In the entire narrative of House of the Dragon, only two (prominent) characters had four actresses to represent them. Milly Alcock and Emily Carey, Emma D’Arcy, and Olivia Cooke, respectively. While Emily is wonderful as Alicent Hightower, the first few episodes are about Rhaenyra Targaryen, so the focus is on Milly.
The (only) 21-year-old Australian is already a TV veteran in her country but is now effectively-known and adored around the world. Rhaenyra is a strong and tragic character in the Game of Thrones saga, but Milly had an even bigger challenge. The fever and presence of passionate fans of Daenerys Targaryen, who idolize Emilia Clarke violently, tripled the pressure on the newcomer. Compared in detail to the first few seasons of GOT, Milly is, without a doubt, the fandom’s new favorite.
Milly is part of the group that hasn’t watched Game of Thrones, but in her case, there’s a reason. She was only 10 years old when the franchise launched and was not in the target audience. But, of course, she knew about the world fever so she was anxious when she auditioned because this would be – and is being – the opportunity that would change her life.
As she shared on the podcast (I recommend listening), she only suspected what the project was when a friend who helped her memorize the audition lines recognized the scene. “It’s Game of Thrones!” he warned her. Milly’s test was the scene where Arya Stark won Jon Snow‘s Needle, which clearly reveals the energy they were looking for in Rhaenyra as a young girl. And she was at another friend’s house when she got the call that she had been chosen, but she couldn’t say anything.
“I kind of fell to the ground,” she commented in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter via Zoom. “I asked my friend if he had wine and he couldn’t say why. He thought that something really terrible had happened. He was like, ‘Somebody’s sick, somebody’s dead, something catastrophic has happened.’ I couldn’t tell anyone for so long.”
The first thing he did was marathon Game of Thrones and Emily became a friend as soon as they met. But she and Emma, who wanted to meet, were “discouraged” by the showrunners. To her surprise, her participation would be more significant than just a few flashback scenes, which she initially assumed was the case. Her biggest surprise today is the passionate reaction from fans who already adore her. “I didn’t go in thinking, ‘I’m going to prove myself as an actress,’ but I just have a good role in the show,'” she said.
Before House of the Dragon, Milly was known in her country for the series Upright, where she plays Meg, a runaway teenager who swears and is modern. Now living in London and with the series’ success, we should see more Milly Alcock in the years to come.
If you’re attached to her, you can be prepared… from the 5th episode onwards we go even further in time and we should start living with Emma D’Arcy. Milly’s popularity raises expectations of what an adult Rhaenyra will be like. We will miss her!