adjusted to fame following House of the Dragon's release

"House of the Dragon" has proved to be a hit; the Season 1 finale was HBO's most viewed episode since "Game of Thrones." For Emma D'Arcy, the newfound fame from playing Rhaenyra has been a surreal experience. The actor avoids Googling themself, preferring to keep a "safe distance," as well as having created "some new tools for dealing with new aspects in [their] day-to-day reality."

Portraying the most iconic "Game of Thrones" dragon queen since Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) isn't D'Arcy's only claim to fame. The actor went viral on TikTok earlier in 2022 after explaining their unique cocktail go-to: "Negroni sbagliato – with prosecco in it." During their interview with The Guardian, D'Arcy revealed they are pleased that their favorite drink is getting some attention, adding, "My mum is thrilled about me becoming a meme!"

Season 1 of "House of the Dragon" concluded with Rhaenyra more enraged than ever after Daemon Targaryen (Matt Smith) informed her that her son, Lucerys (Elliot Grihault), was killed at Storm's End by Aemond's (Ewan Mitchell) dragon Vhagar. Grief for her son will drive Rhaenyra to new extremes in Season 2. "She has been trying to work out how best to mitigate that very volatile fire in her blood," said D'Arcy. "But when Luke dies, the control required to dampen that inner fire suddenly runs out."