Explained: Why the ten-year time jump happened in ‘Home of the Dragon’

Warning, this text contains spoilers from episode six of The Dragon’s Home!

In the sixth episode of “Home of the Dragon” the change that we have been waiting for since episode number one happened – the actresses who played the young Rhenira and Alicent have been replaced by older ones.

Thus, instead of Millie Alcock and Emily Carey, the roles are now Emma D’Arcy and Olivia Cooke, and the plot and viewers make a time jump of ten years. Opinions after series number six are quite mixed, although the change was not something surprising and unforeseen.

However, one of the showrunners – Ryan Condall – has a perfectly logical argument for the time jump.

He explained to the Hollywood Reporter that George R.R. Martin’s book “Fire and Blood” is a massive work that spans a total of 150 years. These 150 years trace the rise and fall of House Targaryen, as well as the infamous civil war known as the Dance of Dragons.

Condal explains that the original idea was for the HBO series to begin with the death of King Viserys, a death that de facto started the Targaryen war.

Photo: Warner Media

Subsequently, Condal and his colleague Miguel Sapocnik decided that if the plot took off so abruptly from episode one, important facts about the characters, their nature and the motivation behind their actions would be missed. Therefore, the showrunners write a much smoother and calmer beginning of the series, in which we have the chance to get to know the characters well.

“I’m thrilled with the speed and the structure we’ve given to the first season,” Condall explains to the publication.

“It’s complicated because the children have to grow up, get married, have their own children in order to tell about this war between generations,” he added.

It is for this reason that we first meet Rhaenyra and Alicent as teenagers, and then meet them a decade later as mature women. And as much as some fans insisted that the heroines were played by the same actresses, according to Kondal and Sapochnik, this simply cannot happen.

Condal also makes two other very important hints about what to expect from “Dragon House” going forward.

First, in his conversation with the Hollywood Reporter, he stated that the first season of the series will be a “slow flame” and that it quite deliberately lacks the spectacle that some viewers expect. “When we get to the show, we’ll do it right,” explains the screenwriter.

Photo: Warner Media

He points out that outside of HBO, many other places wouldn’t have let the series get off to such a smooth start, but this is how the story of one of the bloodiest conflicts in Westeros is properly told. “That way, you’ll see everything that’s actually happening,” emphasizes Condal.

The second revelation he makes is that we will be witnessing another time jump after all, and very soon.

In the upcoming episodes, we will see a new, even more mature actor in the role of Aegon Targaryen – the son of King Viserys and Alicent Hightower. From there, Condal says, the action will begin to develop far more dynamically and quickly than it is now.

However, the showrunner refrained from revealing whether this will happen in the first season, or if we will still have to wait for the second to see the real “Dance of Dragons”. As for fans of Millie Alcock and Emily Carey – unfortunately, they most likely won’t see their favorites again, even in flashback scenes.

“The second season is almost completely mapped out and doesn’t include any flashbacks at the moment,” Condall explains.

At the same time, he added to Variety that while Game of Thrones didn’t have many flashbacks, Home of the Dragon could play more with how it tells the story. That’s why the showrunner leaves a loophole for the possibility that we will still see Millie Alcock and Emily Carey again as young Rhaenyra and Alicent in a scene from the past.

“There are things we haven’t fully clarified. I’m not closing the door on anything. How does that sound like an answer?” Condall says.

Photo: Warner Media

He does not fail to note that even for him there is a hero whose untimely death he regrets.

The screenwriter admits that he did not feel like “killing off” Lena Velarion, daughter of Lord Corlys and wife of Daemon Targaryen.

“Lena’s a Valkyrie. She’s a dragon rider. The little girl we saw in episode two rides the biggest dragon in Westeros. Unfortunately, we didn’t spend as much time with her as we would have liked,” Kondall points out.

“Although we were only with her for a few brief moments, she [Лена] showed enough of what exactly she is,” he concludes.


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