House Of The Dragon star Emma D’Arcy discusses their character navigating the patriarchal rulers of Westeros.
Like most medieval-based fantasy series, the world of A Song Of Ice And Fire is one that reflects medieval society which was largely patriarchal. Women did not have many choices in who they wed and were often married off for the sake of political alliances, which is reflected in both Game of Thrones and now House Of The Dragon. In addition, women were often not seen as viable candidates to rule a country, and often civil wars would break out when a queen attempted to take a throne. The eventual conflict that comes in House of the Dragon emerges when Emma D’Arcy’s Rhaenyra Targaryen attempts to succeed her father on the throne, despite him having a male heir.
Characters With Privilege But No Power
In House of the Dragon, the older versions of the show’s two female leads, Rhaenyra Targaryen and Alicent Hightower are played by Emma D’Arcy and Olivia Cooke. The two will make their first appearance in the show in its upcoming 6th episode. While speaking to Entertainment Weekly, D’Arcy spoke about Rhenyra’s role in a patriarchal society, and what power they really have within it:
“This character, as a result of patriarchal constraints, essentially doesn’t have power. They have privilege, but they don’t have power. It’s one thing to put two female characters in the center of a series like this, but it’s another when they are positioned within a patriarchy. How do we pay attention to them at least seeking command of their own lives?”
D’Arcy went on to say how it reflects society even to this day:
“We understand how othering works. We see it every day in 2022. Simultaneously, Miguel and Ryan and the rest of the team have created a program where you have someone who is fundamentally othered in a position of power, but you tell the story from their perspective. That feels really unusual to me. How do you convince an electorate that you’re not other? How do you do that when the whole system is built on the belief and the rule that you are not the same?”
Here is the synopsis for House of the Dragon:
Based on George R.R. Martin’s book Fire & Blood, the series will tell the story of House Targaryen (a.k.a. the House that gave us the Mother of Dragons herself, Daenerys Targaryen) and take place 300 years before the events of Game of Thrones.
Miguel Sapochnik and Ryan J. Condal serve as co-showrunners on House of the Dragon and are executive producing alongside George R. R. Martin. The series features a star-studded cast that includes Matt Smith, Olivia Cooke, Emma D’Arcy, Paddy Considine, Rhys Ifans, Steve Toussaint, Eve Best, and Sonoya Mizuno.
New episodes of House Of The Dragon premiere on HBO and HBO Max every Sunday at 9 ET. Stay tuned for all the latest news on the upcoming series and be sure to subscribe to Heroic Hollywood’s YouTube channel for more original video content.