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What House Of The Dragon's Emma D'Arcy And Olivia Cooke Remember About Their First Scene

Upon first glance of the "Game of Thrones" prequel, "House of the Dragon," the freshman series does not align with its predecessor. And that's a good thing. The flagship series was a worldwide phenomenon, and however you feel about the "Game of Thrones" series finale, "House of the Dragon" would need to be entirely different to blaze a new trail. Adapting George R.R. Martin's Targaryen history "Fire and Blood" was a masterful stroke that set the new series apart. Instead of an immediate quest for vengeance, "House of the Dragon" is a drama that takes time to show the audience how generational trauma can lead to civil war.

Starting with the young versions of Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen (Milly Alcock) and Alicent Hightower (Emily Carey), viewers get a first-hand account of how close sorority can turn into burning resentment. The portrayal of these characters spans many years until the 10-year time jump into adulthood. To pull off the mature versions of these characters, the actors taking over had to make an impression. In this regard, "House of the Dragon" delivers. No one will forget Rhaenyra's (Emma D'Arcy) visceral birthing scene anytime soon. But the Targaryen princess' first interaction with her stepmother sticks in the actors' minds.

It's about what the characters don't say

Women roll the dice every time they have a child, and on Rhaenyra's third go-round, she produces another heir. But even after she gives birth to a healthy boy, the trial isn't over. Queen Alicent (Olivia Cooke) demands to see the baby as soon as he's born, intent on proving he's illegitimate. Distrust has spread like wildfire between the two, and Rhaenyra understands what this means. The princess insists on carrying the baby to the queen's quarters, not moments after she's given birth. As an introductory scene to a character, that is hard to top. In a conversation with Vulture, D'Arcy, and Cooke reminisced about the scene that brought these characters together. The joy of the scene isn't that the characters come to blows but the underlying tension from years of resentment.

"Nothing Alicent has been through has been easy or her choice," Cooke noted. "[W]hen she sees Rhaenyra living her life as she sees fit, it's beyond frustrating for Alicent after living her own life of servitude," Cooke added. This dynamic comes to a head when Alicent gets her hand on the newborn.

"I just remember your masterstroke of taking the baby from Paddy. I felt sick," D'Arcy stated, to Cooke's surprise. D'Arcy said: "I watched it with someone, and they gasped at the point where you took the baby with that sickly smile. So good."