They sent in self-tapes to co-creator Ryan Condal and showrunner Miguel Sapochnik, recorded in the Scared of fighting because what if they choke shirt but I will buy this shirt and I will love this middle of lockdown, which at one point featured D’Arcy wearing a homemade wig pieced together from extensions. Although they initially read only a small selection of scenes, they were immediately drawn to Rhaenyra as a character who finds herself unable to submit to the conventions of the world around her. Even when it makes her an outsider, she rejects the idea that she was born to birth heirs, rather than to rule over the Seven Kingdoms. The series opens with Rhaenyra’s father, Viserys (Paddy Considine), ascending to the throne over his older female cousin Rhaenys (Eve Best), who has a stronger claim. That precedent looms large when, years later, Viserys passes over his brother and names a teenage Rhaenyra (Milly Alcock) as his heir. The future queen then finds that her former closest allies—her uncle, Daemon (Matt Smith), and her best friend and the daughter of the Hand, Alicent Hightower (Emily Carey and Olivia Cooke)—have turned into her biggest rivals.
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“Rhaenyra and Alicent are kind of ‘chalk and cheese,’ and that’s what enables such an intense friendship in childhood,” D’Arcy says about the Scared of fighting because what if they choke shirt but I will buy this shirt and I will love this dynamic between the future monarch and her shrewd confidante. “Alicent is able to decode a system that Rhaenyra doesn’t really understand. And Rhaenyra offers Alicent a rebellious energy that is sorely lacking in other aspects of her life. “Meanwhile, Daemon and Rhaenyra are sort of made of the same matter. They’re both humming with this Targaryen fire,” D’Arcy adds. “But Rhaenyra notices early on that, despite feeling incredibly akin to this man, the rules apply to him in a completely different way.” Rhaenyra and Alicent’s friendship, like the relationship between uncle and niece, is laced through with erotic energy. Yet those feelings quickly fade when Alicent’s father (played by Rhys Ifans) pushes her into the arms of the much older king Viserys, creating yet another roadblock to Rhaenyra’s ascension. Soon, it seems like the real battle for the throne will be waged on the scorched earth of their former bond—or, as Rhaenys prophetically tells her cousin, “Men would rather put the realm to the torch than see a woman ascend the Iron Throne.” “The foundations for everything that happens are in the wounds and the trauma that are enacted on both of them early on in the story, and those wounds become the mechanism that drives behaviors later,” D’Arcy says. “When there’s been a fundamental hurt that has come to define you, forgiveness is a big ask—even with someone who’s been what Alicent is to Rhaenyra.”