Milly Alcock and Emily Carey in House of the Dragon (2022)

‘House of the Dragon’ Time Jumps, Explained

House of the Dragon is set to cover a time when the Targaryens are at the height of their power and dragons were something of a regular sight to see in Westeros. It takes place exactly 172 years before Daenerys Targaryen, and, as we all have probably noticed by now, after the latest episode, “Second of His Name,” aired last Sunday, the show will involve a ton of time skips. In fact, it’s expected to cover at least 30 years of conflict and tension before it all culminates and boils down to the Dance of Dragons—but we’re getting a little ahead of ourselves, so let’s break this down.

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The Expected Episode Six Time skip

Milly Alcock and Emily Carey in House of the Dragon (2022)
(HBO)

Currently, Alicent and Rhaenyra are being played by Emily Carey and Milly Alcock, respectively. And as much as we absolutely love them in their roles, it’s been confirmed that one of the biggest time skips will occur sometime midway in the ten-episode spinoff—with Olivia Cooke (We love you, Olivia) and Emma D’Arcy (You too, Emma) to take over the roles. So, unlike in Thrones, we, unfortunately, will not be seeing Carey and Alcock “grow into” their roles and will rather be seeing a treatment similar to The Crown.

Speaking exclusively to The Hollywood Reporter, showrunner and co-creator Ryan Condal shared, “This is how you tell this story correctly. We’re telling a story of a generational war. We set everything up so by the time that first sword stroke falls, you understand all the players.”

Both Cooke and D’Arcy, themselves, also have a great understanding and vision for how they intend on playing Alicent and Rhaenyra. Cooke, who enjoys the parallelisms between her character and Thrones’ Cersei Lannister, shares, “I fucking love that comparison because Cersei was my favorite character. Alicent’s got a very dark side to her, but she’s also just striving for what she thinks is good, even though it’s just misplaced.”

As for D’Arcy, they are drawing inspiration from a personal standpoint, stating in the same interview, “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.”

More New Faces

Alicent and Rhaenyra aren’t the only characters on the show who’ll be drastically aged up midway, though. Condal confirmed, during a roundtable interview with Insider, that viewers will also see the twins Laena and Laenor Velaryon (both currently played by Nova Fouellis-Mose and Theo Tate, respectively) be recast with Nanna Blondell as an older Laena and John Macmillan as an older Laenor. 

​​”The people that are truly children in this are the ones that get recast. And the people that are already adults when we meet them, we age them up through hair and makeup and sometimes the actors change their voice,” Condal explained.

What to Expect in The Dance of Dragons

A screenshot from the trailer for House of the Dragon, Game of Thrones' prequel series, featuring a Targaryen dragonknight on top of a dragon flying over King's Landing
(HBO)

Without giving anything away (although if you’re a purist who likes going into everything blind, you may want to skip this portion), just what exactly are we seeing unfold here? Well, as previously mentioned, the first season will most likely cover the decades that ultimately led to the Dance or the Targaryen civil war. The conflict arises when the question of succession (that the show is currently hinting at three episodes in) finally materializes into a problem—upon the death of King Viserys—thrusting his children Aegon II and Rhaenyra into the epicenter of the conflict. As is to be expected in the world of ice and fire, the death count is astronomic with dragons, unfortunately, included.

An A Song of Ice and Fire universe?

Author George R.R. Martin in a hat
(Amy Sussman/Getty Images)

George R.R. Martin has, of course, seen nine of House of the Dragon’s expected ten episodes and has nothing but high praises to sing for the spinoff. And from the looks of things, House of the Dragon is only the beginning of many more stories set in Westeros that are to come. Currently, there’s a sequel to Thrones in development that will focus on Kit Harrington’s Jon Snow, and another spinoff to focus on Martin’s Dunk and Egg stories (I’m especially excited about this one). There are also several animated shows in production.

“The MCU has The Avengers, but they also have something offbeat like WandaVision. That’s what I hope we can do with these other Game of Thrones shows, so we can have a variety that showcases the history of this world. There are only so many times you can do a competition for the Iron Throne,” Martin shared to The Hollywood Reporter

How do you feel about House of the Dragon’s time jumps so far? 

(featured image: HBO)


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Danielle Baranda
Danielle is a twenty-something writer and postgrad student based in the Philippines. She loves books, movies, her cat, and traveling. In her spare time, she enjoys shooting 35mm film and going to concerts.