As previously reported by Monsters and Critics, Episode 6 of House of the Dragon will significantly age up some of its characters.
So far, the episodes leading up to Episode 6 have been a prequel to the prequel series, of sorts, giving viewers valuable backstory that detailed why there was a power struggle for the Iron Throne.
By the end of Episode 1, King Viserys Targaryen (Paddy Considine) had already broken tradition and made his daughter the heir to the Iron Throne and this already has certain players in the game scheming to make sure this doesn’t happen.
Episode 5 then saw the set-up for a feud between Princess Rhaenyra (Milly Alcock) and her stepmother, Alicent Hightower (Emily Carey), which will definitely shape what is to come.
Episode 6 will see the unrest continue, albeit several years down the track.
Because of this, two major characters — plus some other pivotal roles — are to be replaced by older actors when HBO’s new epic fantasy series returns.
Rhaenyra and Alicent will be replaced
Ever since the marketing began for Season 1 of House of the Dragon, HBO has made it very clear that Princess Rhaenyra and Alicent Hightower will be played by two different actors each.
Fire and Blood (the book on which the TV show is based) sees Rhaenyra, in particular, as a young girl when the story opens. Then, as the story continues, it runs right through her life, until her death.
This meant that it was going to be difficult to find an actor who could look very young as well as more mature so the network announced that Young Rhaenyra would be played by Milly Alcock and the older version would be portrayed by Emma D’Arcy, who will make her debut in Episode 6.
While Alicent is much older than Rhaenyra in the book, the network decided to make this character much closer in age to Rhaenyra to help develop the conflict that has arisen between the two. Currently, Emily Carey is starring as Young Alicent but she will be replaced by Olivia Cooke on Sunday night.
All the other characters who will be aged up for House of the Dragon
Already, some characters have been aged once, most notably, Laena and Laenor Velaryon, who were introduced as younger and then as older teens.
Once again, these characters will be aged up. Laenor will now be played by John MacMillan, according to Forbes.
IMDb also has Nanna Blondell starring as Lady Laena Velaryon. She will be replacing Savannah Steyn, who appeared in Episode 5 of House of the Dragon.
Alicent’s children will also be aged up. Tom Glynn-Carney will star as Aegon Targaryen and Phia Saban as Helaena Targaryen, according to the press release by HBO.
House of the Dragon airs every Sunday night at 9/8c on HBO Max.