Milly Alcock (Rhaenyra) breaks down “shocking” House of the Dragon scene
Last night’s episode of House of the Dragon was full of uncomfortable moments, so many that I have to specify which one this post is about: it’s about the scene where Daemon Targaryen takes his niece Rhaenyra into a brothel and makes out with her in public before losing his nerve and storming off.
Eight seasons of Game of Thrones and they’re still finding ways to shock us. That said, apparently the scene wasn’t awkward for Milly Alcock, who plays Rhaenyra. “[S]trangely enough. [Matt Smith and I] were just kind of mates,” she told The New York Post. “So, it was quite comfortable. We had an intimacy coordinator, and we worked with her through the rehearsal process and blocked it out months before.”
The intimacy coordinator was really earning their keep last night, whatever Sean Bean may think.
House of the Dragon stars didn’t see the brothel environment ahead of time
That said, the production still found some ways to blindside the actors. “Clare Kilner, our director, made sure that we hadn’t seen any of the brothel stuff until we were shooting,” Alcock said. “So, that was our first time walking through the brothel, and he’s guiding her through the room with all of these other bodies. So, that was quite shocking. You’re like, ‘This is kind of weird and silly.’”
There were extras who we had just met who were like, 69-ing for 12 hours. It’s pretty gnarly. We felt pretty overdressed, because everyone else was nude.
I do think it’s interesting that the point of an intimacy coordinator is to professionalize sex scenes so they’re more comfortable for everyone involved, but then the director goes out of their way to make sure the actors don’t see any of the naked extras on set ahead of time. I think show business people are just dramatic and like surprises.
Rhaenyra would choose Daemon over Criston Cole
After Daemon abandoned Rhaenyra, she returned to her room and lost her virginity to Criston Cole. So where do things stand between these three now, and what does Rhaenyra really want?
“I think it’s complicated, I think Daemon is good for her … but whether or not he’s the right thing for her, time will tell,” Alcock said. “Rhaenyra is at an age where she can’t tell the difference between platonic love, romantic love and lust, because she hasn’t lived long enough and gone through those experiences. I think that she understands that there’s a feeling here [with Daemon], but she’s not quite sure where it lands, and how to behave with it and navigate it.”
I wrestled with [her feelings for Criston] the whole time, in the show. I think that she wants to be seen, and ultimately Daemon and Cristan Cole are the only two people who really see her. Both of them see her for different reasons. Daemon kind of has the upper hand, and Rhaenyra has the upper hand with Cole, and that turns her on a bit. I think that she genuinely likes him. But I don’t think she would pick him over Daemon, ultimately.
The shippers can sort this out as the rest of the season airs. New episodes of House of the Dragon drop on Sunday nights on HBO and HBO Max.
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