House of the Dragon fans were delighted to see a familiar face from the first season make a surprise appearance in the second, following earlier reports to the contrary.


Milly Alcock played a young Rhaenyra Targaryen in season 1, before Emma D'Arcy took over the role in the second half following a time-jump that threw viewers into one of the most tumultuous periods in Westeros history.

Previously, it was stated that Alcock would not appear in House of the Dragon season 2, but we now know this was a little white lie to preserve the actor's shock cameo in season 2 episode 3 – titled The Burning Mill.

This week's instalment sees Daemon haunted by a vision of a young Rhaenyra while walking the eerie, cursed castle of Harrenhal, where she can be seen sewing the head of recently murdered heir Jaehaerys back onto his body.

Showrunner Ryan Condal spoke to The Wrap about the process of bringing Alcock back, explaining: "We wanted to do it in a way that felt grounded and impactful, not only dramatically to Daemon… because Daemon is literally coming face-to-face with a ghost of his past and having it challenge him for his past sins, but do it in a way that felt realistic in world."

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The screenwriter noted that Harrenhal had previously been established as a "haunted place", so it was a natural fit with their plan to sneak Alcock back into the show.

The scene reunites the actor with her season 1 co-star Matt Smith, with director Geeta Patel (Ahsoka) offering insight into the work they did to maximise the impact of their fleeting time together (via Variety).

"When she and Matt came in, the first thing we talked about was their intimacy and how much they trusted each other with each other’s feelings," she said. "The next part of it was getting inside of Daemon’s head, because, up until this point, he has been responsible for killing someone but hasn’t processed it.

"The reason for this scene was for Daemon to actually confront himself and see himself in the mirror."

Patel added: "I remember being in tears when we were shooting that, because the way that Matt portrayed Daemon’s pain as she looked at him, I felt the remorse and regret — which we don’t see in Daemon very often."

Alcock's return was warmly welcomed by fans, but they shouldn't get used to seeing the Australian talent on the show – she had only a one-week window to film this cameo amid a packed schedule.

Her most anticipated upcoming role is in James Gunn's rebooted DC Universe, where she is set to portray Kara Zor-El (aka Supergirl) in 2025's Superman as well as in a solo project subtitled Woman of Tomorrow.

House of the Dragon continues Monday 8th July 2024 on Sky Atlantic and NOW.


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