On Tuesday afternoon, HBO posted a short clip from House of the Dragon Episode 6, which gives us our first look at new actors playing familiar characters.
The clip shows Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen carrying her newborn child while being escorted by her husband Laenor Velaryon.
Before, these two were played by Milly Alcock and Theo Nate. Now they’re played by Emma D’Arcy and John Macmillan.
This clip does a great job showing how the years have have changed Rhaenyra. This is presumably her third child, Joffrey, and you can see the stress and drowsiness on her face. She is no longer the playful and spontaneous princess we came to know from the first half of the season. That Rhaenyra is gone.
Now we have a more mature version, weary from years of small council debates and raising children.
Where is Rhaenyra going with her new baby?
When Laenor asks where she is going, Rhaenyra says “she wants to see him.” “She” must be referring to Alicent Hightower, though why she needs to see the child right after he is born is yet to be explained.
This may have something to do with a plot point hinted at in the preview for Episode 6. Beware potential SPOILERS below!
In the trailer for episode 6, Alicent Hightower is talking to King Viserys and says “to have one child like that is a mistake, to have three is an insult.”
It is curious that Rhaenyra’s children do not seem to have the features of their parents, most notably the silver-blonde Targaryen hair or the darker skin tone of the Velaryons.
So it seems that Queen Alicent is suspicious as to the parentage of Rhaenyra’s children, hence why she wants to inspect her child right after he was born.
Alicent and her allies will undoubtedly try to weaponize this suspicion and use it to try and destabilize Rhaenyra’s claim to the Iron Throne.
If the princess’s children are illegitimate, Alicent’s own son Aegon could have a better claim.
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