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Game of Thrones prequel House of the Dragon features non-binary actor Emma D’Arcy

Game of Thrones prequel House of the Dragon is only a month away, and it stars a star-studded cast with Matt Smith (Doctor Who, Morbius), as well as Emma D’Arcy, the show’s non-binary lead who previously featured in Truth Seekers and Wanderlust.

D’Arcy, who uses they/them pronouns, plays the role of Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen, an ancestor of everyone’s favourite Khaleesi, Daenerys Targaryen, and one of the main cast members of this upcoming prequel. Rhaenyra will play a key role in the new fantasy show, alongside Matt Smith’s character, Prince Doraemon.

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Emma D’Arcy spoke out about the gender aspect of House of the Dragon, such as Rhaenyra being placed into a role she isn’t strictly ready for, or is even interested in thanks to her being a woman.

“I think there are two main things that make Rhaenyra a character who interests me, at least.” D’arcy tells Entertainment Weekly. “She is both female, and never expected to be heir. That’s never on the table. Everything falls apart when she receives the inheritance everyone looks for.

“And the other thing is that she’s 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.”

Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, Emma D’Arcy reveals how being non-binary has played a part in understanding Rhaenyra and the struggles she goes through in the show and how it plays on her being an outsider.

“She’s terrified of getting locked into motherhood and is aware of how her position would be different if she were male.” D’Arcy explains. “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. She can’t attend court in a way that comes easily to other people.”

House of the Dragon premieres on HBO Max on August 21.

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