They also do not know if they will ever return to the “Game of Thrones” prequel, “House of the Dragon,” in flashbacks or otherwise.Alcock said, “I do not even know what I am going to do tomorrow.” “So, no idea.” “I have no idea what I am going to eat for dinner!”
Carey added. After playing Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen (Alcock), heir to the Iron Throne of Westeros, and Queen Alicent Hightower (Carey), who hopes her children will one day take the throne from her former best friend. The actors are at a loss for what to do next.
The fifth episode, which aired on Sunday, was their last. Emma D’Arcy will take over as Rhaenyra, and Olivia Cooke will take over as Alicent after a time jump. It is a time of uncertainty for Alcock and Carey.
“Emily and I talked about this today,” Alcock, who is 22 years old, said last week during a conference call from London. “We were like, ‘I have no idea what the hell I am doing anymore.'” I have been pacing.”
“Milly paces, and I sit and play with Legos, and that is how it is,” said Carey, who is 19 years old. “That is how it feels,” Alcock said. Like the characters they play, these two young actors have had to take on a huge amount of responsibility.
They were essential parts of HBO’s big-budget bet that fans of “Game of Thrones,” the network’s fantasy phenomenon, would flock to a prequel set almost 175 years before Daenerys Targaryen was even a twinkle in the Mad King’s eye.
But that risk has paid off, and Alcock and Carey’s ability to show how complicated their characters’ relationships are has been a key to the success of the show. From here, where do things go? Alcock and Carey both want to know. These are parts of the conversation that have been cut down.
MILLY ALCOCK: There has been a lot of fear, excitement, and terror. But there has also been this wonderful reassurance that Em and I will be able to do this for the rest of our lives. Every actor wants to feel like things are not going to fall apart under them.
EMILY CAREY: It is strange to be seen. For me, that is the biggest change: I used to be able to blend in, but now I stand out. Rhaenyra and Alicent are the two most essential parts of this story. How did their relationship show up in the way you two worked together on the show?
CAREY: We are lucky to get along in real life, so the chemistry between us came very naturally. We are quite like our characters.
ALCOCK: They are a lot alike.
CAREY: I am very organized, anxious, and responsible. I do what the rules say. In that way, Mil is a lot more like Rhaenyra. [Both chuckle.] But I see Milly as an older sister, which is not how the characters are portrayed on screen. Still, the closeness you see between Rhaenyra and Alicent is a clear reflection of how we are with each other in real life.
ALCOCK: Em and I went through something very similar to what our characters did: we were both thrown into this huge role and did not know how to act when it happened. We are two very young women who have never worked on big projects before. We are in a place full of men and have to prove ourselves. We had no choice but to hold on to each other with our lives.
CAREY: And we have not let go yet.
ALCOCK: God, no. That will not happen. The story is also about families.
ALCOCK: At its core, it is about fathers who do not work out, which I can relate to.
CAREY: Same thing. She has done that.
ALCOCK: Already did it.
Roe vs. Wade’s overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court has made one of the show’s main ideas, that women should have control over their bodies and futures, even more critical.
CAREY: I think that is what makes the show so fascinating to watch and easy for a modern audience to understand. It is not just about dragons and magic. There are stories and topics that are real and based on the world we live in.
ALCOCK: It looks at the trauma these two women would have had to go through in that world, not only because of the patriarchy but also because of the misogyny that they internalized. Because of what the men chose, these two women have to fight with each other.
The irony of people on social media saying things like “I do not want to say goodbye to Milly for Emma” or comparing Emma to Liv! That is the whole point of the show, and people still watch it. So it is brilliant.
What have you done with Emma and Olivia?
ALCOCK: We did nothing. Nothing. Zero.
Interesting! So you must be just as interested as anyone else to see how the story goes without you.
CAREY: Yes, I am interested. We did not even read the scripts for the scenes we weren’t, so we do not know much about what happens after we leave.
ALCOCK: The scripts were not given to us. So many times, I asked for them, and they said, “No, you can’t.” I will be on the edge of my seat as I watch because I want to know what will happen.
How does it feel to let other actors take over Rhaenyra and Alicent?
ALCOCK: I can not wait to find out what Emma did with Rhaenyra. I could not have played her in her later years because I do not have the same life experience as Emma. So I am so keen.
CAREY: I like how you put that, Mil. That is so right. When people ask, “Do you wish you could do the rest of it?” “I do not know” is what I always say. I do not think I am strong enough.
But I will be honest: passing on a character that is so important to me is weird. We put a lot of ourselves into the roles we play as actors. So it is strange to have to stop someone in the middle of their story. At the same time, it does not feel like it is not done because Olivia is going to take care of it.
It will be incredible—and weird—to watch the show as an audience member and not judge our own performances. Instead, we can just enjoy the show for what it is.
Do you think that Rhaenyra and Alicent had some kind of romantic or sexual tension that they did not show?
CAREY: As a gay person, I saw a hint of something that could be played in the script. Still, I do not think Ryan Condal, who created and runs the show, sat down to write a Sapphic drama. You can see it if you want to. You can also act like it is not there if you want to.
The problem is that these girls have no idea what “platonic” or “romantic” means, either in terms of words or feelings. Two young women are close in a way that can not be put into words, especially in the world they live in. I do not think they fully understand how I feel. It is just love that takes over everything.
I see some jealousy in it, especially after Episode 4. It was a scene where the two women were sitting on a bench. It was the first time we saw them talk again after they had grown apart. At the end of the scene, when we were practicing, we asked each other, “Did you feel like we were about to kiss?”
ALCOCK: And I was like, “Yeah!”
CAREY: Yeah, dude, it felt like we were going to kiss. That was very weird. We did not do anything to turn them gay or make anyone do “the gay.” It just felt right. As I said, it is easy not to pay attention if you do not want to.
But if you want the story to be more sad and you want to cheer for them, then choose to see it.