Jump to content
Westeros

Matt Smith, Olivia Cooke, Emma D’Arcy Cast in House of the Dragon

Recommended Posts

The Hollywood Reporter has reported that Olivia Cooke (Ready Player One female lead) has been cast as Alicent Hightower, Emma d’Arcy has been cast as Rhaenyra Targaryen, and Matt Smith (Doctor Who, The Crown) has been cast as the “rogue prince”, Daemon Targaryen. This follows rumors along those lines about Smith over the last couple of weeks.



Click for full-sized image

read on >>>

View the full article

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To coin a phrase...."shit just got real".

(there's a minor error in the post; the final paragraph is one big hyperlink to IMDB)

Age gap isn't incongruent:  the Alicent actress is two years YOUNGER than the Rhaenyra actress...but the books state that Alicent continued to look young for her age well into her 40s, while Rhaenyra looked a bit older than her years due to a string of difficult pregnancies.  

11 year age gap? I thought it was 9 years?

"Rhaenyra is of pure Valyrian blood".....er....relatively?  As much as Daenerys?  I mean...she's a quarter Arryn.

Edited by The Dragon Demands

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I increasingly suspect that this show is going to handle the Rogue Prince era by doing it much like Matt Smith's "The Crown", with the lead roles recast after a few seasons as the characters age.

Indeed I would encourage this, as it would prevent the celebrity-actor cults from taking over as they did in Game of Thrones - by Season 4 it wasn't "Arya" anymore, but Maisie Williams in an Arya costume.  It wasn't "Cersei" anymore, but Lena Headey forced to do a flanderized stereotype of herself (even Lena Headey fought against this).  

But a rotating cast as they age?

This might also explain why they'd cast Matt Smith, in such an incongruent role:  maybe he's "Young" Daemon?  Maybe all of them.  I don't expect them to just have these two young actresses wearing age makeup to look 20 years older by the time of the actual war.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
29 minutes ago, The Dragon Demands said:

I increasingly suspect that this show is going to handle the Rogue Prince era by doing it much like Matt Smith's "The Crown", with the lead roles recast after a few seasons as the characters age.

Indeed I would encourage this, as it would prevent the celebrity-actor cults from taking over as they did in Game of Thrones - by Season 4 it wasn't "Arya" anymore, but Maisie Williams in an Arya costume.  It wasn't "Cersei" anymore, but Lena Headey forced to do a flanderized stereotype of herself (even Lena Headey fought against this).  

But a rotating cast as they age?

This might also explain why they'd cast Matt Smith, in such an incongruent role:  maybe he's "Young" Daemon?  Maybe all of them.  I don't expect them to just have these two young actresses wearing age makeup to look 20 years older by the time of the actual war.

Uh, no. It was still Arya and still Cersei. No idea what you’re talking about.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There was no "TV-Arya" by Season 6, as a coherent fictional character, even one we disliked.  It was random actions - not for shock value, but to pander the actors for Emmy awards.  "We reconceived the role to make it worthy of the actor's talents".  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I liked Matt Smith as Philip (which basically means he did a good job making me hate him), but I really don't see him in the gritty role of a rogue prince.  Weird.  He'd be a better fit for Aenys I rather than Daemon.  I don't know anything about the other two.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, they went with a really young Alicent. Maybe they'll try to play up the "gold digger" angle, especially since the actor they cast for Viserys is so much older. I thought Olivia Cooke was fine in Ready Player One, but that's the only thing I've seen her in. 

56 minutes ago, DMC said:

I liked Matt Smith as Philip (which basically means he did a good job making me hate him), but I really don't see him in the gritty role of a rogue prince.  Weird.  He'd be a better fit for Aenys I rather than Daemon.  I don't know anything about the other two.

I'm glad I'm not the only one. He's a very popular actor, but can anyone seriously picture him in a platinum-blond fantasy wig without giggling?

The woman they cast as Rhaenyra looks so different from they way she's described in the books. It'll be interesting to see how she looks after being put through hair and costume design.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

More news from generally reliable source Redanian Intelligence, who said they heard two major details a while ago:

https://redanianintelligence.com/2020/12/09/game-of-thrones-prequel-house-of-the-dragon-casting-hints-at-different-timelines/

  • 1  - They've actually seen casting descriptions that "YR" and "YA" needed to be ready to film by April 2021.  I wish they'd told us sooner, because it's blatantly obvious that stands for "Young Rhaenyra" and "Young Alicent"! 
  • 2 - ....they've heard descriptions that the series begins "precisely 193 years before Game of Thrones" - which began in the year 298 AC (TV date was the same they just pushed back Robert's Rebellion)....and thus, the leaks they saw said it begins in the year 105 AC...the year that Rhaenyra's mother Queen Aemma Arryn died.  

I wonder if we'd actually see the Great Council of Harrenhal.  Even then, time skips are a huge issue; clearly it wouldn't be MOSTLY set in 105 AC, as they cast a mid-20s Rhaenyra.  So maybe Harrenhal is a flashback sequence in a later episode or merely described to save production money.

Another possibility is that "Young Rhaenyra" and "Young Alicent" don't actually refer to THESE two actresses; there will probably be an "even Younger Rhaenyra" for when her mother dies.

The complications of the 30 year time span in Rogue Prince.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, The Dragon Demands said:

I increasingly suspect that this show is going to handle the Rogue Prince era by doing it much like Matt Smith's "The Crown", with the lead roles recast after a few seasons as the characters age.

Indeed I would encourage this, as it would prevent the celebrity-actor cults from taking over as they did in Game of Thrones - by Season 4 it wasn't "Arya" anymore, but Maisie Williams in an Arya costume.  It wasn't "Cersei" anymore, but Lena Headey forced to do a flanderized stereotype of herself (even Lena Headey fought against this).  

But a rotating cast as they age?

This might also explain why they'd cast Matt Smith, in such an incongruent role:  maybe he's "Young" Daemon?  Maybe all of them.  I don't expect them to just have these two young actresses wearing age makeup to look 20 years older by the time of the actual war.

That would be really dumb. If they wanted a younger Daemon who is gonna be recast, they should have cast a 20 year old. Recasting a 38 year old with a 50 year old makes no sense.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 minutes ago, The Dragon Demands said:

....Deadline is bizarrely claiming that a black actor is being eyed to play Corlys Velaryon:

https://deadline.com/2020/12/house-of-the-dragon-olivia-cooke-math-smith-emma-darcy-star-hbo-game-of-thrones-prequel-series-danny-sapani-1234655181/ 

 

.....oh.....shit.....could this be why the official description needlessly stressed "Rhaenyra is of pure Valyrian blood"? Even though her mother is an Arryn?

Oh god....what if they're somehow throwing out that entire subplot of their suspected bastardy.....by just making Corlys's mother a foreigner or something....so instead of people not wanting her sons with Laenor on the throne because they're bastards.....it's because they're "not pure Valyrians?"  which ABSOLUTELY NO ONE thinks about in such modern racial terms?  And they'd have to forget about Rhaenyra's mother?

I'm more inclined to hope that Deadline heard a rumor wrong - NO ONE else reported this rumor.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No...no, they can't cast a black man as Corlys Velaryon: House Velaryon are Rhaenyra's major supporters, and this would make her eldest 3 sons...black or something?.....in which case....her faction would literally be called "The Blacks"?  

No no this has to be some kind of misheard rumor.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh, well, the really great tidbit we get from those statements there is that Alicent Hightower is apparently not yet the queen when the show starts. She is the daughter of the Hand, and was raised at court with Rhaenyra, nothing more so far.

Which greatly plays into what I said from the start this show has to be about: The personal relationships: Rhaenyra and Alicent have to like or love each other first, before they can become enemies. The show has to be surprising for the people who don't know the books - and that wouldn't work if everybody hated each other already at the beginning.

And it seems they did the only smart thing they can - age up Rhaenyra to make her closer to Alicent in age, which then can cause problems for their friendship simply because Alicent becoming Rhaenyra's stepmother will be odd ... and later their children will likely be closer in age, too, with the Velaryon boys and Aegon II/Aemond not being apart that much in age - which should also work to the benefit of the story.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Lord Varys Agreed.

I could even see them make the argument that they don't show the council of Harrenhal, but refer to it prominently (sort of like how Robert's Rebellion is talked about but not seen in GoT Season 1)....the argument that relative to its brief appearance, it wouldn't be cost effective to have such a massive, MASSIVE set piece in which not much but talking happens.

I'm not a fan of cutting things out, but Benioff and Weiss overcompensated for their lack of writing skill by trying to impress everyone with "look how we're filming on location and building full scale replica castles!" - which grew to absurd levels.

.....A thought occurs:  perhaps another reason they might not start with Harrenhal (but mention it prominently in dialogue)....is because Harrenhal was the ONLY major on-location site in NORTHERN IRELAND that they needed for Dance of the Dragons but couldn't easily reproduce (in contrast, Winterfell you wouldn't need to see right away, and you could...get away with just showing some interior sets on a sound stage).  I made a whole video on this months ago:  that the ONLY physical location from Game of Thrones that would logically reappear in HotD which would be difficult to reproduce....is Harrenhal.  :)  

So wider factors might drive that decision....

I don't even see the age gap as much of a difference:  Alicent was always more..."older sister" age compared to Rhaenyra, than a mother's age.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, The Dragon Demands said:

@Lord Varys Agreed.

I could even see them make the argument that they don't show the council of Harrenhal, but refer to it prominently (sort of like how Robert's Rebellion is talked about but not seen in GoT Season 1)....the argument that relative to its brief appearance, it wouldn't be cost effective to have such a massive, MASSIVE set piece in which not much but talking happens.

I think if they truly start with 105 AC then it could end with the death of Queen Aemma - and the trouble that's going to cause. That would really be a very fine nod to the first episode of Rome, which also started with the repercussions following the death of Caesar's daughter Julia, Pompey's wife, dying in childbirth.

Also note, that Daemon Targaryen is called the king's heir, meaning we are at a point in the story where even Rhaenyra hasn't been declared Heir Apparent yet.

I guess we can already see the setup for the first two episodes yet. The first introduces the characters, establishes Rhaenyra and Alicent as friends, Daemon as a quarrelsome guy, not keen to be replaced by a son of the king, but everybody else is looking forward to the birth of the long-awaited prince who should be the heir to the throne.

And then Queen Aemma dies, Daemon behaves shitty, the king is distraught and pissed and sad ... and turns, to the surprise of most/all of the people to his daughter as his heir.

And this then gives us a dynamic where Rhaenyra is suddenly more than just 'a princess', and with the king widowed, Otto and Alicent realize they can use this outcome to their advantage in another way, etc.

Flashbacks to the Great Council could be used when they discuss the problems of Rhaenyra becoming the Heir Apparent and when Princess Rhaenys and the Sea Snake are introduced as this rival branch of the royal family.

The Great Council would also have been a great way to kick off the show, but I don't think this is really necessary.

1 minute ago, The Dragon Demands said:

I don't even see the age gap as much of a difference:  Alicent was always more..."older sister" age compared to Rhaenyra, than a mother's age.

FaB has them getting along splendidly until Alicent had children of her own. So they were friends up until some time after Viserys married Alicent.

I guess the way they are going to spin this is that their friendship will have a competitive element that's going to spiral out of control, eventually. It might be that it is more about them getting back at each other than about the actual succession issue. Which would of course also be the entire point of the Cole story.

12 minutes ago, The Dragon Demands said:

This rumor about Corlys Velaryon has me freaking out.

I don't know, they are explorers, why couldn't they have brought back some wife from the Summer Isles or elsewhere? Of course, if Rhaenyra having black sons by Laenor Velaryon is going to be an issue for the Greens, then this wouldn't be that great take on things ... although I actually would prefer racist bigotry as a concept to this silly 'their father isn't their real father because they don't look like him' bigotry thing, now that I think about it.

But it could just as well be that Corlys is black and nobody mentions or cares about this - like they did with Salladhor Saan in GoT. And it could be funny if they were to mark out Rhaenyra's sons as 'bastards' because they are not black like Corlys. That could make that plot more fun than just go with brown hair and eyes and stuff.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

Of course, if Rhaenyra having black sons by Laenor Velaryon is going to be an issue for the Greens, then this wouldn't be that great take on things ... although I actually would prefer racist bigotry as a concept to this silly 'their father isn't their real father because they don't look like him' bigotry thing, now that I think about it.

But it could just as well be that Corlys is black and nobody mentions or cares about this - like they did with Salladhor Saan in GoT. And it could be funny if they were to mark out Rhaenyra's sons as 'bastards' because they are not black like Corlys. That could make that plot more fun than just go with brown hair and eyes and stuff.

But this makes no sense.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, The Dragon Demands said:

But this makes no sense.

It is just how people look. The important point about Corlys Velaryon is not how he looks, but rather what he did in the past (exploration stuff) and the role he plays during the story they tell. It certainly isn't how he is described in the books, but then - that's the case with a lot of people.

And with the Velaryons they have completely new characters there. They never showed up in GoT so for all the audience know - they could be black. Why not? They still can be close Targaryen cousins.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Should get that reasonably soon. The guy is apparently going to be a main character in the first season.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...