Warning: This article contains spoilers for House of the Dragon episode 5. If you've yet to catch up, then turn back now!
House of the Dragon episode 6 will see four of its major characters be recast, as the story leaps forward ten years – and to prepare us, HBO has introduced two of the fresh faces in a doubt-dispelling new clip.
The snippet, which you can watch below, follows on from the wedding of Rhaenyra Targaryen (then played by Milly Alcock) and Laenor Velaryon (Theo Nate) in episode 5. Here, the latter, who tied the knot with the princess after the two privately agreed they would allow one another to have separate lovers, checking on Rhaenyra and her new baby.
"A boy! I've just heard," Laenor (now played by John Macmillan) rejoices as he bursts through the door. "Well done. Where are you going?"
Here’s your first look at Emma D’Arcy and John Macmillan in next week’s episode of #HouseoftheDragon. And I’m just getting started. #HBO50 pic.twitter.com/iD9OLz5AVFSeptember 20, 2022
"She wants to see him," a dazed Rhaenyra (now played by Emma D'Arcy) explains, referring to her former best friend and stepmother Alicent Hightower (Olivia Cooke, taking over from Emily Carey). As the pair start walking to the Queen's chambers, Laenor innocently asks whether the birth was "terribly painful", to which Rhaenyra shoots him a scalding stare. "I took a lance in the shoulder once," he recalls sweetly, as Rhaenyra sarcastically replies: "My deepest sympathies."
Before they ascend some stairs, Rhaenyra buckles in pain. But when she hears the clock bell start to chime, she insists to Laenor that they have to keep walking. As the war of succession looms, she isn't about to let Alicent see her in a weakened state.
Even though it's only 71 seconds, it's a great introduction to the new actors. Fans who are skeptical about the time jump will likely be pleased to see that Rhaenyra is just as stubborn and determined as she was in her younger years, while her sweet relationship with Laenor has remained for the past decade – despite the fact that her paramour Criston Cole (Fabien Frankel) beat his, Joffrey Lonmouth (Solly McLeod), to death following a misunderstanding at their wedding. In short, though, it's all too easy to accept that these are the same characters we've been watching for the last six weeks.
House of the Dragon is set to continue on Sunday, September 25 on HBO in the US, and the following day on Sky Atlantic and NOW in the UK. To ensure you never miss an episode, keep up to date with with our House of the Dragon release schedule.