Game of Thrones fans blown away by non-binary House of the Dragon lead as first trailer drops

Emma D'Arcy as Rhaenyra in House of the Dragon

The first trailer for Game of Thrones prequel House of the Dragon has dropped, giving a first look at non-binary actor Emma D’Arcy as the franchise’s new hero.

Emma D’Arcy plays Rhaenyra Targaryen, who goes to war to fight for the Iron Throne, in the eagerly-anticipated new series.

The prequel is set 200 years before the events of Game of Thrones, and will depict the fabled war of the Seven Kingdoms over the span of decades. It is being touted as a feminist take on George RR Martin’s world, with a more progressive approach than its predecessor.

House of the Dragon is D’Arcy’s biggest acting gig to date and they spoke to The Hollywood Reporter about how their gender identity has influenced their approach to the role.

Rhaenyra has an ongoing battle with what it means to be a woman and is a fundamental outsider,” Emma D’Arcy said. “She’s terrified of getting locked into motherhood and is aware of how her position would be different if she were male.”

They added: “I’m a non-binary person. I’ve always found myself both pulled and repelled by masculine and feminine identity and I think that plays out truthfully here. She can’t attend court in a way that comes easily to other people.”

D’Arcy also told Entertainment Weekly that Rhaenyra is “someone who I think is at odds with her gender as a result of the position she finds herself in”.

“I suppose I’m interested in all gender questions,” they added.

After the House of the Dragon trailer dropped, fans have called D’Arcy “captivating” and a “masterclass in casting.”

House of the Dragon will premiere on 21 August on HBO in the US and on 22 August on Sky Atlantic and streaming service NOW in the UK. The first season will run for 10 episodes.

D’Arcy will appear half-way through the season, according to The Hollywood Reporter, with Milly Alcock playing a younger version of their character in the opening instalments.