House Of The Dragon showrunner Ryan Condal has addressed the possibility of young Rhaenyra Targaryen and Alicent Hightower returning in future episodes.
In the sixth episode of the Game Of Thrones prequel which premiered on Sunday (September 25), the show jumped forward a decade and debuted new actors in the roles of Rhaenyra (Emma D’Arcy) and Alicent (Olivia Cooke), replacing Milly Alcock and Emily Carey respectively.
According to Condal, who will be the sole showrunner on season two following the departure of Miguel Sapochnik, the second season has been mapped out already and won’t feature the return of the younger versions of the characters.
Asked by Variety if this is the last we’ll see of Alcock and Carey, Condal said: “I mean, look, I don’t know.” In regard to season two, he said that young Rhaenyra and Alicent “are not part of the story that we’re telling, yet. That’s not a thing that we’re doing right now.”
Condal however didn’t shut down the possibility entirely for future seasons, saying House Of The Dragon can get “a little bit more fancy” in its narrative structure compared to Game Of Thrones.
“There are things that we haven’t fully sorted out,” Condal added. “I’m not closing the door on anything.”
Speaking to NME, Cooke discussed how the characters of Rhaenyra and Alicent have evolved over the 10-year gap. “They have changed a lot,” she said. “Think about yourself when you were 18, it feels like such a far away, different person.
“They’re adults now and they have in some ways a lot more agency and power that they wield, and in a lot of ways they don’t have that much autonomy at all.”
Adapted from George R.R. Martin’s novel Fire & Blood, House Of The Dragon is set 200 years before events in Game Of Thrones. The show follows a war of succession among House Targaryen, known as the ‘Dance of the Dragons’.
After the first episode debuted last month to 20million viewers in the US, HBO renewed the show for a second season.
In a four-star review, NME wrote: “What is reassuring is that House Of The Dragon feels as though it is walking on solid ground: the bubbling rivalries, the jostling for power, the eruptions of violence; six episodes in, it is all coming together to create a rich stew.”