The first trailer for the Game of Thrones prequel House of the Dragon has finally dropped, and it significantly focuses on nonbinary actor Emma D’Arcy’s Rhaenyra Targaryen.
D’Arcy will star in the highly-anticipated HBO Max series as Rhaenyra, King Viserys I’s first-born child, who must fight for the throne following her father’s passing.
The series, set 200 years prior to Game of Thrones, is inspired by George R.R. Martin's 2018 novel Fire & Blood; though, it’s said to be a feminist take on his work.
Abundantly obvious from the trailer – Rhaenyra is not your typical princess. D’Arcy told Entertainment Weekly that the character is “a person who feels at odds with the way that she is read by the world.”
She’s uncomfortable with “this label the Realm's Delight,” they added, “which implies a passivity, being an object of people's ogling.”
But D’Arcy isn’t our typical lead, either. As one of the first nonbinary actors to lead a show of a hit franchise, the actor channeled their own experience with gender identity into developing Rhaenyra.
“Rhaenyra has an ongoing battle with what it means to be a woman and is a fundamental outsider,” D’Arcy recently told The Hollywood Reporter. “She’s terrified of getting locked into motherhood and is aware of how her position would be different if she were male.”
"I’m a nonbinary person. I’ve always found myself both pulled and repelled by masculine and feminine identity and I think that plays out truthfully here. [Rhaenyra] can’t attend court in a way that comes easily to other people.”
The trailer explores the inherent sexism ingrained in society — specifically in medieval times, which the show is inspired — emphasizing the impossibility of a woman inheriting the “iron throne” as that’s the “order of things.”
Rhaenyra confidently declares in the trailer, “When I am queen, I will create a new order.”
House of the Dragon will premiere on HBO on August 21, with D’Arcy taking the screen halfway through the season. According to THR, Milly Alcock will star as a younger Rhaenyra in the first few episodes.