From “House of the Dragon” Star, Rhaenyra’s Differences from Daenerys

Recently, Game of Thrones actress Emilia Clarke’s Queen Daenerys Targaryen was contrasted with Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen from Milly Alcock’s “House of the Dragon.” The new fantasy-drama series revolves around the House Targaryen at the height of their rule inside the Seven Kingdoms, and is set roughly 172 years before Daenerys’ birth. Members of the king’s council and family plot against him after King Viserys I Targaryen (Paddy Considine) names his daughter Rhaenyra as the heir to the throne, sparking the internal family conflict known as the Dance of the Dragons.

When Game of Thrones first aired on HBO in 2011, Daenerys and her haughty brother Viserys introduced viewers to the silver-haired dragon-riding Targaryen family (Harry Lloyd). Following Robert Baratheon’s uprising against Aerys II Targaryen, the two were banished family members. After Khal Drogo (Jason Momoa) kills Viserys, Daenerys leads a march to Westeros to retake her family’s throne with her three dragons and Drogo’s Dothraki army.

Alcock recently discussed how Rhaenyra differs from Game of Thrones’ Daenerys in an appearance on The Official Game of Thrones Podcast: House of the Dragon. Alcock acknowledged that her character has a “certain lightness” that she appreciated, but she also noted that as time passes and Rhaenyra gains a deeper understanding of the political landscape around her, her character evolves. See what Alcock said below:

“I think Rhaenyra has a certain playfulness that was really fun to explore and we kind of see her allow herself to have fun. As she gets older, she understands what’s at stake which means she behaves differently in certain situations but also means that she lets herself go and she doesn’t have to be so serious. She learns how to read a room better within that, and it was so much fun just getting to be cheeky.”

Alcock highlights a few crucial distinctions between Rhaenyra and Daenerys that come across in both seasons. Rhaenyra is anticipated to rule the Seven Kingdoms because she is born into riches and power, given privileges at an early age, and born into both. She initially behaves like a child, though, and wants to ride dragons and have fun because she is so comfortable. Daenerys, who was born after Aerys II was deposed, experienced a considerably more difficult childhood. She was deprived of the proper childhood she should have had because she was forced to marry for power.

Alcock does appear to notice some parallels between the two individuals, though. As they get older, they both start to comprehend how the world works. Rhaenyra has been chosen by the king to be his heir apparent, but the princess is aware that just because she is a woman, does not give her the right to select what happens to her in the future. In order to keep her alliances when her younger brother succeeds her, she is supposed to wed a powerful house. Rhaenyra, who is still young, seems to be realizing that men rule the world and that if a woman wants power, she must seize it by whatever means. Rhaenyra will probably encounter this lesson as “House of the Dragon” progresses, one that Daenerys learned the hard way via betrayal and bloodshed.

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