‘Like watching a whole new show’: House of the Dragon fans lament long-awaited cast change in episode 6

The time has come at last.

In House of the Dragon’s sixth episode, fans said goodbye to Milly Alcock and Emily Carey and hello to Emma D’Arcy and Olivia Cooke.

The older pair replace the younger as Rhaenyra Targaryen and Alicent Hightower, respectively, as time jumps forward 10 years in the latest episode.

Laena and Laenor Valaryon actors Nova Fouellis-Mose and Theo Nate were also replaced by Nanna Blondell and John MacMillan.

While the trailers for the show revealed long ago that the cast would undergo changes, fans were nevertheless upset at losing some of their favourite actors.

“Feels like watching a whole new show with that cast change. I don’t like it,” one viewer tweeted.

House of the Dragon tweet (Twitter)
House of the Dragon tweet (Twitter)

“I 100% wish we had more time with the younger cast of #HouseOfTheDragon,” moaned another.

Many were particularly upset by the loss of Australian actor Alcock, who quickly became a fan-favourite.

“I’m gonna watch Dragon but I’m about 40% as excited without Milly Alcock,” one tweeted.

House of Dragon tweet (Twitter)
House of Dragon tweet (Twitter)

“I want Milly Alcock BACK,” wrote another.

In a recent interview with The Independent, D’Arcy spoke about the pressure of taking on a character from an actor who has already won audiences.

“It’s a difficult point at which to meet an audience,” they said. “They only get me when they lose Milly, so they meet me in a place of grief, of losing someone they just spent five hours with.”

They added, with a nervous laugh: “I’m... I’m well aware of that.”

Emma D’Arcy as Rhaenyra Targaryen in ‘House of the Dragon’ (HBO)
Emma D’Arcy as Rhaenyra Targaryen in ‘House of the Dragon’ (HBO)

Two people who weren’t upset about the cast change were stars Matt Smith (Daemon Targaryen) and Paddy Considine (King Viserys).

“It was brilliant, actually,” Smith said of the change in personnel, “because I think they’ve done brilliant work.”

“It gave you a completely different context for the age thing to play off.”

Considine added: “Yeah, I loved it. I loved it because they were the same character, but they [had] different energy.”

House of the Dragon continues in the UK on Sky Atlantic on Mondays at 2am, before repeating at 9pm later that day. It is also available to watch on NOW.