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House Of The Dragon's Emma D'Arcy Offers A Key Insight About Rhaenyra Targaryen

In 2019, HBO wrapped up "Game of Thrones," their flagship series which nabbed them 59 Emmys. Though the final season was met with mixed-to-negative reception — it holds a rotten 55% from critics on Rotten Tomatoes – it's impossible to ignore the impact the series has had on pop culture. The show quickly became a valuable property for HBO, which is why it's no surprise that a brand new journey to Westeros is set to air soon.

"House of the Dragon" will arrive later this summer, giving viewers an extended and intimate look at the history of George R. R. Martin's rich fantastical world. The prequel will focus on the downfall of the House Targaryen and is set approximately two centuries before the events of "Game of Thrones." In typical "Game of Thrones" fashion, we can expect a flurry of political and philosophical monologues, backstabbings, and the occasional dragon. Though plot details are slim on HBO's latest epic, the first trailer for "House of the Dragon" has teased the importance of Rhaenyra Targaryen, played by Emma D'Arcy (as well as Milly Alcock, who portrays a younger version of the character). From what little we know, it seems clear that Princess Rhaenyra is vying for the throne.

With the release of the series imminent, D'Arcy has finally shed some light on their mysterious character.

Emma D'Arcy says Princess Rhaenyra has more to offer to the Seven Kingdoms than just admiration

Speaking with Entertainment Weekly, Emma D'Arcy opened up about their character, who is lovingly referred to as the Realm's Delight by the people of Westeros. Not content to just be admired, however, Rhaenyra can be seen riding dragons and working alongside her father, King Viserys (Paddy Considine). "She is a person who feels at odds with the way that she is read by the world — even this label the Realm's Delight, which implies a passivity, being an object of people's ogling," D'Arcy discussed. They also noted that Rhaenyra's interests show the princess "pushing at the edges of womanhood."

Joining D'Arcy as one of the main leads in "House of the Dragon" is "Doctor Who" star Matt Smith. Smith will be seen as the dragon-riding Daemon Targaryen, Rhaenyra's uncle and heir presumptive to the throne. D'Arcy has teased the strong connection Rhaenyra shares with Daemon, and even likened him to a doppelgänger of Rhaenyra, only with more opportunities. "The doppelgänger is Rhaenyra born male, who has access to all the things that she craves and feels to be hers," D'Arcy said. "In some ways, they're [of] the same fabric, and yet the rules are completely different [for them]."

Things aren't completely peachy for the Targaryen clan, however. The "Game of Thrones" prequel actor opened up about how Rhaenyra has a history of abandonment, and how this informs her attitudes towards others. "She really presses relationships, often to the point where they cannot continue, and then she fulfills the prophecy again," D'Arcy said of their character.

Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen's journey will unfold when "House of the Dragon" airs on HBO on August 21.