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House Of The Dragon's Emma D'Arcy Drops Their True Thoughts On Princess Rhaenyra

It's become clear on the HBO series "House of the Dragon" that Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen has a long way to go if she ever wants to sit atop the Iron Throne. Although the strong-willed Rhaenrya was originally named as heir to the Iron Throne at the end of Episode 1 -– a move that was only made to remove Daemon Targaryen (Matt Smith) from the line of succession -– her right to rule is at risk once again now that her father, Viserys Targaryen (Paddy Considine), has agreed to marry Alicent Hightower (Emily Carey).

On top of that, her father also views her as far too reckless and disobedient to truly be his heir, pushing her even further away from the throne that ought to be her birthright. Although the impulsive and witty Rhaenyra we met in the early goings of "House of the Dragon" has been defined exclusively by Milly Alcock's performance, her adult version will be played by Emma D'Arcy as we move further into the story.

While Alcock has explained that her inspiration for the character comes from a pair of iconic performances by Audrey Hepburn and Cate Blanchett, D'Arcy has made it clear that they are primarily interested in a more nuanced part of Rhaenyra's personality. It will be interesting to see whether or not the character changes once the actors swap places.

Emma D'Arcy finds Rhaenyra to be an extremely interesting character, mainly due to her position on gender

During an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Emma D'Arcy clarified that there were two main things that made Rhaenyra Targaryen an interesting character: her unique perspective as a female heir to the throne, and the conflict she feels in regard to her gender. "She is someone who I think is at odds with her gender as a result of the position she finds herself in," explained D'Arcy. "Yeah, I suppose I'm interested in, like, all gender questions ... you have someone whose womanhood is at odds with the role that they've been awarded."

Considering the fact that D'Arcy is non-binary and uses they/them pronouns, it should come as no surprise that they are excited by the idea of exploring a character who embodies such a unique perspective on gender, and whose very existence upends the traditional gender norms of a medieval world like Westeros.

As mentioned, D'Arcy made it clear that they have a deep admiration for Rhaenyra's unique disposition as a female heir to the Iron Throne, as she never actually expected to become her father's heir and has a much more unique perspective on ruling than some of the other claimants vying for the control of Westeros. In any case, it will certainly be interesting to see how D'Arcy chooses to portray the free-spirited princess in the episodes to come, and for fans to later compare their performance to that of Milly Alcock.