Three episodes into House of the Dragon, you can tell the story is moving rather quickly. The second episode jumped months ahead of the first, and the third years. There’s a baby boy who’s growing up very fast, and some new cast members who are going to take over in a few weeks. Don’t worry about the House of the Dragon time jumps. The cast and creators can make it all make sense.
The Hollywood Reporter spoke to the cast and creators of House of the Dragon prior to the series premiere. Now that viewers have a taste of how far ahead subsequent episodes may jump, their explanation makes perfect sense. House of the Dragon streams Sundays on HBO Max.
The reason ‘House of the Dragon’ needs many time jumps
House of the Dragon begins 172 years before the birth of Daenerys Targaryen, Emilia Clarke’s character in Game of Thrones. The prequel may not cover all 172 years, but that is a lot of ground to cover, so they’re not daily dallying.
“This is how you tell this story correctly,” Condal told The Hollywood Reporter in the July 19 article. “We’re telling a story of a generational war. We set everything up so by the time that first sword stroke falls, you understand all the players.”
‘House of the Dragon’ cast will change by episode 6
Two House of the Dragon characters in particular will grow up fast. So fast that they need to recast them by episode 6. Milly Alcock currently plays Rhaenyra and Emily Carey, her friend Alicent. Emma D’Arcy and Olivia Cooke respectively will play them from episode 6 on.
“It made me nervous because it’s hard enough to cast any role,” HBO Chief Content Officer Casey Bloys said. “But if you’re casting two characters of different ages, you have to be right four times. Now that I’ve seen the result, I feel really good about it.”
The incoming actors had a strong sense of their ‘House of the Dragon’ characters too.
“Rhaenyra has an ongoing battle with what it means to be a woman and is a fundamental outsider,” D’Arcy said. “She’s terrified of getting locked into motherhood and is aware of how her position would be different if she were male. I’m a nonbinary person. I’ve always found myself both pulled and repelled by masculine and feminine identity and I think that plays out truthfully here. She can’t attend court in a way that comes easily to other people.”
THR compared Alicent to Game of Thrones’ Cersei, and that made her day.
“I f***ing love that comparison because Cersei was my favorite character,” Cooke said. “Alicent’s got a very dark side to her, but she’s also just striving for what she thinks is good, even though it’s just misplaced.”
It’s really simple
Executive Producer Miguel Sapochnik summed House of the Dragon up in a way that proved it’s really not that complicated, time jumps and all.
“The main characters are two women and two men,” Sapochnik said. “There’s the king (Viserys), his brother (Daemon), the king’s daughter (Rhaenyra) and her best friend (Alicent). Then the best friend becomes the king’s wife and thereby the queen. That in itself is complicated — when your best friend goes and marries your dad. But from the tiniest things, it slowly evolves this gigantic battle between two sides.”