New footage of “House of the Dragon” hints at a cast change at the beginning of “Dance of the Dragons”

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The Dragon House is about to begin to truly live up to its name. In a new trailer for the second half of the season, the freshman series teases the upcoming cast change as civil war threatens to engulf Westeros with fire and blood.

So far, “House of the Dragon” has focused on young Rainier Targaryen (Millie Alcock) and Alicent Hightower (Emily Carey), as the two young women have struggled under the weight of their position at the courts of King’s Landing. Both girls had to grow up a lot, which, unfortunately, drove a wedge between them. All this reached a climax in the season 5 episode “House of the Dragon” “We light the Way”. Rainira married her cousin, Ser Laenor Velarion (Theo Nate) after rumors that she slept with her uncle, Damon Targaryen (Matt Smith). Alicent discovered that Rainira had lied to her—Rainira had not slept with Damon, but with Ser Christon Cole (Fabien Frankel). In the society of Westeros, inspired by the Middle Ages, virginity is a virtue, and Alicent took it as an insult, eventually turning two best friends into enemies.

In the new trailer, HBO highlighted the cast change among younger actors. Although there is talk of bringing young actors into the 2nd season of “House of the Dragon” in flashbacks, Rainier will now mainly be portrayed by actress Emma D’Arcy, and Alicent will now be portrayed by Olivia Cooke. In the trailer, Alicent Cook notes that at least 10 years have passed since the events of “We Light the Way.” Rainira had three children of her own (“What are children if not weakness?” – says Laris Strong in a voice-over), while Alicent has four, including Aegon, a teenager whose father, Viserys, overlooked, calling Rainira an heiress.

When a teenage Aegon (Ty Tennant) appears on the screen, Alicent tells him that he must prepare to become king as the rightful heir to the throne. The legitimacy of Rhaenyra’s children is called into question when Alicent talks to the elderly King Viserys, who seems to be in a serious condition. Emma D’Arcy’s Rainier holds onto a young Joffrey Velarion (her son, named after her husband’s late lover) as factions form to counter her ascension. Elsewhere, Damon married Laena Velarion (Nanna Blondell), who is now riding a huge dragon Vhagar. Laena has given birth to Damon’s daughter, Baela, and is pregnant with another, as she convinces Damon to return to Westeros. The dragon dance is about to begin.

The trailer is short, but full of teasers about what’s coming next. Fans who have read “Flame and Blood”, the history of the Targaryen house, will surely notice a lot of Easter eggs. In addition, Cook and D’Arcy portray their characters to the fullest, and both of them are full of hostility towards each other.

It seems there are a few more episodes before the Dance begins in earnest. “Flame and Blood” indicates that the first “battles” of the Dance were fought in words, but the battles on the back of the dragon will have to be postponed until a later date. There will undoubtedly be bloody spectacle after bloody spectacle in the second season, as the kingdom is torn apart and George R.R. Martin teases a Red Wedding-level scene in “House of the Dragon,” the show will be an unflinching look at the horrors of war.

“House of the Dragon” airs Sundays at 21:00 Eastern Standard Time on HBO.

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