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House Of The Dragon’s Emma D’Arcy And Olivia Cooke Pull Back The Curtain On The Auditioning Process

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For Emma D’Arcy, auditioning for Rhaenyra took three months of preparation and several yeses – and a few nos – before she finally landed the part. “My partner and I literally cobbled together a wig out of a bag of hair, and then after doing that for three months, I was called in for a four or five hour in-person audition,” D’Arcy said. “Then I was told it’s probably not going my way. And I was like, ‘Wow, it’s a real shame about 14 missed calls from my agent.’

Olivia Cooke faced a similar challenge when she auditioned to play both Rhaenyra and Alicent before finally being cast as the Hightower Queen. “I had a meeting with [co-showrunners] Ryan [Condal] and Miguel [Sapochnik] about my tapes and how they saw Alicent,” Cooke revealed. “And it felt good. But then they put me on hold for two weeks.”

The arduous journey paid off, however, as House of the Dragon broke viewership records and cemented D’Arcy and Cooke as Game of Thrones stars. Part of D’Arcy’s challenge was learning High Valyrian, the native tongue of House Targaryen. “I should have my phrasebook handy,” they admitted. “But I can do the basics.”



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