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House of the Dragon adds two cast members as younger versions of major characters

Emma D'Arcy and Matt Smith in House of the Dragon
(Image credit: HBO)

Game of Thrones prequel House of the Dragon has added two new recurring cast members. Milly Alcock has joined the lineup as a younger version of Rhaenyra Targaryen, while Emily Carey has been cast as the young Alicent Hightower (H/T Variety).

Rhaenyra is the oldest child of King Viserys I, his heir, and a dragonrider. While it might seem she has everything, she's not a man – which, as you might imagine, is a drawback in Westeros. Emma D'Arcy is playing the older version of the character.

Alicent, meanwhile, is the daughter of the Hand of the King. She was brought up in the Red Keep, which means she was keeping company with the kingdom's most powerful people. Alicent is described as beautiful, and has a mind for politics as well as the right way to behave at court. Olivia Cooke is portraying the older Alicent.

House of the Dragon takes place hundreds of years before the events of Game of Thrones, and will focus on the Targaryen civil war known as the Dance of the Dragons, drawing from George R.R. Martin's Fire and Blood novel. Rhaenyra and Alicent are both key players in the conflict.

These new castings suggest that there will be a flashback element of some kind to the series, or it will span a long enough period of time to have the characters age onscreen. An official look at D'Arcy and Cooke in costume has already been released. Along with them, the series also stars Paddy Considine as Viserys, Rhys Ifans as Alicent's father Otto Hightower, Steve Toussaint as Lord Corlys Velaryon, Matt Smith as Daemon Targaryen, Fabien Frankel as Criston Cole, Eve Best as Rhaenys Velaryon, and Sonoya Mizuno as Mysaria. 

This series is just one of many Game of Thrones prequels in the works, though it's the furthest along in production. There's a series based on Martin's Dunk and Egg books, as well as a stage show, and three further spinoffs: one about Princess Nymeria called 100,000 ships, one focused on Fleabottom, and one centered on Lord Corlys Velaryon.

House of the Dragons doesn't yet have a release date, though it's expected in 2022. Until then, check out our guide to the best Netflix shows to find something new to watch.

I'm an experienced online writer with articles published on film, TV, and pop culture. I am currently working at GamesRadar+ as a freelance Entertainment Reporter. I previously worked on the Disney team and freelanced on CBeebies magazine with Immediate Media.