House of the Dragon actor addresses potential queer romance: ‘We weren’t queerbaiting’

Milly Alcock as Princess Rhaenyra and Emily Carey as Lady Alicent in House of the Dragon

House of the Dragon actor Emily Carey has addressed the queer undertones in her character Alicent’s relationship with Rhaenyra.

Fans of House of the Dragon picked up on the romantic chemistry between Princess Rhaenyra (Milly Alcock) and Alicent from the very first episode.

At the beginning of the series the two characters were best friends and their clear love for one another transcended the screen.

Their relationship took a downhill turn after Alicent was married Rhaenyra’s father, King Viserys (Paddy Considine), but they put their differences aside in episode four, as Rhaenyra faced an unwanted marriage of her own. The pair held hands, and suddenly, fans were convinced their love was back on the cards.

Speaking with Variety, Carey reminisced: “We were in the rehearsal room…I believe it’s episode four. I was sat on the bench. It’s not necessarily something we had talked about yet. 

“We were doing that scene, and Milly and I looked at each other like, ‘it kind of felt like we were about to kiss? That was really weird!’. And so we talked about it.”

She added: “We didn’t intend to play it. We weren’t ‘making them gay’ or ‘queerbaiting,’ or anything like that. It’s just, if you want to read into it and see it like that, do it. If you want to see them as more than friends, do it. If you don’t, then don’t.” 

Carey, who herself is queer explained ,that she “wasn’t consciously putting it out there” because “they’re 14-year old girls”.

She added: “They don’t know the difference between platonic and romantic. They don’t even know what the words mean, let alone what the feelings mean.” 

Alcock and Carey bowed out of House of the Dragon in episode five, with Emma D’Arcy and Olivia Cooke to play older versions of their characters as the show jumps ahead in time.

Whether this chemistry translates remains to be seen, although both Cooke and D’Arcy addressed the queer vibes in a previous interview with Insider.

I think there’s erotic energy in most intense teenage relationships, because it’s a period of trying to work out what one is and what one wants,” D’Arcy said. 

Cooke added: “When you have your first intense friendship, you’re throwing all these emotions at the other person and seeing which one sticks, and it’s incredibly complex, but very passionate.”

Episode five saw viewers slam House of the Dragon for killing off one half of the only canonically queer couple.