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House of the Dragon viewers give verdict to cast change as Emma D’Arcy and Olivia Cooke make first appearances

Milly Alcock and Emily Carey initially portrayed Rhaenyra and Alicent respectively

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Emmy Griffiths
TV & Film Editor
September 26, 2022
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House of the Dragon fans have given their verdict on the two new cast members, Emma D’Arcy and Olivia Cooke, who have taken over from Milly Alcock and Emily Carey as Rhaenyra Targaryen and Alicent Hightower.

MORE: House of the Dragon: meet all the new cast members for episode 6

Viewers were initially disappointed to hear that Milly and Emily would be stepping down from the roles, as a time jump mid-way through the series saw older actors needed to portray the two roles. However, the discontent was very short-lived, as the new cast members have been lauded for their portrayals of the two integral characters.

WATCH: Are you up-to-date on House of the Dragon?

Taking to Twitter, one person wrote: "Round of applause for Emma D’Arcy & Olivia Cooke they proved in tonight’s episode that the show is in great hands for the rest of the series, amazing performances from both. #HouseOfTheDragon," while another fan added: "A huge round of applause to both Olivia Cooke and Emma D’Arcy for their debut performances tonight.

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Olivia as Alicent

"They gave us a master class in ACTING. Does anyone have any more questions of their ability to perform their roles? No? Didn’t think so. #HouseOfTheDragon."

LOOK: House of the Dragon: who is Milly Alcock: age, career and character on show 

MORE: House of the Dragon: what is King Viserys’ mysterious disease?

A third person tweeted: "Emma D’Arcy showed the world tonight why they are the perfect cast for Rhaenyra, their performance was absolutely incredible, & breathtaking, & in just 1 episode they managed to give us all so many great scenes, can’t wait to see more from them. #HouseOfTheDragon."

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What did you think of the latest episode?

Episode six - and spoilers to those who still need to watch - saw how Rhaenyra and Alicent’s relationship had become acrimonious, with Alicent furious that her husband, King Viserys, ignores the fact that Rhaenyra’s three children look nothing like Rhaenyra’s husband, Leonor Velaryon (unsurprisingly, as Ser Harwin Strong is actually the father). Sensing the tides turning in Alicent’s favour, Rhaenyra takes the family to Dragonstone.

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