WARNING: The text contains spoilers for episode 4 of “Home of the Dragon”.
When she auditioned for the HBO Max fantasy series Home of the Dragon, actress Emily Carey was just 17 years old. She gets a key role, although the first episode is far from hinting to viewers about the importance of her character.
Carey was cast as Alicent Hightower, daughter of Otto Hightower, who subsequently, and largely due to her father’s machinations, becomes the wife of Viserys I, the much older king of the Seven Kingdoms.
Before getting the role, the young actress had never watched Game of Thrones. So when the preparations for “Home of the Dragon” begin, she sits down and catches up with the original series, the prequel of which she will participate. And already in the first season – even in the first episode of “Game of Thrones”, as she notes herself – she sees that there is a lot of violence against women in the series.
“There was a lot of violent sex, and it made me nervous. I was like, ‘God, what am I going to have to do on this show?'” Carrey told Newsweek.
It is not by chance that she admits that she was scared when she found out that she would have to act in sex scenes in “The House of the Dragon”. For her, the fear factor is what she sees on the screen in its predecessor.
In the fourth episode of the series, viewers saw her in two intimate scenes. In the first, her character Alicent, now queen, bathes her husband Viserys I, played by 47-year-old Paddy Considine.
In the second, Alicent is summoned to the chambers of her husband, the king, and seemingly against her will and duty must engage in a sexual act with him. An act in which the young queen clearly takes no pleasure.
When she first read the script for the scene, Carey was still 17.
“It scared me because I hadn’t met Paddy until then. I didn’t know what a nice guy he was and how easy the scene would be because of him, but everything I saw then [в сценария], you know, was a 47-year-old man and me. I was a little worried,” says the actress today.
During the filming of the scene, Carey was already 18 years old and still almost 30 years younger than her colleague. What reassures her is the presence of a coordinator for the intimate scenes on the set.
It is a representative of those professionals who work in the film and television industry, and to some extent choreograph the simulated sex between the actors to make sure that neither party in the scene feels bad about such a work commitment.
Carey explains that the presence of such a coordinator on the set of “The House of the Dragon” gave her the opportunity to openly talk about all her worries, without being embarrassed and embarrassed.
“In the rehearsal room [координаторката по интимните сцени] was a huge help, also on set. And yes, it turned out to be a lot easier than I thought it would be,” concludes the actress.
Recently, actor Sean Bean, who played Ned Stark in Game of Thrones, spoke out against coordinators for intimate scenes in movies and series, arguing that they kill spontaneity.
“Someone tells you, ‘Do this, put your hands there while you’re touching his thing…’ I think the natural way lovers behave is going to be ruined by someone reducing it to a technical exercise,” he commented. the actor.
For Kerry, however, the presence of such a coordinator turns out to be of fundamental importance.
There is also a difference in how the female characters are treated in the new series. When in the rehearsal room, “Home of the Dragon” creators Ryan Condal and Miguel Sapocnik openly explain to everyone how they approach the series, how it is different from “Game of Thrones”, what they want to show and how they want viewers to see women in the episodes.
“I think these open conversations are very important because they made us feel incredibly relaxed and safe in Ryan and Miguel’s arms,” explains Emily.
Her heroine has already taken an important path. “The House of the Dragon” tells about that period of the rule of the house Targaryen, in which the Iron Throne became the cause of a bloody war. Princess Rhaenyra (Millie Alcock), daughter of Viserys I from his first marriage, is the rightful heir to the throne. However, Alicent, Emily Carey’s character, gives birth to a son for Viserys – what he always wanted.
The series certainly does one better than the Fire and Blood book it’s based on, introducing young Alicent and Rhaenyra as friends.
This gives depth to their relationship from the start – Rhaenyra feels betrayed when her best friend becomes her father’s lover and then wife, and Alicent herself also begins to feel conflicted within herself towards her new stepdaughter .
“I think showing them so incredibly close is what makes the breakup of the friendship so heartbreaking and raises the stakes so much, if that makes sense. Of course, the stakes are always high when it comes to the throne, but here we’re talking about emotions, about real, raw emotions from two young women,” Carrey explains.
She has no difficulty playing the friendship because she gets along with Millie Alcock (the young Renira) off the set as well, which allows the scenes between them to come together organically on screen. But the friendship between a queen and a princess encounters more and more challenges.
“It makes it hard to watch because neither of them is in control through this journey, whether it’s when they’re incredibly close or when that relationship starts to fall apart,” Carey says.
The bad news for those who like her version of Alicent and Millie Alcock’s version of Rhaenyra is that the two young actresses will soon be replaced by their co-stars who will play the older versions of Alicent and Rhaenyra going forward.
The reason is that “Dragon House” tells events that happened over years, and there’s no way the queen and princess can stay teenagers forever. Soon we will see Emma D’Arcy in the role of Rhaenyra, and Olivia Cooke in the grown-up Alicent.
And given what Game of Thrones has taught us, sex scenes are yet to come.