A House of the Dragon Twist Brings Back a Fan-Favorite Cast Member

This story contains spoilers for episode three of season two of House of the Dragon, as well as Game of Thrones.

In Harrenhal, I Milly rock. The third episode of House of the Dragon’s sophomore season fired on all cylinders, including a fated reunion between Rhaenyra and Alicent, who try to give it one last go before officially sending the Seven Kingdoms into war. But the episode will stand out for another reason: the return of Milly Alcock as younger Rhaenyra.

As discussed prior to the season, Alcock’s performance was magnetic. Cast on the strength of her work in the Australian dramedy series Upright, Alcock anchored the first half of House’s first season with a star-making magnetism. She infused Rhaenyra with such life; a simple dart of the eyes or pursing of lips could convey depths of excitement or boredom in a way that naturally drew your attention. That is, until the show aged up the characters and recast Rhaenyra with the equally-compelling Emma D’Arcy. In the interim, fans of Alcock thought they’d have to wait for James Gunn’s upcoming Superman movie—in which she’ll play Supergirl before spinning off into her own self-titled film—to see her again. As it turns out, they only had to wait until this week’s episode of House of the Dragon.

What may feel like a cheap cameo is actually rooted in Westerosian lore. Upon effortlessly sneaking into Harrnehal to claim the castle for Rhaenyra, Daemon Targaryen (Matt Smith) begins experiencing crazy visions, one of which includes Alcock’s version of Rhaenyra. Harrnehal, after all, is canonically Westeros’ version of the Amityville Horror house. In the early days of the Seven Kingdoms, King Harren Hoare, or Harren the Black, set his subjects to work constructing a castle that would be the largest in the land. The building took a staggering forty years and claimed the lives of thousands in the process as they froze to death in the winter cold, sweltered in the summer heat, or met their end due to various construction accidents (no OSHA in Westeros, sadly).

Upon finishing the castle, Harren bragged that Harrnehal was impregnable. That claim was quickly tested—and disproved—as Aegon the Conqueror invaded Westeros and used his dragon Balerion to roast Harren the Black and his family alive as they sought refuge inside the tallest of Harrenhal’s towers. The resulting char extended to the exterior, as the dragonfire melted the once magnificent spires of the castle. This history is briefly mentioned on the show by Ser Simon Strong, who tells Daemon, regarding the castle, that his “forbear incinerated much of it with his dragon.”

In the subsequent years, Harrenhal became the folly of many who tried to claim it. It’s too massive to garrison and too expensive to upkeep. The rumor is that Harren actively mixed human blood into the stonework, effectively cursing it and leading to the downfall of anyone who claimed it. To wit, Lord Larys Strong, currently serving as the master of secrets for Alicent, saw the death of his brother and father during their tenure as lords of the castle — although there’s some speculation that Larys started the fire himself, as Strong indicates when he tells Daemon that the fire that killed them was “the first fire here since Balerion ended the line of Harren the Black.”

Source link

About The Author

Scroll to Top