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Emma D’Arcy on how Lucerys’ death will change Rhaenyra in House of the Dragon Season 2




Queen Rhaenyra Targaryen is one of several grey characters in the Game of Thrones prequel House of the Dragon. Emma D’Arcy‘s portrayal of Rhaenyra has several redeeming qualities, one of which is her love for her children and the way she nurtured them. However, it seems as soon as she became the heir to the Iron Throne, her childhood was lost somewhere with the new responsibility.

Rhaenyra and her connection to grief

D’arcy was questioned about understanding Rhaenyra and her grief in a recent interview with Awards Watch. They explained, “I think the historic wound creates the mechanism by which everything is then received. For example, Rhaenyra doesn’t start out as the heir, so she’s this descended child like the royal family was never looking to her. As a child that gave her great freedom. Necessarily she built a personality as someone who never expected to be consequential.”

“It all starts to fray at the point of receiving the heirdom because her understanding of herself, her identity is radically altered and down the line, there’s an endless fragility then to that claim. Its ability to not exist feels so tangible I think. As a result, when she is in small ways disrespected the threat that she feels is vastly disproportionate because she knows what it is to go back to being the inconsequential child.” 

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How Lucerys’ death will change Rhaenyra

D’Arcy also talked about how Rhaenyra’s outlook towards grief will change in Season 2, “I wanted to find a clever way of navigating that because you have to leave yourself somewhere to go and you also can’t exhaust an audience and keep asking them to respond to what you’re offering them. I guess the way I thought about it was [that] Rhaenyra, as you said, is well versed in grief.

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She has known loss in her life, and I think she might even consider herself an expert on that topic, knowing what it does to her body. What she doesn’t know is the new event at the end of 10 is what happens when you lose one of your children.”

“I suppose my thinking was that what she discovers then is that it’s not only childbearing that risks the body, but that losing a grown child, losing a child in adolescence also ravishes the body, is another huge tearing and actually for her, a reeducation in grief.”

Read Next: Emma D’Arcy was nervous to film Rhaenyra’s reaction to Lucerys’ death


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